Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Can a son lie to father to get to class on time?

QUESTION 13 - CAN A SON LIE TO A FATHER TO GET TO A CLASS ON TIME?

Let's say a boy knows that his father is often late. If he depends on his father to get to an evening class on time, and he wants to be sure to get there on time, can he tell his father that it starts earlier than it really does?

RABBI BELSKY'S ANSWER

I think the answer is yes. The boy knows that if he tells his father that the class starts at 7:10, when, in fact, it starts at 7:10, he will never get there on time. So he can tell his father that the class starts at 7:00, because in his father's mind 7:00 means 7:10.

It seems from the Talmud, though, that there may be a problem. It says in the Talmud that Rav had a wife who was very tough. Rav used to eat two kinds of foods, beans and lentils. When he asked his wife for lentils, she gave him beans; when he asked for beans, she gave him lentils. She always did the opposite of what he asked for, just to cause him grief. Perhaps this was because it was a rabbonishe (Rabbi) household, where guests always came and went, and Rav and his wife were always busy, with a million things to do. Whatever the cause, that's what Chazal (the Sages), tell us.

The Talmud goes on to say that after many years, Rav asked his son, "Go into the kitchen and bring some lentils." So the son went to the mother and said, "My father wants beans." So she made lentils and gave it to him. So Rav said, "Look, the might of the son is greater than the might of the father. You were able to do what I wasn't successful at doing for the last twenty years." So the son said, "No, I'll tell you the truth. I asked her for beans, so that she would give you lentils."

Rav said, "You shouldn't do that. It says Limdo l'shonom darkei sheker (If you tell a lie, you end up becoming a liar)."

Here, however, it is different. There are two different time zones here. If a person in Israel tells you the time is 12:30 AM, you have to adjust, and subtract seven hours. It's really 5:30 p.m. here. The same thing applies to this case. When the father is told that the class begins at 7:10, in his mind he could be interpreting it that he hould leave the house at 7:10. So by his son saying "7:00", his father will think, "I should leave the house at 7:00", and then the son will get to the class on time at 7:10. There may be some other time warp here, with the same result, i.e. saying 7:00 produces a 7:10 effect in the other person's mind. But be careful, there may be a risk that the son is violating the trust of his father.


NEXT WEEK'S QUESTION 14: CALLLING HOME COLLECT WITH A FICTICOUS NAME TO SAY THAT YOU HAVE ARRIVED

If a person is going on a trip, and he wants to inform someone that he's arrived safely, is it permissible to make a call with a fictitious name as a signal to the other person?

NEXT WEEK'S QUESTION 15: HOW STRICT TO ABIDE BY 'TRIAL PERIOD' OF SHAREWARE SOFTWARE

Some software that can be downloaded for free from the Internet comes with a provision that it is free only for an "evaluation period", let's say for thirty days, after which the software must be bought or destroyed. How strictly must one abide by this provision?

Participate in the Honesty Forum, and discuss the issues we confront in this class!

Subscribe to Honesty and receive this class via e- mail.

Honesty Archives


Honesty, Copyright © 2002 by Rabbi Yisroel Belsky Shli"ta and Torah.org.


 

ARTICLES ON ACHAREI MOS AND KEDOSHIM:

View Complete List

In Hillel's Footsteps
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5760

It Is Easier To Overcome Physical Pain Than To Suppress The Human Psyche
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5772

Bread in Your Basket, but Not in Your Soul
Shlomo Katz - 5771

> Don't Take Revenge...
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5759

Everyday Holiness
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5766

Holy Mitzvah!
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5763

ArtScroll

On One Foot
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5761

Unspoken Words
Rabbi Label Lam - 5760

Sweet Revenge
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5761

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

From the Profanity of Profanities
Rabbi Label Lam - 5767

Make Your Parents and Teachers Proud
Shlomo Katz - 5763

Separate and Pure
Shlomo Katz - 5759

Looking for a Chavrusah?

All the Rest is Commentary!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5763

Parshas Kedoshim
Shlomo Katz - 5771

Holy Pursuits - Mundane Paths
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5762

Kedoshim: Morality in Daily Life
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5775



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information