Chanufah can be liberally translated as the prohibition against undeserved flattering. It includes giving undue compliments and praising transgressors. The prohibition also includes endorsing
someone’s inappropriate lifestyle. To flatter anyone with undue praise is, likewise, forbidden. According to many authorities, one who commits chanufah is in violation of a mitzvah of the Torah.
After elaborating on the severity of the practice of chanufah, the Orchos Tzadikim then states when it is proper to give chanufah:
It is a great mitzvah to flatter one’s students and colleagues so that they will learn from him and receive his reproofs to perform mitzvos. Similarly, whenever one knows that by flattering someone that person will be drawn under his influence to fulfill mitzvos … it is a great mitzvah to flatter him in order to bring out the precious from the mundane.
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