Wednesday, August 28, 2013

"Frum" halachic concerns about abuse - causes mental constipation

I just received a letter regarding 
Pesachim (113b): Three the Holy One, blessed be He, hates: he who speaks one thing with his mouth and another thing in his heart; and he who possesses evidence concerning is neighbour and does not testify for him; and he who sees something indecent in his neighbour and testifies against him alone. As it once happened that Tobias sinned and Zigud alone came and testified against him before R. Papa, [whereupon] he had Zigud punished. ‘Tobias sinned and Zigud is punished!’ exclaimed he, ‘Even so,’ said he to him, ‘for it is written, one witness shall not rise up against a man, whereas you have testified against him alone: you merely bring him into ill repute.’

Question: It states clearly in Pesachim (113b) that if a single witness testifies about the sins of another that he receives malkus. Thus publicizing allegations that are not actionable by beis din i.e., 2 kosher witnesses - is a major sin. So how is it possible that you are advising people to notify schools or communities regarding a suspected molester or calling the police when you lack 2 kosher witnesses? Even if you want to rely on the Chofetz Chaim that when there is to'eles it is permitted to speak lashon harah, but how does that justify indiscriminate publicity - especially if brought about through the arrest of an alleged molester? Why do you think that people in Israel need to know about an alleged pedophile in  Lakewood or Monsey and vice versa? Answer:You are taking a very "frum" perspective i.e., that in abuse cases we are dealing with witnesses testifying before a beis din that will determine guilt or innocence. Since 2 witnesses are required nothing is accomplished by a single witness except to ruin the accused and thus it is lashon harah. This is the perspective of Rav Menashe Klein and apparently the former Lakewood beis din for child abuse.

However in fact according to most poskim we are dealing with the issue of preventing harm - not poskening guilt or innocence. We are dealing with rodef which doesn't require beis din or a psak. If you know someone is a molester he is a rodef and thus you can call the police to stop him harming others. Even if it is only a sofek rodef you can call the police.

If there are only children who are witnesses then see C.M. 35. and the Sho'el U"meishiv.  If there are only rumors or circumstantial evidence - you can still act to protect yourself or others. See Rav Yehuda Silman's article in Yeschurun vol 15. Following Nida 91 you don't believe that the rumors are necessarily true but you still need to take protective action. See Rav Sternbuch's teshuva dealing with a principal who refused to listen to allegations and rumors (because it is lashon harah). Our society has gotten so obsessed with the horror of lashon harah it ignores the other half of the posuk - "Don't stand idly by the blood of your brother." As I have noted from Rav Elchonon Wasserman and others - there is no prohibition of lashon harah in a case where it is beneficial. It really is as simple as that.  [See Piskei Teshuva O.C. 156] Furthermore taking the view of the Maharal regarding lashon harah - if you are willing to say directly to the person you suspect  that you have heard rumors that he is a molester - then you can say the same to others and it is not lashon harah. The Maharal holds that the issur of lashon harah is to say nasty things behind someone's back.

In addition you are ignoring the issue of mandated reporting which we learn from BM 83 regarding Rav Eliezar ben Rav Shimon. In addition you are ignoring the discussion of public welfare found in Rambam(Chovel U'mazik 8:11) and the Chasam Sofer on Gittin 7a.

An additional point is mentioned in Shulchan Aruch (C.M. 38:1): If the single witnesses can cause an oath to be taken or to stop sin - then it is permitted.

Regarding your second point, it is clear to anyone who is involved in child abuse - that the problem is not a  local problem. Molester readily move between neighborhoods - in fact they are often sent away to another community without providing any warning to the new community.

In sum, you are getting tangled into a halachic knot that causes mental constipation. The cure for this is using seichal - which is discussed in C.M. 2. - especially the Rashba cited by the Aruch HaShulchan. Instead of frum excuses that we don't have two witnesses etc etc - you should be asking  - what do we have to do to protect the children.  The problem is the frum questions blinds you to the reality that children are not required to be sacrificed on the altar of frumkeit. By taking the mistaken view that we can't speak lashon harah, we can't do anything without proper witnesses, we can't call the police, we can't act on circumstantial evidence, we can't decide anything of significance without rabbinic permission, we can't use the secular courts, we can't shame the community or the family of the pedophile, and we surely can't cause him to be punished with jail (which is not a Torah punishment) - you cause children to be abused and experience a living death. You cause children to give up religion. You cause a disgusting chilul hashem when it becomes known that you have betrayed the weak and dependent children - in the name of halacha.

