Lesson 28c Explanation of condition #5-the right reasons
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condition #5 – The right reasons
- Yesterday, you said that if you see someone harm his
fellow Jew, you may publicize his actions if 7 conditions are met. Conditions
number 5 was that you must have the right intentions. What are the right intentions?
- There are 2 legitimate reasons. If your intention is for
one of these 2 reasons, assuming all other conditions are met, you may
publicize the transgression. The 2 reasons are as follows:
- To help the one who was harmed. Examples of this are:
Robbery: By publicizing the deed, the thief
might be forced to return the stolen item or provide compensation.
Damage: By publicizing the matter, the
damager will be compelled to make restitution.
Shame: By publicizing the matter, the one
who was denigrated might feel less shame when it becomes public knowledge that
he was denigrated for no good reason. Alternatively, by publicizing the matter,
people might rebuke the one who shamed his friend and prevail upon him to
appease the one whom he disgraced.
- To publicize and degrade the bad deed for one of the
Others will avoid such deeds.
Perhaps, the one who harmed his friend will see
that people are degrading his actions and as a result, repent.
Note: There is an
important distinction between these 2 reasons. If you want to publicize the
deed for reason number 2 and the one who was harmed is not yet aware that he/she
was harmed, you may not publicize the matter. However, if you are publicizing
the matter to help the one who was harmed receive financial compensation, you
may do so, even if the one who was harmed is not yet aware that he/she was
- Does it make a difference if the one who was harmed asked
me to help him by going public with the matter?
- Absolutely not! If the necessary conditions are met, you
may publicize the matter even if he/she hasn’t asked you to; and if the
conditions are not met you may not publicize the matter even if he/she
requested of you to do so.
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: I would like to digress a little and touch
upon the great mitzvah of chesed.
Menaseh: How did we arrive at that?
Oded: We were discussing the midda of letting things
pass, which can certainly be viewed as a form of chesed; so I wanted to
elaborate on that a bit.
Menaseh: Well, go right ahead.
Oded: The mitzvah of chesed is very great in the
eyes of Hashem.
Menaseh: How do you know that?
Oded: It’s actually an explicit posuk in Micha:
“Person, you were already told (by Hashem) what’s good and what Hashem requires
of you; but to do justice and love kindness etc.” Additionally, we are
following in the ways of Hashem when we do chesed. We also arouse the midda of
chesed above when we do kindness here below.
Menaseh: How does that work?
Oded: The Medrash tells us that when Hashem sees us
doing kindness to one another he says: “If these people, who themselves need
chesed, do chesed to each other; then I, who is full of mercy and kindness, how
much more so is it upon me to do chesed with my creations.
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1) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 10
Par. 4 & footnote
2) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 10 Par. 4
Sefer Shmiras Haloshon Section 1 Chasimas HaSefer Chap. 6