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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.

Interruptions in Kriat Shema

July 7, 2014, by

When Yaakov and Yosef finally meet after decades of separation and uncertainty, Yosef embraces his father and weeps – but it seems that Yaakov doesn’t return this gesture! (Bereshit 46:29.) Rashi explains that Yaakov was reciting “Shema”. This thought-provoking Midrash may make us reconsider Yaakov Avinu’s relationship towards his son, but it also serves as […]

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Guaranteeing Loans

July 7, 2014, by

In our parsha, Yaakov Avinu is finally convinced to send Binyamin to Egypt after Yehuda promises that he will bring him back. Yet Reuven’s promise did not have the same effect. The differing character of the two sons obviously plays a role: Yaakov considers Reuven dissipated as water” (Bereshit 43:4), but envisions Yehuda holding the […]

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Giving Charity

July 7, 2014, by

There is no question that giving charity is considered one of the greatest commandments in the Torah. For example, on the Days of Awe we proclaim that “repentance, charity, and prayer will repeal the bad in the decree”. And our Sages declared that “charity saves from death” (Shabbat 156b). What unique message can we find […]

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Bathing on Shabbat Part 2

July 7, 2014, by

Going to the Mikveh Bathing in hot water on Shabbat is forbidden, lest people come to heat the bathwater. However, bathing in cold water is permissible (though it is restricted by custom – see MB 326:21). Even so, the Shulchan Arukh specifically tells us that immersing in a mikveh for purification is permissible (SA OC […]

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Prohibition to Benefit from Chanukah Lights

July 7, 2014, by

Many laws of Chanukah have the purpose of clearly distinguishing the Chanukah lights from other lights used for illumination. For example: Chanukah lights must have a single wick so that they are a “lamp” and not a “torch” which is better suited for illumination, and for the same reason the lights shouldn’t be arranged in […]

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Placement of the Chanukah Menorah

July 7, 2014, by

The Talmud rules that the ideal way of fulfilling the mitzva of Chanukah lights is by lighting them at the entrance to the house, so that they are clearly visible to passers-by. However, our Sages continue, when there is danger in doing so – because of hostile non-Jews – it is sufficient to light the […]

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Laws of Acquisitions – Part 3 Buying with Money

July 7, 2014, by

Over the last few weeks, we have been presenting the insights of Rav Natan of Breslav on the inner, spiritual meaning of the laws of acquisitions. First we explained that commerce is an extension of production: manufacture or cultivation elevates the natural world by transforming the wild into some object of human use; commerce effects […]

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Grace Over a Cup of Wine

July 7, 2014, by

When Avraham is visited by the angel-guests, he asks Sarah to make bread for them. (Bereshit 18:6.) The Torah hints that they did not eat Sarah’s bread (18:8 and Rashi), but evidently they ate other bread and made grace, for they sought to honor Sarah with the grace-cup. (Bava Metzia 87a and Etz Yosef commentary.) […]

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Carrying Between Two Private Domains

July 7, 2014, by

Last week (read that as “Two weeks ago”) we gave Rav Natan of Breslav’s explanation of the Torah prohibition to move objects from public to private domain or the opposite. The private domain, “domain of the One”, represents the realm of holiness and unity; the public domain, “domain of the many”, represents the imperfect material […]

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White Lies

July 7, 2014, by

After Yaakov’s death, Yosef’s brothers are afraid he will now take revenge on them for selling him into slavery. They tell him that Yaakov himself ordered him to forgive them (Bereshit 50:15-17). The Gemara justifies this story, using it as an example of the principle “A person is allowed to change [the facts] for the […]

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