If a person was belittled in public. The person remained quiet. If a friend calls the “victim” to ask about it, and the victim said that he wished not to talk about it, is that “avak loshon hara” – or should the victim downplay the incident?

Answer:

It is fine for the victim to say that he does not want to talk about it.

This is not considered “avak lashon hara,” because it doesn’t imply anything negative about the person who offended him. The other party can think whatever he wants, but this is not the responsibility of the victim, who has not said anything that implies harm or offense.

There is no obligation to downplay the incident in a manner that is not truthful, and saying that you prefer not to speak about it – where it is correct to do so – is certainly fine.

Best wishes.

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