Threats to Familial Peace

In this segment, the Chofetz Chaim finds it necessary to once again discuss the matter of conversation between husband and wife. If someone tells a woman something derogatory about her husband, she may not repeat this to her husband. Obviously, the same would apply if someone tells a husband something negative about his wife. The consequences of not observing this halachah can be devastating. Many family battles have been started by a husband telling his wife what his mother or sister said about her, or by a wife mentioning a criticism which her parents voiced about her husband.

The Chofetz Chaim offers us an important observation: If someone willingly listens to and accepts rechilus from his wife, then he is actually sending his wife a subtle message that he is pleased when she shares such information with him. This will encourage her to report to him every time she hears something derogatory about him. Aside from the many transgressions involved with speaking and accepting rechilus, such situations ultimately lead to much distress, resentment and strife.

Therefore, says the Chofetz Chaim, a wise husband or wife, upon being told rechilus by his or her spouse, will make it perfectly clear that such talk is forbidden by the Torah and is not a desired, nor constructive, feature in a Jewish home.

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© 2020 Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation

© 2020 Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation

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