Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

The Laws of Rechilut


  1. Introducing a Derogatory Perspective to Information
  2. Repeating a Conversation
  3. Repentance for Speaking Rechilut

This chapter discusses Rechilut that reflects information already revealed to the listener, and also how to make amends for such speech.

  1. Introducing a Derogatory Perspective to Information

    The prohibition against speaking Rechilut applies even if the speaker does not inform the listener of anything new. Any communication that causes hatred between individuals is considered Rechilut. Therefore, to give the listener a newly resentful or otherwise negative perspective about something he already knows about would be forbidden.

    For example, Reuven lost a court settlement, and Shimon asked Reuven for details. Shimon then said the settlement didn't seem fair to Reuven, which made Reuven think about the settlement further and the judges who decided the case. Shimon spoke Rechilut because he caused Reuven to feel animosity toward the judges.

    [Rechilut might not even require anything new at all, but merely rekindling an old dispute, as the Chafetz Chaim points out.]

  2. Repeating a Conversation

    If someone told an audience of two people something derogatory about another, and one of the listeners repeated the conversation to the one spoken about (violating the prohibition against Rechilut), it would be forbidden for the second listener to do the same. Hearing the same information a second time generally strengthens one's belief in it, and increases the likelihood of causing a controversy.

    It would be an even greater violation of Rechilut for the second teller to spice up the story by adding details the first "neglected."

    Also, it would be forbidden to resolve a doubt. For example, A talked about B, to C and D. B approached D and asked, "Is it true that A deprecated me to you and C?" D would be forbidden from corroborating whatever C said, as that would be Rechilut.

  3. Repentance for Speaking Rechilut

    A bit of background:

    Often, commandments of Jewish Law are divided into two major classifications, Mitzvot Bein Adam L'Makom (commandments between man and G-d) and Mitzvot Bein Adam L'Chaveiro (commandments between man and fellow man). The first category reflects those commandments which only affect one's relationship with G-d, while the second category reflects those which impact another individual as well.

    Repentance for any sin requires three steps: (1) remorse for one's actions, (2) confession of one's sin privately to G-d (this is called "Viduy" and performed in a formal manner throughout the day of Yom Kippur), and (3) commitment not to repeat the sin in the future. These steps are required to appease G-d in response to our misdeeds.

    Repentance for Mitzvot Bein Adam L'Chaveiro has the additionally requires that the sinner appease the person he wronged, as well as reverse most damages where possible. For example, if someone stole property from another, he would be required to return it and might also pay him a fine; he would also have to apologize to the person he robbed, perhaps multiple times until that person forgives him.

    Interesting side note: In a case in which someone stole from public funds, since he cannot identify the specific individuals he robbed to repay them, he might have to provide some material benefit to society. Building a facility, or even carrying around a large supply of pen to give to "the public" whenever someone needed one, are possible examples. (I actually heard of something similar to carrying around pens.) Of course someone seeking repentance must seek the guidance of an halachic authority to determine an appropriate action.

    BackChapter 3     Chapter 5Next
    Table of Contents


 






ARTICLES ON HAAZINU AND ELUL / ROSH HASHANAH:

View Complete List

That Ancient Memory
Rabbi Label Lam - 5771

Teshuva and Rebi Elazar ben Dordai
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5773

To Begin--to Cook from Within
Rabbi Label Lam - 5766

Looking for a Chavrusah?

A Time of Introspection
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5759

Knock, Knock!
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5757

The Blessings We All Hope For
Rabbi Label Lam - 5773

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Little Things Make a Difference
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5761

Lessons on Prayer
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5760

The Focus of Rosh HaShana
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

> Mankind's Song
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5764

Non-Trivial Pursuit
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5758

Month of Elul: The Power of Repentance
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

ArtScroll

Heaven and Earth
Shlomo Katz - 5773

Hanging onto Holiness by a Thread
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5760

The Bond that Ties - Prayer
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5756

Rosh Hashanah
-



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