Tradition today: The wages of a laborer

21.11.2011                      24.Cheschwan. 5772

Judentum:

Tradition today: The wages of a laborer

Jewish tradition sets precedents for paying proper wages and proper treatment of the poor and the worker.

Protests concerning social justice, the growing gap between the rich and the poor and the exploitation of workers under the system of outsourcing work to contractors in order to avoid paying proper wages and social benefits, are not new. They have ancient precedents in the Jewish tradition.
The situation is not very different from that described by the prophet Amos in the eighth century BCE. He castigated the kingdom of Israel for its lack of concern for the poor. “Ah, you who trample the heads of the poor into the dust of the ground,” he lamented (2:7). He spoke against those who “defraud the poor, who rob the needy” (4:1), who “impose a tax on the poor and exact from him a levy of grain” (5:11). He described those who “lie on ivory beds” (6:4), feasting and drinking with no concern for justice and righteousness – the “1 percent” of that ancient time….