Question
I have a moral question. This almost happened to me recently. Suppose you are stopped at a red light with one or more cars in front of you. You look in the rearview mirror and a big runaway truck that has lost its brakes is heading toward you at a high rate of speed. It looks almost certain that the truck will hit your car very hard and kill you. The only way you can save yourself is to move to an empty space on the street to your right, out of the path of the truck. But if you do this, the truck will strike the car in front of you and probably kill its occupant(s). What is the proper thing to do in this scenario according to Jewish law? Let yourself be killed, or save yourself and let the occupant(s) in the car in front of you get killed?   Fortunately, when this almost happened to me, no one got killed. The truck driver who lost his brakes swerved to the right and hit the brick side wall of a building. He did a lot of damage to the building and the truck and had minor injuries, but he didn’t need to go to the hospital, and no one else was hurt. Really, it happened very suddenly and there was no time to think about my choices.

Question
I used to work for a collection agency and therefore I know a lot about how they work that many people do not know. Also, I am Jewish and I wonder what a Jew’s obligation is toward paying a collection agency when slapped with a bill from one, considering what I know. The reality is, if one has a debt that has been sent to a collection agency, making a payment to the agency will hurt one’s credit rating even more than simply ignoring the debt. It is unusual for a collection agency to sue a debtor. After three years, the debtor cannot be sued, and after seven years, the debt cannot cause any further harm to one’s credit. In other words, it is usually to a debtor’s advantage to simply ignore the debt and the agency’s demands and repeated phone calls. And collection agencies don’t want debtors to know that. Most people who have a debt sent to collections cannot afford to make payments. The collection agency industry is lucrative between the minute amount of debt that is actually paid by debtors who think they are doing themselves a favor and the sale of the right to collect delinquent accounts between collection agencies. When a debtor makes a payment to a collection agency, they are not giving money to the original creditor at all. What they do not know has already happened is the original creditor sold their debt to the collection agency for a fraction of its original value and resigned itself to collecting only that amount. From then on, it is in the hands of the collection industry to try to collect on what remains of the balance. The collection industry really exists not to help creditors recoup money they are owed, but it’s a bunch of entrepreneurs exploiting the fact that some people just don’t or can’t pay their bills.

Question
Dear Rabbi, I am a teacher with an ethics dilemma. I have a student in high school who desperately wants to go to college but needs a B average qualify for an academic scholarship. He is from a broken home and works after school to help his mother pay the bills - and claims that this doesn't allow enough study time to get the needed grades. But he is very close. I'd like to give him a B to help him have a better chance, but according to his tests he really should get a C+. Is there any guidance in Judaism to help me decide what to do in his case? Whatever decision I make could be the difference between him building a good life or really struggling to manage - both he and his mother. Thank you!

Question
Hi, I am writing an assignment on different Jewish perspectives regarding reproductive cloning for my study of religion class and just had a few questions. What are some Jewish views on reproductive cloning? Are the views different in orthodox and reform on reproductive cloning? What scriptures and core beliefs mainly inform these views? Thank you!

Question
Is it a requirement according to Halacha to wear masks in public these days? The reality I see is that most people, including most Orthodox Jews, don’t wear masks in crowded places like retail stores and the synagogue. Trouble is, the failure to wear a mask poses a risk that one might spread COVID to another person, and then there is a chance that the person who catches COVID could die? And of course it is forbidden to put another’s life at risk. Even if the person one catches COVID from does not die, they could spread it to another person who might die. What is the role of Halacha in mask usage?

Question
Dear Rabbi, Someone in my university is constantly insulting me. I’m fat, I’m stupid, I’m a loser, blah blah blah. What does Judaism about how I should respond to such insulting behavior? Thanks!

Question
For many years, I’ve understood it is forbidden by halacha to enter a store and examine merchandise without any intention of buying it (commonly known as window shopping). The reason is that you are giving the merchant false hopes they will earn money that they really never will earn. In the age of the internet, I have found it is possible to read about merchandise for sale and examine it online even if one has no intention of buying it. I have done this often only to satisfy my curiosity about things I could never afford. I always thought this was a benign activity. But I have noticed over the years that when I do that, I receive ads for the very merchandise I have examined online, all without asking. I recently learned from an article I read that when you do this, not only do you trigger ads. But the company whose ads are being displayed to you actually pays on a per ad basis for those ads that come to your browser. In other words, one’s examination of merchandise on a website is costing that company money, whether you buy their merchandise or not. I understand companies have budgeted for this in their advertising funds. But what is the perspective of this in halacha?

Question
Dear Rabbi, A friend asked my opinion about his starting a business relationship with someone I think is disingenuous and a conflict entrepreneur. My friend knows I stay away from that person, without any social media contact as well. But my friend is very enthusiastic to do a deal with him and asked me why I don't have contact with him. If I were to be honest I would tell him, but it would be mostly negative and I don’t want to be a “snitch.” However, he keeps pressing me and I feel like I'm being dishonest by not telling him what I really think. He respects my opinion. How much can I say without it transgressing the Jewish laws and spirit that teach not speaking negatively against another person? Thank you.

Question
Lashon hara. A colleague of mine is is asking about doing business and building a Relationship with someone I think is disingenuous and a conflict entrepreneur. I stay away from him and no longer keep in contact on social media. He is very enthusiastic about him. He asked me why I don't have contact with him and why I don't work with him. If I were to be honest I would tell him, but it would be mostly negative. However, he keeps pressing me and I feel like I'm being dishonest by not telling him what what I really think. He respects my opinion. How much can I say without it being lashon hara? Thank you.