One must be extremely cautious to not demean the honor of others, neither in speech nor in deed. One cannot be considered “pure-hearted” unless he is careful to think thoroughly before doing anything to his friend, or before saying anything to his friend, or about his friend, “If my friend would say or do this to me, would I feel disrespected? Would it bother me?” If yes, then one should not do that to his friend. Our Sages thus said: “What you would not want done to you, you should not do to you fellow. This is a great principle of the Torah.” A wise person once said: “There is nothing easier than finding the faults of one’s fellow, and nothing harder than finding one’s own faults.”
A God-fearing person will stay away from seeking any personal gain by denigrating the honor of another person. For instance, if someone was accused of doing some wrong, he should not say, “It was not me; it was so-and-so.” That would be lashon ha-ra (slander). Similarly, there are evil and sinful people who, for the sake of jest or empty frivolity, or to find favor in the eyes of the wealthy, will ridicule an upright person, laughing at the man’s blood. Woe to such people! They harm their souls and evil will befall them, as our Sages said, that leitzanus-jesting begins with hardship and ends with total self-destruction, Heaven forefend. One who does this should be pained that he angered his Creator. The jester thought that he was thereby making people happy, but the destiny of those who act and laugh through these evil ways, will be that they will descend to their graves in grief — unless they direct their hears to repent.