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Buying from a Jew versus a non-Jew


Rabbi David Sperling

Tevet 18, 5775
Is there a source for buying from a Jewish-owned store rather from a supermarket, especially if the supermarket sells at a lower price or offers conveniences or selection more than the Jewish-owned store? Thank you. Rabbi Yosef Wikler
Shalom Rabbi, Thank you for your question. The issue of buying from our fellow Jews rather than from non-Jews is certainly addressed by our sources. On the verse in Viyikrah 25,14 the Sifra (also quoted by Rashi on the verse) states that one should buy from Jews. There is much debate as to the strength of this obligation (is it an obligation at all, or just a nice thing to do? A Rabbinic command? Or perhaps even a Torah obligation). There is also a debate as to how much more one has to pay in order to buy from a Jew (if it is an obligation). Some say that as long as the price by the Jew is reasonable (even though it is higher than by the non-Jew) one must pay it. Others say that one does not have to buy from the Jew if it is more than one third more expensive. Still others hold that there is no fixed measure, and it depends upon the time, place and situation. For a comprehensive discussion of the issue, please see Rav Shlomo Aviner's response in his work MeKedem Bet El (pages 68-80) [Hebrew]. For the view of the Hafetz Haim, you can see his work, Ahavat Hesed, part 1 -chapter 5, 6-7. [Also printed in English]. I hope this is of some help to you – Blessings.
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