Showing posts from July, 2017

What does the Torah say about ... insurance?

Every so often I will get a question from someone in this community or outside of it, of the form “Rabbi, what does Judaism say about X?” Like “What does Judaism say about genetically modified organisms?” Or “What does Judaism say about Snapchat?” The answer, of course, is that the Torah and other classical Jewish texts basically doesn’t say anything about any of these issues.  However, the Torah includes ethical teachings that can shed light on all of these issues. In this vein, a question on my mind over the last few months is: What does the Torah say about insurance? Ostensibly, the answer is nothing.  The first insurance contracts date from the 14th century. The idea that you would pay a small amount of money on a regular basis, to someone who would pay you a lot of money to help you if something bad happened to you - seems like a new idea.  And that you would buy insurance for just about everything in your life - to insure your family against someone dying, or against hav