Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Lying for Peace - The Halachic Caveats

Five Towns Jewish Times - Rabbi Yair Hoffman

“Of course, I did my homework, Mom..”

“No, honey, that donut wrapper belonged to a co-worker to whom I gave a ride.”

“Yes, I will go on the treadmill this afternoon as soon as I come home while you are shopping.”

“No, dear, that dress does not make you look fat.”

We have all heard the expression before – mutar leshanos mipnei HaShalom – one is permitted to, well, “change” or obscure the truth in order to maintain the peace.  And lately, it seems that we hear it more and more.

A number of questions arise about this concept.  Is it still something that we should avoid doing – or is it possibly a Mitzvah?  Is it an across the board heter?  Do people have complete carte blanche in these areas?  Or are there, perhaps, some caveats? [...]

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