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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.

Preparation for Birkat HaMazon

July 7, 2014, by

The Torah, after expanding on the praises of the Land of Israel, orders us: פAnd you shall eat and be satisfied, and you will bless HaShem your God for the good land which He gave you.צ (Devarim 8:10.) This is the Torah commandment to say the birkhat hamazon, the grace after meals. Ideally, we should […]

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Plowing in the Land of Israel

July 7, 2014, by

The Mishna in Shabbat enumerates 39 distinct archetypical labors, or melakhot, according to a number of series. The first is the series of making bread, which begins with sowing and is followed by plowing (Shabbat 73a). The gemara objects that in practice plowing precedes sowing; why does the Mishna reverse the order? The answer: the […]

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Order of Blessings

July 7, 2014, by

Our parsha contains the Torah mitzva of birkhat hamazon, the grace after meals.This is the only blessing on food which is mandated by the Torah, but serves as one source for the Rabbinical commandment to make a berakha before any food (Berakhot 48b). When faced with a variety of foods, we give precedence to certain […]

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Learning Torah on Tish’a b’Av

July 7, 2014, by

One of the expressions of mourning on Tisha beAv is that we refrain from studying Torah, just as a mourner does (SA OC 554). The gemara bases this rule on the verse from Tehillim (19:9) “The commands of HaShem are straight, rejoicing the heart” (Taanit 30a). However, this prohibition is not absolute. The same passage […]

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The blessing “HaGomel”

July 7, 2014, by

Someone who has been safely delivered from a dangerous situation makes a special blessing in public, thanking G-d “Who bestows good on the culpable, Who has bestowed all goodness on me”. The mishna and thus the Shulchan Arukh give four examples: (1) one who returns safely from a perilous trip by sea; (2) or through […]

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Wisdom of Secrets Part 3

July 7, 2014, by

The last two weeks we have been studying the blessing “the wise One of secrets”, CHACHAM HARAZIM, blessing God Who knows the secret thoughts and views of each individual. We make this blessing when we see “multitudes” of Israel; then we are specially aware of God’s presence and wisdom as each person’s unique view- point […]

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Tearing the Hair in Mourning

July 7, 2014, by

“You are the children of HaShem your G^d; don’t cut yourselves, nor make baldness between your eyes for the dead” (Devarim 14:1). The second half of the verse forbids a pagan mourning custom of tearing out the hair; it is clear that “between your eyes” actually refers to the hair above the forehead (SA YD […]

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Spices at Havdala

July 7, 2014, by

At havdala at the close of Shabbat the custom is to make a blessing on pleasant fragrances. Early authorities mentioned two reasons for this custom: [1] Shabbat, the fires of hell are extinguished. Even the sinners get a reprieve from their punishment one day a week. As Shabbat goes out, the flames are fanned again, […]

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Overcharging

July 7, 2014, by

Commercial life involves human interactions as well as material enrichment. Both are important, but which is the means and which the end? Chamor and Shekhem view human interaction as a means to material enrichment. They urge their subjects to befriend Yaakov’s family and allow them to trade (Bereshit 34:21) – but their goal is to […]

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Windows in Shul

July 7, 2014, by

“A person should pray only in a house with windows, as it is written (Daniel 6:11), ‘and his windows opened from his loft towards Yerushalayim’” (Berakhot 34b). While there is an opinion that this applies only to prayers in a private house, most Rishonim and the Shulchan Arukh (OC 90:4) learn from this that a […]

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