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I was recently asked by someone to fill out paragraph answers for their application.
Am I halachically permitted to do so?
Thank you.


If they are asking you to provide the answers for them you may not do that, and for a number of reasons. It is helping someone do an aveiro, which is forbidden.

What she is doing is genivas daas, because she is fooling the school into accepting the person although they would not do so, because she is not on the level that they want, and they wouldn’t otherwise accept them. Besides that you are helping someone not be honest.

Aside from this, being that according to law it is illegal, it is also forbidden by Jewish law, as we are obligated to act according to the law of the land (dina d’malchuso).


Ch:M 328-6, Yam Shel Sholomo B:K 1-14 that dina d’malchoso applies to bein adam lechaveiro. Igrod Mshe CH:M 2-30, Shevet Halevi 10- 163, Titain Emes L’Yackov  (R’ fish)pg. 331-333.

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  1. I think that a better title of this question should be “Ghostwriting”, not “Plagiarism”.

    Plagiarism and ghostwriting are similar in that they both conceal the true author’s name. However there’s a difference between the two. A plagiarist copies text without the permission of the true author, while a ghostwriter knowingly writes text to appear as someone else’s speech or writing.

    Semantics aside. Sometimes the applicant dictates their ideas to the writer, and the writer puts it into words.

    If acceptance to the school was dependent on their literary abilities, then I would agree that the ghost writer is an accessory to the deception.

    However, sometimes the school only wants to know about the applicant’s ideas and aspirations. In this case the writer is not involved in deception. He’s merely conveying the applicant’s words and ideas, in an elegant and coherent manner.

    In fact, in such a case, the writer may be doing a mitzvah, as this may be considered an embodiment of the directive: “Psach picha l’ilaim” (Mishlei 31:8), speak up on behalf of a mute, one who cannot speak for himself.

    1. That is a very nice point. My understanding of the question, especially do to the title, was that the other person was providing the actual answers to the question, and not just writing the dictations of the applicant.

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