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13

An employer is paying the premiums on an employee's insurance policy, which will then pay the medical expenses incurred by the employee committing a halachically-unacceptable act. With respect to "Lifnei Iver" or "placing a stumbling block before the blind," there are multiple mitigating factors: The prohibited act may never happen. The employee may never ...


9

Nachmanides (in his commentary on Genesis) and others posit that we have much to learn from the actions of, especially, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in Genesis. In his introduction to 32:4, he writes: This section was written to inform us that God helped His servant and saved him from the power of someone stronger than he, sending His agent and saving him. ...


8

Summary: Many believe that when it comes to applying halacha on a level that will affect the general public, we must be far more conservative in our concern for the welfare of others. In a modern sense, we would call this an application of the Law of Large Numbers, whereby we are concerned for far reaching cases of pikuach nefesh such as the general economic ...


8

Almost everyone upholds some Torah values at the expense of others. For example, someone may support giving Tzedakah (a good thing) and supporting workers (in general a good thing at times) at the expense of support of positions that Torah doesn't hold of. Remember that some people who support Israel may, at times, not be ethical in office (or may turn ...


7

In the beginning of the first chapter of Mesillas Yesharim (see also here), Ramchal writes ויתאמת אצל האדם מה חובתו בעולמו....שהאדם לא נברא אלא להתענג על השם ולהנות מזיו שכינתו A person should realize what his purpose is in this world....that a person was not created except to have joy from Hashem, and to benefit from his Shechinah (Divine ...


6

According to this answer at the Institute for Dayanim (an organization I had not previously heard of), voting in a church, not in the sanctuary, is permitted if that's your only option, but you should try to avoid it if you can. They don't address how far you need to go to avoid it (e.g. do you have to leave town for the day so you can use an absentee ...


6

As long as you don't go into the main sanctuary there should not be a problem. There is a makhloket poskim as to whether belief in the trinity is forbidden only for a Jew. Many say a non-Jew may follow these tenets since belief in the omnipotent G-d is still present. However, it is forbidden for a Jew to enter the sanctuary of the church, i.e. where the ...


6

Although Judaism prohibits abortion, including for non-Jews it doesn't necessarily prohibit all abortion. Certainly in the context of saving the life of the mother, abortion isn't only permitted, it is required. That being the case, a question of a law which permits, but doesn't require or even sanction, prohibited behavior is much more of a political ...


5

If you say it but don't intend it, it doesn't count as a vow (Yoreh Deah 210:1). However, the Bach and Maharshal (quoted in Be'er Heitev 210:1) say that if he intended to misspeak, what he says counts. But if you were forced to say the Pledge of Allegiance (as in Yirmeyahu's boy scout example), you are allowed to intend in your heart for it not to count ...


5

In all the cases specified there is no Lifnei Iver. The Gemara (Avodah Zarah 14a) says: Said Abaye; We should be particular not to [place a stumbling-block] before [the blind] but we need not be so particular as to avoid placing it before one who may place it before the blind. The simple explanation of this Gemara is that Lifnei Iver does not apply ...


4

There is an article on this topic by Rabbi Mark Dratch in which he argues that voting for e.g., a pro-abortion candidate is not a violation of "lifnei iver" because it is indirect--one is only voting for a legislator who will then vote to violate the Noahide laws. (This of course would not help for the legislator himself.) However, he concedes that there may ...


4

The famous saying that you are thinking of is לב שרים ביד השם. Unfortunately this saying is not from Tanach, rather it is an adaption of the Posuk in Mishlei 21:1 לב מלך ביד השם. This is generally understood that leaders do not have free choice on things that affect their subjects, rather God decides that himself and sways the Kings heart. For more of a ...


4

The great men of the Jewish faith still have flaws. A serious study of the Jewish Bible would involve asking -- "what was going on with Isaac's marriage?" "Why did Jacob favor one son?" "Did David really sleep with a married woman, or was she technically divorced?" So we speak critically of our own prophets!


4

I remember learning once that Rabbi Avigdor Miller used to hang up an American flag every year on the 4th of July and believed that all Jews should do the same. Although I could be gravely mistaken, it seems to me that this practice should be considered very pro-patriotism. (Unfortunately I don't have a direct citation from a written source handy, but I ...


