Mishmeres HaSholom: Ask the Rav

Q: Somebody in shul offended me in the presence of a large crowd. I am a rebbi in the local cheder, and parents of former or future students may have heard the derogatory remarks and, in all probability, now have a negative impression of me. I would like to discuss the incident with a friend who is also friendly with the one who insulted me, and ask him to tell him how hurt I was and how damaging his comments were. Is this permitted?

A: Assuming that your intentions are to insure that he won’t insult you in the future, or that you could even things out with him, then l’chat’chilah you should approach the person directly, reconcile, and let him know how seriously it affected you. If, however, you assume that your words will be ineffective, or may make matters worse (which is likely to happen), then you may ask his Rav, a good friend, etc., to speak to him.

All this is on the condition that the listener will not accept the story as hard facts, and only be “meichash” adhering to the conditions for lashon hara l’to’eles (i.e., to keep in mind the constructive purposes, not to exaggerate, etc.).

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 opinions expressed in this article are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Hamodia.