Section: Halacha   Category: Tshuvos
Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach: "Are You Mochel Me For Everything I Did?"
Before Yom Kippur, in order for Hashem to forgive us for our aveiros committed against another person, we must receive Mechila from the person we harmed (Shulchan Aruch OC 606:1).  Typically we ask all the people we may have caused harm, if they are Mochel us for everything we did to them.  Is this enough or must we get into specifics?

The Mishna Brura (3) says that when you ask for Mechila you must specify what bad deed you are asking Mechila for.  Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach says that a general Mechila helps for light offenses, but not to quickly wash under the rug the serious offenses that you have done to cause the other person grief.

What about if the other person is not aware that you have spoken badly about him or that you have done something bad, should you tell him and cause him further hurt?  The Chofetz Chaim (Hilchos Lashon Hara 4:12) says that you must confess, if you want to do real tshuva. This is the high price you must pay for forgiveness.  However it is brought down that Rav Yisroel Salanter said to the Chofetz Chaim that since it will cause the victim pain, you have no right to hurt him in order so that you yourself can do tshuva.

The footnote of Halichos Shlomo (1:3:Vuv) says that even the Chofetz Chaim distinguishes between causing your friend grief by telling him that you spoke bad about him, where he says that you must tell him, and between telling him something that will be embarrassing for him, which you need not disclose to him (see Mishna Brura 606:3).