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May 24, 2009

Interesting Psak by Rav Yaakov Yosef: Preferably buy from a religious Jew

How would you respond to this?

In this weeks parsha sheet "Eretz Yisrael She'Lanu", Rav Yaakov Yosef said it is preferable to buy, when possible, from religious Jews. He says if you have two stores, one of a Jew and one of a goy (or of a Jew who acts like a goy i.e. he is not religious), we are obligated to purchase specifically from the God fearing Jew. He bases this on a passuk in the Torah. Rav Yaakov Yosef also related that it was well known about the Chazon Ish that he would walk far to a makolet to buy items, rather than purchase from the makolet nearby, because the one nearby was owned by a non-religious Jew, and the one farther away was owned by a religious Jew.

I had the radio on for a moment, and caught the end of a discussion regarding the above psak. The broadcaster was criticizing it saying that with saying such a psak, they [haredim] cannot then come and tell [the establishment] that when they are learning instead of serving in the army they are learning for all of Israel. They are divisive and only look out for their own, and they should not then try to sell us stories of how they are concerned for all of us and learn for all of us.

(Again, I missed most of the discussion - I just caught the end of it which was that one statement)

How would you respond to that?

24 comments:

  1. One of the best lessons of life I received from one of my Yeshiva rabbonim was that before you are concerned for a fellow Jew's ruchniyus, first take care of his gashmiyus needs.

    I have long stopped caring what the Yosef clan paskens.

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  2. "We should point out that despite everything, that sect still has some influence and we see some of its ideas infiltrating our camp. We often hear avreichim make statements such as, "The year we went into Lebanon." I ask them who this "we" is referring to, since I did not go in! They don't understand my question, since they think that there is one nation, part of which learns in yeshivas and part of which fights battles, so that all of us went in "together." It has to be admitted that this attitude is an educational failure!"
    The follwing quote is from Rav Zvi Friedman, when discussing Rav Shach's antipathy for Chabad. It was published in the Yated.
    http://chareidi.shemayisrael.com/archives5762/beshalach/BSH62orvschrfrdm2.htm
    If one wants to deal with the issue, onew need not turn to a fringe Rabbi's mainstream piskei halacha.

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  3. Does Rav Yosef provide any guidance on determining who is religious? If someone goes to shul three times a day, is he "more religious" than a "social activist" who helps the underprivileged? (למה לי רוב זבחיכם)

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  4. no he does not say. either he is basing it on external appearance, your personal knowledge of the person, or other generalities.

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  5. rafi,

    Opa always taught me that you go to a Jewish Owned store first. Although, he never diffrentiated between religious or not.

    The psak is based on a pasuk in behar, perek 25, pasuk 14, see rashi there.

    It doesn't mean one has to overpay to shop by a Jew, but certainly give the jew the opportunity to meet the price or be as convenient. Opa always told me, if the jew is no more than 10% higher, just shop there.

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  6. before everyone yells and screams, which many did here in chicago when this issue was raised because of jewel expanding their market, remember, this is a possible Asai m'dioraysa, don't shrug it off so quickly.

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  7. I dont remember it from Opa, but it is a standard psak as far as Jew and non-Jew go. I have heard it before in the name of many Rabbonim, and that is the halacha. The percentage in difference in price you have to pay and still go to the jew will vary depending on the rabbi - but the point is generally accepted.

    The post is really wondering what you would say to the comparison the radio guy was making.

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  8. We are not talking about a Jew and a non-Jew here.
    -------------------------------
    shaya g said...
    remember, this is a possible Asai m'dioraysa, don't shrug it off so quickly.

    ===============================
    Whose Sefer Hamitzvot are you smoking?

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  9. In Toronto there are a number of small kosher grocery stores. They cannot compete with the large chains that also target the kosher market. Our Rav said that supporting Jewish businesses is a high level of Tzedakah and you could use Miser Money to cover the price difference.

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  10. Pirket Avot goes through a whole list of character traits that a person who learns Torah lishmo will acquire. Same Rav as above said that if someone does not have these character traits it is proof they are not learning Lishmo.

    When I shop I consider customer service, pricing and quality. I find that there is a corelation between the charchter traits in Pirket Avot and things I look for in a shopping experience.

    Even though we have gift certificates to some of the larger electronic stores we are serious considering the Kolbo stores as we look for a new washing machine.

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  11. How would you respond to that?[space]

    Respond to what? It's well known that the Charedi (Chassidish) movement has turned from something beautiful and Judaism-enhancing into a selfish cult-like* existence that has ceased to add very much of importance to Judaism recently. Even the multitude of seforim that are published by the Charedi community are mostly junk, that first of all is impractical, second off all isn't relevant, and third of all the vast majority of which ends up in the junkyard of study to be lost forever.

    By the way, some of this is even believed inside parts of the Charedi community, especially the parts about the huge volume of irrelevant seforim being published. And there are also many good frum Torah Jews in the Charedi community that haven't quite bought into the cult-like existence, but are fearful for how their children will be treated if they tread too far outside the lines.

