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Ethical Investment: a Jewish Perspective

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Chapter Summary

It is not only inappropriate for 'tainted money' to be presented to the house of God, but any God-fearing person should distance himself from such 'spoiled goods'. It is for this reason that usury is forbidden by biblical and Rabbinic law, as it is also in Islamic law, though legal fictions were later developed to accommodate these laws to modern society and its economic infrastructure. For we have no absolute ownership over that which we possess. Our land, our wealth is God's gift to us, and we are no more than guardians over it. The sanctity of our possessions, and sanctity of land we live on, is preserved by our judicious and ethical use thereof, and that which is 'tainted' carries with it a stigma that bids us distance ourselves from it. Hence, ethics and morality should form the foundations of economic policy, whether at governmental or at non-governmental levels.

Keywords: biblical law; economic policy; ethics; God-fearing person; morality; Rabbinic law; tainted money



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