Q. L’chvod HaRov Quick question re TGV, (Toronto Grape Vine) response. Someone asked for some medical recommendation and people sent her a list of people they would recommend. She also got sent names of who to avoid based on their experience. When posting the responses, due to hilchos lashon hara and motzee shem rah, we were not going to include the negative responses but we wanted to know whether we should ask the poster for the names of those negatively rated in case someone as asks in the future or asks specifically whether to go to them. Also, should she mention to an organization like Echo the negative experience?
Thank you for your time and consideration. Kol toov.
A. On question 2595 regarding the great and commendable help given by the Toronto Grapevine to all kinds of people needing some or great help in our community, that Horav Shlomo Miller Shlit’a, strongly advises not to neglect. He praised the indispensable and essential help for the elderly and the needy. especially during these difficult times. We mentioned then and repeat now; A crisis can bring out and should bring out the very best in people.
In regards to this particular shaila, mentioning a ‘Macha’a or complaint made or a charge pressed or filed against a particular individual or an organization, is not necessarily Lashon Hora’a, as advised extensively by the Chofetz Chaim and other Poskim. It depends on many variables and each case should be assessed on its own merits and details.
Yet, as you also mentioned. due to a number of reasons, some even legal, it is better to avoid publicizing yet unproven wrong or negative experiences someone may have encountered.
However, you are also correct, in having the organization provide warning on possible negative treatment or potentially harmful care, as you could be saving people from great harm. Nevertheless, that warning should be carefully and cautiously provided, using a lot of common sense and truth.
Rabbi A. Bartfeld as revised by Horav Shlomo Miller and Horav Aharon Miller Shlit’a