Should Moral Individuals Ever Lie? Insights from Jewish Law

21 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2013

See all articles by Hershey H. Friedman

Hershey H. Friedman

City University of New York - Department of Business Management

Abraham Weisel

City University of New York (CUNY) - Brooklyn College

Date Written: August 28, 2013

Abstract

A study conducted in Britain found that the average man lied about 42 times a week, twice as often as the average woman. Of course, many of these lies are white lies such as “I’ve got a headache” or “Nothing’s wrong, I’m fine.” Dishonesty and deception are serious crimes in Jewish law. The Bible explicitly demands that one should “Distance himself from a false matter.” There are, however, situations in which Jewish law permits or even demands that one engage in deception. This paper will discuss when it is permissible in Jewish law to prevaricate and deceive.

Keywords: business ethics, lying, lying for the sake of peace, Jewish law

JEL Classification: A22, A23, G18, G21, G28, M14, Q28, Q20, Q38, D81, M19

Suggested Citation

Friedman, Hershey H. and Weisel, Abraham, Should Moral Individuals Ever Lie? Insights from Jewish Law (August 28, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2317563 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2317563

Hershey H. Friedman (Contact Author)

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

Abraham Weisel

City University of New York (CUNY) - Brooklyn College ( email )

2900 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11210
United States

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