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Chapter 62:1-3
The Laws of Commerce and Trade

1. Great care must be taken not to deceive or cheat a colleague. Whoever cheats or deceives a colleague violates a Torah prohibition. This applies whether the seller deceives the purchaser or the purchaser deceives the seller, as [Leviticus 25:14] states: "When you sell something to a colleague or buy something from a colleague, do not wrong each other."

[Shabbos 31a] relates that this will be the first issue about which a person will be questioned [by the Heavenly tribunal] in his ultimate judgement. He will be asked: "Have you dealt and traded honestly?"

2. Just as one is forbidden to cheat a colleague with regard to a sale, so, too, there is a prohibition against cheating with regard to hired work, contracted labor, and exchange of currency.

3. A person who trades faithfully need not worry about the prohibition against cheating a colleague. What is meant by "trading faithfully"? A person who says: " I have brought this article for this amount and I want to make this much as a profit." Even if he was cheated when he purchased the article - though a person who was cheated has no right to cheat a colleague - nevertheless, the above mentioned practice is permitted. He clearly tells the purchaser not to consider the worth of the article, but the amount which he had paid for it.

   Commerce and Trade
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Halacha-Yomi, Copyright (c) 2000 ProjectGenesis, Inc.

 






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