Yeshiva.org.il - The Torah World Gateway
Ask the rabbi All the Questions

Facebook practical jokes

Rabbi Ari ShvatIyyar 5, 5771
240
Question
Shavua tov, I got a question about some situation which just happend to me few days ago. I left my profile opened on facebook during some of my friends were visiting me and my wife in our home. It was rosh hodesh so we made some nice diner ect. During the time my wife and me were preparing the food 2 of our friends made me on my facebook profile some "jock" which in my opinion wasn’t funny and nice. They put as mo profile picture some strange picture of some catholic "saint" and they changed some information about me, e.g. that I am the lubavitcher chasid and that I am Arab etc. What does halacha say about this kind of acting? It is a kind of stealing and shem elohim acherim lo tazriku or something more? Could you give me some sources? One of those friends is a girl during the giur process so should I inform her rav about this situation? Thank you for quick answer. be’bracha Dovid
Answer
Shalom, It is clearly forbidden to hurt anyone in any way, whether physically, verbally or psychologically, and this is so basic to living a Torah life, that Hillel summarized the Torah as “don’t do to others that which you wouldn’t like to be done to you” (Talmud, Shabbat 31a). Although Judaism encourages having a healthy sense of humor, there is no room for “practical jokes”, where even if the butt of the joke claims he doesn’t care, it’s impossible to know if this is truly the case. How much more so when you say explicitly that you object. To quote sources is totally extraneous because, this is the ABC’s of Judaism, but if you’re looking for an English book on the topic, see R. Zelig Plisken, “The Power of Words”. To the same extent, I have no doubt that were you to be in her place, in the process of conversion, you definitely would object to have someone squeal on you to your rabbi, so that would be extremely forbidden, as well. With Love of Israel, Rav Ari Shvat
More on the topic of All the Questions

It is not possible to send messages to the Rabbis through replies system.Click here to send your question to rabbi.

את המידע הדפסתי באמצעות אתר yeshiva.org.il