Middleman Muddle

June 24, 2014, by

Q. When my real estate agent referred me to a suitable apartment, I asked her to go ahead and rent it for me. But she told me it wasn’t available! I went myself to make sure and ended up renting it without her knowledge. I don’t want to stiff her if she’s due a partial […]

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Righteous and Rapacious

June 24, 2014, by

Q. I suspect that a member of my congregation, who is admired for his piety and charity, also encourages fraud. One neighbor told me outright that this man advised him how to defraud the government. Should I publicize his shameful acts?  A. Certainly we should disapprove of people engaging in acts of fraud. However, we […]

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Snooping on Students

June 24, 2014, by

Q. I’m a high school teacher. I recently found a student’s note that showed that he was engaging in immoral and potentially dangerous activities. Should I take action to contact the student or his parents?  A. This is a most important question which requires several layers of analysis. The first thing to know is that […]

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Exam Scam

June 24, 2014, by

Q. Two students in my class are constantly being disciplined for misbehavior. Recently I heard them whispering that they were afraid they would be caught for cheating on an exam. Should I tell the teacher? A. Cheating on an exam is certainly a serious ethical lapse. But you have to be careful not to compound […]

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Silent Revolution

June 24, 2014, by

Q. How can businesses create new models for a just society? Shouldn’t we strive to transform our workplaces from competitive cost-cutters to caring cooperatives? A. There is a very influential movement that wants to create a more just society from the ground up, by remodeling basic institutions. Many people believe that replacing families and firms […]

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Compromised Compromise

June 24, 2014, by

Q. When I recently ordered some documents from a service, they accidentally provided too many, resulting in an inflated charge. When they saw how upset I was, they told me I could have the documents for no charge! Should I offer to pay anyway? A. As we have frequently mentioned, compromise is an important value […]

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Taking the Fifth Commandment

June 24, 2014, by

Q. Recently my father asked me to sign some “routine family documents.” Afterwards I discovered that he tricked me into transferring him some very valuable assets! I find it hard to respect him now. Do I still have to honor him?  A. Most of us recall that honoring parents is one of the Ten Commandments, […]

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Falsifying Data

June 24, 2014, by

Q. I’m an engineer working for a large company. Every so often our manager pressures us to falsify or omit data in order to improve the standing of our research program within the firm. The misleading data couldn’t endanger anyone and don’t reach customers — only internal management. Is this ethical?  A. There’s no question […]

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Do I Deserve a Discount

June 24, 2014, by

Q. My former employer promised travel discounts from some companies as part of my retirement package, but he didn’t specify which companies! Now whenever I book a flight on a certain airline, I get a 50% for my “corporate relationship.” How do I know if this is part of my retirement benefits or merely a […]

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Forgive and Forget

June 24, 2014, by

Q. My friend is terribly resentful of her father, who is verbally abusive. How can I convince her to put the resentment behind her and forgive him? It’s clear that his attitude is due to a psychological problem. A. It’s true that giving people good advice can be a very important mitzvah. The Torah tells […]

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