One of the very common areas for rechilus is in a situation of competitors in business. Two store owners, two business owners, are competing for customers, and oftentimes there’ll be a situation of rechilus that becomes very nasty, very biting and very damaging.
And the Chafetz Chaim gives an illustration. Imagine the following: Imagine that Reuven has a business and he has a good customer. And the customer agrees to take a certain amount of a product at a certain price. They agree. And that customer then leaves Reuven’s store. That customer then decides, for whatever reason, he wants to shop it, maybe he can get a better price, and he goes over to Shimon. And he doesn’t mention to Shimon that he already agreed to purchase this product from Reuven. But he says to Shimon, what could you do for me on this product? And Shimon in his innocence offers him a better price. And in fact, this customer agrees and takes the product from Shimon.
Reuven, later, when realizing that this customer didn’t actually pick up the goods, didn’t actually pay for them, says to this customer, hey what happened? Why didn’t you actually pick up the goods? This customer may well say as follows: Listen, I’ll tell you what happened. You know, I left your shop and when I did, I met Shimon and he said to me, what are you buying from Reuven? I have much better pricing, I can do much better for you. Why are you wasting your time? You’ll do much better with me, and he convinced me. And what could I do? What could I do? I agreed. And I bought the product from him.
Explains the Chafetz Chaim that the nature of people is such that when Reuven hears those words he’ll accept them as true and he’ll hate Shimon. In Reuven’s mind, look at this disgusting person Shimon. He knew I had this person as a customer. He knew there was a contract. And behind my back he went and undercut me. And Reuven will harbor tremendous anger and tremendous animosity against Shimon.
Explains the Chafetz Chaim that this is a classic case of accepting rechilus. Because, in fact, it might well be – which in this case it was – that Shimon was innocent. Shimon was unaware and this client was sort of trying to wipe his hands on Shimon. Shimon didn’t know that Reuven had a contract already. Shimon innocently offered him a price because this fellow asked him for it. And by Reuven accepting these words as true, he’s accepting rechilus and in fact he violates a prohibition and causes a tremendous amount of animosity. And this is one of the classic examples where the issur, the prohibition of accepting rechilus, is a very important issue that can cause tremendous animosity if one violates it.
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