Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Daily Business Ethics Halachah #2

We are learning from Case Studies in Business Ethics by the late Rabbi Dr. Aaron Levine z"l professor of economics at Yeshiva University.

Question: Which is worse: a lie that the liar benefits from or a lie that brings no benefit to the liar?

Rabbi Eliezer Waldenberg (Israel, 1915-2006) posits that a lie which the liar derives no benefit from is actually worse because it demonstrates that the liar has a love of falsehood for its own sake.

Rabbi Elazer says in Gemara Sanhedrin 92a that deceiving someone through words is akin to idolatry.

Rabbi Levine explains:

The key to understanding the connection between deceptive speech and idolatry according to Rabbi Judah Lowe ben Bezalel is that the seal of the almighty is truth.  He who possesses the attribute of truthfulness fulfills the verse of "cling to the Almighty."  To engage in deceptive speech however amounts to embracing something that has no existence at all.  What idolatry and deceptive speech share is that both are vanities - that is, they have no real existence.  Hence, whoever engages in deceptive speech is as though he engaged in idolatry.

1 comment: