Hammerman On Ethics

04/21/2011 - 20:00 | | 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.

04/14/2011 - 20:00 | | 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?

04/06/2011 - 20:00 | | Special to the Jewish Week | Hammerman on Ethics

Q - "I heard from an observant friend that it is inappropriate to invite non Jews to a Seder; but doesn't it also say in the Haggadah, "Let those who are hungry come and eat?" So am I supposed to invite only Jewish homeless and hungry people? Plus, given my strained family dynamics, I think it would be best not to invite any guests at all. What's the ethical thing to do?

03/30/2011 - 20:00 | | Special to the Jewish Week | Hammerman on Ethics

Q - I've heard that pets are supposed to keep Passover. I'm fairly traditional regarding Passover and just got a dog. Isn't it cruel to force an innocent animal to change its entire diet for a whole week? It's hard enough for humans!

A- As the proud owner of two adorable standard poodles, one of whom is extremely neurotic, I can sympathize with you.

03/23/2011 - 20:00 | | Special to the Jewish Week | Hammerman on Ethics

Q - I have been struggling with some issues. I am not observant and the teacher of a class I've been taking has led me to believe that this makes me a bad Jew. I do lots of good deeds and am ethical in my actions. So can a good person be a bad Jew?

A - Relax. Loving your neighbor puts you are well on your way to being a "good Jew," whatever that means.

03/16/2011 - 20:00 | | Special to the Jewish Week | Hammerman on Ethics

Q - In an age where addiction is so widespread, is it ethical to promote drunkenness on Purim?

A. No it is not.