As it’s forbidden to speak rechilus, so too it’s forbidden to be mekabel, to accept it, so too it’s forbidden to listen to rechilus. So if you come over and tell me that Reuven planned on doing something to me, Reuven did something to me, said something about me, you spoke rechilus. And if I listen, I also violated an issur, it’s forbidden for me to listen as well.
However, explains the Chafetz Chaim, when it comes to listening, there are times when it’s permitted. If I see this issue might be noge’a, might be applicable to me, whether to protect myself in the future or to make up the problems, things done in the past, then I would be permitted to listen. However, that does not permit me to accept it.
Meaning to say, if you tell me Reuven did something to me, I’m allowed to listen if you’re telling me for a good purpose, a constructive purpose, and I’m listening for a constructive purpose. I’m allowed to listen but I’m not allowed to be mekabel it. Being mekabel means to accept it as a fact, and that I’m not allowed to do. But in that situation where it is l’toeles, I am allowed to listen to it.
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