SEFER CHOFETZ CHAIM
Committees and Courts
The prohibition against speaking rechilus is highly relevant when a committee meets to consider an individual for possible enrollment in a school, employment in a firm, or appointment to a communal or organizational position. Whether or not the final outcome is in the person’s favor, it is forbidden to divulge the identity of anyone who expressed an opinion against the person. It is wrong for a member of the committee to tell the candidate, “I was on your side but was outvoted by my colleagues.”
The same would apply when a beis din (rabbinical court) considers a case and comes to a decision against a party. It is forbidden for any of the judges to state that the ruling was unanimous, or which judges sided with which party, or to even say, “I voted in your favor but was outnumbered,” for it is natural for people to harbor ill will toward those who ruled against them.
SEFER SHMIRAS HALOSHON
It is inconceivable that one’s livelihood should suffer because he refuses to interrupt his fixed study period to engage in business. Can it be that Hashem would subtract from the amount of sustenance that has been decreed for an individual on Rosh Hashanah because that person faithfully adheres to his schedule of Torah study?!
If one’s steadfastness in this area results in the loss of a business opportunity, this should not be cause for concern. The Omnipotent has infinite ways of bringing profit to one’s door. If it will not be here today, it will be here some other day. One thing is certain: by the time the year ends, whatever income has been decreed in Heaven will be his, as our Sages have taught: “All of a person’s income is fixed [each year] from Rosh Hashanah until Rosh Hashanah” (Beitzah 16a), and all the effort and business acumen in the world will not gain him one cent more.
Surely one cannot hope to improve his situation by contravening the will of Hashem and disrupting his Torah study in order to earn profit, or by giving less tzedakah than a man of his means should give. Only the wicked improve their material existence in this world by transgressing G-d’s will, as it is written, “And He repays His enemies in his lifetime, to make him perish” (Devarim 7:10).