Ethics

A River (Of Ethics) Runs Through It

03/04/2014
Staff Writer
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The Graduate School of The Jewish Theological Seminary of America announced last week that is establishing a new academic program — a master’s degree in Jewish ethics. The program, to be headed by Alan Mittleman, a professor of Jewish philosophy at the school, will focus on such area as bioethics, business ethics and legal ethics. The Jewish Week interviewed Mittleman by e-mail. This is an edited version of the transcript.

JTS’ Alan Mittleman: “Many of the laws of the Torah have an overt ethical dimension.”

To Bet Or Not To Bet: Jewish Concerns with Gambling And The Lottery

08/06/2013
Jewish Week Online Columnist
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Judaism is mostly a rationalist tradition that embraces free will, critical thinking, and the importance of the intellect. Most endeavors that mandate irrational and overly chancy behavior are forbidden by the Jewish tradition. Gambling is one of the prevalent modern activities that may make for fun sport in moderation, but when treated as a primary source of income it borders on the irrational.

75 percent of gamblers have committed embezzlement or other fraud to finance their habit, experts say. Photo via Google

Parsing The Ethics Of Giving And Taking

10/18/2011
Editorial

So far, “Occupy Judaism” is an embryonic offshoot of the nationwide economic protests sparked by the Occupy Wall Street camp in Lower Manhattan. Like any embryo, it has potential, and it is fragile. Unlike those who are alarmed by Occupy Judaism’s take on the economy and see its synthesis of religion and politics as some kind of cynical manipulation, we do not doubt the Occupy activists’ sincerity.

Ethics-ercises in Elul Soul Searching

09/09/2011
Jewish Week Online Columnist
As we approach the Days of Awe, our annual exercise in self scrutiny and stock-taking can be a daunting task. Rather than highlight a single ethical dilemma this week, I offer here some suggestions, some “ethics-ercises,” as it were, to assist you on this journey.
 
Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

My Worst Enemy's Shiva

08/19/2011
Jewish Week Online Columnist

Q. The mother of my worst enemy just died and I'm not sure whether to visit during Shiva. In truth, I sincerely see this as a chance to reconcile (we haven't spoken in about five years but have a lot of friends in common). My only concern is that he would misinterpret the reason for the visit and kick me out of the house. I really don't want to cause him any discomfort. What should I do?

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

Punching Your Ticket

07/08/2011
Jewish Week Online Columnist

Q - I frequently use a 10-trip punch card on the LIRR. Often the conductor fails to appear to punch the card before I get off.  What is my obligation here? Should I tear up the card before it runs out to make up the difference or am I free to use it again as it is the responsibility of the railroad to collect the fare? This does not involve deception since I am ready to pay the fare.

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

For Some, Delta Partnership With Saudis Raises Ethical Questions

As major carrier grapples with the issue, ADL official says other U.S. airlines face the same problem.

06/28/2011
Jewish Week Correspondent

An upcoming partnership between Delta Air Lines and Saudi Arabian Airlines is raising ethical questions over how cozy American firms should get with foreign governments or carriers that have practiced discrimination.

Jeffrey Lovitky: D.C. Attorney has taken issue of alleged Saudi discriminatory policies to the media.

Men Behaving Badly

05/27/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

Q - In the wake of recent sex scandals involving Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Time Magazine ran a cover story asking the rhetorical question, "What Makes Powerful Me Act Like Pigs?" Ethically speaking, how does Judaism account for this constant abuse of power by piggish men?

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

Live or Let Die?

03/06/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

Q - I am the designated medical surrogate for an individual who has a living will specifying DNR/Do Not Resuscitate. The physicians and hospital have been informed and have copies of the living will and DNR. Our loved one took a downward turn but the medical team resuscitated him. The patient prospered from their efforts and returned to his pre-resuscitation health status. Should I report the medical team for ethical non-compliance of the DNR/living will orders?

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

Is Jeter a Cheater?

02/18/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

Q - With baseball’s spring training underway, I’m reminded of an incident from last season. Derek Jeter, one of the few superstars from the past decade not implicated in baseball’s steroid sample, was caught on video pretending to be hit by a pitch.

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman
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