is not only a grievous sin, but actually defiles our speech, thus devaluating the words we utter in prayer and Torah study.
try to be on the alert not to speak an untruth, not to gossip or tattletale, and not to speak disparagingly about another person.
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, like, “a guy told me he was looking for a girlfriend by next year so he’d have someone to split rent with.” Then there was the charmer who told his date about the time he “got wasted, peed and mopped it up with his clothes, and then wore them.” Um, yeah.
Resolving to not lie or speak evil is not enough; we must always be on constant guard. We put fences around our homes and properties because we wish to protect them from damage that may come from unsuspected sources.
Likewise, to avoid gossip, slander, or lies, we must set up protective "fences" to avoid such an occurrence, as for example, avoiding associating with gossipers, and pausing to think before we talk about another person.
That's simply a preference, just as a cow chooses to eat hay instead of grass.