Tuesday, January 26, 2010

When religious people lie

5towns Jewish Times

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein zatzal once wrote of the horrific repercussions of lying. Aside from the issues and Torah violations involved in the lie per se, it also, quite often, causes issues of theft. When someone lies about issues involved in the holocaust, it is particularly heinous. Why is that?

Because it feeds directly into the hands of holocaust deniers and causes enormous pain to numerous people. The lie allows holocaust deniers to cause pain to those who underwent the horrors of the Nazis, their relatives, and anyone who lost family in the holocaust.

Recently, the Washington Post ran a story about a Sofer who misled numerous people regarding Sifrei Torah that were allegedly from the holocaust. If the allegations are true then this is not merely a lie. It involves theft. It also involves providing fodder for holocaust deniers. If the allegations are true, then the Sofer would be in violation of theft, and would lose his ability to serve as a witness in a Jewish court until he does Teshuva.[...]


  1. I read the article in question and for many reasons, it caused me great disconfortt.

    Then I realized that far worse than telling a lie was living a lie.

    As was often the case, Reb Moshe, ZTL pointed us in the right direction with a gentle touch.

    Both as individuals and a community, we would do well consider his message.

    Much has already been taken from us.

  2. Daas Torah
    is it permissable to lie to prevent a chilul Hashem?

    if idolatry is permissable should not telling a lie be permissable?

  3. Penina,

    When is idolatry ever permitted? It is one of the three sins that one is commanded to give his life rather than transgress. Lying in order to bring peace between people (such as husband and wife) is permissible. Meshanim Mipnei Hashalom, we learn this from Yosef's brothers who told Yosef after Yaakov's death that their father had commanded that Yosef forgive his brothers for selling him as a slave. However, the Torah also commands us, Midvar Sheker Tirchak, to stay away from lies. It is quite a balancing act.

  4. Mr. 'DAAS TORAH',please take this article to rav sternbuch and ask him if you had the halachic right to publish it.The fact is that since the scandal to keep your new viewers on your site you have bcome the adress for loshon harah and shmutz.Daas torah doen't describe your blog anymore.

  5. Rabbi Yair Hoffman seems to think there was no problem publishing it since he is the author. Does he also need to consult Rav Shternbuch? Are you sure he didn't consult his rav (whoever his rav is) before he published his article? Does he need to, in either case?


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