Monday, February 13, 2012

Daily Business Ethics Halacha #18

Question: A Jewish owned grocery store in a mixed Jewish and non-Jewish neighborhood has a section that usually sells Kosher meat comes into possession of non-Kosher meat.  The store owner displays the meat in a way that subtly indicates to educated kosher consumers that the meat is not Kosher without explicitly saying so.  Non-Jewish patrons may be unaware that the meat is not kosher but they are accustomed to relying on the fact that the store owner is Jewish and they think they are buying kosher meat.  Is this ethical or is the store owner responsible to tell the non-Jewish customers explicitly that the meat that they are buying is not kosher?

Answer: This is an actually case from Hullin 94a.  The gemara rules that a proclamation that speaks only to the educated kosher consumer is acceptable because a more explicit proclamation may drive away non-Jewish customers. 

This is another support that Rabbi Levine cites to demonstrate that Halacha only requires a reasonable-man standard and not an ignorant-man standard.  (see previous post).