The Music of Halacha: A Case Study Part Two
I received the following comment in response to The Music of Halacha: A Case Study: Was the friend present when the rebuker rebuked? If he was, wasn’t he obligated to say something to the rebuker? If he wasn’t
there, was the embarrassed party allowed to describe what happened to the friend?
Would the friend be allowed to speak to the rebuker without asking the embarrassed party’s permission?
Was the imagined transgression something that most people refrain from?
Was it something the person’s Rebbi and Rav permitted specifically in this case?
Would the question of whether the rebuker should be forgiven/trusted with Halachic decisions etc… change if the rebuker would apologize to the embarrassed party in front of the people present when he rebuked?
In response to your excellent questions:
- The friend was not present when the Rabbi/Rebuker publicly rebuked the person.
- Yes, if he was present at the scene, he would have been obligated to immediately say something. He should have invited the Rabbi to a private place and “suggested” a gentler and more effective way to rebuke.
- The recipient of the rebuke was crying because he thought that he had done something wrong and deserved the embarrassment. It was not reported as Lishon Harah. However, his, “I was so embarrassed,” although not intended as Lishon Harah, certainly raises the issue of “Avak Lishon Harah,” – the dust of Lishon Harah.
- A more important question is whether the person is permitted to ask the friend, who was not there, to speak with the rabbi? The friend is not obligated to ask permission to defend the one rebuked.
- The imagined transgression was not a common occurrence.
- Yes, bot the Rebbi and Rav had permitted this specific act.
- If the Rebuker apologized he would regain his authority in making Halachic decisions.