28 comments :




  1. When lashan hara is dispersed on gedolei uposkei hador, these same rabbis don't bat an eye outside of protecting molester rapists. It is only a pretense. if you make a search on daas torah blog for Pinny T - an article dated Saturday, August 27, 2011, you can read first hand how he criticizes rabbis for betrayal. The perpetrators parents and prominent family members in the community could have at least put torah institutions on notice not to hire this rapist nor letting him work with young children. lashan hara is only used as a lame excuse to save their own family from shame. Why should the blood of innocent children be cheaper than their family shame? Same applies to all enablers. It is biklal mashgeh iver baderech, lo taamod... and a whole host of others. So much for lashan hara.

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  2. Great post - especially your last paragraph. I think once halacha becomes more bookish and mechanical, people lose their seichel. Halachic decisions (like any legal decision)rarely if ever deals with only one value. There are always competing values. People often forget that and think they can pasken without seichel and without understanding the competing values and where those values fit in the equation and what weight they need to be given.

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  3. Dear Reb Daniel,

    Forgive me for what I am about to write, but I feel that your history of valuing truth will lead you to consider what I am saying.

    While your content is essentially correct, I think that the tone that you took with the author was and is counterproductive to the cause you espouse. You could have proven your case effectively from the sources that you cited while still maintaining the dignity of the author.

    What we need now more than ever is to get as many people as possible to realize that the underlying issue is protecting our children. This is done more effectively using the tools of dignified discourse.

    A shana Tova umesuka,

    Yair Hoffman

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    1. Rabbi Hoffman thank you for expressing your concerns. The post was a summary of an exchange of several emails we exchanged on the topic. I was not trying to ridicule the author - but used his question as a vehicle to criticize others who in fact take the non-halachic positions mentioned. The one asking the question is not a rabbi or posek - but is in a position of authority within the educational system. He reported that several rabbis had told him the prohibition of having a single witness was in fact a reason not to report cases of abuse and he asked my opinion. Thus I was giving him sources to reject the bad advice he had received.

      Contrary to your conclusion I don't see rabbis interested in halachic discourse. Those poskim who have seriously looked into the matter have similar views to myself. Those who are doing the coverups are totally convinced they know what they are doing and have no interest in "dignified discourse". This was quite obvious in the Kolko and Weberman cases where there was significant contempt expressed by authority figures for anyone who expressed concern for the victims - in the name of Torah and halacha.

      Perhaps you would like to write a guest post about the "dignified discourse" you have had and how the other side came to acknowledge that he was wrong?

      However I do see a need to convince the layman that there is no halachic justification for coverups and the view to the contrary is invalid. That is what the post and its tone is all about.

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  4. Thank you for once again posting sage words on the topic of abuse.

    There has historically been a slew of reasons of why not to report abuses: Social; Rachmunus for the predator and his (or her) family; Halachic, be it "Mesira" or "Loshon Hora"; Concern for the reputation of the institution, etc. These are all excuses NOT to acknowledge the uncomfortable truth: We have a cancer in our midst

    The only way to -- once and for all -- address the issue of sexual abuse in Jewish educational institutions is by shining the light of day as the greatest disinfectant.

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  5. loshon hora? my foot. Chilul hashem!August 29, 2013 at 7:01 PM

    Needing two witnesses takes only care of the perpetrator. We have a much bigger problem of protecting the young, the weak, the helpless innocent victims out of harms way from first, second, and many more repetitive predatory deadly attacks. If there are break ins in the neighborhood, don't you post warnings to be on the lookout and double lock all doors and windows without concerns of loshon hora for when eventually the thief will be caught. If you wake up in the middle of the night in midst of a break in, does the Torah command you to ask a Rav a shaileh, of whether you can call the police without two witnesses, lest it's loshon hora. The Torah clearly commands "Ein lo domim!", if so much for iskei momoines, how much more al iskei nefoshos when lives are at stake. Here, the Torah clearly teaches us, where lives are at stake, i.e. machteress, sorer umore, to be yored lesof daato and put out of commission immediately, with NO questions asked. Indeed, as far as loshon hora, the Torah commands to declare in public, "veomru el ziknei iro bneinu ze sorer umore enenu shomea bekolenu zolel vesove... uviarta horo mikirbecho", etc.

