You shall not go around as a gossipmonger
Evil gossip kills three: the one who says it, the one who listens, and the subject of the gossip
Twenty-five years ago I received a phone call from a member of the synagogue ley leadership shortly after I began to spend weekends in Manhattan and attend Torah studies.
The caller explained that there was a process underway for removing the rabbi because he had committed an inappropriate act and asked for my support.
I inquired about the nature of the offense. The caller said he was not a liberty to share the information.
I responded that besmirching the integrity of the rabbi without providing substantiating evidence was contrary to Jewish teachings and that I would not pay heed to what he said. I respectfully encouraged him to discontinue making such calls.
My view: If the rabbi his conducting himself inappropriately for a clergyman, there was an adequate forum before the board of directors for the lay leadership to confront the rabbi with evidence and ask for his resignation. If this was not successful, then they could turn to the Jewish Reform Movement leadership for assistance. (And they eventually did.)
The rabbi was forced out, but I and others from his Torah Class argued for his retention.
This morning I encountered the following:
“Saint Dorotheus of Gaza said, ‘You may well know about the sin, but you do not know about the repentance’ ”