web analytics
July 24, 2014 / 26 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



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
Hamas terrorists often misfire their rockets that explode in Gaza civilians areas.
‘Hamas Fired from UN School Area and Prevented Evacuation’ Says IDF
Latest Judaism Stories
Rabbi Avi Weiss

When taking any major step in life it is a good idea to carefully re-evaluate one’s past.

Rabbi Sacks

Ours is a small and intensely vulnerable people. Inspired, we rise to greatness. Uninspired, we fall

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch-NEW

The enormity of Hiram’s accomplishments crazed him and deluded him into self-deification.

The-Shmuz

When Hashem first thought (if it could be) about creating the world, the middah of din was in operation.

Hallel On Purim?
“Its Reading Is Its Praise”
(Megillah 14a)

If the only person available to perform the milah on the eighth day is a person who is not an observant Jew, the milah should be postponed until a devout mohel is available.

It is apparent from the Maharsha that he does not see galus as atoning for killing accidentally; otherwise, this Gemara would not bother him.

It was found to be a giant deer tick living in her head – with its claws in her scalp.

While daydreaming about finding the perfect job, I never expected to be rewarded in spades for my aforementioned experience.

We are all entrusted with the mission of protecting our fellow Jews

Today, we remain Hashem’s nachal.

Will Your brothers go to war, while you sit (in peace) here? (Bamidbar 32:6)

Perhaps, just perhaps, we can relate to this: whenever we feel distant from Hashem, that is the Churban.

Over the next 2 weeks covering portion Matot and Maasei, Rabbi Fohrman will bring order to confusion.

Our home is in the center of the Holy Land, surrounded by (what else?) green hills and valleys.

More Articles from Rabbi Meir Orlian
Business-Halacha-logo

“I’ll make you a deal,” he said. “If you pay monthly – it’s $4,500; if you pay six months up front – I’ll give it to you for $4,200.”

Business-Halacha-logo

“Sound fine,” said Mrs. Schwartz. “In the middle, paint their names, Shoshana and Yehonasan. He spells his name Yehonasan with a hei and is very particular about it!”

“It is sometimes possible through hataras nedarim, nullification of vows,” replied Rabbi Dayan, “but it’s not simple for charity pledges.

Mr. Haber called Rabbi Dayan. “We sold various household items, including my bicycle, the refrigerator and some professional tools with the expectation of being relocated,” he said. “It turns out we’re staying. Can I annul those sales?”

“You cannot restrain Ari from building a fence on his property,” answered Rabbi Dayan.

“I would understand if I became sick and could not finish,” said Mr. Braun. “But here it was my choice to stop the work and go take care of my mother.”

“David is also entitled, since he is also learning,” Moshe replied. “He’ll be back in a few minutes. Anyway, I’m on a diet and didn’t take one for myself, so I don’t see any problem taking for him.”

Shlomo called Rabbi Dayan. “I lent someone money, and he now denies the loan,” he began. “If the opportunity presents itself, am I allowed to grab money from him?”

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

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: