The manager of a building is contacted by a tenant asking that a package be delivered to their apartment door. The tenant advises that they have a respiratory illness that appears to be Covid 19. What is the obligation of the manager? Do they have a duty to accommodate and assist the tenant as to deliveries of food and medicine? Do they have a duty to warn other tenants? Should they "quarantine" that particular apartment? Should they eject the tenant from the building? What if the tenant calls with an emergency plumbing problem - do you send a worker to do the repairs?
MISHNA: And these are the ones who are saved from transgressing even at the cost of their lives; that is to say, these people may be killed so that they do not perform a transgression: One who pursues another to kill him, or pursues a male to sodomize him, or pursues a betrothed young woman to rape her. But with regard to one who pursues an animal to sodomize it, or one who seeks to desecrate Shabbat, or one who is going to engage in idol worship, they are not saved at the cost of their lives. Rather, they are forewarned not to transgress, and if they proceed to transgress after having been forewarned, they are brought to trial, and if they are found guilty, they are executed. GEMARA: The Sages taught in a baraita: From where is it derived that with regard to one who pursues another in order to kill him, the pursued party may be saved at the cost of the pursuer’s life? The verse states: “You shall not stand idly by the blood of another” (Leviticus 19:16); rather, you must save him from death. The Gemara asks: But does this verse really come to teach us this? This verse is required for that which is taught in a baraita: From where is it derived that one who sees another drowning in a river, or being dragged away by a wild animal, or being attacked by bandits [listin], is obligated to save him? The Torah states: “You shall not stand idly by the blood of another.” The Gemara answers: Yes, it is indeed so that this verse relates to the obligation to save one whose life is in danger. The Gemara asks again: But from where do we derive that one may be saved at the cost of the pursuer’s life? The Gemara answers: It is derived by means of an a fortiori inference from the halakha governing a betrothed young woman who was assaulted by a rapist: If in the case of a betrothed young woman, whom the rapist comes only to degrade, i.e., the result of the rape will be that her status is lowered, the Torah said that she may be saved even at the cost of the rapist’s life, then in the case of one who pursues another person to kill him, all the more so should one say that he may be saved even at the cost of the pursuer’s life. The Gemara asks: But does the court administer punishment based on an a fortiori inference? The Gemara answers: A Sage of the school of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi taught: This halakha is also derived from an analogy based on a juxtaposition. How so? With regard to the rape of a betrothed young woman it is written: “But you shall do nothing to the young woman; the young woman has committed no sin worthy of death; for as when a man rises against his neighbor, and slays him, so too with this matter” (Deuteronomy 22:26). But why would the verse mention murder in this context? But what do we learn here from a murderer? Now, the mention of murder came in order to teach a halakha about the betrothed young woman, and it turns out that, in addition, it derives a halakha from that case. The Torah juxtaposes the case of a murderer to the case of a betrothed young woman to indicate that just as in the case of a betrothed young woman one may save her at the cost of the rapist’s life, so too, in the case of a murderer, one may save the potential victim at the cost of the murderer’s life. The Gemara asks: And with regard to the betrothed young woman herself, from where do we derive that she may be saved at the cost of the rapist’s life? The Gemara explains: As it was taught in the school of Rabbi Yishmael: The verse states: “For he found her in the field, and the betrothed young woman cried out, and there was none to save her” (Deuteronomy 22:27). But if there was someone to save her, he must do so by any means that can save her, even by killing the potential rapist. Concerning the matter itself, it is taught in a baraita: From where is it derived that one who sees another drowning in a river, or being dragged away by a wild animal, or being attacked by bandits, is obligated to save him? The verse states: “You shall not stand idly by the blood of another” (Leviticus 19:16). The Gemara asks about this derivation: But is this really derived from here? It is derived from there, i.e., from a different verse, as it is taught: The Torah teaches that one must return lost property to its rightful owner. But from where is it derived that one must help his neighbor who may suffer the loss of his body or his health? The verse states: “And you shall restore it [vahashevato] to him [lo]” (Deuteronomy 22:2), which can also be read as: And you shall restore him [vehashevato] to him, i.e., saving his body. Consequently, there should be no need for the additional verse: “You shall not stand idly by the blood of another.” The Gemara answers: If this halakha were derived only from there, I would say that this matter applies only to saving the person in danger by himself, i.e., that he himself must come to his neighbor’s rescue if he can, as is the halakha with regard to returning a lost item. But to trouble himself and hire workers for this purpose, one might say that he is not obligated, just as he is not obligated to hire workers to recover another’s lost item. Therefore, the verse “Do not stand by the blood of another” teaches us that he must even hire workers, and he transgresses a prohibition if he does not do so.
(15) You shall not render an unfair decision: do not favor the poor or show deference to the rich; judge your kinsman fairly. (16) Do not deal barely (gossip) with your countrymen. Do not stand idly by the blood of your fellow: I am the LORD.
The Chofetz Chaim, in Hilchot Lashon Harah, the authoritative work on the matter of forbidden and permitted speech wrote on the importance of not engaging in gossip, rechilut being non-deragatory and lashon harah being harmful. On the topic of overriding confidentiality where the information involves a threat to a second person:
1. One must be relatively sure that the information will result in harm to the second person.
2. One must tell the facts exactly as they are and not embellish at all.
3. One can only reveal this information if there is no other possible way to prevent harm to the second person.
4. One can only reveal this information if he is fairly certain that this second person will heed the information seriously and take the necessary precautions.