Torah insists on telling the truth, except when it doesn't. We will discuss several situations throught this semester in which the obligation to tell the truth becomes a bit fuzzy. (a) Lying: When is it permissible to lie? May one lie in order to encourage people to perform more mitsvot? Should one lie in order to spare someone embarassment?
(b) Flattery: Flattery often straddles the boarder of falsehood. When is flattery prohibited.
(c) Bal Tosif: There are 613 commandments in the Torah. Adding to them is a perversion of the truth of the Torah. We will investigate the limits of this prohibition.
(d) Using a Stolen Shofar: Using any stolen item to fulfill a mitsva creates a contradiction between that mitsva and the sin of stealing. When, if ever, can a mitsva be fulfilled on the basis of falsehood and perversity?
Hebrew sources surveying the principle opinions of the great rabbis will be provided to the participants. In class we will translate and analyze these sources.
About Rabbi Dovid Fink
In addition to being one of Rabbi Brovender's first students, Rabbi Dovid Fink is an outstanding expert and teacher of Halacha. Rabbi Fink received his Rabbinic ordination from ITRI and the Mir and was awarded his Ph.D in Semitic Languages and Linguistics from Yale University. Rav Fink has taught thousands of students from all over the world for over 20 years.
Our first topic deals with telling the truth about the passing of a relative. What are the parameters of truth-telling? When can or when should the truth be suppressed?
A link with sources has been sent to all participants. In class we will translate and analyse these sources.