Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

The Laws of Rechilut: footnote


Chafetz Chaim: chapter 1 paragraph 10

If someone violated the laws against speaking Rechilut, and he wants to repent ("do teshuva"), he has not even achieved partial repentance until he requests forgiveness from and appeases the person he wronged. In the case of Rechilut, this would be the subject of the Rechilut, the person spoken about, since the talk encouraged the listener's animosity against the subject. He should also repent for violating the commandment "Lo telech rachil b'ameicha," do not go about as a talebearer among your people, by repenting to G-d.

In Hilchot L"H 4:12 and the footnotes there, the Chafetz Chaim mentions the possibility that the sinner may not be allowed to ask forgiveness of the person he wronged. If the person who was spoken about does not know what was said about him, or doesn't know anything was said about him, it would cause that person anguish to hear about it, which is a violation of "Lo telech rachil b'ameicha" (Lev 19), the commandment not to speak Lashon Hara or Rechilut. This is frightening, as it means that in many cases there may be no repentance for Rechilut.

I heard it suggested that it may be permissible to tell the person "I said something about you," and ask forgiveness on that basis, but it would depend upon how the person would react to the information. A Rabbi knowledgeable in the laws of proper speech should be consulted.

In any case, the speaker should go back to all the parties he spoke to, and retract what he said. This may mean finding a reasonable explanation for what happened rather than the more slanderous interpretation offered originally, or explaining that the speaker didn't know what he was talking about (it was a rumor, he didn't witness it and there were other possibilities, etc.).

The Chafetz Chaim likens speaking L"H to ripping open a feather pillow in the wind - the feathers spread so quickly it is nearly impossible to recollect them all. And the longer one waits to retract what he said, the more the information spreads and the more damage is inflicted on the subject of the Rechilut or L"H.

 






ARTICLES ON NOACH:

View Complete List

A Wasted Tragedy
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5762

New Stage, Old Actors
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5762

Law and Order
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5760

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Taking a Hint
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5766

Make it a Habit
Shlomo Katz - 5774

Before It Rains
Rabbi Label Lam - 5767

ArtScroll

Too Perfect
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5759

What Goes Around Comes Around
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5760

Gevuros and History
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5763

> Joint Efforts
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5772

Beyond Youth
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764

Did The Animals Come Or Did Noach Have To Bring Them?
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5773

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Go the Distance!
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5762

Making Something of Nothing
Rabbi Shlomo Jarcaig - 5764

Out of the Darkness
Shlomo Katz - 5773

Compounded Interest
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5761



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information