Lily (thelilyqueen) wrote in little_details,

Realities of lashon hara

My story is sci-fi in nature, set a few hundred years in the future with colony worlds that have started to develop their own cultures. One of the cultures I'm centering on has essentially no sexism or racism, and is more polite/formal than is usual in the contemporary US.

One element of this politeness is similar to the prohibition against lashon hara, or 'evil speech', in Judaism. As I understand lashon hara, people are expected not to say damaging/unkind things, even if true, unless that silence could harm someone else.

Of course, none of us are perfect... and not being Jewish I'd like to have some first-hand perspectives on what happens then. How commonly is the rule broken, and how seriously is it taken when that happens? For a middling offense, what's the social punishment likely to be? Do parents have any particular ways of raising their children to avoid it?

Tags: ~religion: judaism
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