web analytics
April 23, 2014 / 23 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Firing Line


Business-Halacha-logo

Share Button

Mrs. Simon had been teaching for seven years at a girls’ elementary school. The school had expanded rapidly during the previous decade as the local Jewish community grew. Each grade boasted four parallel classes. However, a competing school opened two years ago, drawing away a significant number of students. Support from donors also dwindled, due to the economic climate. Rumors began spreading through the teachers’ room that layoffs were inevitable.

Within two months, official word came from the board that “restructuring” was needed. Each grade would be consolidated into three classes instead of four so that one teacher would have to be released from each grade.

Shortly afterward, Mrs. Simon was summoned to the principal’s office for a meeting. “We appreciate your teaching and your dedication to the students,” began the principal. “You have served well during your seven years with us. However, as you know, the school needs to restructure for the coming year in order to remain viable. As such, we are giving you notice that you are being released for the coming school year.”

Mrs. Simon took the notice with great difficulty; she very much needed the job. Her husband worked only part time, and the tuition for their children amounted to a small fortune. Despite her credentials, it would not be easy to find another job.

When Mrs. Simon returned home, she shared the difficult news with her husband. “Do you think there’s any way we can convince the school to keep me on?”

“Isn’t my uncle Bernie one of the school’s major supporters?” asked her husband. “Perhaps he could put pressure on the board and hint that if you are released, he might consider shifting his support elsewhere.”

“You’re right!” said Mrs. Simon. “He has also dealt a lot with the principal. Perhaps he can convince them to release a different teacher.”

Mr. Simon called his uncle. “What’s a good word?” asked Bernie.

“Tough times,” replied Mr. Simon, with a sigh. “My wife was just given notice that she’s being released from the school next year. They need to fire a teacher in each grade.”

“Is there any way I can help?” asked Bernie.

“I was hoping,” said Mr. Simon, “that you might be able to use your influence to convince the board and the principal not to release her.”

“Is there a chance they would keep her without firing someone else?” asked Bernie.

“I don’t think so,” replied Mr. Simon. “It’s pretty clear that they’re going to release a teacher from each grade. But it could be someone else, not her.”

“I’d like to help you, but I’m not sure that this is ethical,” replied Bernie. “You’re in a tough state, but if they keep your wife, another teacher will suffer from your gain.”

“What’s not ethical?” replied Mr. Simon. “If they fire my wife, another teacher will gain from our suffering! What’s the difference?”

“Before I get involved with this,” replied Bernie, “I need to consult with Rabbi Dayan.”

“If you need to – OK,” said Mr. Simon, “but it seems to me fair concern for your relatives.”

Bernie called Rabbi Dayan. “My nephew’s wife is facing layoff from her school,” said Bernie. “Can I try to influence the board to keep her on, if it will cause them to fire someone else?”

“Is the issue still under discussion,” asked Rabbi Dayan, “or was a final decision made to release her?”

“She was already given notice,” replied Bernie. “What difference does that make?”

“A person is allowed to protect himself from potential future damage, even if it will thereby fall on someone else,” explained Rabbi Dayan. “However, once the damage is already present, a person cannot shift it to someone else.” (Rama C.M. 388:2)

“Interesting,” commented Bernie. “What is that based on?”

“The Talmud Yerushalmi [B.K. 3:1] rules that if a person sees an approaching flood threatening his field, he can fence it in, even though the water will swamp his neighbor instead,” replied Rabbi Dayan. “However, once the water has already entered his field, he may not divert it to his neighbor. Similarly, if the king needs to quarter soldiers in people’s houses, before the soldiers arrive a person can utilize his influence or pay the officials to avoid having them quartered with him, but once the soldiers have arrived he cannot in this way arrange that they be transferred to another house.” (Nimukei Yosef B.B. 5a-b; Shach 163:18)

“I gather the same rationale applies here,” said Bernie.

