# 2858 Forget the Forgive?


Q. Dear Rabbi, I spoke some awful lashon haraa and divulged a bad secret of a friend of mine, when I was asked info. about him for a shiduch. But I felt I had to tell the truth. The shiduch would have been a great deal for him and I know he was very disappointed when the other side stopped suddenly the relationship. It happened soon after they spoke to me. I feel terrible about the whole thing and I want to ask his forgiveness before Yom Kippur. But I’m very afraid that if I tell him what happened, he will be so angry at me that not only he won’t forgive me, he will make a big machlokes and probably hate me the rest of his life. What should I to do now?
A. See question above on the essential need to ask forgiveness in order to attain successful teshuva.
Chofetz Chaim (K’lal 4: 12) maintains that anyone who caused damage to another by telling on him, has to ask forgiveness even if the other has not heard at all about it and does not know anything yet. Be’er Mayim Chaim quotes as the source Shaarei Teshuva (207).
However, in Mishna Berura (606: 3) he rules that, if one knows that the victimized will become embarrassed when he relates to him what he said about him, he can avoid telling.
An often told anecdote, relates that Rav Yisroel Salanter indeed asked the Chofetz Chaim: why is it permitted to further pain and embarrass the victimized, simply because one wants to attain his own teshuva? To what the Chofetz Chaim replied: what can I do, that is the ruling of the Shaarei Teshuva. (See Hirhurei Teshuva p. 109,
Horav Shlomo Miller’s Shlit’a opinion is that in your particular case, it is better to avoid telling what you did, because of the pain, distress and machlokes telling will cause.
Rabbi A. Bartfeld as revised by Horav Shlomo Miller and Horav Aharon Miller Shlit’a


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