Ethics

For the week ending 23 June 2007 / 7 Tammuz 5767

A Job for a Jew?

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll
Question: As a distributor of books I am sometimes approached by publishers who will allow me to distribute their books on the condition that I agree to also distribute some of the missionary writings that they publish. What is the right thing to do?

Answer: The Chafetz Chaim told the story of a fellow in your situation who gave in to pressure and tried selling missionary books in a synagogue until he was stopped by the local rabbi. When he complained that his livelihood was threatened, he was promised that the next morning the rabbi would have a new job for him.

Upon arrival that morning the rabbi told him that he had spoken to the local priest who was ready to give him a job ringing the bells in his church.

"Is this a job for a Jew?" complained the fellow. "Do you expect me to work for a church and call Gentiles to prayer by ringing the bells?"

"Foolish fellow," replied the rabbi. "You are so worried about calling Gentiles to their church and you don't hesitate to sell books which will bring Jews to the church! I ask you — is this a job for a Jew?"

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