Tel Aviv – Will the Haredi (ultra-Orthodox ) community stop making direct investments in the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange? According to a new ruling by the Badatz – a rabbinical court whose rulings are observed by a significant portion of the Haredi community – ultra-Orthodox Jews must not invest in the shares of Israeli companies, even in those owned by Orthodox businessmen such as Lev Leviev, Shaya Boymelgreen and Motti Zisser.
The ruling explained that buying shares makes the investor a partner in the company. But most publicly-traded companies, it said, are involved in some way in violating halakha (Jewish law ) – for instance, by violating the Sabbath or by inappropriate advertising – and a Haredi Jew must not be a partner in such an enterprise.
“The various investment instruments, especially the pension and provident [funds], are full partners in investments that involve Torah prohibitions: that earn yields from profits [generated] by selling on Shabbat, which the malls run roughshod over; from the products of factories that operate on Shabbat and Yom Kippur; from [television] channels that are full of filth; and from obscene advertising,” explained a booklet put out by the Badatz. “You and I are unwitting partners in all of these.”
The booklet offers Nochi Dankner’s IDB Holdings as an example.
“If you invested in this holding company, which may appear to be a worthy holding company that promises a handsome yield, you have become partners in several hundred of its subsidiaries, which produce its hefty profits. These include the Nesher cement company, which officially operates and manufactures mountains of cement on Shabbat – and even on Yom Kippur, heaven preserve us; the Maman cargo terminal at Ben-Gurion Airport, which operates on Shabbat as if it were a weekday … Even ‘innocent’ shares such as the Darban land development company owns a mall that operates on Shabbat, and Bank Leumi is a partner in the Fox fashion chain. Even Strauss shares include branches of the Coffee ToGo cafe chain, which operates on Shabbat.”
The Badatz also forbade its adherents to invest in what have been the hottest shares on the bourse over the past two months – the gas and oil exploration companies – because they continue drilling on Shabbat.
The Badatz’s financial investment supervisory committee was set up about two years ago to grant ultra-Orthodox “kashrut” certificates to financial instruments. The committee’s rabbis sat down and tried to find a formula that would permit investments in the shares of companies that operate according to halakha.
But now, the rabbis have reached the radical, sweeping conclusion that there can be no investment whatsoever in shares, because almost every publicly-traded company has halakhic problems.
However, the Badatz does permit investments in exchange-traded funds that track the indexes, or bonds that receive halakhic approval. The Harel, Ayalon and Phoenix insurance groups and the Excellence Nessuah investment house, among others, are already devising such investment instruments.
According to a survey conducted by the ultra-Orthodox department of the McCann-Erickson advertising agency, 42% of Israel’s 50,000 Haredi households deposit an average of NIS 825 a month in savings plans. That means the community’s total investable savings come to some NIS 500 million a year.
Good move. Now try to convince the frum community in the U.S. not to invest in the markets.
Many years ago I was a stock broker. All my clients were forwarned that before any Yom Tov all open orders were going to be cancelled. The client would have to resubmit his order after Yom Tov.
Just offer the badatz yeshivas a cut of the profits and they will find heterim…….
Unfortunately the Badataz Rabbis do not understand how the Market works!
I will not listen to such non sense.
Buying stocks is gambling. It is exactly like playing at a casino. Any charadei that wouldn’t play poker, shouldn’t play the market.
Asmachto lo kanya – if you win a few dollars, it’s genavah, and if you lose a few dollars, it’s an avaida.
Rav Sheinberg actually holds that a public corporation doesn’t have any owners and therefore he says not to make a bracha when dipping an keli that’s made by a public corporation even if most of the share holders are not jewish. If the Halacha is really like what the Badatz are saying then even stocks on the American markets should be assur.
Simple solution only invest and support non Jewish companies all Jewish companies must be boycotted
Ein ben David ba, ad shetichleh perutah min hashuk.
wow we hopefully will see a drop in israeli stocks worse then we saw today in america whoever listens ashrecha and you will not regret it
Someone should develop a portfolio of “kosher” companies that Jews should invest in, the same way (lehavdil) the Catholics have the “Ave Maria Fund” or Muslims have Sharia-compliant portfolios.
not to mention Ribbus
For more than 200 years, the gedoylim — far greater gedoylim than these — have had no problem with the limited liability business corporation, which is expressly not a partnership, as they seem to think. Of course, there are no standards, nor is there judicial review, in the fatwa business.
If they don’t like the alleged hilul shabbes, let them wait bicday she-yasu before selling their shares. Utter narishkeit.
Forgive me, but this psak is absurd. Gedolim have dealt with this issue in the past and their is a whole history of Shailos and Tshuvos. See Igros Moshe, etc., etc.
If they forbid Jews from investing in shaya boymelgreen or lev leviev two years, a lot of jews wouldnt have lost a lot of money.
Owning a share of stock in a company does not make one a “partner” in the company.
This is a setup! MARK MY WORDS you will soon read about a “BeDaTZ hechsher” on investment funds that only own companies that are kosher. This is a scam for the rabbunim to make money!!
They just want to expand their hashgacha business into another field!
This is as phony as a $3 bill!
