I would like my wife and children to appreciate the importance of being a responsible citizen and voting. However, I do not want to waste my own time going to vote because it will take away time from my learning, which I feel is more important.

However, they probably won't understand the way I weighed the issues. Can I lie to my wife and children and tell them that I voted so that they don't get the wrong message?

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    "they probably won't understand the way I weighed the issues" ?? Why not? It doesn't seem so complicated. Would you want them to learn how to weigh the values of voting and Talmud Torah?
    – Double AA
    Nov 8, 2016 at 14:51
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    A different question about, possibly, a similar scenario: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/59729
    – msh210
    Nov 8, 2016 at 14:51
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    @MarkA. Umm... You just tell them the truth? Say both values are important but are in conflict and your Posek evaluated that this should be your practice in this instance. Kids can get that things are complicated sometimes.
    – Double AA
    Nov 8, 2016 at 15:39
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    Simple solution: take a Gemara to read in the voting line!
    – ezra
    Nov 8, 2016 at 15:42
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    Why assume that the time you spend voting should come from your torah-study time and not, say, your sleeping time or your Internet time? I know things are different all over, but I was in and out in under 5 minutes today. Nov 8, 2016 at 15:54

1 Answer 1


As per the answer to Is there a problem with lying? kouty answered that lying is permitted for three specific reasons. I do not think you example meets the criteria for lying. So get out and vote and be a responsible person. Do as you say or your wife and kids will do as you do.

See Gemara BM 23b

For Rab Judah said in the name of Samuel: In the following three matters learned men do conceal the truth:

In matters of a tractate {they ask know you this Massechet at your fingertip and by humility he says "No!" (Rashi)}, bed {If they ask if he has a sexuel intercourse, he can hive a negative answer, even if it is not true, by modesty (adapted from Rashi), If he comes later to the study because of Tevilat Ezra, he can give a false explanation to his delay}, hospitality {If they ask about the quality of the accomodation provided by its host, he can protect him against a large inflow of profiteers (adapted from Rashi)}.

  • Is there any evidence that the list is all inclusive? Without this evidence, that Gemara is irrelevant.
    – mevaqesh
    Nov 8, 2016 at 16:59
  • Also, the OP asked whether he could. Even if the Gemara were all inclusive, we still don't see if anything is actually prohibited.
    – mevaqesh
    Nov 8, 2016 at 17:00
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    "So get out and vote and be a responsible person." Assuming that's what the responsible choice is. Maybe the responsible choice is actually to not vote and do other actions (i.e. work, learn Torah), and explain to those who are viewing your actions that after weighing the options, this is what you decided to do. Nov 8, 2016 at 17:15
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    @Salmononius2: The questioner asked "I would like my wife and children to appreciate the importance of being a responsible citizen and voting" then he believes that it is the responsible thing to do. He was not questioning whether the responsible choice is to vote period. Nov 8, 2016 at 18:29

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