As the Christians Don't …

We recently noted Rav Yosef Shaul Nathanson’s assumption that the non-Jews’ recognition of the notion of intellectual property means that Halachah must also acknowledge the concept. Two other instances of the basic line of argument that we can derive Halachic / moral principles from non-Jewish attitudes toward religion and morality are Rav Yehudah Ha’Hassid’s injunction […]

The Industrious Anarchists

The Wisest of Men instructs: לֵךְ-אֶל-נְמָלָה עָצֵל; רְאֵה דְרָכֶיהָ וַחֲכָם. אֲשֶׁר אֵין-לָהּ קָצִין– שֹׁטֵר וּמֹשֵׁל. תָּכִין בַּקַּיִץ לַחְמָהּ; אָגְרָה בַקָּצִיר, מַאֲכָלָהּ.1 The Talmud relates a fascinating story of an attempt to corroborate King Solomon’s assertion that the ants have no king: א”ר משרשיא דכתיב לך אל נמלה עצל ראה דרכיה וחכם אשר אין לה קצין […]

Whom the Judges Shall Not Condemn

A couple of weeks ago, we raised the question of whether Moshe Haim the blacksmith was indeed required to repay double the amount (כפל) that he had stolen. The key issue is whether there is a moral obligation to pay קנס in the absence of a formal ruling by a Beis Din, such as in […]