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 VAYEITZEI AND CHANUKAH:

View Complete List

Torah Education
Rabbi Wein - 5768

Darkness and Light
Shlomo Katz - 5773

The Merit of 20 Years of Honest Work Surpassed the Merit of the Forefathers
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5774

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Majesty Resides Within!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

That's Chanukah
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

Power To Choose
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5765

> Profit from Loss, Light from Darkness
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5762

The Mysterious Ways of Women
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5764

Thanks for What?
Shlomo Katz - 5774

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

See What Will Be
Rabbi Label Lam - 5769

The House of Yaakov
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5756

Today Depends on Tomorrow
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5771

ArtScroll

Shared Responsibility
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5773

Straightening Out The Cause And The Effect
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5773

The Inns and Outs of Galus
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5761

Body and Soul
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5768



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