Jewish principles apply to business dealings too


I have been thinking about how the lessons we just revisited at Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur apply to our business life as well as our personal life.

An article on, “Honest Trading,” by Nesanel Yoel Safran, makes this point about fairness in business: “Some people think that although it’s important to be nice and fair to others, when it comes down to matters having to do with money, the rules somehow change and they are allowed to act unscrupulously.

“This is clearly not the Torah way. In this week’s portion, we are told that we shouldn’t act unfairly to one another even when we do business. Rather, we should recognize that this too is part of our relationship with God, and we should always treat people kindly and honestly, maintaining our proper values.”

My perspective on this is:

Conduct your business with your higher purpose in the forefront.

Listen to your customers, clients and colleagues, and understand their point of view, even if it is not your perspective.

Know and focus on making a difference for the people you do business with.

Bring joy into your work, even on the tough days.

Be grateful for the opportunity to do your work, even when your role or position might need to change.

Be fair in your business relationships. People will remember how they were treated, and treating them well can bring all parties dividends.

In his article “Radically Jewish Business Ethics,” on, David Weitzner writes, “An authentically Jewish approach to business ethics believes that businesses can do well while being good. Be mindful of your strategy, and be mindful of the greater narrative that you will one day have to relay.

“Are you creating more opportunities for business, opening doors for more people to join the transactions? Are you playing your role as authentically as possible, whether you are a buyer or a seller, a lender or a borrower? The moral good that comes from business activities done well is as real and meaningful as the moral good that may come from anywhere else. That is business b’emunah.

PATRICIA RASKIN, owner of Raskin Resources Productions, is an award-winning radio producer, business owner and leader. She is on the board of directors of Temple Emanu-El, in Providence, and is a recipient of the Providence Business News 2020 Leaders and Achievers award. Her “Positive Aging with Patricia Raskin” podcast is broadcast on the Rhode Island PBS website,