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Economy

  •   No financial aid from foreign countries
  • No privatization to core shareholders. Privatization only to the general public.
  • Jewish labor.
  • Encouragement of competition. Modification of the antitrust law in accordance.
  • The State should not produce goods and services that can be produced by the private sector; including education, health, electricity, media and telecommunications. 
  • No new taxes.
  • Decentralization of as many public systems as possible. Functions such as community police, social security and the legal system should be transferred to the local governments.
  • Incentives for investment in Israel by Jews currently living in the Diaspora. The State of Israel wants Jewish money – not as charity, but as investment.


Capitalism, Faith and Loving Kindness

A truly Jewish Israel must find the economic structure that will most aptly balance objective economic principles with Jewish values. Careful inspection of Judaism’s approach to economic matters reveals a triangle of principles.

Prinicple 1: Capitalism

Judaism absolutely recognizes personal property rights, the right to amass and maintain wealth and the fact that there will never be full economic equality. Moreover, Judaism sees wealth as a sign of blessing. Our Patriarchs were all “millionaires.”

Commerce, which socialism sees as negative and “robbery of the workers,” is viewed in Judaism as an honorable trade, just as any other legitimate source of income. Many of Israel’s sages engaged in commerce, from Rabbi Yehudah Hanasi who compiled the Mishnah to the Holy Ari.

Principle 2: Faith

A Jew must always understand that his wealth is not the product of his business acumen and that he is not its ultimate owner. It is G-d’s blessing that brought him success, and wealth is nothing more than a deposit in his hands to enable him to do what is right in G-d’s eyes. According to Judaism, it is permissible and appropriate to enjoy wealth. Judaism does not encourage asceticism, but guides us within the refining cultural framework of Torah. Furthermore, Judaism obligates the Jewish capitalist to perform actions that completely contradict the rules of capitalism. He must cease from work on the Shabbat even if he will lose the economic chance of a lifetime. During the Temple era, the Jew’s capitalism was even more compromised, when he was commanded to thrice yearly ascend to Jerusalem for the holidays, leaving his work far behind.

The laws of Monetary Sabbatical (Shmittat Ksafim) and the Jubilee, in which loans and land return to their original owners, are obviously the most compelling expression of the second leg of the economic triangle. The idea that the entire capitalistic game eventually returns to its starting point and that personal property is not exactly personally owned completely contradicts capitalism. Currently, these laws are reserved for the “Era of the Messiah,” but we can integrate the principle of faith inherent in them. The main economic objective is not wealth just for its own sake, but rather the spiritual lifestyle that it can foster.

Principle 3: Loving kindness

Acts of loving kindness are the responsibility of the individual and the community. No hiding behind state organizations such as social security or welfare. The welfare mandate, like most other authority, will be the responsibility of the community and its elected officials. The local officials must be responsible for the underprivileged of the community. They know them personally and can identify who is truly needy. They will collect the taxes and decide what portion of the district income will be allocated for education, health, welfare, etc. Furthermore, every individual in the community must take responsibility for the poor, setting aside a fixed percentage of his income for charity, as the Torah commands.

How can we apply these principles today?

Jewish economy that strikes a balance between capitalism, faith and loving kindness will enhance the development of a free market while restraining and refining it. For example, Jewish economy will not allow for flooding the market with a product, which makes it impossible for smaller businesses to compete. This practice is based on capitalistic principles but ignores the ideals of faith and loving kindness. An entrepreneur would not be allowed to open a shopping mall and put all the surrounding small shops out of business. Instead, he would have to make provisions to give the small businessman a fair chance to integrate his business into the mall. A person would not be allowed to hire foreign workers while ignoring the unemployment of the people in his community. And certainly, an elected official’s salary would have to be proportional to the average wage of the general public.

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