להתחברות

Kivunim Beit-Midrash

פתיחה

Beit Hillel

Beit Hillel

You should always praise a bride
for her beauty.

you cannot offend someone
just  because of truth.

see the Talmudic debate here

1
Beit Shamai

Beit Shamai

Always?!

and what if she is ugly?
You cannot lie:!!

praise her, for what she is.

see the Talmudic debate here

1
sources

תמצית

Seinfeld's dilemma of truth versus compassion was compared to a Talmudic debate about how to complement an ugly bride. While both values are considered very important in the Jewish tradition , Beit Hilllel claimed that you cannot offend someone for the sake of sticking to the truth. An interesting rebuttal was made that this will lead to a phony polite society where you can never know what others are thinking of you (as illustrated in the Seinfeld ugly baby episode).

The discussion moved to  terminally ill patient dilemma.about his body a Rabbinic ruling made the point that not telling the truth will create a panic in other patients who will be burdened with insecurity about their own fate.

The Discussion

  • Answer
    Alana Spellman

    In terms of the ugly baby episode, I think this is a situation where you must lie. A baby is…

    In terms of the ugly baby episode, I think this is a situation where you must lie. A baby is a sensitive issue enough where not a singke parent wants to think that their child is ugly. The emotions and love attached to the baby are so strong that if any friend tells the parents it is ugly is a huge insult. Even if the parents recognize the fact that the baby is ugly, they find the  cute aspects of the child and that is all that they want to see.

    (צפיה בדעה במקור)
  • עדינה גוטליב

    In telling the parents that their baby is ugly, you are only inflicting harm. Because there is neither a solution nor… In telling the parents that their baby is ugly, you are only inflicting harm. Because there is neither a solution nor a way to improve their problem, there is no reason to give your negative opinion. While you do not necessarily have to lie about their baby being good looking - as that would be an intentional lie - you also shouldn't inflict pointless pain. (צפיה בדעה במקור)
  • Max Sosland

    You cannot tell the parents that they have an ugly baby. Unlike the challenge of telling the friend that he… You cannot tell the parents that they have an ugly baby. Unlike the challenge of telling the friend that he has a crazy girlfriend, which is temporary, the baby is permanent and telling the parents will do nothing constructive. Just like how Hashem said to Avraham when he "overheard" Sarah laughing and only said that she said that he was too old for a child, you should avoid the unnecessary, destructive opinion. (צפיה בדעה במקור)
  • אלכס רויזמן

    In the Seinfeld baby scenario, I would not say that the baby is ugly. Regarding the unattractive bride in the… In the Seinfeld baby scenario, I would not say that the baby is ugly. Regarding the unattractive bride in the case of the Talmud, Beit Hillel said that you should not acknowledge her ugliness, but rather compliment her despite her looks, since there is no going back for either the bride or her husband. Similarly, in the case of the baby, the parents can’t go back and they are stuck with their ugly child so there is not point in acknowledging its unattractiveness. On the other hand, pertaining to the unattractive bride in the case of the Talmud, Beit Shammai said that you must distance yourself from lying. Perhaps in the case of the ugly baby, you can follow Beit Shammai’s opinion by avoiding any comments having to do with the baby’s looks. That way you won’t have to say the truth that the baby is ugly or a lie and claim that the baby is beautiful. (צפיה בדעה במקור)
  • Ari Spellman

    I think that one should not say the baby is ugly. Babies are highly regarded as something precious to the… I think that one should not say the baby is ugly. Babies are highly regarded as something precious to the parents, and to say that a mother's baby is ugly is in no way necessary. Beit Hillel suggests that one should say the baby is cute, but perhaps it could be seen as obvious that the person is lying. Best Shamai says that one should talk about other things about the baby. However, in the case of a baby, we only know their beauty, or lack thereof. It is very easy to avoid talking about a baby's looks in the first place. One could congratulate the parents or ask questions about the baby or its name. In the case of the Sugiya, what the husband must say to the wife is debated, but here, it is what a friend should say to another friend's baby. Regardless though, one should avoid talking about an ugly baby's look altogether. (צפיה בדעה במקור)
  • Ari Spellman

    I think that with the ugly baby scenario, it would be pointless to tell the parents that their baby is… I think that with the ugly baby scenario, it would be pointless to tell the parents that their baby is ugly. Not only would it hurt their feelings, but it would not change the looks of the baby. It would make the parents happy if you told them a white lie, it would keep the peace. As in the story with Avraham, if even God is lying to keep the peace surely we should too. (צפיה בדעה במקור)
  • Contradiction
    Ari Spellman

    I do not agree that all brides have a glow that make them beautiful, or that babies are cute even… I do not agree that all brides have a glow that make them beautiful, or that babies are cute even with ugly faces. Even so, while it may not entirely be a lie, it is distancing yourself from a lie.3 (צפיה בדעה במקור)
  • Disprove
    Ari Spellman

    But the baby situation is different from the bride situation since it isn't your baby, so you don't need to… But the baby situation is different from the bride situation since it isn't your baby, so you don't need to return it.4 (צפיה בדעה במקור)
  • Joshua Silverman

    joint response w/ Alex: In this specific case, it is permissible to lie because the end result is peace. In… joint response w/ Alex: In this specific case, it is permissible to lie because the end result is peace. In other words, had Aharon not lied, who knows what could have been the outcome of the fight? This is somewhat similar to the case where Avraham lies about Sarah being his sister because in that scenario, Avraham was just trying to keep the peace and avoid being killed. (צפיה בדעה במקור)
  • עדינה גוטליב

    Max and Adina: By enabling each friend to see one another's perspective - to understand how each one is hurting… Max and Adina: By enabling each friend to see one another's perspective - to understand how each one is hurting the other - Aharon is bringing them together. Initially, the two friends are separated by their jealousy and hatred, and Aharon reunites them through their mutual understanding of their shortsightedness. Though Aharon is telling a white lie, it is a lie whose end justifies the means; he is lying for the greater good without inflicting any pain. (צפיה בדעה במקור)
  • Alana Spellman

    Tamar and Alana say: Telling a white lie must be viewed from the lens of utilitarianism. In this scenario, Aharon… Tamar and Alana say: Telling a white lie must be viewed from the lens of utilitarianism. In this scenario, Aharon is doing what is best for the greater good of these two men. (צפיה בדעה במקור)

מקורות עיקריים