Questions involving business practices and business ethics have been one of the major concerns of Jewish legal decisors, who consequently generated an enormous literature of legal discussion and jurisprudence. In his previous volumes, notably his widely acclaimed Economics and Jewish Law: Halakhic Perspectives and Free Enterprise and Jewish Law: Aspects of Jewish Business Ethics, Dr. Levine reviewed this literature in regard to particular areas of modern economic thought and current business practice. In this new volume, he applies the insights of Jewish law to situations, employing a case-study method. Among the topics analyzed and discussed are deceptive advertising, negative comparative price advertising, insider trading, price matching and price scalping, the pricing of pharmaceuticals, the social responsibilities of modern businesses, ethical investment and consumer ethics. Many of these issues involve two fundamental principles of Jew law: that business be carried out in a non-discriminatory manner and inter-Jewish transactions are regulated by the prohibition of paying and receiving ribbit (interest). Many of the nuances of this prohibition in the context of commercial transactions are dealt with in this volume. The treatment of ribbit includes a discussion of hetter iska, a halakhic mechanism designed to ameliorate the prohibition.
by Aaron Levine