No Results Found.

Rate and Switch
by in
Q. Can I get a salesman to teach me about a product and then buy it cheaper from a discount store or the internet? A. This phenomenon, which NYT columnist David Pogue recently called “Rate and Switch” (rate the item in one store, switch to another) has been around for decades. In my home town […]
The Ninth Candle
by in
At Chanukah we light one candle for each night: one the first night, two the second, up until eight lights on the last night. But there is also an additional candle, the shamash, meaning “servant.” The reason for this candle is that we are not allowed to use the regular Chanukah lights for our own […]
Wearing Fur
by in
Q. Many NGO’s are calling for a boycott of fur products and even of stores selling fur. Is it wrong to wear fur? A. The outcry over fur products is rooted in a concern for animal suffering. In Judaism, as in secular ethics, we find two distinct bases for this concern. Humane relations with animals […]
Bargaining Ethics
by in
Q. Is it permissible to bluff in negotiations? A. I have been asked this question many times, and I have always had difficulty formulating a convincing response. However, I am going to present here a fascinating analysis of the question by Rabbi Dr. Aaron Levine of Yeshiva University. Rabbi Levine’s insights have been frequently quoted […]
Charitable Competition
by in
Q. I have a grocery store in a poor area, but lately I have been losing business due to a charity organization which is giving out food parcels. Is this ethical? A. Like last week’s question, this too is one I have received many times but never articulated a convincing answer. Like last week’s question, […]
Ethics of Being Overweight
by in
Q. Is it ethical to be fat when there are so many hungry people in the world? I know that my weight loss doesn’t translate directly into food for the hungry, but I do feel kind of guilty about the contrast. A. It’s saddening to me to encounter this question, because I view it partially […]
Estate Taxes
by in
Q. Is it fair to tax bequests? A. Estate taxes are among the most controversial levies in our economy. Many people believe they are the ideal tax. Middle class individuals earn most of the income, because they are most of the people. But their share of bequests is far lower, since by definition only wealthy […]
Girth vs Worth
by in
I received a number of questions and objections about my recent column , where I wrote that moderate overeating is not unethical. I feel that this is a very important ethical topic, and so in response to the cogent questions I received I want to further explain my position. First of all, I wonder if […]
All’s Fair in War
by in
Q. Right now there is much controversy over the ethical way to fight the many determined enemies of our way of life. What does Jewish tradition tell us about this? A. Our relationship to war in Judaism starts with a paradox. Judaism is the source of one of the earliest and most majestic visions of […]
Not All’s Fair in War Part II
by in
Q. What are some concrete guidelines from Jewish tradition for conducting a just war? A. Last week we established the overall approach to war: war is not glorious or desirable, and Judaism is founded on a vision of brotherhood among all peoples. Yet in an imperfect world, war is sometimes a necessary means to realize […]