Question:

B”H Thank you so much for your help. A close relative is currently dealing with a medical condition that causes him to become confused and mix up details. I called him and he repeatedly called me by my siblings name, thinking that he was speaking to my sibling. I said (maybe a total of 4 times throughout the conversation, but I don’t remember the exact amount) that he was talking to me (and I used my name), but he kept calling me by my siblings name. So he thinks he had a conversation with my sibling. My question: should I tell my sibling that he thinks they had a conversation and tell her what he said? (Nothing was “confidential” , it was more pleasantries and questions on updates in her life). What is the halacha appropriate next step? (I should also mention that I tried to refrain from “correcting my parent” in the beginning of the conversation out of respect, but once he was asking questions regarding my sibling, I kept saying “I’m {my name}, I’m {my name}!” so as to try to prevent doing the wrong thing) Please advise 1. If I sinned and what I should do to correct it and 2. If I should tell my sibling, or just let it go…Thanks so much, your help is really appreciated.

Answer:

It doesn’t look like you did anything wrong, and there is nothing that you have to correct. The halacha that we should not contradict a parent “lo listor es divaro” is not to tell the parent that he/she is wrong. Telling the parent what the correct thing is “I’m {my name}” without saying that what was done is wrong is permitted and the correct way to speak. Regarding telling your sibling, if there is nothing for the sibling to gain, there is no need for you to say what happened, unless it is important for them to know that your father has mixed things up.

Best wishes

Tags: kibbud av v'em lashon hora

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