“Exactly,” concluded Rabbi Dayan. “Until a final decision is made, each teacher can use whatever influence or connections she has to avoid being fired. However, once a final decision was made to lay off Mrs. Simon, she cannot rescue her own financial position by transferring the damage to another teacher.” (See Pischei Choshen, Nezikin 12:25-27)

Share Button

About the Author: Rabbi Meir Orlian is a faculty member of the Business Halacha Institute, headed by HaRav Chaim Kohn, a noted dayan. To receive BHI’s free newsletter, Business Weekly, send an e-mail to subscribe@businesshalacha.com. For questions regarding business halacha issues, or to bring a BHI lecturer to your business or shul, call the confidential hotline at 877-845-8455 or e-mail ask@businesshalacha.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “Firing Line”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Abbas and Hanieyh on poster, next to a picture of Arafat.
Kerry’s Talks Achieve Peace Between Hamas and Fatah
Latest Judaism Stories
Reiss-041814-King

Amazingly, each and every blade was green and moist as if it was just freshly cut.

PTI-041814

All the commentaries ask why Hashem focuses on the Exodus as opposed to saying, “I am Hashem who created the entire world.”

Leff-041814

Someone who focuses only on the bones of the Torah makes his bones dry and passionless.

The following is President Obama’s statement on Passover (April 14, 2014). As he has in the past, the President held an official Passover Seder at the White House. Michelle and I send our warmest greetings to all those celebrating Passover in the United States, in Israel, and around the world. On Tuesday, just as we […]

The tendency to rely on human beings rather than G-d has been our curse throughout the centuries.

“Who is wise? One who learns from each person” (Pirkei Avot 4:1)

In Judaism, to be without questions is a sign not of faith, but of lack of depth.

“I’ll try to help as we can,” said Mr. Goodman, “but we already made a special appeal this year. Let me see what other funds we have. I’ll be in touch with you in a day or two.”

Rashi is bothered by the expression Hashem used: “the Jews need only travel.”

Reckoning Time
‘Three Festivals, Even Out Of Order’
(Beizah 19b)

Two husbands were there to instruct us in Texas hold ‘em – and we needed them.

Question: Why do we start counting sefirat ha’omer in chutz la’aretz on the second night of Pesach when the omer in the times of the Beit Hamikdash was cut on Chol HaMoed?

M. Goldman
(Via E-Mail)

A few background principles regarding the prohibitions of chametz mixtures on Pesach may provide some shopping guidance.

According to the Rambam, the k’nas applies to any chametz on Pesach with which one could, in theory, transgress the aveirah – even if no transgression actually occurred.

She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.

More Articles from Rabbi Meir Orlian
Business-Halacha-logo

“I’ll try to help as we can,” said Mr. Goodman, “but we already made a special appeal this year. Let me see what other funds we have. I’ll be in touch with you in a day or two.”

Business-Halacha-logo

“Why is that?” asked Rabbi Brenner. “What happened to the rule of hamotzi meichaveiro alav hareaya (the burden of the proof is on the plaintiff)?”

“People who want to donate will give anyway,” said Mr. Bodner. “Why can’t I also gain from distributing the photo?”

“Well, I brought over a cake for the simcha,” Mrs. Kasner said. She came in and put the cake down on the counter. “Please tell your mother I’d like the serving dish back after Shabbos.”

“We’re hosting a sheva berachos tonight for my niece,” Mrs. Kohn replied. “I’m already late! I don’t even have a minute to take my projector to the office. Would you mind keeping it overnight in your office?”

When Mr. Fine received the translation he was disappointed. The translation was passing, but lacked the power and command of language in other translations he’d seen.

The day after Purim, Mordechai Freilich received the mishloach manos package with a note: “This mishloach manos was meant to be delivered on Purim, but delayed due to the storm. Please accept our apologies.”

Today was one of those days. Shimshon was standing in the hallway during recess, talking to a friend, when Dan walked over and jumped on him.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/firing-line/2013/12/20/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: