web analytics
October 25, 2014 / 1 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Reluctant Reference!


Business-Halacha-logo

Mr. Lazer ran a successful restaurant. He employed close to twenty people: a chef, cooks and a baker; waiters and waitresses; supply and maintenance personnel; and two cashiers. At the end-of-year accounting, something seemed amiss. There was a small but noticeable discrepancy in the cash receipts of his enterprise. In the following semi-annual account, a similar discrepancy was noted.

“What explanation can there be?” Mr. Lazer asked his accountant.

“Could it be that one of your workers is ‘taking home’ a little bit?” suggested the accountant. “You might want to keep a tighter tab on the money.”

Mr. Lazer implemented certain security measures and began watching his workers more carefully. Sure enough, at the end of the year the discrepancy was significantly reduced. Mr. Lazer continued watching his workers and began to suspect a particular one, Mr. Shuker, though he had no solid basis yet with which to confront him.

As the year wore on, Mr. Lazer noticed additional suspicious behavior on the part of Mr. Shuker, which strengthened his hunch. He began tracking Mr. Shuker carefully, and, one day, finally caught Mr. Shuker red-handed pocketing some money.

The following day, Mr. Lazer called him into the office and informed Mr. Shuker that he was releasing him, on account of his dishonest behavior.

Mr. Shuker protested slightly. “It was just this one time, and only a small amount,” he argued.

“Money has been missing for two years now, and I suspect that it’s linked to you,” Mr. Lazer told him bluntly. “Be thankful that I’m just releasing you and not pressing charges against you for the past also.”

Mr. Shuker remained silent. He packed up and left.

Shortly afterward, Mr. Lazer was talking with a neighbor, who ran a catering business on the other side of town. “I interviewed someone today for a position,” the neighbor said. “He mentioned that he had worked with you for a number of years, and recently left.”

“Who is that?” asked Mr. Lazer.

“Mr. Shuker,” said the neighbor. “He said that he wasn’t earning enough with you, and was looking for a higher paying position.”

“I see,” said Mr. Lazer, as thoughts raced through his head. “What should I say?” he wondered. “Should I protect Mr. Shuker? My neighbor? Play dumb? Spill the beans? I need to buy some time!”

“I’d like to talk with you, but need to run now,” Mr. Lazer said to his neighbor. “We’ll pick up the conversation tomorrow.”

“OK, be well,” said his neighbor.

Mr. Lazer pondered the situation. “Perhaps Rabbi Dayan can give me some guidance on this issue,” he said to himself. He called Rabbi Dayan and explained the uncomfortable circumstances.

“What are my responsibilities here?” asked Mr. Lazer. “What sort of reference should I provide?”

“The issue of references is a very delicate one,” replied Rabbi Dayan. “On one side stands the prohibition of lashon hara, negative talk that can harm the prospective employee. On the other side stands the requirement to protect the prospective employer from harm or loss.”

“Is there really such a requirement?” asked Mr. Lazer.

“Yes, based on the mitzvah of hashavas aveidah,” answered Rabbi Dayan. “Just as there is a mitzvah to return lost items to a fellow Jew, there is a mitzvah to protect him from potentially harmful situations. There is also a prohibition, lo ta’amod al dam reiecha – ‘Do not stand aside when your fellow’s blood is shed’ – if you see him facing danger. [C.M. 426:1; SM"A 426:1] The Chofetz Chaim explains at length that this also includes a requirement to protect him from financial loss or a potentially harmful partnership.” (Be’er Mayim Chaim, Rechilus 9:1)

“How do we balance this requirement with the prohibition of lashon hara?” asked Mr. Lazer.

“The Chofetz Chaim [Hil. Rechilus 9:1-2] stipulates five conditions,” answered Rabbi Dayan.

“First, you must not assume in haste that the potential worker or partnership is bad, but must consider carefully that it is, in fact, bad.

“Second, you must not inflate the situation more than it actually is. For example, you cannot say he has been stealing for two years, but rather that you caught him stealing once but suspect he might have been doing so for a while.

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.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Reluctant Reference!”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Do you know where your vegetables grow?
Not So Kosher Shemittah L’Mehadrin
Latest Judaism Stories
Greenbaum-102414

Noach was the lonely man of faith living in a depraved world, full of wickedness.

Parsha-Perspectives-logo

Avraham became a great man during the 175 years of his life, while his predecessors became increasingly wicked, despite staggering knowledge, during their lifetimes of hundreds of years.

Rapps-Rabbi-Joshua-logo

Shem realized that he owed his existence to his father who brought him into the world.

Daf-Yomi-logo

Law-Abiding Citizen
‘That Which Is Crooked Cannot Be Made Straight…’
(Yevamos 22a-b)

The flood was not sent to destroy, but to restore the positive potential of the world.

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

Why is there is no mention of dinosaurs, and other prehistoric animals, in the Torah?

Strict din demands perfection. There is no room for shortcomings and no place for excuses; you are responsible.

Surprisingly, my husband and one son arrived home over half-an-hour earlier than usual. I excitedly shared my perfect-timing story, but my better half one upped me easily.

Noach felt a tug, and then heard a rip. His jacket had been caught on the nail, and the beautiful suit had a tear.

Boundaries must be set in every home. Parents and children are not pals. They are not equals.

Noah and his wife could not fathom living together as husband and wife and continuing the human race

The Babel story is the 2nd in a 4-act drama that’s unmistakably a connecting thread of Bereishit

Our intentions are critical in raising children because they mimic everything we parents do & think

A humble person who achieves a position of prominence will utilize the standing to benefit others.

More Articles from Rabbi Meir Orlian
Business-Halacha-logo

Noach felt a tug, and then heard a rip. His jacket had been caught on the nail, and the beautiful suit had a tear.

Business-Halacha-logo

Shimon started adjusting the branches on the roof. In doing so, a branch fell off the other side of the car and hit the side-view mirror, cracking it.

Some seforim on a nearby bookcase toppled over and knocked the esrog out of Lev’s hand. It fell to the ground and a piece broke off.

Mr. Fisher contacted Rabbi Dayan. “Am I allowed to use money of ma’aser kesafim to pay the shul for an aliyah that I bought?” he asked.

Rabbi Dayan took a challah and some cooked eggs. He then called over his 15-year-old son, Aharon. “Could you please ask your friend Chaim from next door to come over and help me with the eruv tavshilin?”

When the Kleins returned, however, they were dismayed to see that the renters did a poor job cleaning up after themselves.

“Tony said that the code in most places in the U.S. is at least 36 inches for a residential guardrail,” replied Mr. Braun. “Some make it higher, 42, or even 52 inches for high porches. What is the required height according to halacha?”

“The Torah states in Parshat Ki-Teitzei: ‘If you build a new house, you shall make a fence for your roof. I think it’s your responsibility.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/reluctant-reference/2013/03/13/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: