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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.

Prohibition on Shaving

July 7, 2014, by

The Torah forbids men from shaving the “corners of the beard” with a razor. (Vayikra 19:27. Most electric razors work like scissors and don’t fall foul of this prohibition.) In the teachings of Rav Nachman of Breslav we find an involved and profound explanation of this law. Let us begin by explaining the symbolism of […]

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Bathing on Shabbat

July 7, 2014, by

Hot Springs Bathing the whole body in hot water at once was forbidden on Shabbat, because it tempts people to heat the bath water. This prohibition was extended to entering a steam bath. However, the Sages discovered that extending the prohibition to the hot springs of Teveria was too much of a hardship for people, […]

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Wise in the Hidden

July 7, 2014, by

Praising God’s wisdom specifically when we see a multitude emphasizes the wonder and importance of the astonishing variety of people. In many places the Sages teach us that we perceive Godliness among mankind specifically through the multitude of human beings. This is hinted at in the story of the Creation: The verse stating that man […]

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“Urging Vows”

July 7, 2014, by

A vow (neder) is a kind of oath that works by imposing a prohibition on a particular object by likening it to a sanctified item. For instance, instead of swearing that he will not eat cake (shevu’ah=oath), a person may prohibit cake to himself (neder) (SA YD 204). If a person regrets a vow he […]

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Shabbat Enjoyment and the Limitations of Social Justice

July 7, 2014, by

If we read chapter 58 of Yishayahu in its entirety, we encounter a surprising and even jarring juxtaposition. The beginning of the chapter is a searing admonition not to be hypocritical in serving G- d. The prophet laments how despicable it is that we act with external piety while we oppress the unfortunate. Our fasts […]

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Spaying animals

July 7, 2014, by

The spaying of animals, in order to prevent undesired reproduction or in order to make them more docile, is an ancient custom of animal husbandry, but it is one which is forbidden by the Torah. The Torah teaches this prohibition in two different places, each one with its message. In the blessing given to Noach […]

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Praying for Rain on the Seventh of Cheshvan

July 7, 2014, by

While we started praising HaShem as the giver of rain on Shemini Atzeret, we only start requesting rain on Motza’ei Shabbat, the eve of the seventh of Cheshvan. The reason is that the pilgrims who come to Yerushalaim for Sukkot need about two weeks to get home, and it would be inconsiderate to pray for […]

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The Rainbow

July 7, 2014, by

Among the many blessings said on natural phenomenon is a special blessing on the rainbow. This blessing, which acknowledges that HaShem “remembers the covenant”, recognizes the rainbow not only as a wonder of nature but also as a sign of G-d’s covenant with Noah – a covenant which is really at the root of human […]

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Laws of Acquisitions – Part 1 Hagbaha

July 7, 2014, by

Not only our “religious” commandments have an inner, spiritual element; the monetary laws also have profound transcendent significance, beyond their role in creating order in commerce and civil society. Rav Natan of Breslav elaborates on the deeper significance of the laws of acquisitions. His mystical, Chassidic commentary can also be partially understood on a more […]

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