Mishmeres HaSholom: Ask the Rav

Q: Some building committees hang notices in their lobby with details of outstanding bills for specific families. The notice serves as a reminder for household heads to pay their dues, and also puts social pressure on those who evade payment.

I’m responsible for the building fund, and one of the neighbors suggested that we hang such a poster because of accumulated debts. I’m worried that doing so constitutes lashon hara and may embarrass or hurt people. I would therefore like to ask if there is a heter to hang up a notice because of the to’eles involved.

A: Hanging up such notices in a public place is nothing short of lashon hara and involves other issurim as well.

If your building is struggling with accumulating debts, personal letters should be sent to those who have not paid their dues. A warning may be included, stating that if the debt is not paid up by such and such date, the committee will have to turn the case over to the neighborhood Rav or beis din.

The questions and answers above were taken from the Mishmeres Hasholom pamphlet in Israel. For details and inquiries please e-mail us at office@hasholom.org or call 972-2 5379160.

The views expressed are of the individual author. Readers are encouraged to consult their own posek for guidance.