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 a Harvard education and obtaining a Ph.D. in economics from MIT. He has worked on the staff of the Council of Economic Advisers in the Reagan 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.

Ki Tavo: Aninut

August 26, 2010, by

(preoccupation with burial) Part of the special recitation made on disposing of all tithes is “I did not eat any [maaser sheni] in my aninut” (Devarim 26:14). This verse is one of the main Torah sources for the special status of aninut, the period between the death of a close relative and the time when

Re’eh – Yaaleh v’Yavo

August 4, 2010, by

On days which have a musaf prayer, that is, Yom Tov, High Holidays and Rosh Chodesh, we say the prayer yaaleh veyavo in the blessing on the restoration of the Temple service. The essence of this prayer is that our prayers should ascend on high and be heard and responded to by G-d. The stages

Sukkot – The Lulav

October 1, 2009, by

At Sukkot we fulfill the mitzva of taking the four species – etrog (citron), lulav (palm), hadas (myrtle) and arava (willow). While we must take all four kinds to fulfill the mitzva, we refer specifically to the mitzva of “lulav”. The lulav is also the central species and the longest, and the bracha refers only

Ha’azinu – Repentance for a Doubtful Sin

September 24, 2009, by

The Rema writes that a doubtful sin requires more thorough repentance than a certain one. The reason he gives is that a person tends to be feel less remorse over a doubtful sin. (OC 603:1.) We can obtain a more profound understanding of this statement if we ask ourselves, what exactly is the case of

Rosh Hashanah – New Year’s Greetings

September 17, 2009, by

The Rama writes that it is customary on Rosh HaShana to greet with the expression, “May you be inscribed for a good year” (OC 582:9). However, some people adopt a slightly different expression, which is not mentioned in the early commentaries: “May you be inscribed and sealed immediately for a good year!” The basis for

Nitzavim-Vayeilech – Blessing the New Month

September 10, 2009, by

Customarily, the Shabbat before Rosh Chodesh is called “Shabbat Mevarchim” because after the Torah reading the coming of the new month is announced and then a special prayer is said (Rema OC 284:7). However, on this Shabbat no announcement is made, despite the fact that next Shabbat is Rosh Chodesh – the custom is that

Ki Teitzei – Education of Children

August 27, 2009, by

Our parsha contains the laws of the “ben sorer”, the rebellious son. The sad fate of this youngster draws our attention to the commandment of educating children. In particular, the Mishna learns from the verse “He doesn’t listen to our voice” (Devarim 21:20) that there has to be a degree of agreement and correlation between

Shoftim – Divination

August 20, 2009, by

Our parsha is very explicit in its condemnation of divination: “When you come to the land which HaShem your G-d gives you, don’t accustom yourself to do the abominations of those nations. There should not be among you one who passes his son or daughter through the fire, a conjurer or diviner or a sorcerer;

Re’eh – Shofar in Elul

August 13, 2009, by

There is an ancient custom to blow the shofar in Elul. The source is in the Midrash: “On Rosh Chodesh [Elul] the Holy One, blessed be He, said to Moshe: Ascend the mount unto Me. And they sounded the shofar in all the camp, that Moshe ascended the mount, so that they shouldn’t further err

Vaetchanan – Hatov Vehametiv in Birkat Hamazon

July 29, 2009, by

This Shabbat is Tu beAv, a happy day when Tachanun is normally omitted because of the many joyful historical events which occurred on this date. One such event is that on this day the Romans permitted burial for the victims of the terrible massacre of Beitar, which we mourned on Tisha BeAv. The gemara relates

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