Shmiras Haloshon Yomi
SEFER CHOFETZ CHAIM
Laws of Loshon Hora 10:9-10
In the previous segment, we learned that when negative information needs to be related l’toeles (for a constructive purpose) and rebuke is not possible, then the report must be said in the presence of at least three people.
In this segment, the Chofetz Chaim tells us that there is an exception to this rule: When the speaker is respected as a man of truth and a straightforward individual who would not say anything behind someone’s back that he would not say in his presence, then he can relate the information privately and does not need to speak in front of three people.
As explained in the previous segment, three people are needed when there is a possibility that the speaker will be suspected of lying or trying to speak badly of someone without that person finding out. As a public forum, the group of three gives credibility to both the speaker and his report. However, when the speaker is respected as being a man of absolute integrity, he will not be suspected of lying or of improper motives. Therefore, there is no need for a group of three.
The Chofetz Chaim concludes this segment by pointing out a difference between a report involving a sin between man and his fellow and one involving a sin between man and Hashem. In the latter case, such information can be related l’toeles only if the person has intentionally committed this sin numerous times, and only if it is something which we would expect the average religious Jew to recognize as a sin.
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