To get to the specifics:

A Jew sinned against someone but that person may not actually be aware of it. (Lets use the example that you stole from his shop and he never noticed)

In the scenario I'm giving, if the Jew who sinned attempted to try and make right the past sin by being honest and asking forgiveness, the social consequences of the act could lead to the entire community going to disarray. (say the shopkeeper is so angry/heartbroken he closes the shop and people lose their jobs)

If a Jew attempting to make right a past sin against another would cause further consequences for the greater community, are we advised to not go about it? In this scenario, your act of correcting the wrong would unintentionally lead to more wrongs being committed against the greater community.

Would the Jew still be able to make right their wrong against the person without their knowledge of a wrong having been committed? In this sense, could you go about making a person whole again without ever telling them they lost something to begin with?

  • 4
    A customer returns stolen goods and the shopkeeper closes the store in a fit of anger and heartbreak?! IMHO this is of very low probability; to engage with your question, I need a better example. – Avrohom Yitzchok Jan 14 '18 at 18:00
  • 3
    There is a related dispute, but not close enough to go into an answer. Then the Chafeitz Chaim finished his eponymous work on the laws of leshon hara and related speech prohibitions, he went to R' Yisrael Salanter, founder of the Mussar Movement for a letter of approbation. RYS disagreed with one ruling so vehemently, he refused to give the letter. The CC ruled that if someone told LH behind another's back, he must tell the person so and ask for forgiveness. RYS held one may not try to gain atonement at the expense of making the victim feel worse. – Micha Berger Jan 15 '18 at 11:59

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