The Chafetz Chaim explains that this illustrates clearly one of the great failings that we often get involved in. Oftentimes someone will say to a friend, tell me, what did he say about me? Come on, come on, what did he say? And the friend might not want to tell. The friend might not want to speak, whether it’s because it’s rechilus or for whatever the reason, so I’ll press him. Please, come on, come on, tell me, tell me. What did he say? Come on, come one, tell me, tell me. And if I press hard enough and long enough, it might well be that my friend will actually tell me what Reuven said about me or did to me.
Explains the Chafetz Chaim, don’t you see how dangerous that is? My friend didn’t want to speak rechilus; I coaxed him into it. So, number 1, I created the way for him to sin, so obviously I’m over לפני עור, I prepared the way for him to sin. I caused him to speak rechilus. Number 2, I then listened. Number 3, most likely I’ll be mekabel, most likely I’ll accept it because if I coaxed you to say it and you said it, the nature of people is such that I’m very likely going to accept it. Many, many issurim, many, many prohibitions have been violated because I pressed you into it.
There are, again, times when it’s permitted to ask information if there is very clear evidence that make me suspect, and there is a good toeles, there’s an actual real something that will come out that will be of good to protect me or to right what was wrong. But again, if that isn’t the case and I’m just trying to find out what So-and-So said about me because I’m curious or I want to know or I’m worried about my position or my honor or whatever it may be, then I am potentially violating many, many issurim. And it’s forbidden for me to coax you to ask you to tell me what he said or what he did.
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