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The Laws #75

Confirming a Rechilus Report

Let’s imagine that Reuven said something negative about you to a number of people. And one of those people comes over to you and says, you know, I was in this public group and Reuven said about you such and such and such. You now know that Reuven said something bad about you. Obviously, that person spoke rechilus because they told you that Reuven did something to you or spoke about you and that person has clearly violated rechilus.

Now, let’s say I come as well and tell you it. I tell you, you know, I was there as well, and Reuven said, exactly what he said, negative about you. Even though you knew that fact already, I still have spoken rechilus. Why? Explains the Chafetz Chaim, because when the first person told you that Reuven spoke about you, you understood it. But now, when I come and repeat it, you now know it with certainty.

Meaning to say, when the first person said it, maybe he’s exaggerating, maybe it’s not really exactly that way. But if I’ve now and come and added fuel to the fire, even though I’ve added no new facts, even though I’ve just confirmed exactly what you knew already, I have added to the rechilus. Why? Because now you’re more convinced of it. You’re more certain of it. You’re more likely to appreciate how bad that thing that Reuven did to you was. And so even if you knew these facts already, if I repeat them to you I also have violated the prohibition of speaking rechilus.

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