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

Safe at Work: Employees in a constant state of vigilance

By Rabbi Dr. Asher Meir

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Q. Secular regulations impose many workplace safety requirements. Does Jewish law also demand a safe workplace?

A. We find an explicit Torah commandment for a safe home. The Torah tells us that any house must have a railing on the roof (Deuteronomy 22:8):

    When you build a new house, make a railing on your roof, and don't bring bloodshed on your house if someone falls from it.

The sages of the Talmud understood that the commandment is not limited specifically to a roof, but rather extends to any hazard in our everyday environment:

    This refers only to one who builds What if he bought, or inherited, or received a house as a present? It says "house", of any kind. . . .

    This refers only to a house. Where do I learn that it includes a storehouse? . . .

    It says "don't bring bloodshed on your house", of any kind. Could this refer also to a gatehouse or a patio? It says "house", meaning a place of dwelling. . .

    This refers only to a roof. What about wells and cellars and caves and fissures? It says "don't bring bloodshed into your house". Why then does it refer to a roof? To exempt a ramp. (1)

We need to make sense of the perplexing mix of inclusions and exemptions. For example, why should the commandment be limited to a place of dwelling, given that all kinds of hazards are included? We also need to put this commandment in the context of other commandments that obligate us to safeguard human life and well being, such as (Leviticus 19:16) "Don't stand idly by the blood of your fellow" and particularly "Take care and guard your spirit" (Deuteronomy 9:4).

The very prominent recent authority Rabbi Avraham Yeshayahu Karelitz (known as "Chazon Ish") tries to unravel these various strands. He explains that the general Torah obligation to preserve life can be fulfilled in two ways: either by creating a safe environment or alternatively by vigilance to avoid danger. A person climbing on a roof without a railing can still be safe if he exercises caution. Rabbi Karelitz explains that for occasional or exceptional hazards, for example the workmen who built the railing in the first place, vigilance is adequate. However, the Torah tells us that when it comes to a person's house, where he spends all his time, that is not sufficient. Physical means have to be in place to make the home a safe place even if a person is not exercising special vigilance. (2)

The same would apply to a workplace where people spend their entire day. Some particular workplace activities, such as operating heavy equipment, may perhaps be dangerous and require vigilance, but the sustained working environment must be a safe one. It is not reasonable that all workers are exercising special vigilance all the time.

Indeed, one recent authority, Rabbi Betzalel Stern, considers that a workplace is particularly commanded in this mitzvah, because people are absorbed in their work. (3) This harmonizes with the Chazon Ish. If a person is concentrating on his work, he will be careful with the special precautions directly related to his work, but needs to have any incidental distractions removed.

So the answer to your question is as follows: Any particular task that involves danger has to be carried out with the appropriate vigilance and safety equipment, such as goggles, harnesses and so on. This is part of the general commandment of "Take care and guard your spirit." But beyond this, there is a need to ensure that workers are protected from hazardous conditions during routine tasks. The Torah recognizes that it is unreasonable to expect people to be in a constant state of vigilance and thus it commands, "make a railing on your roof, and don't bring bloodshed on your house."

SOURCES: (1) Sifri (Midrash Halacha) on Deuteronomy 22:8. (2) Chazon Ish, Choshen Mishpat Likutim 18. (3) Responsa Betzel HaChochma IV:115

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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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