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I'm sometimes in a situation where, if I do nothing, I'll benefit. But I suspect Jewish law may actually require me to take action that will prevent the benefit.

I'm not sure if I should ask my rabbi for guidance, or if I should just ignore my conscience. What halachic considerations should I keep in mind here?


See also Why is it necessary to ask a Rabbi?—but note this. Most halachic conundrums are about whether doing something is allowed. Here, my conundrum is about whether doing nothing is allowed.

  • As written, this seems to be asking for answerer's personal opinions about what you should do. – Isaac Moses Jun 22 '12 at 3:06
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    @msh210: Reasonable edit, and it does make the question much more readable. msh210 and Isaac Moses, thank you. – tealhill supports Monica Jun 25 '12 at 23:59
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    "I'm not sure if I should listen to my conscience or not. What should I do?" Seriously? Is this a real question? – Dov F Jun 26 '12 at 0:21
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    You're asking for halachic reasons why you should follow your conscience. Really. You don't see how backwards that is? If you had the halachic reasons, what would motivate you to care about those halachic reasons? Your conscience? But why should you follow your conscience?... As I've said before, it's quite clear that you are projecting issues here that run deeper than the simple halachic dilemmas you are presenting; ones that are beyond the scope of this site. Speak to someone who can help you for real. – Dov F Jun 26 '12 at 4:21
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    Ironically, it would seem to apply to this very question. :) – Scimonster Nov 24 '14 at 20:32
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If it's required, and you don't ask, then it remains required. You just won't know it. So, to avoid transgressing from lack of knowledge, ask your rabbi.

But if you won't do the thing anyway, don't ask. Getting and ignoring a ruling is a very bad idea.

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    Thank you. IIRC, a couple months later I finally became ready to accept the possibility of getting the answer I didn't want. And I finally asked my rav the question that had been bugging me. – tealhill supports Monica Feb 1 '13 at 1:19
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    Definitely worth it. – Annelise Aug 6 '13 at 1:41
  • Btw a rabbi told me once that in his opinion, he is first a human before God, and then more specifically a Jew before God. What he meant was that for any Jew, acceptance of God's covenant with Israel is anchored in the relationship with Him that any human can have, the conscience, choice of surrender to Him, and desire of His blessing in love. So the question you were asking is probably more of a human question in general, rather than simply a Jewish one. If that makes sense. – Annelise Aug 6 '13 at 1:47
  • @YitzhakKornbluth According to our usual principles, shouldn't you get the psak and trust G-d that you will then have the koach to follow through with it? (That would be an example of taking the correct step at each moment...) – SAH Jul 6 '16 at 17:16

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