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I understand that it may be prohibited due to the laws of "Dina D'malchusa Dina," (when and if) American law prohibits it. However, that reason aside, is there any Judaism based reason to prohibit it?

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What suspicions on your part make you want to ask this question? If you put them into the question, it will make it less open-ended, and, I think, more likely to get answers. –  Isaac Moses May 12 '10 at 19:01
    
Are you concerned about the stealing of one's time and that it is unreasonable to tell someone that he must get caller i.d. and check before picking up the phone? What actual crme is being commited? –  Yahu May 12 '10 at 19:55
    
Well some stuff to wonder: Are you stealing/wasting the guys time? Are you tying up the phone "bandwidth" in case he gets another call? I can't quite put my foot on it, but it seams like you're invading the other guys property w/o permission (he would only give permission if it were a legit call)... –  yydl May 13 '10 at 1:14
    
Viewed from the caller's perspective, unless they are selling you a fraud they legitimately want to offer you an opportunity either to buy something or donate to a worthy cause. –  Bas613 May 13 '10 at 15:48
    
Yes, but from the recipients perspective it's downright annoying. Especially where it's pre-recorded, and more importantly, where there's no option to "opt-out" –  yydl May 14 '10 at 1:27

2 Answers 2

From a Halachic standpoint I do not see why it would be Assur. Why is it any worse than a guy approaching you and trying to sell you something. Today with caller ID you can ignore the call if you want to. In addition you can always hang up on the guy, which is a lot harder to do to someone who approaches you in person.

What I think is Assur is to fax someone faxes without his permission where then you are using his ink and paper and he can't do anything about it.

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Well for one you can tell the guy to stop (after which I'm sure you would agree that he would not be allowed to). Secondly, why is ink and paper any more valuable than time. Either way "he can't do anything about it" (caller ID is only so helpful, especially where most telemarketers come up as unavailable or out of area). I'm especially focusing on pre-recorded messages, which have none of your "advantages." –  yydl Oct 20 '10 at 3:44
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I think my point is that we would all agree you can't throw things on others' property (at least where you know they mind), most of us would agree that you can't spam someone's inbox, and similarly we would mind being bombarded with advertising text messages. So why are calls any different? –  yydl Oct 20 '10 at 3:47
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And indeed in some halachic contexts we say that עקימת שפתיו הוי מעשה - movement of the lips is an action. –  Alex Nov 3 '10 at 14:21
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Do you have a source for faxes being assur? Why is that different from an unsolicited, unwanted phone call? –  Monica Cellio May 6 '12 at 23:47
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As I wrote "What I think is Assur" is to fax someone faxes without his permission where then you are using his ink and paper and he can't do anything about it. –  Gershon Gold May 7 '12 at 15:11

Rabbi Dr. Aaron Levine has an article called "Ethical Dilemmas in the Telemarketer Industry" that appeared in Tradition 38:3 (2004); it's also a chapter of his book Moral Issues of the Marketplace in Jewish Law.

Haven't gone through it yet; if anyone would like to do so and summarize, please feel free.

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You have to pay to access it? –  yydl Nov 8 '10 at 20:09
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yydl, yes, Tradition is subscriber-only. Occasionally they'll put some articles up for free. –  Shalom Nov 9 '10 at 15:30

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