Mishmeres HaSholom: Ask the Rav

Q: I saw my friend’s husband crossing the street diagonally, between cars. With one hand, he was pushing a stroller with a baby; with the other hand he was holding the cell phone he was using for his conversation.

I feel I should tell my friend what I saw, because I think this is a matter of pikuach nefesh. I am, however, concerned about speaking lashon hara and causing a rift between the two.

What should I do?

A: The first thing to do is to look for a way to speak to the husband directly and make him aware of how his actions are endangering himself and his family. If you don’t see him act irresponsibly again, you know you did your part.

If, however, you see that he repeatedly acts in this irresponsible way, you will have no choice but to tell your friend about her husband. You must of course be very careful to give him the benefit of the doubt and tell her that he was probably so involved in his learning or business matters that he simply spaced out and forgot where he was.

It is also proper that before you speak to his wife, you daven to Hashem that your words should have no negative repercussions or, chas v’shalom, cause a rift in the couple’s shalom bayis. 

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