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"Do not hate your brother..."

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Rabbi Jonathan Blass

24 Adar II 5763
Question
Is there an obligation to treat people equally? Can a school give a discount to one person (not based on financial need) for no reason and charge full price for another person? What about a store owner, can he charge one person x for an item that is a non essential commodity and another person x + 10 for the exact same non essential commodity? (Where there were no extra effort or expenses the owner needed to recoup) Thank you
Answer
There is an obligation on the court system and, by extension, on all public bodies not to discriminate between one person and another. A private individual or a private business is permitted, however, to provide friends, neighbors or relatives with products and services at a discount. Discriminating AGAINST a particular group or individual could involve violations of the commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself” and of the prohibition “do not hate your brother in your heart”.
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