Times are tough. I have a friend who is a genius in his hi-tech field and he’s unemployed for 7 years!!! His case is only an example of the millions who are jobless, or who are on some kind of government subsidy. The jails are full of people who, because of corruption in society, are serving sentences for white collar crimes .there are many more than that who haven’t been caught yet. Making easy money fast has always been a temptation hard to overcome.

How about some guidelines regarding job seeking? The answers are very moral and idealistic. Hopefully reading this will make you an even better person than you already are.

The take- off point is this parsha chapter 19 verse 14. Don’t move somebody’s boundaries . That is, you are not to move back someone’s boundary line because you want to enlarge you property which borders on his land. Besides being in the general category of (gnaiva) theft ,this carries a specific , particular prohibition in and of itself. The main point is not to infringe on another person’s livelihood.

The Talmud teaches us that it extends even to the following scenario: a poor man is looking through the garbage for food and another comes along and grabs it before the first one reaches it, the latter has transgressed this highly moral and ethical law of our wonderful Torah. Even though the food is hefker (ownerless) never the less, If he was there first he has a claim to it.

A couple of weeks ago I was driving in my car looking for a parking space in the Machne Yehudah neighborhood of Yrushalayim. There was a driver double parked about 6 cars ahead of me ..As I arrived, a car pulled out about 10-12cars ahead. I saw it first and raced over there to grab the spot. I got there and I heard the horn of the man in back of me “‘ I’ve been waiting here half an hour! It’s my spot!!”…….. I was wearing a yarmulke and I have a beard. I thought, here’s a chance, to show this guy what our religion is all about. I got out of my car, walked over to him and said, “had you been standing next to the car or maybe one car back from the one that pulled out ,you would be right. But you were at least 5-6 cars back. Legally you have no claim, but beyond the letter of the law , I’ll give you it any way. And I did. It was a Kiddush Hashem. “Small time” but certainly worth it.

There’s a jewish owned grocery store on the block. Should I open up another one on the same block? If he can’t handle all the customers and there is enough for both stores, its ethical and acceptable. But if not, I should think , how would I feel if someone did that to me?

An even further level of being a real tzadik or real chosid can be seen in the following anecdote. In the olden days a man was asked to be the Rabbi in the Old city of Yrushalayim. It was slightly dangerous in those days, so he consulted his master Rabbi that guided him , to ask if it was worth taking the job , considering the danger involved. His mentor considered the question carefully, weighed all the sides and gave him the “go ahead to accept” The plusses outweigh the minuses. On his way out, he mentioned that there was one other person also considering the position. “What?! In my entire life I was always against competing for a position. If I was the only one, I would consider accepting or not. But if there were two of us and I get the job It means that the other person doesn’t. That’s not for me. It’s halachically permissible, but not for me” He understood his mentors exalted level and decided to decline the job.

In 1840 the young Rav Yisrael of Salant, was invited to be the rosh yeshiva in Vilna alongside the older rosh yeshiva. Rabbi Mordechai-Kletzky-Meltzer,ztz”l. It was a very important position in the career of a climbing, torah scholar. In a short time Rav Yisrael’s classes began to draw big crowds. They wanted to benefit from his profound thoughts and genius. But he realized that Rav Mordechai’s classes were becoming less and less attended. This disturbed him greatly. He decided to give up his position as rosh yeshiva. If his success meant infringing on someone else’s , it wasn’t for him. God is big enough to send him a path of success without hurting others. Shabbat shalom from Jerusalem.

Hoping to hear some comments , questions, ahavemet@012.net.il . Tel: 972 2 567 1812