The Times of Israel has a feature on B&H, the Satmar owned camera store. B&H has been successfully sued several times for discriminating against non-Jewish employees, including for paying them less than Jewish employees, and blocking them from management positions. In the article, Rabbi Daniel Lapin, who is an Orthodox rabbi and an author of several Jewish business books is quoted in the article as saying:

Lapin maintains that none of the aforementioned allegations undermine B&H’s integrity. “Where in the Torah does it say that you have to pay all employees the same rate? Where in the Torah is equality depicted as a virtue? The answer is nowhere at all.” The company’s business model, according to Lapin, adheres to God’s plan insofar as it’s described in, “His book.”

“The notion that there’s a moral flaw in people who, because they don’t pay all their employees the same — I’m not sure I see the basis for that in morality. It may not be fair, it may not be legal, those are not my areas. But to say that there is a clash with Jewish values simply would not be true,” said Lapin.

Is Lapin's view correct? Excluding dina d'malchuta issues, is it correct that there is no moral problem in Judaism with workplace discrimination? If so, what sources support this claim?

  • 4
    If someone agreed to work for a certain price, what's wrong with that? Some people negotiate better than others.
    – Double AA
    Jan 18, 2015 at 17:38
  • 1
    related judaism.stackexchange.com/q/17318/759
    – Double AA
    Jan 18, 2015 at 17:40
  • @DoubleAA B&H may be negotiating harder with non-Jewish employees, while more quickly acceding to the demands of Jewish employees. Again, I don't know if that's against halacha or "Jewish values" (though it sounds like marat ayin to me), but it certainly feels wrong.
    – user5540
    Jan 18, 2015 at 17:43
  • I don't know what feels wrong about it. It's not like they're forcing anyone to do anything. You've never asked a friend to have their boss look at your resume? Business is all about who you know.
    – Double AA
    Jan 18, 2015 at 17:48
  • Which issur could one possibly violate?
    – mevaqesh
    Feb 16, 2015 at 4:27

1 Answer 1


Yes, it is wrong. If I hire a Jewish girl to help me do my laundry on isru chag and pay her $12 an hour and offer to pay $5 for transportation, and she is not able to make it. My offer to the non-Jewish employee of $10 an hour and no transportation subsidy is wrong. Its also like how people refuse to hire jewish women as cleaning ladies.

  • 3
    Hey there, welcome to Mi Yodeya! Do you have a source for your assumptions? While not always required, sources greatly improve the quality of an answer. After all, I'm just taking your word for it, and I have no idea who you are. I hope to see you around Mi Yodeya!
    – MTL
    Jan 19, 2015 at 5:20

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