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Advising when it
might be rechilus
- A friend of mine wants to hire a worker whom I know to be
a crook. May I advise him against hiring this worker?
- You are obligated to advise him against it, but you must
adhere to the following 5 conditions:
- Don’t be hasty in arriving at a decision about the nature
of the person or situation but rather deliberate carefully.
- Do not exaggerate the matter.
- Your intentions should be solely to help the individual
whom you are advising and not out of hatred for the other party.
- If you can bring about the benefit some other way,
without telling rechilus, then it is forbidden to tell the rechilus.
- You may not inflict any harm; you may only prevent the
other party from receiving a benefit; in this case being hired. To
inflict actual harm on an individual through rechilus there are
additional conditions that must be met. (They will be discussed in a
- If I know I won’t have the right intention when I tell my
friend not to hire this fellow because I hold a personal grudge against
him, should I refrain from telling him?
- No. You are still obligated to tell your friend and save
him from harm. However, if you have the wrong intentions, you will be in
violation of rechilus. Therefore, you must work on controlling your
This section is
formatted as a conversation between Oded and Menaseh. Oded is encouraging his
friend Menaseh to be more careful in guarding his tongue from evil speech. The
thoughts in this section are primarily based on the sefer, Shmiras Haloshon.
Menaseh: It’s not so easy to provide the support
that Torah institutions truly need.
Oded: That may be true but a person should still try
his best and not be lazy about it. Our sages teach us that in proportion to the
pain is the reward.
Menaseh: Often there are people who detract from
those who are trying to assist local Torah institutions and ridicule them.
Oded: Don’t pay any attention to it. Just realize
that your reward will be much greater as a result of suffering shame for the
sake of Hashem. The Gemora Yerushalmi illustrates this with an incident.
Menaseh: What was the incident?
Oded: Rebbi Elazar was a community patron. One day,
upon returning home he asked the members of his household: “What have you done
today?” They replied: “A group of people came by; they ate and drank and then
prayed on your behalf”. Rebbi Elazar responded: “The reward for that is not so
great”. On a different occasion he returned home and asked: “What have you
done today?” His household members related to him that a group of people came
by they ate and drank and then degraded him. To which Rebbi Elazar replied:
“For this there is good reward!”
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1) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 2 Chap. 9 Par.
2) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 2 Chap. 9 Par. 1 Be’er
Mayim Chaim 3
Sefer Shmiras Haloshon Sha’ar HaTorah Chap. 6