Trade, Aid & Debt

Source Sheet

Jewish tradition pays great attention to ethics in business and economic life. Indeed, one story relates that the first question one is asked when one arrives in the world to come is, "Did you deal fairly in business?"
Study for Occupy Atlanta and what on earth are we doing HERE in this Sukkah? What does Judaism tell us about protesting Wall Street and being part of either the 1% or 99%?
Text Study connecting themes of Shavuot to food aid.
This source sheet is inspired by a session taught by Micah Odenheimer, founder of Tevel B'Tzedek. Whilst we often find inspiration from overarching Jewish values for our pursuit of Justice, this example highlights how sometimes Jewish sources can offer very practical and specific guidance for addressing injustice and serves as a useful stimulus for discussion.
A mix of surprising (and some not-so-surprising) Jewish directives in response to human need.


right to left

Listen to this, you who devour the needy, annihilating the poor of the land, saying, "If only the new moon were over, so that we could sell grain; the sabbath, so that we could offer wheat for sale, using an ephah that is too small, and a shekel that is too big, tilting a dishonest scale, and selling grain refuse as grain! We will buy the poor for silver, the needy for a pair of sandals."
[JPS translation]

שִׁמְעוּ זֹאת הַ שֹּׁאֲפִים אֶבְיוֹן וְלַשְׁבִּית עֲנִיֵּי אָרֶץ: לֵאמֹר מָתַי יַעֲבֹר הַחֹדֶשׁ וְנַשְׁבִּירָה שֶּׁבֶר וְהַ שַּׁבָּת וְנִפְתְּחָה בָּר לְהַקְטִין אֵיפָה וּלְהַגְדִּיל שֶׁקֶל וּלְעַוֵּת מֹאזְנֵי מִרְמָה: לִקְנוֹת בַּכֶּסֶף דַּלִּים וְאֶבְיוֹן בַּעֲבוּר נַעֲלָיִם וּמַפַּל בַּר נַשְׁבִּיר:

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