When a Lie Is Not a Sin: The Hebrew Bible's Framework for Deciding

When a Lie Is Not a Sin: The Hebrew Bible's Framework for Deciding

by Rabbi Dennis S. Ross


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Thursday, April 15


The difference between truth and falsehood is often clear and simple. But when life gets complicated, the Hebrew Bible can help.

The Hebrew Bible is true and wants us to tell the truth, even as biblical characters behave in less than truthful ways. What's more, where some of the lies people tell in the Hebrew Bible stories are punished, others are ignored and still others are rewarded. The Hebrew Bible’s mixed-message of "Do as I say, not as they do" shows that lies—little and big, whether told to protect or advance oneself or when intended to preserve the peace—often occur under involved circumstances and demand careful consideration. By viewing an array of situations in light of the Hebrew Bible—from the routine but delicate to the once-in-a-lifetime dilemma—this book will make a difference in how you think and live.

This candid look at religion and truthfulness is ideal for anyone interested in exploring the religious basis for personal decision making, conscience and morality, including Jews of all denominations personally or in Torah study groups, Christians and social justice activists.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781580238588
Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
Publication date: 04/21/2016
Pages: 176
Product dimensions: 8.90(w) x 6.00(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Rabbi Dennis S. Ross is a spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Emeth in Albany, New York, and directs Concerned Clergy for Choice for Family Planning Advocates of New York State. He is author of God in Our Relationships: Spirituality between People from the Teachings of Martin Buber and When a Lie Is Not a Sin: The Hebrew Bible's Framework for Deciding (both Jewish Lights) and All Politics Is Religious: Speaking Faith to the Media, Policy Makers and Community (SkyLight Paths). He has written for the New York Times and the Boston Globe, and he blogs for Rewire and Religion Dispatches.

Table of Contents

Preface: The Examined Jewish Life
Introduction: Hiding in Plain Sight

Part I: Truth
1. The Hebrew Bible Is True
2. The Hebrew Bible and the Truth: Science, History, and Spirit

Part II: Little Lies
3. The White Lie
4. Embellishment
5. The Half-Truth
6. The Benevolent/Paternalistic Lie
7. Little Lies, Big Headaches

Part III: Big Lies
8. Lying to Protect Oneself: Part 1
9. Lying to Protect Oneself: Part 2
10. Lying to Get Ahead
11. Lying to Hurt Others
12. The Noble Truth and the Noble Lie

Part IV: The Framework
13. Instruments of Decision
14. Medical Ethics: Personal Decisions and Jewish Perspectives
15. A Rulebook for Living or a Framework for Deciding?

Epilogue: The Examined Jewish Life
For Further Reading

Customer Reviews