The Jewish Ethicist – Homeless

The Jewish Ethicist – Homeless

from aish.com By Rabbi Dr. Asher Meir, Business Ethics Center of Jerusalem

Q. I have a relative who has trouble finding work and supporting his family. He is now homeless, and I am thinking of taking in him and his family. But I am worried that the help he gets from family members is making the situation worse by preventing him from taking responsibility.

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Jewish Business Ethics: Jewish Law and Copyright

Jewish Business Ethics: Jewish Law and Copyright

from jewishvirtuallibrary.org by Rabbi Israel Schneider

In our highly advanced technological age, the duplication of original works of authorship has become almost effortless. While at one time, manuscripts or books had to be copied laboriously by hand, it is now possible within several minutes to produce high quality reproductions of entire works. Similarly, audio tapes, videos, and computer programs can all be reproduced quickly, effectively, and cheaply. The purpose of this essay is to explore the halachic implications of making or using unauthorized duplications and to inquire if there are precedents which could serve as grounds for the protection of an author’s or creator’s proprietary rights.

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Jewish Business Ethics: Halakhot of Investing in the Stock Market

Jewish Business Ethics: Halakhot of Investing in the Stock Market

from jewishvirtuallibrary.org by Rabbi Asher Meir

THE NATURE OF STOCK OWNERSHIP

The extent to which stock ownership is considered active partnership in a corporation is a critical question in numerous areas of halakha. Conceivably, by buying a single share of stock a person could find himself committing transgressions from all four sections of the Shulchan Arukh! Some examples include:

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The Jewish Ethicist: Complaints

The Jewish Ethicist: Complaints

from aish.com by: Rabbi Dr. Asher Meier, Business Ethics Center of Jerusalem

Q. I have a worker who is always complaining. Maybe if he is so unhappy I should just let him go.

A. It is true that an unhappy worker can be bad for both the worker and the workplace. In one place the Talmud likens the matchmaking process to the splitting of the sea at the Exodus (1); in another place it likens making a living to the splitting of the sea. (2) Perhaps this is a hint that finding the suitable workplace is a little bit like finding a suitable spouse. If the worker is unhappy, maybe that means that his “workplace made in heaven” is really someplace else.

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Jewish Business Ethics: An Introductory Perspective

Jewish Business Ethics: An Introductory Perspective

from jlaw.com by Rabbi Yitzchok Breitowitz

Many of us have a mistaken idea of what is within the compass or scope of our religious traditions. People know that lighting Chanukah candles is something you talk about with a rabbi, observance of the Shabbat, the laws of Kashrut, etc., but many people have an attitude that if I don’t tell the rabbi how to run his business, the rabbi shouldn’t tell me how to run mine. Very often, we live fragmented dichotomized lives where what we do in the office from 9 to 5 (or if you’re a workaholic from 8 to 7), is our own private affair and then at home we observe the holidays, or the rituals of Judaism, on the weekends, or three-days-a-year, or whatever.

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The Jewish Ethicist – Beggars’ Letters

The Jewish Ethicist – Beggars’ Letters

from: aish.com by: Rabbi Dr. Asher Meir – Business Ethics Center of Jerusalem

Q. Many charity seekers come to my door with recommendation letters from well-known rabbis or organizations. Can I rely on these letters to determine who is truly needy?

A. Giving letters of recommendation to help worthy charity recipients is a centuries-old tradition in Jewish communities. Knowing that an august authority vouches for the bearer, or even that he or she knows of them, goes a long way towards allaying the worries of a giver.

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The Jewish Ethicist – Pollution

The Jewish Ethicist – Pollution

from aish.com by: Rabbi Dr. Asher Meir, Business Ethics Center of Jerusalem

Q. Does Jewish law forbid pollution? Does the polluter have to pay damages, like anyone else who causes harm?

A.Among the very first commandments given in the Torah are those providing for payments for damages. In chapter 20 of the book of Exodus we have the revelation on Mount Sinai and the Ten Commandments, and in the very next chapter we find the nuts and bolts of damages for battery, damages caused by animals, and so on.

However, generally the torts described in the Torah are very direct and severe; they don’t much resemble the more diffuse and moderate damage caused by pollution. In order to deal with this type of problem, the Mishnah and Talmud provide a much different kind of damage regime, known as nizkei shechenim or “damages among neighbors”. Whereas the first kind of damages is discussed in the tractate Bava Kamma (“first gate”), the second kind is discussed in the tractate Bava Batra (“last gate”.) This tractate provides a very thorough and profound analysis of pollution regulation, including air pollution, noise pollution, crowding and so on.

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The Jewish Ethicist – Renege

The Jewish Ethicist – Renege

from aish.com by: by Rabbi Dr. Asher Meir, Business Ethics Center of Jerusalem

Q. I agreed to use a certain service provider and even signed an agreement, but the agreement is not valid until I obtain some authorizations from the authorities, so I am technically able to withdraw. In the meantime I came across a better deal. Can I renege on the original agreement?

A. Jewish law, based on commandment and personal commitment, includes many obligations that are not enforceable. This is true even in business regulation. So even when an agreement is not enforceable, there may be an obligation to uphold it.

The extent of this obligation is discussed in the following Talmudic passage:

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