    Those Enablers that require two witnesses, of which most molester and rapists attack with no one present to testify, or even better, they disband in midst of their kangaroo alleged sitcom letting it die away on the operating table, is analogous of the following.

    If you wheel in a critical accident victim to the Operating room, in order to save him, you must have a plan and crew, on the ready, willing and able having Plan A, Plan B and Plan C already in place. If you have no Blood for transfusion prepared, you don't just operate and then say, Oy - we have none prepared, what now, and just walk away letting the patient bleed to death on the operating table. That is equivalent of murder. For those people of cloth allegedly being in charge, it is their duty first and foremost to save lives, and not saving faces. Putting all business aside, never mind loshon hora, or bodek bechorin ubisdokin if penetration keshiur lemechtzo,lishlish, ulirvia occurred. Shoteh shebeolom, it is our children's lives that are at stake. You skip the Emergency room, ang go straight tzu der zach. Velo sachnifu es ho'oretz, ...velo yishofech dam noki... vehoyo olecho domim. Short of that, is obstruction of justice. Resign now, effective immediately.

    The trafficking of Rapists and Exchange from US to Israel, and from Israel to the US, such as Mondrowitz, Malka Leifer of Ossie, The Chanukah Doughnut rebbe of Willi in exchange for the rebbe of Kele Massiyohu, is a travesty. Trafficking, Peddling & Mobilizing gilui arayos through state lines, is high crimes against humanity and mankind. You can run, but cannot hide. Loshon hora? My foot. A chilul Hashem of International and biblical proportions, and you don't even care.

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  6. "Pesachim (113b): Three the Holy One, blessed be He, hates: he who speaks one thing with his mouth and another thing in his heart"

    This is a very important point, and I think it may be derived from MIshlei.

    Unfortunately, this is not something that is really adhered to by many rabbis that I have come across. There is an idea that being dishonest and deceptive is fine, if it will get people to be more "observant". A Rav, who's shiur I heard, giving horaah to new rabbis, said it is ok to lie, but make sure you don't get caught.
    He also claimed it was permitted to do so by poskim, but didn't give any specifics.

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    1. Eddie - there are times when it is not only ok but it is required to lie while at others times it is required to be totally open. Itis hard to discern the parameters of telling the truth from your report.

      Rambam notes in his introduction to Moreh Nevuchim that there are various reasons for inconsistencies in what people say.

      Bottom line inconsistencies are not always evil nor are they indications that the person is hated by G-d.

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    2. DT - (as always) I appreciate your honesty on this matter.

      The problems are:

      The Gemara is not approving of this (although it might elsewhere).

      It depends on what the lie is - but while I might lie to a Nazi to save my life, it is probably forbidden to lie in that situation.

      If anyone can lie at any time, why should I believe anything that any halachic person says?

      This is precisely why study of logic is frowned upon, since it equips someone to detect fallacies and falsehood.

      I don't see how you can lie about Torah, and still be "within" Torah.

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    3. It is very hard to discuss the issue when no terms are defined but just judged.


      Eddie wrote:
      "This is precisely why study of logic is frowned upon, since it equips someone to detect fallacies and falsehood."

      I wasn't aware of this - could you provide some sources?

      I don't know what your last statement means

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    4. The issue is inspired by the Gemara, where Hashem hates those who say what they don't believe. But you said that at times it is required to lie, and that also did not come with parameters. Are there parameters, or is it as and when one sees fit?

      Regarding my last statement - it is my interpretation of why - especially in recent times, study of secular knowledge is considered so awful. What does it mean? An example - a study of ancient languages, might reveal that the Hebrew we have today is not the script that the Torah was given in. That has some serious logical consequences for claims about the Hebrew script of today having mystical powers for example. A stronger example - the names of the months, eg Tishrei, Tammuz, are not Hebrew, and not Jewish. In fact, they are Babylonian names of Avoda Zarah. That this has seeped into standard usage, shows that we are not or have not been observing Torah in its true form.

      That is a logical inference that can be made. however, it is also a dangerous one, because it questions - perhaps not the Mesora, but that alien influences can enter into Judaism almost undetected. So whilst we say "Xtianity" so as to avoid writing the Greek word for annointed, we have no problem using the name Tammuz, which is Avodah Zarah that was condemned by Yechezkel.

      My motive is to strengthen observance of Torat Emet, not to weaken it.

