Geneivat Da’At: The Prohibition Against Deception in Today's World

16 Pages Posted: 18 Jul 2013

See all articles by Hershey H. Friedman

Hershey H. Friedman

City University of New York - Department of Business Management

Date Written: August 1, 2002

Abstract

This paper explores how Jewish law views geneivat da’at (literally theft of one’s knowledge). This is the term used in Jewish law to indicate deception, cheating, creating a false impression, and/or acquiring undeserved goodwill. Geneivat da’at goes beyond lying. Any words or actions that cause others to form incorrect conclusions about one’s motives might be a violation of this prohibition. One does not have the right to diminish the ability of another person to make a fair and honest evaluation, whether in business or interpersonal relations. Applications to modern situations including accounting, advertising, retailing, cheating on exams, and philanthropy are discussed.

Keywords: deception, ethics, Jewish law, geneivat da'at, undeserved goodwill

Suggested Citation

Friedman, Hershey H., Geneivat Da’At: The Prohibition Against Deception in Today's World (August 1, 2002). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2295182 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2295182

Hershey H. Friedman (Contact Author)

City University of New York - Department of Business Management ( email )

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