“It’s Only Business,” What’s Kosher About Business Ethics?

“Its Only Business,” What’s Kosher About Business Ethics?

from rabbincalassembly.org by Mark Greenspan


“It’s not personal it’s only business. You should know, Godfather.” Those were the words of Licio Lucchesi,
one of the characters in the classic film The Godfather. After looting the Vatican-owned Immobiliare
Corporation of several billion dollars with the help of a high ranking Catholic official, Lucchesi turned to
Godfather Michael Corleone for help covering his tracks. While few of us will ever be quite so cunning or
deceitful it’s not uncommon for people to say, “Its only business” when cutting corners in business. The end
justifies the means. We presume that in the real world of business the standards of ethics are different than
they are elsewhere. After all don’t we say caveat emptor, “Let the buyer beware?” In the world of business and
corporate dealings only the shrewd and the most cunning survive. We admire those people who manage to
get ahead until their actions have an adverse effect on our lives.

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The Jewish Ethicist – Discounts

The Jewish Ethicist – Discounts

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

Q. I have a standard price list, but I’m pretty liberal about giving discounts when I need to make a sale. Is this a problem?

A. Adam Smith noted that economic progress is dependent “a certain propensity in human nature,” namely “the propensity to truck, barter, and exchange one thing for another”. After all, Smith notes; “Nobody ever saw a dog make a fair and deliberate exchange of one bone for another with another dog.”

However, people nowadays seem to prefer facing predictable prices over having to haggle over every exchange, and so most sellers today have standard prices which apply equally to all customers.

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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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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 Medical Ethics: The Role of a Physician in Jewish Law

Jewish Medical Ethics: The Role of a Physician in Jewish Law

from jewishvirtuallibrary.org by Daniel Eisenberg, M.D.

The Torah states: “I am the L-rd that heals you!” (Exodus 15:26) This verse implies that G-d does not need man to cure the afflictions that He creates. If so, by what virtue does man attempt to “short circuit” His will and attempt his own meager cures? Does man have any right to heal at all, and if he does, are there any limitations on how it may be accomplished. Is every action done in the name of therapy justified, solely because a physician performs it? Because Judaism recognizes the enormity of these questions, it requires direct permission from G-d to permit the practice of medicine and carefully circumscribes the limits of medical practice. Fortunately, the duty to save one’s fellow man is well grounded in the Torah and the restrictions are discussed at length in our codes of Jewish law.

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Forget the Cow

Written by: Rabbi Yosef Rosen Rabbi Nachum Twersky of Chernobyl, a member of the Baal Shem Tov’s inner circle, was once travelling through the Ukraine and lodged at an inn owned by “yishuvniks” – sweet, simple Jews who lived in the middle of nowhere, and ran a small farm and an inn for a non-Jewish landlord on a desolate stretch of a busy road.  Following a … Continue reading Forget the Cow