Mishmeres Hasholom – Ask the Rav

Q: I’m in eighth grade and have two good friends who don’t get along with each other. They sort of fight over me — I mean, over who will be my best friend. The situation really bothers me, because if I want to go to this one’s house, I have to find some excuse to tell the other, so she won’t be insulted. I want to ask if I’m allowed to tell the teacher what’s going on so that she can help me get out of this mess.

A: As it appears, it would really be very hard for the questioner to find a solution to this predicament herself, especially since, from her question, it seems that the situation involves matters of revenge and spite (since part of the reason each girl wants the questioner as a friend is so that the other one should remain alone).

Therefore, the questioner is justified in wanting to hand the matter over to the teacher. The teacher can explain to both friends that they are actually fighting between themselves needlessly, since the decision of who will be the “best friend” depends on how compatible they are — in their natures, skills, intelligence, level of yiras Shamayim, outlook on life and more.

The teacher herself should decide which of the two is better suited to be the questioner’s friend and should find a way to tactfully explain to the other that she’s not a good match and that such a friendship wouldn’t last. She is even permitted to veer a bit from the truth for this purpose.

There is no problem of lashon hara in speaking to the teacher, and the teacher, too, need not be concerned about prohibitions such as falsehood, lashon hara, hotza’as shem ra, etc., in her involvement in the matter, since she is doing so l’to’eles, for a constructive purpose, and for the sake of peace. It is also with the questioner’s consent.

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.

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