4

Under current Israeli law, the post of Chief Rabbi exists in only four cities - Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, and BeerSheba. The Chief Rabbis are elected for 10 year terms. There are 150 members of the board tasked with choosing the country's two chief rabbis. This board is a mix of orthodox and secular. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chief_Rabbi ...


4

Sefer HaYovel which was published in honor of HaRav Meir Shapiro Zatzal while he was still alive has the entire article.


4

I can't answer 1 and can only speculate about 2, but on 3: I have a US security clearance, and the rules that came with that say that I could suffer penalties ranging from losing my clearance to going to jail if I reveal classified information to anybody who (a) does not have a clearance or (b) does have a clearance but does not have a government-recognized ...


3

Possible answer to part 1. 1) Here you find the well known statement that "Gemara (Yerushalmi Yuma 8:5) puts it very pithily: “The one who acts with alacrity is to be praised; the one who is asked (concerning whether to desecrate Shabbos) is disgraceful; and the one who asks is a murderer.” The statement is qualified This is because every ...


3

For a Jew it might be forbidden to insult a Rabbi, but we don't claim any right to tell non-Jews what to do. It isn't one of the seven Noahide laws that non-Jews are supposed to stick to. Furthermore, we have faith in G-d that if someone has done something wrong, they will get punished for it. We don't need to get involved (other than an obligation to try ...


3

I am afraid I do not have a written source on this but I asked this sheilah (question) l'maaseh (for practice) regarding the Pledge of Allegiance and the Boys Scout pledge, since I have always been uncomfortable with such things. I was told since one may at any time quit the organization, it was permitted. The idea as I understand it is that insofar as it is ...


3

From Rambam, Hilchos Sanhedrin Ch. 2 (Chabad.org) it appears that, for the most part, the appointment of judges was the responsibility of the Supreme Sanhedrin: Halacha 8 Our Sages relate: From the Supreme Sanhedrin, they would send emissaries throughout the entire land of Israel to seek out judges. Whenever they found a person who was wise, ...


3

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks response: Antisemitism: What it is and how to deal with it. To summarize the parts that kinda address this question: Assimilation will not succeed in curbing antisemitism; do not ever define ourselves as the hated people; do be candid about the evil of antisemites; and advertise antisemitism as hatred of everyone different and thus a ...


3

Partial answer: make sure we have currency. Rav Herschel Schachter (Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society vol. I, footnote 28) quotes Chazon Ish (YD 72:2) as saying that due to certain halachos (pidyon maaser sheni, possibly all דיני ממונות [monetary law]), Jews should make certain that whatever country they reside in has regular currency.


2

I heard in the name of the Moetzet HaGedola that it would be Asur to vote for someone who does not uphold Torah values.


2

A person will need to weight the different issues. If a candidate is against a Jewish value in one area, but strong in an other area, then the voter will need to evaluate who's best overall. However, in many elections, one candidate or party is against far more Jewish values than the other side, so its quite easy to tell who a Jew should vote for.


2

Non-Jewish courts are referred to as arka'ot (ערכאות), although the precise etymology of this word is debated, and as agoriyot (אגוריות). There is a longstanding prohibition against having one's case heard in one, although nowhere does this prohibition have anything to do with shituf. The oldest source is the Talmud Bavli: ר"ט אומר כל מקום שאתה מוצא ...


2

The Lubavitcher Rebbe (Kuntres Inyona Shel Toras Hachasidus Ois Gimmel, English translation here) relates: There is a well-known story about the Rebbe, my sainted father-in-law [R. Yoseph Yitzchak Schneersohn], which illustrates this point. On one of his journeys, he encountered several men who were arguing and expressing differing opinions about the ...


2

The first set seemed to be the ones who were the taskmasters who took beatings in Egypt in order to protect the people. This site discusses the Rashi which cites the medrash to this effect.


2

I spoke to someone who owns a kosher store. He gave me two viewpoints: 1 - Many health inspectors have egos. Sometimes, they cite things for violations that aren't actually there. Even if they do not want to wield their power, there are nuances between the itemized list that they must check on the violations sheet, and what actually exists. E.g. - the store ...


1

Not sure if this counts as an answer, but I'll post two commentators: Rashi (1:16): they were called for all important matters in the camp (administrative duties?) Ibn Ezra: the nation wouldn't do anything until they [the princes] would call them I think this suffices to show that they were in fact leaders of some kind: both symbolic (as they would call ...



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