And now! Another Israel-based question for the Ethicist!
I participated in a triathlon in which drafting, riding close behind another
bicycle to gain an aerodynamic advantage, was prohibited. While riding alone, I
was overtaken by a large group of cyclists riding together. I had two choices:
slow down and let them pass me, obeying the rules but losing significant time,
or ride with them and break the rules. I chose the latter, and none of us were
disqualified. Was this the right decision? — JOSHUA KULP, MODIIN, ISRAEL
The Ethicist: It was not. Other people’s cheating does not justify your own. Nor were you limited to the alternatives you describe. A triathlete I consulted, Tim Donahue, suggests that you should have shouted: “Guys, watch the drafting. You know the rules.” If rule-breaking riders ignore your warning, he says, report them to race officials and “make a special point to waste them on the run.”
The Israeli Ethicist: What are you, freier??? (optional ars-y open-palm wrist twist in Holon/Bat Yam) Nu, be’emet! Evree-body draft in race! If you do not, you getting screwed. You mahst screw deh government! You know how much money they take each month for tax and arnona???
Hypothetical Devil’s Advocate: But isn’t that cheating?
Israeli Ethicist: Fahk* cheating! (both hands raised in air for emphasis)
Hey, Ethicist, have you read this? Welcome to the Middle East!
Lastly, how many olim have taught their Israeli roommates about the 90% arnona discount only to have their roommates casually suggest (read: DEMAND) that they get the discount for the entire apartment? The “suggestion” generally takes place roughly .0023 seconds after the conversation begins.
*Editor’s note: Please note that “fahk” in Israel is not profanity. See also “bool sheet”
More letters to the Ethicist from Israel: