Rumours ad being Careful with how you phrase things07/02/22
Yakov is a religious teenager in a yeshiva high school. Yakov went abroad with a few friends for a week in the summer. When he returned, he was asked by his driving instructor how the holiday went. Yakov replied – it was great, but not 100% kosher. What Yakov meant was that the group did not quite daven in Shul every day, they did not have long Torah study sessions, and they had fun as teenagers do on holiday. What Yakov certainly did not mean was that they at non-kosher food. But the non-Jewish driving instructor’s only understanding of the word kosher was food-related. Now, this driving instructor was most confused: he thought that Yakov was from a religious Jewish home and he understood that Jews only eat kosher food. He could not believe that Yakov ate non-kosher on holiday. But, this made juicy gossip, and so, during a driving lesson with another Jewish client, the driving instructor leaned over and said ‘I can’t believe Yakov ate non-kosher on holiday – he told me so.’ This repeated itself a few more times with different Jewish clients until everyone in Yakov’s class in school knew that Yakov ate non-kosher on holiday. The rumours trickled back to the school, and Yakov’s parents were called in for a meeting. It was only after everything was unravelled that they realised what had happened and how the driving instructor had (innocently) taken some words out of context.
- Yakov was lucky. Many people do not realise how rumours begin about them, and do not have the opportunity to correct them.