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Servile Salary
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Q. I find my work very rewarding, but my employer is taking advantage of my dedication by making extensive demands and giving minimal pay. Can I compel the employer to pay me a fair wage? A. We can gain important insight into your question from the Torah’s regulations regarding an eved ivri — a kind […]
Money and Marriage II
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Q. I’m a working woman with a good income, but it is important to me to find a husband with good earning power who will be able to provide financial security. Is this a valid consideration? I don’t want to be seen as a “gold-digger.” A. The topic of marriage and money is an ancient […]
The Ownership Society
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Q. Many countries are trying to help every citizen become an investor. President Bush has called this “the ownership society.” What can Judaism teach us about this idea? A. The idea of an “ownership society” is hardly new. Encouraging each individual to acquire assets has many advantages: 1. EQUITY: There are always a large number […]
Attraction Distraction
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Q. My workplace is about half men and half women. There is always a lot of good-natured mutual banter of a very personal nature, and no one seems to consider it offensive. I find it very hard to avoid being drawn into this cycle of excessive familiarity. Furthermore, I sense an attraction to one co-worker […]
Fix, Forgive, Forget
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Q. Though my working relations at work have always been good, recently a supervisor made a very aggressive and threatening outburst. When the boss heard of this, he apologized and also had the supervisor apologize. The supervisor was not subject to any sanctions at all! I feel I have been treated very shabbily, and I […]
Dating Deduction
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At Purim it’s customary to give “Purim Torah” – words of Torah with a light-hearted approach but still with a serious message. Here is this year’s Purim version of the Jewish Ethicist. Q. I’m a corporate lawyer new to the Jewish dating scene. My suggested date gave me a lengthy questionnaire. Am I allowed to […]
Fix, Forgive, Forget Redux
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Q. In a recent column you wrote that we don’t need to forgive blindly; it is proper to demand reasonable amends for any wrongs. What should I do if a person has so harassed and offended me that I feel I can’t forgive him at all? A. Jewish law emphatically holds that we should be […]
Disorganized Labor
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Q. As a middle manager in a large company, I’m at the highest level of management still represented by the union. Now top management is trying to persuade everyone at my level to leave the union and sign a personal contract. Is this disloyal to my union comrades? The union has done an excellent job […]
Reasonable Remedy
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Q. Life saving medicines often cost a fortune even though the production cost is minimal. Is this ethical? A. The situation you describe is indeed very common. The reason is that drug companies take out patents on these innovative compounds. Thus they have a monopoly for a period of years, enabling them to charge rates […]
Clique Doesn’t Click
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Q. The really snobby, “in” clique at my school views me as unsophisticated due to my family background. As a result, I’m sentenced to socializing with a bunch of nerds. Is it ethical for social groups to be so closed? A. Your question describes a phenomenon I see very often. People are ultra-sensitive to the […]