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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.

Damage to People

July 3, 2014, by

It is strictly forbidden to strike our fellow man. Even raising a hand to threaten someone is considered a wicked act. The Torah tells us that if a transgressor is liable for lashing, “Forty [lashes] shall he be smitten, and not more; lest more be added to them and there be an excessive blow, and […]

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Counting the Omer

July 3, 2014, by

From the day following Pesach until the day before Shavuot, we count the 50 days of Omer. The name Omer comes from the measure of barley offered in the Mikdash on the day after Pesach. The count continues until Shavuot, when the special two loaves are brought. Both of these offerings are unusual. The Omer […]

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Fish & Meat

July 3, 2014, by

The Shulchan Arukh states that we need to be careful not to eat meat and fish together, because it carries a danger of “tzaraat” an affliction of the skin mentioned in the Torah (YD 116:2). The source is the gemara in Pesachim (76b), which states that fish that are roasted together with meat can’t be […]

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Prohibition on Hoarding

July 3, 2014, by

Note: Most recent columns have been based on new material not included in the manuscript of Meaning in Mitzvot; a great many have dealt with the monetary laws. Given the importance of these halakhot, I am now planning a new volume in the spirit of Meaning in Mitzvot which will focus solely on this area […]

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Likeness of Chameitz to Notar

July 3, 2014, by

The mishna (Pesachim 2:1) records a dispute between Rebbe Yehuda and the Sages regarding the disposal of chametz as Pesach approaches. According to Rebbe Yehuda, this should be done only by burning; the reasoning is that chametz has a likeness to notar, left-over sacrifices which must be eliminated by burning. But the Sages state that […]

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Laws of Damages

July 3, 2014, by

Any person whose acts or possessions damage someone else’s property must make good the loss of the damaged party. Laws protecting property are a necessary feature of any legal system; even so, we can extract profound lessons from the particular characteristics of Jewish tort law and from the way our Sages related to this aspect […]

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Tum’a of a Kohen

July 3, 2014, by

Our parsha begins with the warning to Kohanim that they must not defile themselves through contact or proximity to a dead person. The exception is that they may – and indeed must – defile themselves in mourning for their closest relatives (Vayikra 21:1-3). PROHIBITION ON A KOHEN TO BECOME TAMEI The prohibition for a Kohen […]

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Tachanun In Yerushalayim

July 3, 2014, by

As Yom Yerushalaim approaches, it is fitting that we should examine one of the many customs that distinguish Yerushalaim from other places because of its unique holiness. After the amida prayer, we say the penitential tachanun. As befitting an emotional supplication, we prostrate ourselves for this prayer, and indeed the gemara refers to tachanun as […]

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Salting of Meat

July 3, 2014, by

Our parsha teaches the prohibition of eating the blood of animals or birds (Vayikra 7:26). Later, the Torah vehemently expresses the severity of this prohibition: “Any person from the house of Israel or from the sojourners among them who eats any blood, I will set my face against the soul that eats blood, and I […]

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Protection of Workers

July 3, 2014, by

The Torah principles of judgment are scrupulously fair. They may favor neither the low nor the high: “don’t favor the poor man, nor glorify the great” (Vayikra 19:15). Fundamentally this applies also to balancing the claims of worker and employer, but in this case the halakha tips the balance slightly in favor of the worker […]

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