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    5. This is one of the shiurim in practical rabbinics. Not sure if it is the correct one, but this is about saying "I don't know" and telling little lies, to preserve credibility of the rabbi, when he doesn't know, or even if he does.
      http://danzig.jct.ac.il/torahtapes/Milevsky/saying_I_dont_know30_Oct_1987.mp3

      It reminds me of an episode of a TV show called Columbo (a detective). A bullfighter lost his fearlessness of bulls, and somebody saw him 9being afraid of a bull). This loss of credibilty led to him to murder the witness.

      This may be a far stretch, but to state that it is ok, and recommended to tell lies, misrepresentations, and distortions of the truth, in intellectual terms, is a very serious issue. If Rav lies to me, then how can I rely on him for anything else he tells me? Faith? I think not.

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    6. Eddie - do you trust anyone? If so one on what basis do you trust them - that they always tell you the Truth?

      Please read the Rambam's introduction to the Moreh Nevuchim.

      Brief anecdote. I had a client once whose wife had asked for a divorce - and because he loved her he agreed. However he had no idea why she wanted a divorce. I asked him when the marriage began to have problems and he replied that it started in the yichud room. He said he married late because he wanted the perfect wife. He married at 45 after spending many years and many dates trying to find her. He said when they were alone in the yichud room he expressed his great happiness at finding such a perfect woman by telling her, "you are almost everything I was looking for." He didn't understand why she got upset. "Aren't you supposed to be truthful with your spouse?" "If you aren't open then how can there be trust?"

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    7. Rambam is writing about meta-physics and prophecy. I like the way he claims that any inconsistencies in his book are of the 5th (true philospher) or 7th (prophetic works) causes.
      Of course, I don't fully trust the Rambam, either, since he is not always logically consistent (as shown by Ramban on his reading of the posuk we discussed earlier).
      I am not talking about telling a bride how beautiful she is. I am talking about intellectual honesty. I agree sometimes in personal and financial matters we have to be ruthless.

      Trust is an important word, are we talking bitachon or emunah? Trust is built on trust. And when lies are told, often, the liar thinks he can get away with it, by making assumptions about how the other person will buy his story.

      An interesting vort that R' Hershel Shachter gave in that he opposes the use of toanim in BD. He said a toein can talk very convincingly , like a lawyer [ making it harder for the dayan to spot dishonesty], whereas for the plaintiff/defendant, they have to speak and often their face will show if they are lying.

      A point I raised several years ago, is if I cannot trust my rabbi, then the chain of mesorah is broken. I don't think that rabbis generally see that aspect.

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  7. DT-
    Your correspondent is not taking a “very “frum” perspective, from his point of view he is following halacha, as stated in the gemorah. You bring strong arguments against his halachik opinion, but it is still a Halachik opinion. It is conceptually no different to any other halachik debate, thus your correspondent does not believe that children are “required to be sacrificed on the altar of frumkeit”, he believes that children are required to be sacrificed on the altar of Halacha, a belief that is indeed shared by the majority of poskim , thus mamzerim suffer, as do our homosexual children.
    Your Correspondent and his rabbis may, or may not be wrong in how they learn the halachik sugia, but there is no chasm that divides these people and the majority of the Haredi world. When Halacha conflicts with human nature and human suffering Halacha rules, and sacrifices are made.

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    1. I am not concerned with non-halachic arguments. Halacha is complex and one needs use seichel to deal with it. My correspondent was missing crucial halachic elements as well as being told by rabbis a false and distorted way to understand the halachic perspective.

      Typically in halachic arguments both sides are correct - it is a question of how you want to put the elements together. However in the abuse issue we see that wrong halachic opinions are being expressed that ignore or are ignorant of important elements.

      If a rabbis can say that a single witness is not allowed to testify in abuse cases - but he is unaware that in Shulchan Aruch it makes a clear exception for stopping sin - then the rabbis's opinion is not even a halachic view. This is expressed by the expression of mistake in a dvar mishna. the view is that such a mistake that it is not considered a halachic opinion.

      I disagree with your statement that the majority of poskim believe that children are required to be sacrificed on the altar of halacha.

      You write as an outsider to the halachic system. You know enough to get angry but not enough to understand that it works.

      Your last statement could be translated in modern western terms. If a father loves his daughter but incest laws conflict with human nature then the secular laws rules and sacrifies are made. Every system of rules produces conflicts with what you call "human nature".

      If my human nature is to be jealous of rich people, the law against stealing conflicts with nature.

