The question of donations from people of doubtful reputation or those having a criminal record has also arisen a number of times. It was always felt that such gifts should be accepted, especially as it is a mitzvah to support a synagogue and it would be a sin to hinder its performance. There were objections to temple sacrifices by criminals, but these objections were not transferred to the synagogue ( Toldot Adam V'Havah, Havah23.1: Shulhan Arukh Orah Hayim152.31 and commentaries). However, there was an equally strong feeling that individuals of dubious reputation should not be honored; marit ayin and the honor of the synagogue are involved here.
It is, therefore, clear that although there is a strong tradition for memorializing the deceased through plaques, we should not mention a convicted felon by name. We might affix a plaque which read, "Given by in memory of his dear brother," without the specific name. We should not go further than this.
Contemporary Reform Responsa (Cincinnati, 1974), ♯57
Solomon B. Freehof
QUESTION: If the court orders the wages due to an employee to be garnisheed, and the employer is Jewish, has the employer the moral and religious duty to resist the court order, since the Bible prohibits withholding the wages of an employee? (Asked by Rabbi Joshua O. Haberman, Washington, D.C.)
ANSWER: The Bible is specific in prohibiting the withholding of wages due to an employee (see Leviticus 19:13 and Deuteronomy 24:16). If, for example, the employee is a day-by-day laborer, he must be paid on the very day that his work is finished. This law is developed in full detail in the Talmud in Baba Metzia from 110b to