Hammerman On Ethics

05/27/2011 | | Special to the Jewish Week | Hammerman on Ethics

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?

05/20/2011 | | Special to the Jewish Week | Hammerman on Ethics

Q - I recall reading several years ago about a survivor's son who had engraved a tattoo on his arm to match the one borne by his father at Auschwitz. I understand that he meant it as a gesture of solidarity, but doesn't Jewish law prohibit tattoos?

05/13/2011 | | Special to the Jewish Week | Hammerman on Ethics

Q - Every Israeli schoolchild learns the famous quote of a dying hero Joseph Trumpledor, "it is good to die for one's country." The line has always troubled me. Ethically speaking, is it really good to die for your country?

05/05/2011 | | Special to the Jewish Week | Hammerman on Ethics

Q - The killing of Osama bin-Laden sent Americans out into the streets in spontaneous celebration. I saw the raucous scene outside the White House and it made me uncomfortable. Isn't it against Jewish practice to rejoice at the downfall of your enemies?

04/22/2011 | | Special to the Jewish Week | Hammerman on Ethics

 Q - I was shocked to read recently that corporal punishment is still legal in 20 states. I also know the famous quote from Proverbs, “Spare the rod, spoil the child.” But on Passover we are taught to answer a child’s questions with patience. Is it ever acceptable for a parent or teacher to hit a child?

A - It is never appropriate to hit a child, at school or at home. Period.

04/15/2011 | | Special to the Jewish Week | Hammerman on Ethics

 

Q: A friend told me that in Jewish law, breaking Passover is considered as wrong as illicit sex. Can that possibly be true?

A: If you're insinuating that eating a bagel on Passover is akin to forcibly raping someone, exactly what planet do you live on?