Embarrassing Others

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  1. One who embarrasses another Jew in public loses his share in the world to come.[1]

= Source of Prohibition =

David There are two possible prohibitions that one violates when he or she embarrasses another. First, the Torah prohibits oppressing another [2]. The Mishnah Bava Metzia [3] extends this prohibition to oppressing another with words as well as with money. This prohibition forbids several different ways of oppressing with words. When one embarrasses another, he or she is in violation of the prohibition of “A man may not oppress his fellow [4]. Second, there is a specific prohibition not to embarrass that is derived from the Mitzvah of rebuking others. The Torah commands “You shall surely rebuke your friend[5].” However, the end of the verse: “and you shall not bear iniquity because of him” warns us not to allow the fulfillment of this commandment to simultaneously cause a transgression of humiliating another. The prohibition against embarrassing in this specific case creates a general prohibition against embarrassing another in any situation [6]. In addition to violating the above prohibitions, anyone who embrasses another is also failing to fulfil the Mitzvah of V’ahavta L’reach Kamocha [7].


  1. Bava Metsia 58b, Sanhedrin 107a, Rambam (Deot 6:8, Teshuva 3:14)
  2. VaYikra 25:17
  3. Bava metzia 58b
  4. VaYikra 25:17
  5. Vayikra 19:17.
  6. Sefer HaChinuch 240 based on Sifra
  7. Vayikra 19:18.