24 01, 2021

Lo Techaneim and Supporting Non-Jews in Need

January 24th, 2021|Interpersonal Ethics, Non-Jews and Other Religions, Yoreh De'ah|

QUESTION

New York, NY

Is there a concern of lo techaneim (in the sense of giving free gifts to non-Jews) in supporting campaigns to help non-Jewish victims of terrible injustice (such as the Uyghars)?

ANSWER

Definitely not. I think first we have to make it clear that when it comes to the issur of giving praise or gifts (Avodah Zarah 20a), then as far as I am concerned, we need to totally embrace the position that this only applies to ovdei avodah zarah (Sefer HaChinukh 426, Rashba Teshuvah 1:8, Yabia Omer YD 10:41; Rav Kook […]

17 12, 2020

Regifting Gifts

December 17th, 2020|Choshen Mishpat, Interpersonal Ethics|

QUESTION

New York, NY

בעניין גניבת דעת: is it a problem to give someone a gift that you received from someone else and you don’t want without disclosing that it is a re-gift? I don’t think this is an issue but a congregant said that her Rabbi said that it is.

ANSWER

Well, genveivat da’at is when you do something so someone feels underserved gratitude towards you – like you invite them to a wedding when you know they can’t make it. I assume the pesak here that […]

5 12, 2020

Lying to Children about Tooth Fairy

December 5th, 2020|Choshen Mishpat, Interpersonal Ethics, Non-Jews and Other Religions|

QUESTION

Midwest, USA

My daughter just lost her first tooth and I’m wondering if you have any thoughts on telling kids about the Tooth Fairy and whether it’s harmless or if it borders of issues of chukat HaGoyim or Geneivat Da’at.

ANSWER

Interesting… I don’t think it is chukat HaGoyim, unless you think that we have to stop reading stories of Peter Pan and Pinocchio, etc. I guess this is somewhat worse because you are telling her that it is a real thing. I am having a hard […]

Go to Top