Legalese Online

Dear Rabbi, I have a Question: Is clicking the “I have read the above and agree button”, lying? What I mean is, I don't feel I have time to sit and read through the entire lovely 100 paragraph legal document, but I want to use the product, so I click “I Agree”. Is this allowed, or is it forbidden as telling an untruth? Bayla

Dear Bayla,

Interesting question.

In halakhah there is a concept of agreeing to something “as if” designated circumstances prevail—even if technically they do not. An example of this is the not-uncommon (dare I say) scenario when a man marries a woman who was never previously married, yet is no longer a virgin. The ketubah will generally identify her as a betulah (virgin) and the groom will consequently commit himself to a (higher) amount of money (in the event of the dissolution of the marriage), even though this is technically inaccurate. Nevertheless, if he is willing to marry her “as if” she is a virgin, and he agrees to the higher sum of his own choice, the ketubah is valid, the marriage is valid, we hope that they “click” and we wish them many happy years together.

I would think that a similar reasoning may apply here.

Happy shopping.

Best wishes and kind regards,

Rabbi Rashi Simon