Torah Judaism, while founded on matters of faith, equally encompasses very complex matters of business. That is profoundly illustrated in those sections of the Shulchan Aruch (Code of Jewish Law) which carefully scrutinize all manner of business relationships and transactions.
This important book emerges at a critical time for Jews involved in today's business climate. As many people in our extended community derive their living from sales, financing, and real estate, the relevance of these Torah laws for business dealings is acute. Fairness is the watchword in all considerations, whether it is protecting parties from damages, negligence, and failures or structuring clear and binding agreements, whether written or verbal. Machlokes (dispute) is to be assiduously avoided.
In the words of the author, Rabbi Ari Marburger, who is himself a dayan (rabbinic judge):
"The laws of Choshen Mishpat, behavior appropriate to the marketplace, remain a mystery to the typical layman. People tend to view these... as relevant only in the context of a Din Torah... Shulcahn Aruch sets the rules of behavior that business people should follow to avoid disputes."
While many today understand and carefully practice the laws governing chesed (kindness), tzedakah (charity), and lashon hora (not speaking ill of others), the details and applications of tzedek (justice) have been dimly understood. This timely book was written to clarify and correct this imbalance, in the hope of ensuring eternal as well as temporal profits for all.
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