Hillary Clinton’s Email Account

As a rabbi I have the necessary 3 e-mail addresses: one for work, one for my rabbinic network (RAVNET) and one for personal use. I also have an old e-mail address that those from college and my time at JTS use. Now I exclusively differentiate between my work and personal e-mail addresses but in my previous job I used them interchangeably. In light of the news about Hillary Clinton doing work business on a personal e-mail account, I wonder if my previous behavior was ok.

Why did I use my accounts interchangably? The same reason Hillary Clinton did: out of convenience. I am not the most technologically advanced person and I did not know how to upload my work e-mail address on my mobile device. I was shown, however, how to receive my work e-mail on my personal e-mail address, and I did so. Therefore, when congregants contacted me when I was out of the office, it forwarded to my personal e-mail address, and I replied to them using my personal e-mail address. Now I wonder if this was proper behavior or if I should have notated it, waited until the next time I was in the office and replied to it then.

As many friends and congregants can attest to, I am (unfortunately) addicted to my phone and to e-mail, and I reply to e-mails as soon as I am able (sometimes too soon, without thinking out the possible ramifications of what I am writing). Thankfully now I can access my work e-mail on my phone and reply from that address. However, if I was unable to do so, would it be a problem to reply from my personal e-mail? Is it a breach of work protocol to do so, even if I was just replying to work business rather than (G-d forbid) some covert, clandestine operation? Was the fact that Hillary Clinton was using a personal e-mail address for work a problem in and of itself, or is it only a problem if she was using it for covert government business?

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