It is forbidden to believe rechilus even if the speaker is someone
very close to the listener and would not want to draw him into a
feud unnecessarily. Even though it is clear that the speaker has
only the good of the listener in mind, his account of the story may
not be accepted as fact. If one finds it difficult to convince
himself that the report is totally false, he must, at the very
least, assume that the speaker's interpretation of the incident is
mistaken and that no ill will was intended by the subject. (As
stated above, if the report was intended to save him from harm, he
must, of course, protect himself on the possibility that it may be
The following segment is a translation from the Chofetz Chaim's writings on the philosophy of proper speech from the Sefer Shmiras Halashon.
Inspire OthersIn essence, it is every Jew's desire to fulfill Hashem's will. It is
ignorance of halachah, lack of awareness of the matter's severity, and
a feeling of helplessness as to how to change oneself in this area,
which are the root causes of widespread disregard for shmiras haloshon.
One who will attempt to guide others in this matter will surely find
his words well received, and will bring great merit to his fellow Jews.
Zohar Chadash states (Lech Lecha 25a): "Rav Avahu said: Take note of
the great reward that awaits one who inspires another Jew to repent.
>From where is this derived? From the words, "And Malkitzedek, King of
Shaleim, brought out bread and wine" (Bereishis 14:18). R' Chiya Rabbah
taught: When the soul of a righteous person who inspired others to repent
departs this world, the angel Michael, who brings the souls of the
righteous before their Creator, goes forth to greet him, as it is written:
And Malkitzedek --this refers to Michael, head of the keepers of the Gates
of Tzedek (Righteousness); King of Shaleim -- this refers to the Jerusalem
of Heaven; brought out bread and wine -- he goes forth to welcome the
righteous man, saying: Peace unto you!' " Elsewhere, Zohar Chadash states
(ibid. 62a): "A Heavenly call goes forth each day: Meritorious are those
who toil in Torah, who draw others close to Torah, and who overlook the hurt
caused them.' "