Based on Ezekiel 3:18-19:

בְּאָמְרִ֤י לָֽרָשָׁע֙ מ֣וֹת תָּמ֔וּת וְלֹ֣א הִזְהַרְתּ֗וֹ וְלֹ֥א דִבַּ֛רְתָּ לְהַזְהִ֥יר רָשָׁ֛ע מִדַּרְכּ֥וֹ הָֽרְשָׁעָ֖ה לְחַיֹּת֑וֹ ה֤וּא רָשָׁע֙ בַּֽעֲוֺנ֣וֹ יָמ֔וּת וְדָמ֖וֹ מִיָּֽדְךָ֥ אֲבַקֵּֽשׁ׃ וְאַתָּה֙ כִּֽי־הִזְהַ֣רְתָּ רָשָׁ֔ע וְלֹא־שָׁב֙ מֵֽרִשְׁע֔וֹ וּמִדַּרְכּ֖וֹ הָֽרְשָׁעָ֑ה ה֚וּא בַּֽעֲוֺנ֣וֹ יָמ֔וּת וְאַתָּ֖ה אֶֽת־נַפְשְׁךָ֥ הִצַּֽלְתָּ׃

When I say unto the wicked: Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood will I require at thy hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

Is it correct to try to get people to stop doing a certain sin?

And if I try to do this, but the person thinks that I am slandering them (which is NOT the intent), and because of this they decide to do that sin more, am I at fault? Should I have just not said anything?

  • 4
    If verses in Ezekiel are relevant, please quote then and explain their relevance instead of making people guess. If they're not, why mention them? – msh210 May 12 at 5:54
  • It is very hard to get and stop people sinning. Even if they know you are right, they dont want to believe it. – interested May 12 at 10:07
  • 1
    Proverbs 9:8 is related. – Double AA May 12 at 12:03
  • Telling someone "you are sinning" ... whether effective or otherwise, can't really be "slandering" as "slander" is said about them to someone else. It may be insulting, but not slandering. – Shalom May 12 at 18:41
  • Slander is the legal term for the act of harming a person's reputation by telling one or more other people something that is untrue and damaging about that person. - If you privately rebuke someone for sins they committed, you can not be accused of "slander". – IsraelReader May 12 at 21:05

The Torah in Kedoshim 19:17 says

לֹֽא־תִשְׂנָ֥א אֶת־אָחִ֖יךָ בִּלְבָבֶ֑ךָ הוֹכֵ֤חַ תּוֹכִ֨יחַ֙ אֶת־עֲמִיתֶ֔ךָ וְלֹֽא־תִשָּׂ֥א עָלָ֖יו חֵֽטְא:

17 You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your fellow, but you shall not bear a sin on his account.

One should attempt to get someone to behave properly but rebuke him in such a way as to not cause him to become embarrased or in a way that is counter produductive. Nowadays it is difficult for s person to properly rebuke another person without violating the laws of loshon harah or without embarrasing him. One should often consult a rav as to what should be done and how to do so.

the Rambam says in Hilchos Deos 6:6-8

6 When one person wrongs another, the latter should not remain silent and despise him as [II Samuel 13:22] states concerning the wicked: "And Avshalom did not speak to Amnon neither good, nor bad for Avshalom hated Amnon."

Rather, he is commanded to make the matter known and ask him: "Why did you do this to me?", "Why did you wrong me regarding that matter?" as [Leviticus 19:17] states: "You shall surely admonish your colleague."

If, afterwards, [the person who committed the wrong] asks [his colleague] to forgive him, he must do so. A person should not be cruel when forgiving [as implied by Genesis 20:17]: "And Abraham prayed to God..."

7 It is a mitzvah for a person who sees that his fellow Jew has sinned or is following an improper path [to attempt] to correct his behavior and to inform him that he is causing himself a loss by his evil deeds as [Leviticus 19:17] states: "You shall surely admonish your colleague."

A person who rebukes a colleague - whether because of a [wrong committed] against him or because of a matter between his colleague and God - should rebuke him privately. He should speak to him patiently and gently, informing him that he is only making these statements for his colleague's own welfare, to allow him to merit the life of the world to come.

If he accepts [the rebuke], it is good; if not, he should rebuke him a second and third time. Indeed, one is obligated to rebuke a colleague who does wrong until the latter strikes him and tells him: "I will not listen."

Whoever has the possibility of rebuking [sinners] and fails to do so is considered responsible for that sin, for he had the opportunity to rebuke the [sinners].

8 At first, a person who admonishes a colleague should not speak to him harshly until he becomes embarrassed as [Leviticus 19:17] states: "[You should]... not bear a sin because of him." This is what our Sages said: Should you rebuke him to the point that his face changes [color]? The Torah states: "[You should]... not bear a sin because of him."

From this, [we learn that] it is forbidden for a person to embarrass a [fellow] Jew. How much more so [is it forbidden to embarrass him] in public. Even though a person who embarrasses a colleague is not [liable for] lashes on account of him, it is a great sin. Our Sages said: "A person who embarrasses a colleague in public does not have a share in the world to come."

Therefore, a person should be careful not to embarrass a colleague - whether of great or lesser stature - in public, and not to call him a name which embarrasses him or to relate a matter that brings him shame in his presence.

When does the above apply? In regard to matters between one man and another. However, in regard to spiritual matters, if [a transgressor] does not repent [after being admonished] in private, he may be put to shame in public and his sin may be publicized. He may be subjected to abuse, scorn, and curses until he repents, as was the practice of all the prophets of Israel.

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