Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Dear Mrs. Bluth,

There is someone in our shul who I am sure goes around repeating things that are said to her in confidence – and even embellishes them sometimes. I really try to stay out of her way and certainly out of her mouth, but from what I have been told, the result is that she has fabricated stories about me.

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A close friend told me that this woman let it be known that my husband was arrested for perjury while testifying for a neighbor who was standing trial. This is not true. My husband was never arrested and, in fact, told the truth when he testified and that was proven in court. Yet, everyone is now giving me sideways glances, not sure if what this woman is saying is true.

I really don’t know how to handle this. Do I confront this woman? Do I do it in public, so as to clear my name or do I approach her in private?  Or should I just let it go and hope that time will erase her evil words? My husband, who was also made aware of the rumors she’s spreading about us, wants to hang her out to dry in public the same way she has done to us. I prevailed upon him to wait until I write to you and see what your thoughts are on the matter.

Please let us know what path to take as we would like our lives to return to normal and have our friends think well of us.

 

Dear Friend,

I don’t do this often, but I’d like to answer your question with a question. What kind of friends do you have that would forsake a tried and true friendship of many years on the hearsay of a troublesome newcomer?

Here is a perfect example of the power of loshon horah! So destructive is it’s draw that it can destroy and decimate a strong relationships, ruin the credibility of the honest people, and trample on all that is good and beautiful.

I would caution you not to stoop to this vicious woman’s level and repay her by embarrassing her in public. Two wrongs never make a right!

If she did this to you, then I would bet she’s done it to others in your circle. Next time you have an opportunity, explain to your friends the dangers of listening to one who spreads rumors, without mentioning her name. Tell them that what is going around about your husband and you is a huge pile of rubbish and anyone who wants to see proof of that is welcome to visit you at home. I would also encourage you to broaden your group of friends to include new ones who are of higher moral standard and do not fall prey to substandard values.

I’m sorry for your trouble, however, it is from failures that we grow and improve.  Seek out better friends and stay clear of those who choose to rise on the pain and destruction of others. This is not the Torah way.

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