      Bottom line, I am interested in dealing with people who accept the validity of Judaism and halacha. I am part of the system. My concern is the misunderstanding and misapplication of the rules of the system. However if you don't accept the system then we don't have much to say to each other.

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  8. For everything there is a time...August 30, 2013 at 1:59 AM

    Avraham avinu and Yitzchak said achosi hi, to save their lives. Yaakov's deception was for the brachos. Yaakov called it GalEd, while Lavan preferred to call it Yegar Sohadisa. Yaakov's children deceived Yaakov presenting him with the bloody ksones passim. Velo yochlu dabro lesholom, so as not to be echod befeh ve'echod belev. Shimon veLevi deceived the city of Schem as if a condition to intermarry. Yosef deceived his brothers with hiding his becher in the sack of Binyamin. Moshe Rabenu was named in Egyptian. Queen Esther's name is Persian, although she did not disclose her nationality, you are not allowed to beferush deny your Jewish identity. Tammuz is the name of an Avodah Zara, so is Baal Tzfon, Baal Peor .... Nehirin li shvilin derakiya kishvilei denhardaa, the Persian were versed in Astrology, and the names as they were then known at the time, stuck to the charts of the Mazalot. You are allowed to lie in the process of Shalom Bayis, e.g. the other party is in pursuit of peace etc. Talmud was written in Aramaic, since it was the spoken language in Galut Bavel. Ezra haSofer translated the ksiv of Torah Misinai from Aramaic into today's so called square letters. Shlomo haMelech deceived the shtei nashim with a pseudo psak din in order to extract the hidden truth. As it is known, For everything there is a time and a place, a time to cry, a time to laugh, a time to sing and a time to dance......... All fine and dandy, but that is a whole different program, in a whole different ball park. What we all desire, is that our precious beloved children to be safe and sound, veshavu banim ligvulam! Wishing A shana tova for ALL of us, and especially to our host haRav R' Daniel Eidensohn Shlit"a, a zisse un a gut bebenscht yohr, for doing so much in order to save our tayere neshomolech, amen.

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  9. Shout out to Eddi!!! Way to go my man!!! Keep questioning those rabbis!!! Seek the TRUTH and you SHALL FIND IT!!!!

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  10. Big Shout out To Eddi. Seek out the TRUTH/EMES and you will find it. Don't give up. keep the rabbis on their toes!!!

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  11. DT, if My concern is the misunderstanding and misapplication of the rules of the system. However if you don't accept the system then we don't have much to say to each other." is true than why do you get so angry and excluding the other Jew in his sincere concerns and questions of the validity of your statements. why do you shut him out. Answer him in the tone that is appropriate to your esteemed statute!!!

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    1. BenStory - sorry but you don't understand the issues

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  12. Prove it to yourself the validity of halacha... then you could write your extended diatribes. The Torah is simple - love your fellow as yourself. Nice long explanations without getting to the very core of the argument. Eddi challenged you and you failed. WHY IS THERE A NEED FOR 2 WITNESSES. THE CHALACHA SAYS THAT FOR A REASON, why not elaborate on that!!!

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    1. Benstory please cut out the theatrics. If you want to partipate in the discussion please calm down and pay attention to what has been said.

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  13. I don't mean to be rude. It is upsetting to me to see only one side of the argument?!! have you considered that 2 witnesses is required in order to provide validity to the case. Otherwise anyone can walk into the court and accuse the innocent party that they were molested for example or caused them any other harm that they seem to make up. How do you know the other party is saying the truth unless there is at least 2 witnesses. Manipulative people use this tactic at best and get great results and accuse and cause irreperable harm and damage!!! that is what you call lashon hara. Entertain for a second that people might have a dirty agenda and vandeta and would stop at nothing just to cause harm to that person. Why would you stay oblivious to that point. Everything has to be proved in the court of law and I cant say that secular courts are incapable of proving the case, on the contrary, could be far more effective than the jewish courts... so who is to blame here ...

