Kenneth Cohen

Honesty in Business

We must never minimize that our conduct in business matters, is a very high level of Divine service. It is a way of sanctifying the Name of G-d.

The Ba’al Shem Tov explained this to his students, with a logical argument. He said that if scholars pore over the teachings of Bava Metzia, that deals with absolute integrity, and this serious study is very important to Hashem, because he is engaging in the Holy Torah; how much greater must this be, if one turns the teachings into practice.

If one is careful about not overcharging, if he never takes interest, if his weights and measures are accurate, and his word is his word, this is serving G-d in practice.

We must realize that just as such practices sanctify G-d’s Name, dishonesty and cheating in business, desecrates His Name. The Talmud states this clearly as especially grievous, when someone tries to pass himself off as a righteous, religious Jew.

This is extremely important to put the Torah’s teachings into practice. Torah study has little value if it’s not put into practice. This is definitely a message requiring more emphasis. For this is the real way that we act in a way that is pleasing to G-d. We must fulfill the verse, “You are My people Israel. Through you, I will be glorified.”

About the Author
Rabbi Cohen has been a Torah instructor at Machon Meir, Jerusalem, for over twenty years while also teaching a Talmud class in the Shtieblach of Old Katamon. Before coming to Israel, he was the founding rabbi of Young Israel of Century City, Los Angeles. He recently published a series of Hebrew language-learning apps, which are available at