More Discussions for this daf
1. Carrying With A Pole Held By Two People 2. Mutav she'Yihyu Shogegin 3. Yoma Arichta
4. Sukah and Esrog 5. A Gezeirah Which Shouldn't Apply Nowadays 6. Seven Esrogim
7. Sukah vs. Esrog

Todd Kobernick asked:

Dear Rabbi Kornfeld:

I hope that you and your family are well. I have a question for you regarding a portion of the Gemara on 30a. The Gemara is discussing whether or not to rebuke Jews for their behavior. First, the Gemara was discussing whether we may clap hands or slap thighs, and later, the Gemara speaks of whether we may sit at the edge of Lechi. Abaye says of these Jews: "Mutav She'Yiheyu Shog'gin V'Al Yiheyu Mizidin." Therefore, we do not rebuke people who will not change their behavior notwithstanding such rebuke.

This rule applies to both mitzvah and rules that are D'Oraita and Rabbinic. It is my understanding that this rule applies only when the mitzvah or rule is unclear. However, there is (if I remember correctly) an obligation to rebuke a fellow Jew to avoid a violation of a Mitzva, whether Rabbinic or D'Oraita -- does this obligation arise only if the person hearing the rebuke is likely to change their ways and the Mitzva is clear?

If you have an opportunity, your thoughts would be appreciated.

Todd Kobernick

The Kollel replies:

Below is what we wrote in the Insights to Shabbos 55a. It should address your questions.

Shabbos 55


The Gemara says that a person must rebuke someone whom he sees committing a sin, even if he knows that the other person will not listen to him. TOSFOS (DH v'Af Al Gav) points out certain conditions to this obligation.

The Poskim (OC 608:2) discuss the details that are relevant in practice:

(a) A person must rebuke someone who willfully sins, even if one is

certain that the sinner will not heed the rebuke. Similarly, for this

reason, if a person is transgressing a prohibition that is written

explicitly in the Torah, it is assumed that he knows that it is forbidden and he is sinning intentionally, and therefore one must rebuke him and tell him to stop sinning.

(b) If one sees that the wrongdoer is not accepting the rebuke, then one should continue to rebuke him, but in private and not in public (one rebukes a sinner in public only once). Also, if the sin was committed in private, one should rebuke the sinner only in private.

(c) However, if the person is committing a sin that is not stated

*explicitly* in the Torah (even though it is mid'Oraisa), or one that is prohibited mid'Rabanan (and it is not evident that he knows it is forbidden), then if one knows for sure that the sinner is not going to listen to the rebuke, he one is not required to tell the sinner to stop, because rebuking him will only make his sin worse by changing it from an unintentional sin to an intentional one.

(d) But if there is a possibility that he might listen to the rebuke, then one is obligated to rebuke him, as our Gemara says.