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

Make a fuss about those who cuss?

By Rabbi Dr. Asher Meir

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Q. I learned that an employee used very coarse and racist language during a meeting. Is it appropriate to fire him?

A. Certainly filthy language is condemned by Jewish tradition. The Talmud states:

Due to the transgression of obscene language come many afflictions, and adverse decrees arise . . . as it is written (Isaiah 9:17), "The Lord will not rejoice in the young men, and will not show mercy to His orphans and widows, for all is immodesty and wickedness, and every mouth speaks profanities." . . . Rabba bar Shila said in the name of Rav Chisda, Anyone who speaks profanities, they deepen Gehinnom for him, as it is written (Proverbs 22:14), "[As] a deep pit is the mouth of the strange woman." Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak said, Even one who hears and remains silent, as it is written (Proverbs 22:14) "Who has incurred the wrath of the Lord will fall there."(1)

Likewise, in any number of places our sages warn against the use of any kind of offensive speech. In fact, the Talmud says that offensive language is a violation of the Torah prohibition "Don't oppress each man his fellow"(Leviticus 25:17). (2)

Our sages also warn us that the sensitivity is very great if one denigrates a member of a particular nationality or racial group; the Talmud admonishes us, "[Even] after ten generations, don't deride an Aramean in front of a proselyte." (3)

Obviously this is not the kind of conduct you would like to be representing your firm and your product.

But it would be jumping to conclusions to think that you should abruptly fire this person. Judaism believes unambiguously in the power of people to change. Our sages say that "repentance preceded the creation of the world," (4) meaning that the ability to grow and improve is the basis of human existence.

Specifically in the area of worker relations, Jewish law instructs us that it is generally wrong to fire a person for an isolated mistake without giving the employee a warning and chance to learn from his mistake. The exception would be where a person is aware that a misstep is likely to lead to an irreversible loss.

Rava said, a Torah instructor, a planter, a slaughterer and a blood-letter and a town scribe are all considered forewarned. (5)

The commentators explain that these professions are known to be characterized by a small margin for serious error, but in other occupations warning and instruction should be given.

Based on your description, it would seem that the best response would be to ask the employee to apologize to those he met with for his offensive conduct, and to explain to him that in the future obscene and particularly racist statements will meet with more severe sanctions. You should also learn your lesson and not leave this issue to chance. Your workplace should take this opportunity to spell out to employees in a transparent way what kind of conduct is expected of them at work, and what sanctions face them if they don't comply.

SOURCES: (1) Babylonian Talmud, Shabbas 33a (2) Babylonian Talmud, Bava Metzia 58b (3) Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 94a (4) Midrash Tehillim 90 (5) Babylonian Talmud, Bava Metzia 109b

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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.


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