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Bankruptcy – Part II
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Q. Is it ever ethical to declare bankruptcy? A. Last week we discussed the Torah law foundations of the Jewish approach to insolvency. In this column we will expand on one application: a payments arrangement for an insolvent debtor. This is one possible outcome of bankruptcy. The principles of this debt arrangement have an interesting […]
Bankruptcy – Part 1
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Q. My job involves advising people on their financial affairs. Is it ever proper to advise someone to declare bankruptcy and avoid paying his debts? A.Everyone has to pay their debts but not everyone can, so the question arises what to do when a borrower is insolvent. One of the solutions is bankruptcy, which involves […]
Making a Match
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Q. Is matchmaking a suitable use of charity funds? A. A cardinal principal of the Torah is “It is not good for man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). When we see the large number of single men and women longing to find the perfect match, it is only natural that as neighbors and as a […]
Immigration
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Q. What does Judaism say about immigration? A. Right now there is an intense debate in the United States and all advanced countries regarding how much immigration to allow, and what to do about those who are already living illegally in the country. The new law passed in Arizona particularly brought public attention to the […]
Product Safety
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Q. What does Judaism say about product safety? A. Product safety has become a major legal and regulatory concern in recent decades. From a previous legal regime whereby safe use of products was primarily the responsibility of the consumer, in recent years increasing liability has been placed on producers. Many jurisdictions now place strict liability […]
When Parents Disagree
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Q. I always try to respect my parents’ wishes and help them out whenever I can, but what do I do when they disagree among themselves? A. The commandment of honoring parents is one of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:12): Honor your father and mother. You will then live long on the land that God […]
Can I Quit?
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Q. I’m thinking of leaving my job for something that will leave me more opportunity for other horizons. But my employer depends on me very much and has helped me very much. Is it ethical for me to leave her in the lurch? A. This is a question I receive frequently. Very often people want […]
Fire When Ready?
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Q. I have a good worker but it just doesn’t pay me to keep him on. Do I have any obligations to keep him on beyond what it says in the contract? A. The secular laws on discharging workers vary widely. Many countries, and US states, have “employment at will”; in this regime, an employee […]
Don’t Hire Him!
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Q. My neighbor is thinking of hiring a certain workman, but I have heard many people have had a bad experience with this person. Am I allowed to relay this hearsay? A. There is a very basic problem with relating hearsay. The Torah commands, “Don’t go about as a talebearer among your people; don’t stand […]
The Angry Manager
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Q. My manager shouts, curses and uses bad words to make staff do what he wants them to do. Is this an acceptable way to get the job done? A. Managers use many different means to motivate workers; they use material incentives such as pay and perquisites, positive social incentives such as praise, promotions and […]