Hammerman on Ethics

Should I Keep An Undeserved Bonus?

04/09/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

 Q. My boss has decided to give me a big bonus for something I only helped with; another worker deserves it more than I do. But I need the money, and she is pretty well off. What's the right thing to do?

 A. Maybe your contribution was more integral to the success of the project than you realize. But, regardless, you should be forthcoming. Not only does our tradition demand honesty in how we conduct business, but it's really the most practical professional decision you can make.

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

Renting Dodger Stadium for a Bar Mitzvah

When is a Bar or Bat Mitvah too much?

04/01/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

Question: My husband wants a lavish bar mitzvah for our son next year. I think it's wrong to spend $ 50,000 on a party for a 13 year old kid when so many of our fellow Jews are experiencing hard times. What does Jewish law have to say about this?

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

Should Mrs. Madoff have reported Bernie?

What does Jewish law say about her responsibility to snitch?

11/23/2009
Special to the Jewish Week

Question: Should Mrs. Madoff have reported Bernie? What does Jewish law say about her obligations?

Let's assume for the sake of argument that Ruth knew about the Ponzi scheme and that Bernie's crimes were committed while of sound mind and body. From the public record there is little information about Bernie's mental state - aside from indications he is a grade-A sociopath, of course.

So should Ruth have blown the whistle on Bernie? By all means.

Family loyalty cuts deep in Jewish tradition, but not that deep.

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman
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