Daily Q&A: Talk about the teacher


Talk about the teacher

My daughter has not been having an easy year in school.

Her teacher, Miss Bergstein, is sweet, well-meaning, and tries hard, but she’s fresh out of seminary with no experience or natural skill, and it shows.

Q: Miss Bergstein’s aunt is an old classmate of mine, and I recently met her in a shopping mall.

“I heard my niece Frumi Bergstein is your daughter Adina’s teacher,” my friend commented. “What do you think of her? Isn’t she just a gem?”

May I say “I’d rather not discuss it”?

A: Saying you don’t want to answer implies that what you have to say is negative. Therefore, that answer is avak lashon hara, since there is no to’eles in the remark. In this situation the correct response would be, “She seems to be a very nice girl.”

Reviewed by Rabbi Zev Smith. Actual halachic decisions should be made by a rav or halachic expert on a case-by-case basis.

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