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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.

Two Days of Purim

July 3, 2014, by

The Megila tells us that both the 14th and the 15th days of Adar are days of “feasting and joy, and sending portions” (Esther 9:22). But it doesn’t state explicitly why and how the holiday is spread over the two days. Thus, the Beit Yosef asks, “Why did they divide this mitzva into distinct days, […]

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Paying Workers on Time – Part 2

July 3, 2014, by

Last week we discussed the immense importance of paying workers on time; there are three distinct Torah commandments which are solely devoted to this requirement. The Torah explains, “Give him payment the same day, don’t let the sun set on it; for he is poor, and he bears his soul for it” (Devarim 24:15). While […]

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Returning Lost Objects

July 3, 2014, by

One of the transgressions which according to our parsha requires an asham is finding a lost object but denying it under oath (Vayikra 5:22-26). Rather, one who finds a lost object is obligated to return it to the owner. The basic message of this commandment is concern for our fellow man who is worried over […]

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Tefillin on Chol HaMoed

July 3, 2014, by

In many communities, especially in Israel, the custom is not to put tefillin on during chol hamoed – the intermediate days of the holidays. The reason we don’t put on tefillin on the holidays themselves, as well as on Shabbat, is that the tefillin are referred to in the Torah as an OT – a […]

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Sale of Chametz

July 3, 2014, by

We are required to get rid of our chametz before Pesach, and of course one way of doing this is to sell it to someone else – especially making an earnest sale to a non-Jew, who will be able to benefit from the chametz during Pesach. However, apart from this way of getting rid of […]

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Dressing Up on Purim

July 3, 2014, by

Please note that in past years, Rabbi Meir’s pre-Purim column consisted of “Purim Torah”, light-hearted spoof in the Purim spirit. The following column, although on a Purim topic, is totally serious. One of the most prominent customs practiced today on Purim is to dress up in costumes, and this custom is mentioned already in the […]

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Writing the Ketuba

July 3, 2014, by

Last week we explained the profound importance of the husband’s obligation to provide for the wife in the case of divorce or widowhood. This obligation is not only meant to provide for the wife after married life; it is also, even mainly, intended to secure the bond between husband and wife during married life. This […]

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Washing Hands from a Vessel

July 3, 2014, by

Among the utensils sanctified in our parsha is the laver used by the Kohanim for washing their hands and feet before engaging in avoda (Shemot 39:39, 40:11). This washing can only be done from a vessel (Rambam Biat Mikdash 5:10). Some halakhic sources liken washing for bread to the washing of the Kohanim from the […]

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Redemption of the Firstborn Donkey

July 3, 2014, by

A firstborn donkey must be redeemed by a sheep, which is given to the Kohen. If this redemption is not performed, we must break the foal’s neck (SA YD 321). While the firstborn of a kosher animal is sanctified, and the firstborn of most non-kosher animals have no sanctity whatsoever; the donkey has an intermediate […]

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Nullification of Chametz

July 3, 2014, by

The Torah forbids us from having chametz in our possession from noon on Pesach eve until the end of the holiday. But since the Torah states, “no chametz shall be seen to you” (Shemot 13:7), we learn that only chametz we own is included in the prohibition. (Pesachim 5b. All chametz, however, is forbidden to […]

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