Ask the Rav

Q:A classmate borrowed a very important and precious notebook from me, promising to return it within a few days. It’s been a long time since, and unfortunately, despite all my reminders she still hasn’t returned it to me. She always has an available excuse, and I’m uncomfortable reminding her or asking for it again.

One day, when our teacher was collecting notebooks, I had no choice but to apologize and say that I lent it to So and So a long time ago and she hasn’t returned it. I wanted to ask whether it was permissible for me to reveal her name to the teacher, or if it constituted lashon hara.

A:It was indeed necessary for you to tell your teacher that your friend borrowed your notebook and never returned it, but there was no need or halachic dispensation to mention your friend’s name. There seems to be no constructive purpose in mentioning her name because teachers are usually not responsible for students’ conduct in this area. Additionally, you would have to try to be more assertive and speak to her again, and try to work things out before reporting to your teacher.

You must do teshuvah with viduy, remorse, and accepting to be careful in the future. Apparently, asking forgiveness is unnecessary.