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Peer Pressure
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Q. In my workplace most people are complacent about being overweight. They are discouraging my efforts to lose weight and even trying to sabotage my diet. What can I do? A. The phenomenon you describe is remarkably common. Very often a person who wants to improve is ridiculed by others. They may claim that he […]
Blogging Ethics
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Q. One employee maintains a blog which has made some unflattering remarks about the company. Can I take action against the blogger? A. Blogs are basically diaries which are made available through the Internet to all cyberspace. Some have a tight focus; others comprise an unstructured pastiche of personal, professional, and social commentary. The most […]
Donor Trouble
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Q. A rather controversial individual has offered a donation to our organization. After checking his background carefully, I’m convinced he is a suitable donor. Should I keep the donation secret in order to stave off controversy? A. You were wise to check out the background of this individual before accepting a donation. There are many […]
Keeping Your Computer Holy
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Q. I don’t need anybody to convince me that I should avoid looking at immodest websites or e-mails, but I feel I need help overcoming occasional lapses, especially when smut is so pervasive on the net. A. Certainly we need to make every effort to avoid viewing smut, whether it is on the Internet, on […]
5. What God is Not
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The articles in this series are based upon ideas expressed in the Rambam’s Moreh Nevuchim (The Guide for the Perplexed). Numbers in brackets represent the volume and chapter of Moreh Nevuchim where these ideas are discussed. Since God has no attributes, we are presented with a number of interesting phenomena: * God exists but He […]
Spirit, Sport and Steroids
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Q. Is it ethical for pro athletes to use performance-enhancing drugs and treatments? A. Before we relate specifically to hormones and the like, we need to clarify the Jewish attitude towards sports in general. At first glance, the various Jewish sources on competitive sports seem like a confusing mix of attitudes. However, a more thoughtful […]
Anonymous Giving
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Q. In a recent column you wrote that it’s actually good for a recipient to publicize the name of the donor. Doesn’t this contradict the ideal of anonymous giving? A.The topic of anonymous donation is a complicated one, so I’m happy for the opportunity to clarify and expand my earlier column. The reason I made […]
Privacy and the Private Eye
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Q. Is it permissible to spy on business competitors to gain an advantage in the fight for customers? A. The absolutely outrageous case of corporate spying recently unveiled in Israel aroused not only outrage but also a lot of serious consideration of where exactly we do draw the line between legitimate “competitive intelligence” and forbidden […]
Death is Different
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Q. The Torah seems to advocate use of the death penalty. Does this mean we should support its implementation today? A. At the very dawn of civilization, immediately after the flood, God commands Noah: “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man will his blood be shed, for in the image of God did He […]
Spectator Sports
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Q. In a recent column you write that the Talmud identifies ancient sporting events as “the seat of the scoffers.” Is this relevant to modern-day sports as well? A. In the previous column, we described the love/hate relationship of Judaism and participant sports: we love them in moderation to develop health and human relationships, but […]