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Your Loss, My Gain
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Q. Is it ethical to take advantage of someone else’s mistake in business? A. “Taking advantage of someone else’s mistake” is quite a broad topic. This week we will give an overview of some of the dilemmas this could involve, and in subsequent columns we will try and give more specific examples. Jewish law on […]
Is Googling Ethical
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Q. Sometimes when I meet someone new or I have business with someone, I search for information about them on the internet. Is this an invasion of privacy? After all, I only obtain publicly available information. A. Finding publicly available information through an internet search service such as Google has become so common that we […]
Bank Error
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Q. I recently found an unexpected deposit into my account. This has happened a few times. In the past I notified the bank, but now it’s becoming a burden, I could really use the money, and besides I understand that the bank is insured against the mistake anyway. A. I wrote about this topic once […]
Hidden Consultation
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Q. I went to a chiropractor for routine treatment, but when I got the bill I saw he also charged me separately for a consultation! He never told me that he was providing a “consultation” or that I would be billed for his advice. What should I do? A. In English, the legal term for […]
Slander in the Court
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Q. My boss harassed me for years, and now I’ve been granted a hearing to get certain benefits I deserve. How should I balance defending my case with avoiding besmirching him? A.Your question is very praiseworthy. Judaism considers slandering others, lashon hara, to be a most severe transgression. The short answer is that while the […]
Renege
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Q. I agreed to use a certain service provider and even signed an agreement, but the agreement is not valid until I obtain some authorizations from the authorities, so I am technically able to withdraw. In the meantime I came across a better deal. Can I renege on the original agreement? A. Jewish law, based […]
Happy Returns
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Q. If a store has a two-week return policy, is it ethical to buy something from the store with the intention of using it and then returning it for money back? A. As we explained in a previous column, in Jewish law every object has an unlimited money-back guarantee. The reason is that if there […]
Hidden Defects
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Q. After I bought a house, I discovered that the agent failed to disclose a number of defects which significantly affect the value. What recourse do I have? A. According to Jewish law, the seller has a responsibility to disclose any significant defects in the sale item. Furthermore, the disclosure must be effective, not evasive. […]
Google Gossip
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Q. Recently you wrote that it is improper to pry into someone’s private affairs through a web search. What can be wrong with this given that all the information is already publicly available? A. In a recent column I discussed the now-ubiquitous phenomenon of doing web searches on potential business partners, dates, hires, etc. I […]
Respect and Suspect
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Q. I understand business should be based on a relationship of trust. But I hear so many stories of people being cheated. Where do we draw the line between prudence and paranoia? A. Certainly the Torah educates us to create a society of honesty and mutual trust. We are on the one hand commanded to […]