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Please verbalize or
have in mind that you are studying this material as a merit for a specific
single and/or Jewish singles throughout the world.
When may you tell
someone that he was overcharged
- If someone was overcharged, when does he have a halachicly
valid recourse which would therefore allow me to tell him that he was
- If he was overcharged as a result of inaccurate weights or
measurements, he may demand that the overpayment be returned or renege on
the sale whenever he chooses, therefore, you may inform him. If he was
simply overcharged, then it depends on a few factors. If he was
overcharged by less than a sixth of the market value, he has no halachicly
valid recourse, therefore, you may not tell him. If he was overcharged by
a sixth or more of the market value, he may renege on the sale or insist that
the overpayment be returned for as long as it takes to show the item to a
merchant or a relative and receive their assessment; therefore, you may
tell him within that time frame. If that time frame has passed, you may
not tell him, since he has no recourse.
- In a situation where I’m permitted to tell my friend that
he was overcharged, what are the guidelines?
- There are 5 conditions; they are as follows:
- Do not exaggerate the matter.
- Your intention must be for the benefit of the one who was
harmed. You may not rejoice in the degradation of the transgressor, even
if you yourself know that he truly overcharged the victim. Additionally,
you must know that the victim will likely take the necessary steps to
recoup his loss. However, if he is not of the nature to make a fuss and
it will only roil him to know that he was overcharged, then you may not
- If you estimate that the transgressor will heed your
rebuke and as a result return the overpayment to the victim, then you
must privately rebuke the transgressor and not tell the victim.
- If you can bring about the benefit some other way then
you may not tell the rechilus.
- The victim must not be the type of person who will go and
tell the one who overcharged him: “so and so told me that you overcharged
me”. If he is that type of person, the Chofetz Chaim has a doubt as to
whether you may tell him, since by doing so you are causing him to sin.
However, if you warn him not to quote you and you are fairly confident
that he will heed your warning, you may tell him.
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: You were in the middle of illustrating how
a son can save his father from judgment in Gehinom.
Oded: Yes. Here is what we related hither to:
Rav Zemira’ah was walking in a
field when he noticed flames emerging out of cracks in the Mountains of
Ararat. He bent his ear to hear and heard voices. An Arab, who noticed him
listening, said to him: “Come with me and I will show you wonders hidden from
man”. He took him behind a rock where he saw other cracks from which flames
were emerging. The Arab said to him: “Bend your ear here and listen”. He bent
his ear and heard voices saying “vay vay…”. Rav Zemira’ah exclaimed: “This is
certainly one of the locations of Gehinom”. The Arab continued on his way and
Rav Zemira’ah was left on his own. He moved on to another location and peering
through a crack and saw a person who was screaming loudly, being hauled in
deeper, down to another level of Gehinom. After that Rav Zemira’ah was no
longer able to see as they vanished from sight.
And now we continue:
Rav Zemira’ah dozed off and saw in his dream that very same
person whom he had seen being dragged deeper into Gehinom. He asked him: “Who
are you?” The man replied: “I’m a Jew who is guilty of transgressing every sin
imaginable”. “What is your name?” asked Rav Zemira’ah in his dream. “I don’t
know” responded the man. “Those who serve time in Gehinom forget their
names.” Rav Zemira’ah asked him: “what is the name of your city?” The man
responded: “I’m from the upper Galilee, I was a butcher and because of the many
terrible things that I did I’m judged 3 times during the day and 3 times at
night”. Rav Zemira’ah set out for the upper Galilee. Upon arriving he set out
in search of the former location of this individual. He inquired from a child.
The child responded: “Rebbi, such and such should happen to that man. He did
all the worst sins you could possibly imagine. Such and such should happen to him
and his son”. Rav Zemira’ah asked: “He has a son?” “Yes”, said the child, “he
left behind one son who is a rosha like his father. He is the child who hangs
out by the butcher shop”.
To be continued.
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1) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 2 Chap. 9 Par.
2) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 2 Chap. 9 Par. 12
Sefer Shmiras Haloshon Sha’ar HaTorah Chap. 7