The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: Game Theory & The Dangers of Self-Interest by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
Morality matters. Not just laws, regulations, supervisory authorities, committees of inquiry, courts, fines and punishments, but morality: the inner voice of self-restraint that tells us not to do something even when it is to our advantage, even though it may be legal, and even if there is a fair chance it won’t be found out. Because it’s wrong. Because it’s dishonorable. Because it is a breach of trust.
“[Abraham], the patriarch of the legal profession: a defense lawyer for the damned, who is willing to risk everything, even the wrath of God, in defense of his clients.”
“What is this?” asks the rabbi. “I am a learned rabbi and he is only a taxi driver who, not to put too fine a point on it, drove like a lunatic.”
“Exactly so,” replies the angel. “When you spoke, people slept. But when they got into his taxi, believe me, they prayed!”
Aaron Feuerstein owned Malden Mills, a textile plant comprising nine buildings, in Lawrence, MA, that employed more than three thousand people. On the evening of December 11, 1995, the worst fire of the 20th century in the state of Massachusetts destroyed most of the plant. Three buildings were burned to the ground, while the other six were severely damaged. Though he was fully covered for the loss by insurance, he did not even consider shuttering the plant.