Friends and Relatives

Friends and Relatives

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  • January 9, 2019

It is reasonable to assume that people dislike those who speak badly of their friends or relatives. Therefore, to tell an individual that someone has spoken negatively of his friend or relative is to speak rechilus.

An important application of this law is in the case of children. We have learned that one may speak of a child’s mischievous behavior if neither the speaker nor the listener will think any less of the child as a result of the incident. Since the Torah deems children culpable for their actions only in a limited sense, their misbehavior is considered shameful only if people view it as such. Nevertheless, it is common for a parent or grandparent to feel ill will toward someone who tells others of his child’s or grandchild’s misbehavior. Therefore, to inform a parent or grandparent that someone told of their child’s misbehavior is to speak rechilus.

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