Pure Intent

Pure Intent

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  • February 1, 2019

Condition #5:
By commanding us, “Do not go as a gossipmonger among your people” (Vayikra 19:16), the Torah is teaching us that to derive pleasure from spreading gossip runs contrary to the mature, dignified character expected of a Jew. Thus, one who derives pleasure from spreading gossip has violated this commandment even when his report brings about a constructive result.

Relating what would otherwise be considered rechilus for a constructive purpose is permissible only if one’s intent is solely to accomplish that purpose. Deriving satisfaction from being “involved in the action,” or from aborting the plans of someone who is not well liked, is forbidden.

Nevertheless, improper motivation cannot free one of his obligations to impart information for a constructive purpose. The Torah demands that we develop a correct mind-frame and come to the aid of our fellow Jew out of sincere concern.

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