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The Laws #68

Revealing the Speaker's Identity

I’m forbidden to tell you what happened, what someone said about you or what someone did to you even if I don’t mention that person’s name, if it’s very possible or likely that you’ll find out who that person is.

So imagine for a minute that Reuven said something or did something to you. I’m forbidden to go over and tell you what that is if it’s very likely that you’ll find out who Reuven is. Obviously if you find out who Reuven is, then the exact problem that the Torah is afraid of, namely the machlokes, anger, will be brought out. And therefore, explains the Chafetz Chaim, I’m forbidden to tell you that story if it’s very likely that you’ll find out who it is.

Additionally, if you know what was said but you don’t know who said it, I’m forbidden to tell you who that person was, because, again, that would be rechilus because I’m causing you to now hate that person. Or if you know who said it, but you don’t know what, I can’t fill in that piece either.

Any situation where I’ve allowed it to be known to you that someone said something bad about you or did something bad to you is within the category of rechilus and is forbidden.

 

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