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Rabbi Dr. Asher Meir

Rabbi Dr. Asher Meir

Rabbi Dr. Asher Meir is one of the Jewish world's best-known lecturers and educators in the area of business ethics. Rabbi Dr Meir is known by a wide audience from his Ethics@Work column in the Jerusalem Post, through the popular syndicated column "The Jewish Ethicist," and through his lectures and books. His extensive background includes being educated at Harvard, and obtaining a Ph.D. in economics from MIT. He has worked on the staff of the Council of Economic Advisers in the Regan Administration. His rabbinic ordination is from the Israeli Chief Rabbinate. Rabbi Dr Meir's works combine a professional grasp of the detailed workings of the 21st century economy with a highly-developed sensitivity to the eternal ethical messages of Jewish law and tradition. For a number of years he served as a Senior Lecturer in economics and business ethics at the Jerusalem College of Technology. Rabbi Meir's first book, The Jewish Ethicist, was released in February 2005 and rapidly obtained remarkable reviewer approval. The American Library Association's Booklist applauded it as "an important source of ethical insights for Jews and non-Jews alike," while the Jewish Press noted that the author "combines up-to-the-minute knowledge of his field with thousands of years of Jewish tradition." Rabbi Meir's second book, Meaning in Mitzvot, distributed by Feldheim, provides insights into the deeper spiritual and ethical meanings of the daily practices of Jewish law, has been warmly received by readers. Dr Meir is a regular member of the Ethics Committee of the Prime Minister's office, and of the Israel Economic Association. He has spoken as an invited expert before the Knesset Law Committee. He is a frequent speaker at professional gatherings on business and economic ethics, as well as a lecturer for popular audiences.

Not to Dun a Destitute Borrower

July 3, 2014, by

Our parsha admonishes the lender, “When you lend money to My people, to the poor among you, don’t be to him as a collector; don’t impose interest on him” (Sh’mot 22:24). The expression “don’t be to him as a collector” commands the lender not to hound a borrower who is unable to pay the loan. […]

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Cooking with Meat and Milk

July 3, 2014, by

While our parsha contains over fifty different mitzvot, one in particular is an everyday concern for most Jews: the prohibition of cooking meat with milk. This law, together with its Rabbinical extensions, is so important that it constitutes the heart of the standard curriculum for modern-day Rabbinical ordination. The prohibition applies to the milk and […]

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Orla

July 3, 2014, by

Wednesday night is Tu Bishvat, New Year for fruit trees. A fruit which has already begun its formation on Wednesday belongs to 5760; one which is formed only at night will belong to 5761. The particular year a fruit belongs to is relevant for various agricultural laws. For tithes, since it is forbidden to tithe […]

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Matza

July 3, 2014, by

In our parsha, we are given the mitzva to eliminate chametz from our homes during Pesach, and to eat matza during this time. Many different messages have been attached to this commandment; let us examine one such lesson. The difference between matza and bread is that the matza is not permitted to rise. It is […]

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Honoring the Departed in their Presence

July 3, 2014, by

The Shulchan Arukh rules that it is forbidden to speak on Torah matters in the presence of the departed, unless we are speaking of things which are for their needs (such as the details of the burial or the eulogy) or for their honor (as in the eulogy itself) (SA YD 344: 16-17). The commentaries […]

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Blessing on the 7 Species – Part 2

July 3, 2014, by

As we mentioned last week, there are special rules of blessing for the “seven species” mentioned in the Torah as the praise of the Land of Israel: Wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranate, olives, and dates (Devarim 8:8). These kinds of produce have priority over other kinds in making a first blessing (SA OC 211), and […]

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Tu BiShvat & Shabbat Shira

July 3, 2014, by

Rav Natan of Breslav writes: “Tu BiShvat is always adjacent to Shabbat Shira, and sometimes it falls on Shabbat Shira itself” – as it does this year (and 30% of all years). Rav Natan explains this proximity in an involved Chasidic digression (Likutei Halakhot Orla 3), based on a teaching of his Rebbe, Rav Nachman […]

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Trumah

July 3, 2014, by

This Shabbat is Tu BeShevat, Rosh HaShanah for fruit trees. Fruit trees need a Rosh HaShanah in order to demarcate crop years for trumah (“elevation”) and maasarot (tithes). The Torah commands us to tithe “year by year” (Devarim 14:22) teaching that we may take tithes only from produce of the same year (Sifri). An individual […]

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Modesty during a Funeral Procession

July 3, 2014, by

The Shulchan Arukh tells us that we should be especially careful to avoid any immodest social mixing between men and women during a funeral pro- cession. The Beer HaGolah indicates that the sources is in a Talmudic aggada which states that the Angel of Death told Rebbe Yehoshua ben Levi, “Don’t stand before the women […]

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Games on Shabbat

July 3, 2014, by

Last week we discussed the general disapproval of a hasty stride, as well as the particular requirement to avoid a “broad stride” on Shabbat because of the prophetic commandment to avoid weekday “ways” on Shabbat. (Shabbat 113 based on Isaiah 58:13. Some commentators say that it is because of the demand to “turn away your […]

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