web analytics
December 18, 2014 / 26 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Virus Attachment (Part Two)

Business-Halacha-logo

Rabbi Dayan asked Ruby and Zev to sit down. “Remind me what the issue was,” he said. “It’s been a while since we spoke.”

“Zev sent me a computer virus as an email attachment,” said Ruby. “Supposedly, the file was a ‘helpful computer program,’ which he told me to install. The file was a virus, though; when I clicked on it, it attacked my computer! The repair cost $250. I think that Zev should pay for the repair.”

“Did you send the file to Ruby?” Rabbi Dayan asked Zev. “Were you aware that it was a virus?”

“Yes, I was trying to get even with him,” acknowledged Zev. “Ruby borrowed my notes before a test and refused to return them on time, causing me to do poorly on the test.”

Rabbi Dayan turned to Ruby. “Refusing to return a borrowed item borders on theft,” he said. “It was very wrong of you to withhold the notes. You owe Zev a sincere apology, especially since you ruined his grade.”

Rabbi Dayan then turned to Zev. “Ruby’s wrong does not give you the right to damage him, though,” he admonished him. “In addition to possible liability for damage, it’s also a clear violation of the prohibition against revenge.”

Ruby and Zev sat silent for a moment, each reflecting on what he had done.

Finally, Zev spoke up. “Am I liable for the repair?” he asked.

“I mentioned to Ruby that infecting a computer with a virus is considered doing damage,” said Rabbi Dayan. “However, there is an issue here that needs to be clarified. Let me share with you another question that came my way.”

Ruby and Zev listened intently. “There was a person who owned an animal which his neighbor objected to,” Rabbi Dayan said. “The neighbor decided to get rid of the animal, so he left some food with poison near the animal. The animal ate the food and died. The owner sued the neighbor for killing his animal. What do you say about this case?”

“I would say he’s liable,” said Zev. “He poisoned the animal.”

“I’m not so sure,” objected Ruby. “The neighbor didn’t actually kill the animal. Although he put out the poison, the animal chose to eat the food.”

“Animals don’t exactly have choice,” reasoned Zev. “If they see food, they eat. Anyway, even if the neighbor didn’t directly kill the animal, he certainly brought about the animal’s death.”

“But is that enough to hold him liable?” argued Ruby. He turned to Rabbi Dayan.

“The Gemara [B.K. 47b; 56a] teaches that a person who places poison before an animal is considered grama,” answered Rabbi Dayan. “The animal did not have to eat the poison food. Therefore, the neighbor is not legally liable in beis din, but is responsible b’dinei shamayim. This means that he has a strong moral liability to pay, albeit not enforceable in beis din.” (Shach 386:23; 32:2)

“I still don’t understand,” said Zev. “Since the neighbor expects the animal to eat the poisoned food, why isn’t there a full legal liability?”

“The truth is, the Rosh indicates that the person is exempt only if it was unusual for the animal to eat,” explained Rabbi Dayan. “For example, if the poison was not regular food or if the animal overate. However, Tosfos explains that although the person placed danger before animal, since the animal caused injury to itself through its action of eating, we cannot obligate the person.”

“What does all this have to do with our case of a virus attachment?” asked Ruby.

“In the typical case, e-mail viruses are not self-opening,” explained Rabbi Dayan. “Although Zev sent you the computer virus, you had to click on it in order to activate it. Many contemporary authorities compare this to placing poison before the animal. Just as there it is not possible to impose a legal liability because the animal chose to eat the food and brought the damage upon itself, so too, you chose to click on the file and thereby activate the virus.”

“So where does that leave us?” asked Zev.

“Our case would similarly be one of grama, like placing poison before the animal,” said Rabbi Dayan. “Therefore, it is not possible to impose a legal liability on Zev, but he has a chiyuv b’dinei shamayim to pay for the repair.” (See Mishpetei HaTorah B.K. #67; Shimru Mishpat 2:71)

“Furthermore, people nowadays are aware of computer viruses and of the need to be careful when opening attachment files, especially with .exe endings,” concluded Rabbi Dayan. “An outdated or free version of anti-virus often does not provide full protection. Therefore, there may be some element of neglect on Ruby’s part. However, this is insufficient to exempt Zev from his strong moral obligation to pay for the damage he intended.”

About the Author: Rabbi Meir Orlian is a faculty member of the Business Halacha Institute, headed by HaRav Chaim Kohn, a noted dayan. To receive BHI’s free newsletter, Business Weekly, send an e-mail to subscribe@businesshalacha.com. For questions regarding business halacha issues, or to bring a BHI lecturer to your business or shul, call the confidential hotline at 877-845-8455 or e-mail ask@businesshalacha.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Virus Attachment (Part Two)”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
PM Binyamin Netanyahu lights Hanukkah candles in Jerusalem.
Netanyahu Warns Israel ‘Will Not Allow’ PA’s UN Resolution to Endanger Israelis
Latest Judaism Stories
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Those who reject our beliefs know in their souls Jewish power stems from our faith and our prayers.

Business-Halacha-logo

He stepped outside, and, to his dismay, the menorah was missing. It had been stolen.

Rabbi Avi Weiss, head of theYeshivat Chovevei Torah. Rabbi Asher Lopatin will be replacing him as head of the school.

Though we Jews have deep obligations to all people our obligation to our fellow Jew is unique.

Lessons-in-Emunah-new

In a way that decision was the first in a series of miracles with which Hashem blessed us.

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

Exploring the connection between Pharaoh’s dreams and the story of Joseph being sold into slavery.

Our right to exist and our form of self-government were decided by the ruling parties.

It is clear that Tosafos maintains that only someone who lives in a house must light Chanukah candles.

If Chanukah was simply a commemoration of the miracle of the oil and Menorah, we would be hard pressed to see the connection between the reading from Parshas Nesiim and Chanukah.

“Can you hear what the dead are whispering? Leave Galut, escape to Eretz Israel-Lech lecha!”

The ‘homely’ ancient rock, discovered in 1993, adds evidence of King David’s existence.

Chanukah is the holiday of liberty, combining The Book (faith and dedication to God) and the sword

Yehuda knew if the moment isn’t right or men are unwilling to listen a skilled leader bides his time

This is a recurring theme in this week’s parsha, in which there are many mistakes made based on perception.

More Articles from Rabbi Meir Orlian
Business-Halacha-logo

He stepped outside, and, to his dismay, the menorah was missing. It had been stolen.

Business-Halacha-logo

“I do not owe anything,” Mr. Feder replied. “However, if I must come – I will.”

Mr. Weiss refused to listen and sued Mr. Cohen in civil court.

In the afternoon, he reached into his pocket to check for the money, but it was empty. “The $50 bill must have fallen out,” Alex exclaimed. “It’s got to be in one of the rooms I was just at.”

Dovid turned to the other people sitting at his table. “I’m revoking my hefker of the Chumash,” he announced. “I want to keep it.”

“That’s what I thought, so I returned the money to Aharon,” said Reuven. “But this morning, Shimon, who owes me $70, told me he left $70 for me under the table last week! Now I don’t know whether the $70 was connected to the note, and was Aharon’s for the purchase of sefarim, or was repayment to me from Shimon, unrelated to the note.”

On Tuesday, Mr. Ross picked up the bris kit. While driving home, he was stopped by armed thugs. They forced him out of the car and drove off with the bris kit inside.

“ ‘We’re almost out of stamps,’ I said. ‘I’ll be happy to run over to the post office and pick up a supply.’ ”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/virus-attachment-part-two/2013/09/04/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: