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October 27, 2007
October 27, 2013 9:50 PM
IMO there are 2 ways to handle intrusive questions without lying. The first way is to answer a question with a question. If an individual has asked a supremely private question, I would turn it around and ask him/her why he/she would ask me such a personal question. The other option is to say I don't feel comfortable discussing such a matter. My family of origin (parents, siblings) had no boundaries. Whenever I refused to answer their intrusive questions I was accused of being "secretive." Protecting one's private life is NOT being secretive. In this day and age of facebook and twitter, we really need to protect our privacy and that of our spouses and children.
September 27, 2011 5:58 AM
Also, if someone says something I don't like but it is the truth, I will respect it although, I may not like it. But if they lie, that makes me disrespect them, because if you lie about one thing, you will lie about something else.
September 27, 2011 5:54 AM
How do you feel when people lie to you? I tell you how I feel. I never trust them again. I feel demeaned. Even if a person asks you a question that is personal, just be honest and say you don't care to discuss that, it is personal. Maybe they are just making conversation. To say no, is a personal choice but to lie, is to hurt someone's feeling because most people can tell if you are lying. I caught my boss in a few lies and I seriously give her no information anymore because she manipulates people with misinformation and lies. Honesty is always the best policy and honors God. Dishonesty, except to safe a life, is a cop-out and destructive.
August 30, 2011 8:45 PM
I don't agree t lying under no circumstance at all. I agree with other answers like "the subject isn't open for discussion, at the moment."
March 15, 2010 1:33 AM
I have a problem with people asking me how much I pay for things. It's so rude! If they are not paying for it, what does it matter to them. Also, what I feel is a reasonable price for something may not be reasonable to someone else. Instead of someone just being happy you bought a car or something.....they want to steal your joy. I like the response "it's not up for discussion" or I'm not in a position to discuss that. Any other thoughts would be helpful Those RUDE people are really ticking me off.
December 7, 2009 9:25 PM
This may not always work, but there have been situations where I was asked a personal question that I really did not care to answer and I said,"That topic is not open for discussion". It is a firm way to draw the line without having to worry about being rude to the person. Often times people are, just curious and they might be having a "moment" and not really think before they ask. I know I have done it myself and then later realized,"wow, I may have put my friend in a really uncomfortable position by asking her that". Of course you will always have those people who are just plain old nosy and they dont really care if they do offend you. If you are dealing with one of those types,(hang in there!lol) like I said, tell them "this is not open for discussion". I have found this way of responding to peoples nosiness, or forgetfulness to be very helpful.
April 15, 2008 3:52 PM
Are you pregnant ?I cannot answer that...Do you have 23,000 per month ?I cannot answer that...Are you thinking of getting pregnant?I cannot answer that...If someone cannot accept the fact that you don't want to reveal something, they need help. And that goes for everyone.Not telling exactly the truth carries a responsibility. I think it is better to say you cannot talk about it. Let them keep guessing. If they ask you the question, they are already guessing anyway.
December 4, 2007 4:36 PM
Dear Lori , I enjoy your videos very much. I find it very difficult when people asking me questions about my privacy . Sometimes I feel that I have to be an open book for everybody,sometimes I don't have the confidence to say something so I just answer , after I feel bad about it . Questions like how is the parnassa , and this and that . But about yhe fact that you can lie to them , I dont know if I can . My mother in law gave me this tip : she says ask the person the same question back , so my husband did when someone asked ,"nou, how is parnosse ? " my husband answered : "ok , schleping on , and you how is your parnosse?" : the man got up didn't answer and left .I don't think he will ask again What you don't like to be done to yourself you shouldn't do to another .
November 3, 2007 8:18 PM
I disagree with this "lieing for privacy"
I love "Lori almost Live" and watch each new one. I disagree with this business of lieing for privacy. One should try NOT to lie in those situations and try to circumvent the question in a way or let the person know that they asked an inappropiate question. But this is a sure lead to starting to lie more often. Not a good idea at all
November 3, 2007 12:52 PM
Here's a way to protect your privacy without telling a lie. Answer the question with a question. Question: Are you pregnant? Answer #1: Why do you ask? Answer #2: Why is that important to you? Answer #3: Are you thinking of getting pregnant? The idea behind asking a question is to divert the conversation away from a point that might invade your privacy, and get the conversation moving in a different direction. If that strategy fails, respond with: When any personal information like that is ready to be discussed out side the family, you'll be the first to know. I cannot think of any situation where it is a good idea to lie.
November 2, 2007 3:35 PM
Love you but I disagree
I love your commentaries! However, I can't lie if I get a 10,000.00 bonus. A simple way to be faithful to Torah might be to the person making the claim: "'dear so and so...or sorry my friend,' etc., 'I don't discuss my personal finances at random ('but thank you for your concern! or whatever...." It's honest and keeps privacy and Torah's requirements. I have had to this this many, many times.
October 31, 2007 10:28 PM
Ma'asei avot siman l'banim
When Ya'akov Avinu had to "lie" to his father to get the blessing that was rightfully his, he phrased his answer (I am Esau your firstborn) in a way that was the truth, albeit misleading (It is I. Esau is your firstborn.) This can be hard to do but it is well worth the effort!
October 31, 2007 9:55 AM
No, it is not ok to LIE!!!
Dear Lori,I usually enjoy & learn from your videos & articles, but I am not sure about this one. Even before I became frum, I was always taught not to have anything to do with a lie. There has got to be a better way to deal with this issue (protecting one's privacy). Human nature is very complex, I am sure you're well aware of that; if you start lying to protect your privacy then you'll come up with a hundred other reasons & excuses to say not truth. Torah is Truth!!!!!! G-d is Truth!!!!!I doubt G-d wants me to lie to protect my privacy. There are other ways to let people know that certain things are just not their business, why go down to a level where you have to lie because of someone's curiosity. I was told by my Rabbies that you're allowed to say not truth & be very cautious about doing it, for Shalom Bayis reasons & not to embarass another person. ...And I'd like to keep it at that.Rachel
October 31, 2007 6:49 AM
God values truth
I beg to differ with you on this issue. Truth is spoken of in the prophets, Psalms, and Proverbs. In Isaiah 45:19 it says "I the Lord speak the truth" and His expectations for us are the same. David says in Psalm 51:6 as he speaks of God--"Surely you desire truth in the inner parts" and then Solomon says in Proverbs 12:22 "The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful." Lying isn't an option. Say nothing and God will take care of the rest.Having lived with cultures that don't value honesty and teaching spiritual values in those cultures I can't emphasize enough the need to "speak the truth in love". There were times when I sent letters or communicated with friends, supporters, and family back home and left out details of our life or particulars of certain circumstances but this didn't amount to lying. Our modeling of truth to our family including our spouse and children is important. If we give others the chance to speak lies to us on certain occasions it becomes dangerous and can backfire. Sure we're not perfect but keeping quiet instead of lying for the sake of our own privacy or "whatever" can be very tricky.I'd be interested in knowing your justification for the three instances when a person can lie especailly from the Torah, poetry, and prophets. From my readings I seem to remember that many families suffered because of lying. We have only to look at the story of Abraham and Sarai who lied about his wife to the Egyptians. Then there are Joseph's brothers who lied to their father about him. Also we have Rebekah lying to Issac concerning the twins birthright. These are just a few examples. Our lives are no different today and the choices we make affect those around us especially if we justify when we can tell a lie. I hope we can strive to tell the truth in an age when rationalization is acceptable.
Alan E longworth,
October 30, 2007 10:54 PM
Exceptions to the rule
A number of times recently i have had to fill in on line documents that appear to be designed not to accept the truth to questions asked. Often in order to complete the document one has to fabricate answers in order to have the document go through. Recently my wife and i tried to book a cruise with Princess lines. The automated document would not accept my truthful answers to some seventy questions which angered me greatly, resulting in us not traveling with them. Is truth flexible?
October 30, 2007 9:04 PM
Trick or Truth? No compromise!
Telling the truth is the honorable way. There are creative ways to answer people who pry into one's business, without lying. With truth, comes blessings, without comes curses, and bigger lies to cover the first one. Where does it end? Then one is faced with the problem of rationalizing and how do you explain to your children. I have four children who have been taught to tell the truth. How else does one teach honesty and integrity? When I have asked them a question that may "incriminate" them, and they have answered truthfully, knowing that they will be punished, I always made the punishment lighter having been told the truth. We have even talked about embarrassing situations and what we would say "If". We never want to hurt someone and there is always something nice you can find to say about someone/something. I would never say it's alright to lie. When those few or dangerous situations arise, pray for wisdom, G-d will always come through!
October 30, 2007 8:27 PM
This is a difficult one to know how to answer on. I had never heard before of the ability to lie in these sort of situations. I had only heard say , if a person needed to save his/her life or for Shalom bayis(peace in the home). I appreciate that you have brought up this important issue of not meddling in other peoples business. This is very important!
October 30, 2007 6:12 PM
what about ayin hara?
Certainly privacy is a very Jewish concept--we call it tzniut. But is there any element of ayin hara with regard to this? "Are you pregnant?" "No, I am not..." I dont have a problem with the lie for the sake of privacy, I'm just afraid for it to become reality. Any substance to that?
