web analytics
July 30, 2015 / 14 Av, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


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.

Current Top Story
Dore Gold.
Foreign Ministry Calls Sunni Arab Nations ‘Israel’s Allies’
Latest Judaism Stories
011-OT-Maps-Israel-Tribes

One must view the settlement of Israel in a positive light. Thinking otherwise is a grievous sin.

Vaetchanan

Reaching a stronger understanding of what Moses actually did to prevent him from entering the land

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Anti-Zionism, today’s anti-Semitism, has gone viral, tragically supported globally & by many Jews

The 10 Statements main point was not content but the encounter between G-d & His nation, Israel

Before going in, I had told R’ Nachum all of the things we were doing in Philly, and how it was very important to receive a good bracha on behalf of our newest venture, a Russian Kollel.

Question: When a stranger approaches a congregant in shul asking for tzedakah, should the congregant verify that the person’s need is genuine? Furthermore, what constitutes tzedakah? Is a donation to a synagogue, yeshiva, or hospital considered tzedakah?

Zvi Kirschner
(Via E-Mail)

(JNi.media) Tisha B’Av (Heb: 9th of the month of Av) is a fast day according to rabbinic law and tradition, commemorating the destruction of the First Temple in 586 BCE by the army of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and the destruction of the Second Temple in the year 70 CE by the Roman army led […]

Devarim often parallels the stories in Bereishit but in reverse & can be considered as a corrective

‘Older’ By A Month
‘…Until The Beginning Of Adar’
(Nedarim 63a)

We realize how much we miss something only after it’s gone.

Because the words of Torah gladden the heart, studying Torah is forbidden when Tisha B’Av is on a weekday, except for passages in Scripture that deal with the destruction of the Temple and other calamities.

On Super Bowl Sunday itself, life seems to stop. Over one hundred million people watch the game. About half of the households in the country show it in their living rooms and dens.

Moses begins Sefer Devarim reviewing much of the 40 years in the desert & why he can’t enter Israel

While they are definitely special occurrences, why are they cause for a new holiday?

Torah wasn’t given to be kept in Sinai; Brooklyn or Beverly Hills-It was meant to be kept in Israel!

More Articles from Rabbi Meir Orlian
Business-Halacha-NEW

The two decided to approach Rabbi Dayan. “What is the halachic status of conquered territory?” asked Shalom.

Business-Halacha-NEW

“Does that mean a person can simply renege after payment was made?” asked Benjy incredulously.

“But I’m already dwelling in the apartment,” said Mr. Gold. “Shouldn’t that count? I’m no worse than a neighbor!”

“Is there a difference between rescuing and other services?” asked Ploni.

“What difference does that make?” replied Shraga. “What counts is the agreement that we made. I said two hundred fifty and you accepted.”

“Is the invoice signed by the students?” asked the principal. “They said they didn’t get the pizza.”

“The answer depends on the terms of the purchase agreement and local customs,” replied Rabbi Dayan.

“I wasn’t really thinking,” replied Levi. “Things in the backyard usually don’t need watching. I also didn’t expect you to be away so long. One thing is clear, though: I never accepted responsibility for the cake.”

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: