Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Weights and Measures

By Rabbi Daniel Travis

"And Avraham listened to Efron and he weighed the amount of silver that he had promised Efron in front of the people of Cheth, giving him currency accepted by every merchant." (Bereshith 23:16)

Avraham demonstrated his superior level of integrity in the way he paid Efron. He weighed out the money generously, and gave Efron coins that were accepted by any merchant. In that way he made sure that there would be no question of cheating Efron on the agreed price.

Our Sages go to great lengths to describe the severity of maintaining correct scales. They compare weighing produce to carrying out a judicial ruling. One who is careful to render a correct decision in a beith din is considered to have strengthened one of the foundations of the world. The same applies to someone who maintains accurate scales (1). On the other hand, someone who ignores this responsibility causes a desecration of God’s name and deserves to be banished from the land (2). All those who associate with him are susceptible to suffering a similar fate (3).

A town once suffered from lack of rain. Despite fasting and prayers, the drought continued. One night the Rav of the town dreamt that a certain member of the community who was a simple store owner should pray for rain for the people of the town. At first the Rav ignored the dream, but when it continued to reappear the Rav approached the individual and asked him to pray for the community. At first the storeowner refused, but the Rav was very adamant and soon he consented. He brought his scales to the shul and made the following bold statement: “If I cheated someone even once, I should be burned alive. If not, the drought should cease.” Shortly after he concluded his prayers, the rain began (4).


1. Sha’arei Teshuvah 3,87.
2. Sifra Kedoshim 8,5.
3. ibid. 9.10.
4. Me’am Lo’ez, Devarim.


Text Copyright © 2007 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org


 






ARTICLES ON VAYEITZEI AND CHANUKAH:

View Complete List

A New Role
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5772

The Merit of 20 Years of Honest Work Surpassed the Merit of the Forefathers
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5774

Nurture the Yaakov Avinu Within Ourselves
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5774

> Chanaukah Lights
Shlomo Katz - 5765

Enlightening the Present From the Past
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5766

Some on Chariots, and Some on Horses
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5758

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

The Light of Devotion
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

Bread Is for Eating
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5767

In Every Generation
Shlomo Katz - 5766

Looking for a Chavrusah?

A Glaring Omission
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5766

How Are You Doing?
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5765

Out of Luck - Into G-d
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761

ArtScroll

“Trading Places on the Ladder of Life”
Jon Erlbaum - 0

Reaching Upward
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5764

Every Last Drop
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5760

Time Study
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5766



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information