This Land Was Made For You and Me

R. Dr. Asher Meir writes: The Torah emphasizes in many places a positive, welcoming approach to the stranger or immigrant. Indeed, this attitude is described as one of the foremost lessons of our exile in Egypt. For instance, it is forbidden to take advantage of the alien’s vulnerability: And don’t oppress the stranger nor pressure […]

Ribbis: Reasons and Rationales

R. Yair Hoffman writes: [L]et us try to provide some philosophical explanation for the underlying prohibition of Ribis. Imagine the following scenario: The family lives in the old country. The eldest son has emigrated and has made it to New York and has an apartment in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Another son is […]

Fair Dealing and Fraud

My weekly lectures (available at the Internet Archive) and column for this past פרשת בהר discussed the laws of אונאה: In parashas Behar, the Torah commands (25:14): “And if thou sell ought unto thy neighbour, or buyest ought of thy neighbour’s hand, ye shall not oppress [or ‘aggrieve’] one another.” The Talmud (Bava Metzia 51a, […]