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    1. Benstory - you missed the point that I have repeated stated. The rabbis or beis din is not determining guilt or innocence. Please read Rav Dovid Cohen's explanation.

      http://daattorah.blogspot.co.il/2013/08/testimony-of-minor-is-not-for-evidence.html

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  14. It seems that you believe that halacha can never cause terrible suffering to people, I DO know enough to understand that The Halachik system can cause suffering indeed.
    And I am part of the “system” you seem to naively believe that the Halachik system does not create tremendous, and sometimes tragic consequences, Obviously Hashem made his Rules in his infinite wisdom and are needed for the ultimate perfection of man and the universe and we can’t dismiss Halacha, but at the very same time we are human beings. You cannot simply dismiss the suffering orthodox homosexuals experience. I once went to the funeral of a homosexual that I knew from school, his parents could not accept him, I can never forget the look on the parents face as the casket was lowered.
    This is why I value and side with the “statement of principles’ and not the “Torah declaration”
    You can write as much unsupported psychobabble as you want but it is very harmful, it is better to accept the conflict and not dismiss the human side e.g “The concept that G-d created a human being who is unable to find happiness in a loving relationship unless he violates a biblical prohibition is neither plausible nor acceptable”
    But a lot of people simply cannot accept this hard truth they bury their head in the sand and read books like “the magic touch”
    I am not going to discuss absolute morality and all those philosophical questions, but please tell me how many people you know that have killed themselves because they could not sleep with their daughter?
    ““I further observed all the oppression that goes on under the sun: lo, the tears of the oppressed, and there is none to comfort them; their oppressors have power, and there is none to comfort them” (Kohelet 4:1)”
    “These are the mamzerim. ‘Lo, the tears of the oppressed’ – of their parents. They transgressed, and we banish these unfortunates? This person’s father engaged in illicit sexual relations, but this person – what has he done? Of what relevance is it to him? ‘There is none to comfort them,’ but ‘their oppressors have power’ – this is the Great Sanhedrin of Israel that comes upon them with the power of the Torah and banishes them in the name of the verse, ‘no mamzer shall be admitted into the congregation of the Lord’ (Devarim 23:3). ‘There is none to comfort them’ – the Holy One Blessed be He said: I must comfort them, for in this world there is a defect in them, but in the world to come… they are of pure gold” ( Vayikra Rabba 32:8)

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    1. Danny I never said that halacha can't cause people to suffer - that you are clearly making up. Any and all legal system causes someone to suffer and restrict their "human nature." My point is that I accept the validity of the Torah and halacha and that determines what obligations and options I have.

      I am not discussing homosexuality or mamzerim or women in particular. Again if you want you can find people suffering for many reasons. People fall in love with those they are not married to, cohanim fall in love with those they can't marry. Jews fall in love with non-Jews. It is not their fault and yet they are suffering. The child who is not bright suffers for not being a great talmid chachom. The talmid chachom who would rather be a normal person suffers. the frum woman who wanted to be a ballarina is suffering.

      etc etc etc. So therefore what?. Chazal themselves acknowledge that it is better not be born.

      Contrary to your assertion I fully acknowledgte that life is full of conflicts between human nature and law. But the question is "and therefore?"

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  15. @ all story tellersAugust 30, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    It is the need of the public to know and keep themselves safe, which outweighs lashon hara, and saving lives from perpetrators needs no two witnesses. Although you are not allowed to desecrate Shabbos, when lives are at stake, pikuach nefesh doche Shabbos, if the house is on fire and peoples lives are at stake you know what to do, same here my friend. The arrest is the relief for the public to keep them out of harms way. The need for people to know whether in Israel or anyplace else is, since there has been an import export trade globally of these harmful paedophiles by their ENABLERS R'L. How else would they know. There is no way you can prevent pikuach nefesh from Harodef achar hazachar, it needs no two witnesses. A goel hadam needs no two witnesses either, yadenu lo shafcha et hadam hazeh makes us all a goel hadam. Lo taamod al dam reacha does not command us to wait until we acquire two kosher witnesses, and be bodek the tzitzit first if they have tallis shekula tchelet. Sometimes action is required before it costs more lives. These criteria of Harodef achar hazachar or Lo taamod is mishna mefureshet specifically for THESE perpetrators, bli kchal ushrak! I only reiterate what R' D.E. of Daas torah mentioned in the above, of what R' Shternbuch Paskened together with a whole host of poskim from the Eideh, with R' Elyashiv in Jerusalem, R' C. Kanievski from Bnei Brak etc. etc. etc. The Rashb'a was a rishon, ukeday hu lismoch olov. Lashan hara has never been a shield from saving lives. Pilpulim shel dofi will never stand up against Pikuach nefesh.

    To BenStory or any other Story & Eddie:

    If someone threatens at gunpoint on Shabbos and robs him with one witness, are we supposed to remain silent because of lashon hara, come on, get real. Would you let a woman drown because your chasidus is in your way. Enough said, time to wake up and smell the coffee.

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