    Also, the divisiveness of such a pronouncement is astounding. I am not aware of any halacha that divides Jew from Jew (other than the few exceptions that are well known, Cohen, Levi, Yisrael, Ger, Gerusha, Almana, Bechor, etc). Can anyone give an example of a mitzvah/halacha that applies only to a tzadik and not to a Rasha?

    Mark


    * Cult-like primarily because the primary allegiance is to their Rabbi rather than to God and principle.

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  12. Anonymous said...

    Respond to what? ...
    ===============================
    Heh. That was quite a response you gave there.

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  13. i think one should give consideration to shopping in non-religious jewish-owned stores for the possibility of interaction and reducting stereotypes and low-level kiruv. how much interaction does the average hiloni have with the average haredi?

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  14. That psak is narishkeit.

    Rafi, you really dig up good topics!

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  15. mteren - that's what they pay me the big bucks for! [/rolleyes>

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  16. this attitude is part of the overall problem. We are better than everyone else. If you say it long enough, eventually you will start to believe it.
    case in point: my sister, who works at an unnamed department store in Manhattan, can tell from a mile away when a 'chareidi' customer comes calling. The are rude, abrupt, and extremely demanding. They never say thank you and treat the staff like servants.'get me this, get me that...I want a discount'..and that's just getting started.

    My sister, a frum Jew, is mortified and embarrassed, everytime like it's the first time. The Jewish employees (and there are many) grumble to her (the lone representative of religious Judaism) how humiliating it is to be represented by these people, and how could this possibly be the way a religious person should behave??

    This is the example we are showing the world. I don't care how long their skirts are or how thick their stockings are. They have been conditioned to believe that they are better than just about everyone else. It is a HUGE chillul hashem.

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  17. anon:

    what does your comment have to do with the topic?

    Every culture supports their own better than we jews support each other. yes, we give an unreal amount of tzedakah. but supporting a frum/jewish business PREVENTS the need for tzedakah. Are some frummers rude, of course, so are many other types of people. i work retail and can tell you, there are good and bad people in every group. You simply are embarrased by your own peoples behavior - and are correct. But they are no more rude than others. I have dealings with many frum and not and it's about even. You and I are just disappointed because we expect better from the frummers.

    regardless, SHY GUY, the sefer Hamitzvot I am smoking is one that my Rov here in Chicago and the Av Beis Din of the CRC both say is a safek mitzvas Aseih based on this rashi in Behar.

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  18. It seems to me that whether the store is owned by a religious Jew is one of many considerations, such as price, customer service, selection, and so on. If the religious Jew is rude or gives poor service, I wouldn't buy from him even if the price was reasonable. If he (or she) is a mench, certainly they'd have an advantage.

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  19. shalom, that's the point.

    all things being equal, give the business to the Jew. If he's too expensive, you don't like his service, etc... then you have options, but at leats afford that person the opportunity. Every other group supports their own. Greeks, irish, russian, etc, better than we Jews support each other when it comes to business.

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  20. shaya g - but supporting a frum/jewish business PREVENTS the need for tzedakah.[]

    I don't believe my eyes, but are you implying that the mitzvah of tzedaka only applies to frum Jews and not to all Jews?

    So, if there are 2 grocery stores, one owned by a frum Jew, and the other owned by a less frum Jew. The community supports the frum owned store, and the non frum Jew comes on hard times. Do you think he gets tzedaka or not?

    Shy Guy, oy vey, on the DovBear blog, I've almost been called a heretic and should be thrown into a pit :-) I've also been told to shut up ... that's how I know that I am correct and on the right track.

    shaya g - shalom, that's the point.I think you might have missed the point. Everyone agrees that Jews should buy from Jews whenever possible. Even if the price is up to 10-15% higher. No machlokes there.

    all things being equal, give the business to the Jew. If he's too expensive, you don't like his service, etc... then you have options, but at least afford that person the opportunity. Every other group supports their own. Greeks, Irish, Russian, etc, better than we Jews support each other when it comes to business.But this psak says nothing about buying from Jews over non-Jews. It is a psak that says to buy from a more frum Jew rather than a less frum Jew. It's just that division of Jew to Jew that I so strongly object to. It's clearly a form of sinat chinam that I and every other Jew must do our utmost to eradicate b'mherah beyamanu.

    Mark

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  21. Shy Guy, oy vey, on the DovBear blog, I've almost been called a heretic and should be thrown into a pit :-) I've also been told to shut up ... that's how I know that I am correct and on the right track.
    ===============================
    I do not have the stomach for many of these blogs. Sometimes I will not even browse them even once during the course of a year or so.

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  22. I do not have the stomach for many of these blogs. Sometimes I will not even browse them even once during the course of a year or so.[]

    The thing is, there is excellent discussion on those blogs. The kind of discussion nobody would ever dare have anywhere else. The kind of discussion that actually stimulates thought rather than groupthink. That's what I like. For me, it's a lot better than a 1-way shiur with minimal questions and discussions afterward.

    Mark

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  23. Mark, these blogs don't have a monopoly on contrary opinions.

    It's the atmosphere in them which I avoid.

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