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Snitch
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Q. I have a nasty co-worker who is hard to get along with. I’m thinking of putting him in his place by telling the boss about his frequent tardiness, but should I be afraid of being a “snitch”? A. The Torah warns us to be very careful about disclosing people’s failings, commanding us “Don’t go […]
Pay Up
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Q. A person owes me a large court judgment from damage he caused when he was well-off. Now he claims I should leave him alone since he has become destitute. Must I lay off? A. In the time of the Torah, financial markets were not well developed and the main form of loan was an […]
Working with Difficult People
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Q. I have a co-worker who is tyrannical and otherwise difficult. Sometimes she accuses me of incompetence. I suffer greatly from having to work together with this person as a team. What can I do? A. Working together with someone incompatible can be one of life’s greatest trials. One prominent Jewish classic finds a hint […]
Seeking Lost Owner Part I
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Q. Many unmarked articles of clothing were left in a local hall after an event. How much effort do I need to exert to find the owners? A. Returning lost objects is an important commandment. It is mentioned twice in the Torah, and is also the topic of an entire chapter of the Talmud. The […]
Is It Charity?
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Q. I want to put aside a certain sum each month to help my nieces and nephews, since my sister’s family barely makes ends meet. Is this considered a charitable contribution? A. Your regular donations to your family members are not considered charity, but they are considered a wonderful mitzvah nevertheless. When the Torah commands […]
Seeking Lost Owner Part II
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Q. I put up a notice regarding the lost coats I found, but nobody came to pick them up. What do I do now? A. Last week we discussed what efforts need to be made to seek the owner of a lost object. This week we will examine what needs to be done if those […]
Warehouse and Home
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Q. My contractor left some expensive supplies in my house. I informed him about it, but he doesn’t seem to be in any rush to pick them up. What can I do? A. You seem to have become an involuntary bailee for your contractor. We previously discussed one kind of involuntary bailment – a lost […]
Witness for Hire Part I
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Q. I’m a property assessor. Being an expert witness is a good source of income, but if I give fair evaluations no one will hire me. Can I tend to low-ball or high-ball estimates in my testimony? A. The conflict of interest of expert witnesses is a troubling feature of our legal system. In this […]
The Madoff Affair
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Q. Can individuals and institutions be faulted for investing with a seemingly upright and reliable person? A. The whole world, and especially the Jewish world, is reeling over the revelations that New York financier Bernard Madoff, a prominent member of the US Jewish community has admitted perpetrating what is shaping up as the grandest fraud […]
Witness for Hire Part II
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Q. I’m a property assessor. Being an expert witness is a good source of income, but if I give fair evaluations no one will hire me. Can I tend to low-ball or high-ball estimates in my testimony? A. In last week’s column, we discussed the systemic aspects of your question. We found that a mishna […]