I know of a person who continually goes into debt to the tune of Millions of dollars and then cannot pay the debts so goes into bankruptcy, this happens about once every 5 years over the past 40 years. This person has ensured he has a high profile in the Jewish and general community, which in my opinion makes these very irresponsible dealings a terrible chillul Hashem. The person has been advised numerous times to stop borrowing large sums of money to maintain his big public profile and just get a simple honest job to pay his bills, rather than trying to run a failed religious institution, he refuses and keeps finding people to lend him money.
1. Is this behaviour a Chillul Hashem?
- Even if not, is it permissible and more so, is it correct to warn people who are thinking of lending to this person, of the risks involved and that a repayment is most unlikely based on the well- known history?
- You sound pretty upset at this person, but this person is trying to get himself out of the hole he is in, even if he isn’t too good at it.. One thing for sure, if you publicize it, you will be making a chillul Hashem. As I once heard R’ N. T. Finkel zt”l say, publicizing something that a frum Yid is doing wrong is in itself a chillul Hashem. This person is Hashem’s child and if someone’s child would be doing something wrong, any publicizing of it, is an embarrassment to the father. Therefore publicizing it is a chillul Hashem.
- On the other hand, a person that is in danger of lending this person, and thereby losing his money should be notified that lending this person can be very risky. When giving over the negative information, you have to remember some of the conditions in order to say the Lashon Hora. That you are doing it not to hurt the other person, rather to protect the one lending the money. That you don’t exaggerate the story at all. That you know the information first hand. That you have no other way of stopping this person from lending him the money but to tell him.