October 30, 2007 3:30 PM
Agree and Disagree
Hmm... this is an interesting video. It's refreshing to learn that it's okay to protect one's privacy, but I think extreme caution should be used. If I told someone I wasn't dating so and so, and then was seen later that evening, I would be dubbed a liar... but, maybe I could instead say, "We're just friends." Or, instead of saying, no, I'm no pregnant, one could say, "Not that I know of." Maybe finding a way to "twist" the truth a bit might be a little safer. All in all, a great video and a good message to hear! Thank you Lori!
October 30, 2007 3:04 PM
when it's OK to Lie
I agree that people do often ask questions that we might interpret as none of their business, but I do think, the examples given, need a codicil. Why? Because when good friends ask these very questions in the spirit of caring and positivity, there are other ways to regard the very same examples. Sometimes it is not a prying kind of asking but merely, I am so happy for you. The other thing to evaluate in such examples is being caught in the lie and how to handle this. I mean, choose your battles, folks, and decide when it is in friendship and for love that you are asked and when it is truly, none of their business! In truth, Ruth
October 30, 2007 11:45 AM
It may have been better to reverse the last phrase, with truth being supreme
October 30, 2007 11:07 AM
This video by Lori Palatnik was very interesting and educational. It must be repeated by the Rabbi's often.
October 30, 2007 9:54 AM
To Dvirah :
With respect to you, you couldn't be more wrong. Western culture got this extreme sense of privacy (among many other things) from us. The value of privacy is all over the place in Judaism - examples abound in the Torah and the Talmud of the incredible lengths Judaism goes to protect the individual's privacy. Even those who are guilty of wrongdoing ! As for Lori's example, saying "I'm sorry, but that's just not your business" these days can amount to confirmation. Even "why do you ask?" in certain situations can invite a nudge nudge wink wink. Sometimes lying and saying "no" to a nosy person's question is the best way to shut them up.
October 30, 2007 9:20 AM
It's always strikes me that I can be dealing with an issue and them -- wham -- almost out of the blue -- Lori hits the issue head-on with such insightful but always practical advice. Lori is doing such great work by reminding all of us how so relevant Judaism is in all of our lives -- every day.
October 28, 2007 5:58 PM
Certain things are not others' business
I agree with you 100%. I don't feel that I have to tell everyone everything about my life. I hate the most when people ask me if I'm pregnant or if my sister-in-law is. If there is something to say, I will say so.
October 28, 2007 11:29 AM
Let Me Get This Straight
Mrs. Palatnik tch"y,This is very interesting. So the injunction not to lie is not absolute. It's alright to lie in order to protect one's privacy. But before one lies in protection of one's privacy, it behooves the would-be liar to consult his conscience and ascertain his true motives. Is he really lying (or about to lie, or considering lying) in protection of his privacy, or is he doing it for some other end entirely? If the latter, what might this other end be? He might be lying to spite the inquirer. It's not about his privacy at all. If that be the case, he should reconsider his impulse to lie and try to mollify, or sublimate, it by some alternate means. If you're reading this, you can begin to see how messy this whole process can turn out to be. But that's not to say you haven't done us the supreme service of bringing this whole complexness to our attention, the better to think about what to do. And for this, you are very much to be commended.YP from Brooklyn
October 28, 2007 11:04 AM
Emet or Met?
To me, and this is my opinion, I'd rather say "thats private" or "Why do you ask" OR sorry, Thats none of your concern. I have a huge problem with the lie. Iv been lied to all my life, so I hate lies. Thats why I was drawn to love Judiasm, because its the "God given Truth" Emet.Honest Mistakes ok, thats acceptable, but truth is an essential foundation to judiasm. thank you lori. whats that famous jewish old saying "Emet or met? truth or death? must be some sort of truth to that old saying! Love you lori!
October 28, 2007 10:46 AM
Is This Really a Jewish Attitude?
With all respect, I think that all this emphasis on "privacy" is more an Anglo-Saxon cultural derivative than an inate Jewish one. Very important here is the motivation of the questioner. In the first example, there may have been an inustice done, with both individuals deserving the raise but only one receiving it; in the second, perhaps the questioner wished to help? Before resorting to lies, check the tone and facial experssion of the questioner. After all, if you do lie, more than likely this will be found out and will do you - and your precious privacy - more damage than good.
October 28, 2007 7:02 AM
don't disclose TMI
It's best usually not to disclose too much info about one's private life. We certainly wouldn't want to be so meddlesome. When people ask me certain personal questions, I either do not respond or deny what they are asking about me.
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