Rechilus is defined by if I come to you and say this is what So-and-So did to you, this is what So-and-So said about you. That’s a full prohibition of לא תלך רכיל, it’s fully within the category of a lo sa’aseh and it’s absolutely prohibited.
Now this is true even if I believe that that which the person said about you or did to you was correct. Even if there’s nothing wrong with what they did, even if there’s nothing wrong with what they said, it can bring you to hate that person, it could bring you to be angry at that person. Anything that I say that they did to you – obviously it has to have a negative impact – or they said about you, even if I believe that they’re correct, still puts in the category of לא תלך רכיל .
And therefore, the Chafetz Chaim explains, that let’s say you and I are having an argument. And I say what you did was wrong. And you say no, what I did was right. And I say, well, I’ll prove to you that what you did was wrong, because even So-and-So said that what you did was wrong. I have just thereby violated לא תלך רכיל בעמך.
Why? Because I’ve told you that So-and-So said about you that you did something wrong. So even though I believe that that person who said it was correct and justified in what they said, still I’ve created a situation where obviously you’re going to feel hurt, you’re going to feel angry at the person I said that he spoke about you or did to you, and therefore it’s in the category of לא תלך רכיל בעמך.
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