The chafetz Chaim writes in Hilchos Lashon Hara (10:2) that one of the conditions of being allowed to relate lashon hara l'toeles, (for example to save someone from getting hurt), is that the person relating it must have intention only for the purpose of the toeles and nothing else. It would seem from this that if he has other intentions he is forbidden to relate the lashon hara even for the purpose of saving someone from getting hurt.

In Hilchos Issurei Rechilus (9:2), the Chofetz Chaim also lists this condition, regarding rechilus letoeles, but in the Be'er Mayim Chaim he writes that even if one has other (non-toeles) intentions, he must still relate the rechilus. because of the mitzvah of Lo sa'amod al dam re'acha, (not standing by to save someone), but he should try as hard as possible to relate it for the positive toeles purpose.

Does this apply only to recilus? If yes why? What's the difference? If it applies to lashon hara too, why does the Chafetz chaim say it only in hilchos rechilus, and not by lashon hara??

1 Answer 1


Ask your LOR but it seems to me that the Halacha applies equally. However the situations the CC is discussing are not the same.

In the case of Loshon Hora the CC is discussing, after the fact, knowledge when the damage has already been done. The only remaining recourse is taking him to Beis Din to try to get repaid for damages.

In the case of Rechilus the CC is discussing knowledge of future damage that will be caused to someone by doing something as serious as partnering with someone else .In such a case it would be a violation of " Lo sa'amod al dam re'acha not to speak up.

A person with knowledge of future harm usually has more of an obligation to speak up than someone who has knowledge of past harm because there is a much more clear Toelis in doing so (an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure) Therefore by Rechilus the CC stresses that just because you hate someone you aren't absolved from Lo sa'amod al dam re'acha You should force yourself to not only speak out of hate. Conversely by Loshon Hora there may be toelis in knowing who the thief was to try to get the item back but not always will it be so important as to fall into the category of Lo sa'amod al dam re'acha

In both cases the main criteria of having to force yourself to speak up but not only out of hate is the question of does this situation fall into Lo sa'amod al dam re'acha

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