Mishmeres HaSholom: Ask the Rav

Q: There was a recent question regarding a woman whose husband tells her not to buy a product from a particular brand because he doesn’t like it. The Rav wrote that it was permissible. I was wondering if it wouldn’t be preferable for the husband to say, “I prefer that you buy this particular product from brand X,” so as not to discredit a product or company. It is also likely that the wife will tell her friends, “My husband doesn’t like brand X products,” and her friends may stop buying them.

A: We’ve already clarified that because people have different preferences, it is halachically permissible for a husband to tell his wife not to buy a product from a brand that he doesn’t like, and that we do not have to be concerned that this will influence friends.

It is of course commendable to try to be stringent and use finer language by saying, “I prefer you buy from company X.” Especially since this will help us get into the habit of guarding our tongues from speaking negatively.

The second concern you raised about a friend being influenced not to buy from this particular company is very farfetched. If indeed the concern does exist, then it is all the more reason for the husband to be stringent and employ this hiddur of guarding his tongue.

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