Hammerman on Ethics

Responding To Merry Christmas

The key is to come up with strategies that affirm Jewish pride while not adding to the politicized atmosphere of Christmas.

12/09/2011
Jewish Week Online Columnist
Story Includes Video: 
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Q: It’s that time of year, when everyone everywhere is saying “Merry Christmas” to me, even people who know that I am Jewish. Should I simply smile and repeat the greeting or politely correct the greeter and say, “I’m sorry, I don’t observe Christmas.”

What to say? Fotolia

Is Spending To Help The Economy Ethical?

12/02/2011
Jewish Week Online Columnist

Q: During the holiday season, I keep hearing how important it is for our fragile economy that we buy, buy, buy.  If it is patriotic to buy impulsively and consume conspicuously, is it also good?

A:   Patriotic: yes.  Good…not so much.

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

Is Turkey Kosher?

11/18/2011
Jewish Week Online Columnist

Q:  I’ve heard that turkey may actually not be kosher. Is that true?

A:   From a halachic/ethical standpoint, it is 100% kosher.  Or not. 

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

Davening for Dollars

11/10/2011
Jewish Week Online Columnist

 

Q: When I daven, I am tempted to ask God for help improving my difficult financial situation. But I always feel this is wrong since so many other people are in worse circumstances involving their health, safety and even worse financial conditions, whereas I at least have a job and a healthy family. Is it unethical to ask God for more money, or should I just be grateful for all the good things I have?

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

Killing Kaddafy

11/04/2011
Jewish Week Online Columnist

Q - Was it ethical to kill Muammar Kaddafy and Osama bin Laden on the spot, apparently in cold blood, rather than arrest them and bring them to trial? Didn’t it work for Iraq to try Saddam Hussein?

A – Yes, it was ethical to kill them right then and there.

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

Are Zoos Ethical?

10/27/2011
Jewish Week Online Columnist

 

Q – Given the recent Ohio tragedy involving a private zoo, in which dozens of exotic animals were killed, I was wondering whether it is ethical to have such zoos in the first place.

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

A Thousand Terrorists for Shalit?

10/11/2011
Jewish Week Online Columnist

 

Editor's note: Earlier this year Rabbi Hammerman discussed the ethical implications of exchanging terrorists to save the life of an Israeli soldier. In light of the dramatic news of such a deal emerging from Israel he is revisiting that issue this week.

Q – Is the release of Gilad Shalit worth an exchange of a thousand Hamas prisoners, including some who have blood on their hands and could well kill more innocent Israelis (and others)?

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

Yom Kippur Reflections

10/06/2011
Jewish Week Online Columnist

As the Yom Kippur approaches, rather than present a specific ethical quandary I present some reflections and tips on what this holy day can mean for us as we perform the sacred act of engaging with other human beings and with God:

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

Ethics And The Death Penalty

09/28/2011
Jewish Week Online Columnist
Q – Was it right for the state of Georgia to execute Troy Anthony Davis?
 
Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

Fasting Before A Marathon

09/22/2011
Jewish Week Online Columnist

Q - My brother and I are running the Chicago Marathon which is the day after Yom Kippur. We want to fast, however we have been told that it is unwise to do so the day before running 26 miles. Since this is an ethical dilemma, we need your advice.

A – Well, at the very least, by observing Yom Kippur you could label yourself a “fast runner.” Sorry.

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman
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