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Maybe It Is Better Not To Ask - My Suggested Answer

This is my understanding of the Halacha [but ask a posek to be certain. If I am wrong - please tell me].

If one is curious as to whether or not a shiur was interesting - it is better not to ask, as this might lead to unnecessary lashon hara.

If one wants to know in order to achieve a practical benefit [such as attending the shiur in the future] I would suggest that he ask what was said at the shiur. By the content of the reply and the level of excitement exhibited by the replier one can usually determine if it was a good shiur or not.

If I were asked such a question I would be Jewish and answer a question with a question - "Why do you want to know?" If he answers "Just curious", then I would answer something positive which is also true, such as "Very engaging delivery" or "I could tell that he really prepared well. I should learn from him to prepare as well." [The shiur was given on a very shallow level but I will keep that information to myself.]

If the questioner wants to know for some practical benefit [such as attending in the future] I would say "What are your other options if you don't attend?" If the answer is "Learn with a chavrusa", I would answer [if the shiur was in fact inferior] "You could definitely benefit from the shiur but I think that you would get more out of a chavrusa".

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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