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HaAretz, last week, reported that Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar issued a halachic decision that "[b]usiness owners whose actions, either intentionally or through negligence, cause the public monetary losses must bear personal responsibility for the damage and reparations." I have not seen the psak halacha. But for those who have, is this really "unprecedented" as HaAretz's headline proclaims? Isn't this just an extension of the "lifnei ever" (i.e. "don't throw a stumbling block before the blind") and "al ohnaas" (fair dealing) prohibitions Rashi finds in Lev. 19:14 and Lev. 25:17 with regard to giving bad advice? Why or why not?

  • I was unable to read the whole article (subscribers only), but I don't see how it could be unprecedented in Jewish law: אדם מועד לעולם (see the mishnah on Bava Kama 26a). Maybe it mean unprecedented in Israeli civil law (though not unprecedented for America; they already ruled that way with the oil spill). – b a Jan 29 '13 at 17:54
  • @ba: If you register on HaAretz.com you don't have to pay and you can read whole articles, up to a maximum number, I think. As for American law, much of my practice involves breach of fiduciary duty in business. – Bruce James Jan 29 '13 at 18:07

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