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Decent Working Conditions Final-Motivation
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Q. My workers get a low wage and have trouble making ends meet, but they don’t really have other options. Do I have to pay them a “living wage”? A. This week’s column focuses on self-interest: better conditions mean better work. The fact is that buying labor is not the same as buying an item […]
Forgiving and Forgetting to Ourselves
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Q. I made some poor judgments in my business. My own life is now a wreck, and I have also harmed others who are left with unpaid debts. How can I move on? A. In a previous column we discussed Judaism’s approach to forgiving others. There we explained that Judaism doesn’t require or even encourage […]
Confronting Street Youths
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Q. There are some street youths in my neighborhood who really create a nuisance. If everybody would stand up and insist that they behave it might have an effect, but sometimes I think it’s safest just not to get involved. Don’t wrongdoers have responsibility for their own acts? A. Fundamentally, Judaism instructs us to take […]
Addiction-An Obstacle Before the Blind
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Q. I run errands for neighbors for a living. One neighbor sends me to the liquor store. Since she’s an alcoholic I’d like to stop, but I know she will just find another errand boy. What should I do? A. Addiction is a major source of concern, and contemporary rabbis have found a number of […]
Addiction-Servitude to Substances
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Q. I run errands for neighbors for a living. One neighbor sends me to the liquor store, but she’s an alcoholic so I stopped. I discovered that she hasn’t stopped drinking, she just found another errand boy! A. Last week we discussed one approach to addiction: addictions are objectionable because they damage our body, which […]
Should I Blow the Whistle
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Q. My employer engages in scandalous exploitation and abuse of his clients. But I’m afraid that if I report him to appropriate authorities I’ll be considered a troublemaker and will have trouble finding work. A. Reporting illegal or unethical behavior by one’s employer is generally known as “whistle blowing”. Whistle blowing is a favorite topic […]
The Ethics of Torture
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Q. What does Judaism say about torturing suspects in order to obtain life-saving information? A. This highly topical question is the subject of a recent article by Rabbi J. David Bleich in the latest issue of Tradition magazine, devoted to the topic of “War and the Jewish Tradition”. This column is basically a summary and […]
A Free Ride
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Q. My friends are renting a hotel room for vacation and they offered to let me sleep on the floor. I can’t afford a vacation otherwise. Can I take them up on their offer? A. Hotel managers have many good reasons for charging by the guest and not allowing additional guests to stay over. We […]
Teenager in Our Midst
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Q. I’m on the administrative committee of an age-restricted (over-55) community. One neighbor is living with his teenage grandson, in violation of our community by-laws. Can I report his violation to the committee, which will then weigh sanctions? A. Let’s study first the background of this question. While originally there was little regulation of resident […]
Homework Help
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Q. I discovered I have a gift for helping others with math problems. Can I offer my service to online help sites? A. Nobody knows exactly when the first homework was assigned, but it’s a fair bet that whenever it was, the first attempt to get help was only a few hours later. Classmates, parents […]