In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 16, 2008 /13 Tamuz 5768

Poaching humans

By Rabbi Dr. Asher Meir

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Q: My firm would have trouble filling an open position with a simple ad asking for CV's. But we know an existing worker at another firm who is suitable. Can we try to lure him away?

A: Jewish law has a healthy respect for existing business relationships and negotiations, and educates us to be reluctant to disrupt them. The Talmud tells the following story:

Rav Gidel was bargaining on a certain property, when Rebbe Abba came along and bought it. Rav Gidel went and complained to Rebbe Zeira; Rebbe Zeira went and complained to Rav Yitzchak Nafcha. He said, wait until he comes to visit in the holiday. When he came, he found him and said, A poor person who is bargaining for a loaf of bread and someone else comes and takes it from him, what is the rule? He said, he is considered wicked. Then why did you do this? He said, I did not know [that Rav Gidel had already begun negotiations]. (1)

However, many commentaries limit this restriction to the case where the "poaching" is gratuitous or nearly so. They assume that Rebbe Abba could easily have found another property that suited his needs; in that case, it would have been unethical for him to undo all of Rav Gidel's concern and negotiation and make him start all over looking for a field. Rav Gidel is thus likened to someone "poor", who will suffer a loss if he has to look elsewhere, and Rebbe Abba to someone rich, who has many opportunities. If however Rebbe Abba had a special reason to want specifically this field, then it would have been proper. (2)

The same commentators also extend the analogy to the labor market. They state that a worker shouldn't try to offer himself to an employer who is already satisfied with his current employee. The assumption is that the unemployed worker has many work opportunities and that he shouldn't pick on the currently employed worker who is already invested in his current place of work. But it is permissible for an employer to hire away a worker from some other employer; again, the assumption is that good workers are hard to find. But these are only examples. If the facts were opposite - jobs hard to find and workers easy to find - the ruling would be opposite.

So given your statement that you would have difficulty finding a good worker through regular channels, it would be perfectly OK for you to offer a job to a person currently employed elsewhere. It is also OK to hire such a person if you solicit CV's and he sends one; then he has judged that it is in his interest to change positions.

However, in many lines of work there are unwritten agreements among firms not to poach. There is a kind of "golden rule" at work where firms agree that everyone would be better off avoiding a disruptive game of musical chairs. If this is the custom in your industry I would think twice before rocking the boat; your decision could come back to haunt you.

Another ethical issue to consider is the way of approaching this individual. It would be improper to approach or contact him at work, or through work channels (e.g., his work phone or e-mail). This would be adding insult to the injury suffered by his current employer. And it goes without saying that you shouldn't take advantage of any private information the worker obtained in his current workplace.

SOURCES: (1) Babylonian Talmud, Kiddushin 59a (2) Tosafos commentary, there


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JWR contributor Rabbi Dr. Asher Meir, formerly of the Council of Economic Advisers in the Reagan administration, is Research Director of the Business Ethics Center of Jerusalem, Jerusalem College of Technology. To comment or pose a question, please click here.


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