Oh, and I’m waiting for their holy mossid fundraisers to say “We don’t accept any money profited from the market, or from anyone who made money in the market.” And whatever hetter they use to take your money, you could use that hetter to make your money!
And to circumvent this nonsense in any case, get a non-jewish partner and let him profit from the “tummah” and you profit from the “tahor.” Oh wait, it already is like that, because you only own 1/10,000,000 of the company. So I’m sure you you could find a tahor 1/10,000,000 of the company.
Speak to any bar seichal, and they will tell you to stop looking for more problems, and start looking for solutions. Like…. maybe start with looking for an honest livelihood instead of trying to charge people for unnecessary hashgachas.
No loss. Most of them are on the dole and take and having nothing to invest anyway.
If stocks in general are assur, why would index funds be different? Not to mention the fact that index funds have Jewish traders who buy and sell on yom tov or computer programmers who occasionally have to troubleshoot or make adjustments on yom tov to the computer programs that determine which stocks are bought “automatically.”
Also, stock markets have been around for hundreds of years, why are they suddenly assur now?
I think this ruling should include ALL stocks, I already lost thousands of dollars in the market. I have never seen somebody make money there. You can consider it a good parking lot for a very long termn but it needs to be highly diversified, otherwise you’ll loose everything, take wamu and aig for examples and many others.
I just love how everybody suddenly becomes an expert in halacha overnight without the slightest clue about how choshen mishpat works! How many of you know even one perek in Bava Metzia b’iyun, much less daled chelkei shulchan aruch. Keep your ignorant judgements of Gedolim (past and present) to yourselves. When you become great talmidei chachamim one day then you might be able to first appreciate them and then HUMBLY suggest an alternative.
Maybe they mean you shouldn’t invest ina start up company that is Isn’t yet Shomer Shabbos. Because you are directly paying and investing in Chillul Shabbos. I don’t think the Rabbanim are Asssuring non Jewish owned companies.
just because your ‘gemara-kup’ doesn’t agree with the pesak (or its ramifications), does NOT give you a heter to bash gedolai yisroel.
just follow YOUR rabbi’s advice (who i’m sure will NOT advise you to speak l”h and criticize dissenting views)
Come on, you can’t be serious??? Maybe I’m naive but I read the comments expecting to see all the intelligent people shoot down this ridiculous, coercive ‘psak’.
When will it end? Do we want to turn Yiddishkeit into just another extremist religion chas v’chalila? Aren’t we more than that?
I’m glad to have seen at least a few voices of reason…
it seems to me that the so-called “BADATZ” had a few bad investments themselves and now they are trying not to make themselves look bad. tell “BADATZ” to stick to hechsheirim on food….they need a lot of work on that end before they start looking at other problems in their organization.
Even if you accept our old friend HaAretz’s report at face value, and I don’t, the “significant proportion” of chareidm who follow the BeDatz’s rulings is (far) less than 1% even in Yerushalayim, never mind the whole of Israel.
Just twos example of many. The BeDatz forbid voting in Israeli elections. How many charedim vote?
The BeDatz forbid mosdos accepting funds from the government. How many mosdos don’t (and how many do!)?
Enough said? Basically, who cares what BeDatz say except for a few vested interests?
wow! now you can tell them all to stop keeping their money in banks because about 1 out of every five dollars deposited stays and the rest gets invested so all their money is being “mechalel shabbos” too!!!!!!!!!
even if u dont understand the psak, it doesnt give anyone the right to bash the gedolei hador
“…opinion, and they reject it. They are fully entitled to do that of course, and you and I are fully entitled to think that the Badatz is wrong. To each his own.”
I disagree with that “entitled” opinion, because there are ramifications to making loud public statements. This Badatz “ruling” will be cited all over the world as proof of how out-of-touch the “radical religious right” is, and will be used to lower world opinion of Orthodox Jews as well as to increase the number of people who equate Orthodox/ Charedi with Jewish Talibans.
As Perek says, “Chachamim hizaharu b’divreichem”!!
Perhaps Aviev should pay a few dollars to meah shearim to silence the natural forces of resistance
May a Yeshiva accept a donation from money made in the market if there was chilul Shabbos involved in making the profit?
There is something very confusing about the report.
The report says that the BaDaTZ forbade the trading in Israeli companies. Note that (according to the report above — I did not see the actual ruling) they did NOT forbid the trading of foreign (i.e. American) stocks.
On the other hand, the reasons that they gave (chillul shabbos, inappropriate advertising) even apply to foreign stocks.
That being said, why the distinction between Israeli companies and non-Israeli companies?
A week ago fish were forbidden. Before that is was shabbos elevators. Now it’s stocks. Next week it will be some other new issur. This is not what torah observance is about. The more that these taliban make forbidden the more they harm yiddishkeit. As for the nudniks and lamebrains who claim the mantle of daas torah to every word uttered by these organizations and rabbis, they should contact the police to see if anyone can find their lost brains and common sense. Thankfully, most normal Jews go about their lives and ignore these wacky kol korehs and takanos.
I wonder if these gedolim, tehorim and anshe yiras shomayim will refuse profit from Berkshire or Oerlikon
Here we go again…another Jewish Fatwah! The Haredi and the Imams have so much in common!