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Stand Up for Elders Rights
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Q. It bothers me when fellow passengers don’t stand up for older people, yet I am reluctant to start giving moral instruction to complete strangers. What should I do? A. The most important thing is to provide a seat for someone who has difficulty standing, whether due to age, some handicap, or even a healthy […]
Decent Working Conditions Part III-Generosity
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Q. My workers get a low wage and have trouble making ends meet, but they don’t really have other options. Do I have to pay them a “living wage”? A. The Torah educates us towards an attitude of concern for and empathy with the needy. “When there will be a needy person from one of […]
Decent Working Conditions Part II-Dignified Treatment
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Q. Is an employer obligated to provide decent working conditions? A. We explained last week that the main obligation of employers in Jewish law and tradition is to keep their word — not to provide any specific level of wages and conditions. However, despite the absence of any binding formal requirement, there are a number […]
Decent Working Conditions Part I-Equitable Treatment
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Q. Do employers have a responsibility to provide workers with decent working conditions? A. Employers need above all to respect all agreements with workers. The Torah recognized that even though work agreements are in theory ordinary contracts between equal parties, in fact the employer tends to have the stronger position and is often in a […]
Decent Working Conditions Final-Motivation
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Q. My workers get a low wage and have trouble making ends meet, but they don’t really have other options. Do I have to pay them a “living wage”? A. This week’s column focuses on self-interest: better conditions mean better work. The fact is that buying labor is not the same as buying an item […]
Forgiving and Forgetting to Ourselves
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Q. I made some poor judgments in my business. My own life is now a wreck, and I have also harmed others who are left with unpaid debts. How can I move on? A. In a previous column we discussed Judaism’s approach to forgiving others. There we explained that Judaism doesn’t require or even encourage […]
Confronting Street Youths
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Q. There are some street youths in my neighborhood who really create a nuisance. If everybody would stand up and insist that they behave it might have an effect, but sometimes I think it’s safest just not to get involved. Don’t wrongdoers have responsibility for their own acts? A. Fundamentally, Judaism instructs us to take […]
Addiction-An Obstacle Before the Blind
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Q. I run errands for neighbors for a living. One neighbor sends me to the liquor store. Since she’s an alcoholic I’d like to stop, but I know she will just find another errand boy. What should I do? A. Addiction is a major source of concern, and contemporary rabbis have found a number of […]
Addiction-Servitude to Substances
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Q. I run errands for neighbors for a living. One neighbor sends me to the liquor store, but she’s an alcoholic so I stopped. I discovered that she hasn’t stopped drinking, she just found another errand boy! A. Last week we discussed one approach to addiction: addictions are objectionable because they damage our body, which […]
Should I Blow the Whistle
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Q. My employer engages in scandalous exploitation and abuse of his clients. But I’m afraid that if I report him to appropriate authorities I’ll be considered a troublemaker and will have trouble finding work. A. Reporting illegal or unethical behavior by one’s employer is generally known as “whistle blowing”. Whistle blowing is a favorite topic […]