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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.
How to deal with a
sinner who doesn’t take rebuke
- What if my friend who committed a sin doesn’t take kindly
to people who rebuke him?
- You should not rebuke him. People, who hate those who
rebuke them for their sins, are likely to be repeat offenders. Therefore,
you may reveal what you’ve witnessed; but only to the following people:
- Bais Din (Jewish court), under the following conditions:
You have another witness with you. (If you testify
alone, Bais Din is not allowed to believe you; therefore, there is no benefit,
and doing so would be considered loshon horah.)
Your intentions should be for the sake of heaven
and not out of previous hatred you may have for this fellow.
Bais Din must rebuke him in a private manner.
- The sinner’s relatives under the following conditions:
Your intentions are for the good of the sinner.
His relative will believe you and rebuke him. (Note:
most often, relatives will not believe you and telling them will only result
in hard feelings and strife)
His relative can influence him for the good.
- The sinner’s Rebbi so that he may distance himself from
his wayward student until he repents; under the following conditions.
Your intentions are for the sake of heaven.
You are trustworthy in his eyes as 2 witnesses.
He is a private individual who keeps things to
himself. Note: If the Rebbi has influence over his student, even if he is
not a private individual and word may get out, it might be permissible for you
to reveal to him what you’ve witnessed since your intentions are for the
benefit of your friend and not to degrade him.
between a Rebbi and others
- You said that I may tell his Rebbi so that he may distance
himself from his wayward student. Why can’t I tell others so that they too
may distance themselves from this sinner?
- Since it’s possible that he may have repented he still
must be treated as a regular Jew; therefore, you may not cause him any unjustified
harm. If you would publicize his deed to the general populace, they are
likely to harbor ill feelings towards him, even after he has repented. Not
so, his Rebbi; once it has become clear that he has repented; his Rebbi
will welcome him back with opened arms.
difference between a rebukable fellow and a non-rebukable one
- Yesterday, you mentioned that if someone commits a common knowledge
sin, you may not tell anyone. Today, you are saying that you may tell
certain people. What’s the difference?
- In yesterday’s case, the sinner was a rebukable fellow,
therefore, there is hope that through your rebuke alone, he will change
his ways. However, today’s case is dealing with a fellow who doesn’t take
kindly to rebuke; therefore, there is no alternative but to tell people
who might wield influence over 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.
Oded: We mentioned 7 possible causes that can lead a
person to freely speak loshon horah. They were:
Menaseh: Yesterday, you began elaborating on the
terrible effects of anger, can you tell me more?
Oded: Sure. The Zohar, in explaining a posuk in
Yeshayahu, warns us to distance ourselves from people who have veered of the
good path and onto a bad one; people who have contaminated their soul.
Menaseh: How am I supposed to identify such people?
Oded: The Zohar explains that you can detect this,
when a person gets angry.
Oded: If when a person gets angry, he is able to
preserve his holy soul and not uproot it and replace it with the foreign deity
known as anger, he is an upstanding person. However, if when he gets angry, he
uproots his holy soul and replaces it with the foreign deity of anger, he is a
person who is rebelling against his master and you must distance yourself from
Menaseh: So the Zohar seems to be emphasizing the
point you made yesterday; that one who is controlled by his anger, is
considered like one who worships idols.
If you have any
questions regarding these lessons, feel free to contact Rabbi Faivel Adelman by
hitting the reply button.
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1) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 4 Par.
2) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 4 Be’er Mayim Chaim
Sefer Shmiras Haloshon Sha’ar Hatevunah Chap. 13