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HALACHA-----honesty/ genaivas daas


mevaseret Posted - 20 July 2000 16:56

Where does one draw the line between gneivat daat and the other person deluding himself?

Even if the other person is only deluding himself, if one feels guilty should one offer that person an explanation? What if someone misjudges my character (for the better), am I required to tell him that I'm not as good/moral as he thinks I am?

MODERATOR Posted - 21 July 2000 13:57

The Halachah is that you are not allowed to do anything – not even one word – to make someone think something that is not true. Of course, this is true in business when you are portraying a product to your customers, that you must portray it honestly. But it also extends to personal relationships. You are not allowed to do anything that someone else will think is for his benefit, if in reality it was not.

For instance, you are not allowed to invite someone over for supper only because you know full well that he cannot make it, thereby misleading him into thinking that you want him to come.

You are not allowed to make someone believe you like them if you really do not. (However, if you are doing so for the sake of “making peace”, it is permitted.)

You also cannot passively deceive another.

For instance, if someone gives you honor because they think you are a bigger Talmid Chacham than you actually are, you must correct their mistake. Your accepting of undeserved honor is passive Genevas Daas.

However, this is only when you do something, or fail to object to something, thereby reasonably giving a false impression. However, you have no obligation to go out of your way to make sure others do not fool themselves. For instance, if you meet a person on the street, you do not have to bother making sure that he knows you did not come out specifically to greet him, since that is an unreasonable assumption on his part.

raych7734 Posted - 31 July 2000 15:12

Basically, from my understanding of this, every guy who wears a black hat, and talks to girls, is misleading.

Let me explain: when a guy wears the Penguin suit (black suit, white shirt, and a black hat), they are saying that 'I am frum, and don’t talk to girls or do anything wrong, at least that’s my understanding of it, and yet I know sooo many black hatters that pretend to be religious, yet they come up to me and talk, until they see someone who will skrew them over for talking to a girl.

And also, ppl say I’m an amazing girl and I have a chance to be like Rochel Imanu and whatever, they say I’m so great, and a baalas chesed and stuff, yet I feel real uncomfortable when they say that b/c I'm not.

Ok, I do 'chesed' and ***, and I want my home to be open for anyone to enter who needs, but when ppl tell me that I feel like I have to crunch up and hide.....I tell them 'stop, its not true' but they don’t believe me!!

I don’t wanna make a scene, I could announce "HEY, IM NOT THIS AMAZING PERSON WHOS AN ANGEL THAT U THINK I AM" but then it would embarrass them.

And I know I hate when ppl talk about me, good or bad.

I just wanna burry myself and kill myself and wish I were anywhere but there!

I know I’m weird, but that’s what ppl like about me. I don’t care if im wrong or right for thinking that, I just wanna know if that’s normal or not.

MODERATOR Posted - 21 August 2000 14:17

Someone who wears a black hat and white shirt is not intending to convey any level of Tzidkus, rather, that he is dressing in accordance with his society. period. If someone thinks the person is saying something more, that is their mistake.

You, the observer, have no reason to assume anyone does or does not talk to girls because he wears a white shirt.

Furthermore, just because someone is imperfect does not make him not religious. This is a typical trick of the Yetzer Horah, to say to someone, "look at you! you talk to girls, therefore if you act religious you’re a faker!".

Wrong. Life is a struggle. We can expect to lose that struggle often. "The Tzadik falls seven times, and [only then he] gets up". The point is to grow, not to be perfect.

The Yetzer Horah is so tricky. He makes some people - those who are not perfect - think that if they do Mitzvos in other areas of their lives they are fakers and therefore it is more "ethical" for them not to do Mitzvos!

Just because someone does aveiros does not give him a right to think he is not frum, and does not give him a right to lessen his observance even a drop in other areas.

captainbkeller Posted - 28 August 2000 14:13

I’ll have to disagree with raychel on this one. lying is lying. If somebody wears the penguin suit and talks to girls, that's fine. but as soon as he tells a girl: "go away. pretend don't know you. somebody's gonna see me and I’ll get screwed over." he becomes a hypocrite.

The penguin suit does not mean that a person is religious. it simply happens to be the current style/uniform among the religious crowd.

MODERATOR Posted - 28 August 2000 17:07

A person who preaches what he himself doesn't believe is a hypocrite.

A person who preaches what he himself does not fulfill, despite his efforts, is a human being. Nobody is expected to be perfect, and just because we are not perfect does not mean that we should change our ideas of what perfection is.

So if a boy talks to girls, knowing it is wrong, that does not make him a hypocrite. And if he wants to hide it in order not to get thrown out of yeshiva or the like, that does not make him a hypocrite, it makes him scared of getting thrown out of Yeshiva.

The yetzer horah tries to convince people that if they cannot live up to the standards that they believe in, they are a hypocrite and that therefore they should change their standards. That is stupid. The Torah makes the standards, whether or not you keep them. So if you don't keep the Torah standards that does not mean you should stop believing in them.

yideleh Posted - 26 October 2001 16:08

If someone is gonev daas someone else, in a way that the other person will never ever know about it unless told by the wrongdoer, in the event that the wrongdoer wants to do teshuva, does he have to ask the "victim" mechilah and explain what happened, thus maybe taking the chance of making the other person feel bad and disappointed???

MODERATOR Posted - 29 October 2001 19:30

There is a disagreement about this between Rav Yisroel Salanter (who says you cannot make the person feel bad) and the Chofetz Chaim (who says you have to ask Mechilah).

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