Q: An acquaintance approached us for help with their son, who was rejected from a prestigious yeshivah. The man was offended and, since his son had a good reputation, he couldn’t understand why this had happened. When all my efforts to get him into yeshivah were in vain, I did some research and heard why he was rejected. I now have to report back to the parents and want to know if I should tell them the truth or if it is considered ona’as devarim.
A: It is generally advantageous to tell parents the facts as they are so that they can address the problem and proceed with their plans for placing their son in yeshivah. In this case, it is permissible to say the truth, while following the conditions delineated by the Chofetz Chaim. You must preface the message by telling them that it is forbidden for them to believe the report and that they must only listen and suspect, giving the benefit of the doubt to all those involved.
If you say things gently and with the constructive purpose in mind, then you need not worry about ona’as devarim.
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