Passover and The Ethics We Uphold With Our Work

Happy passover sign on chalkboard surrounded by matzah

“Do not put a stumbling block before the blind” [Leviticus 19:14]

Rashi, a medieval French Rabbi who lived in the 11th century,  explains that this refers to someone who is “blind” to the bias of the adviser. As a general rule, a salesperson needs to be very careful in giving advice as they are almost always unobjective. A salesman is allowed to be an enthusiastic advocate for their point of view but needs to maintain professionalism.

Here are two examples of day-to-day issues that we deal with at Elite Roofing in this area:

1. Deciding on the appropriate time/age for roof replacement versus continued repairs.

We try to base our recommendations on objective standards such as published data on a roof’s estimated useful life, the current service condition of each particular roof and the sum total of repair costs incurred in the past few years. It is more difficult to make these types of assessments in the absence of a service history, when we are unable to perform a core test sample of the roof assembly, or when the original installation date is unknown, such as when we are seeing the condition at a single point in time.

2. Preparing accurate estimates of roofing work.

Most of the models we use to calculate our estimates are based on actual measurements of the roof area(s). If we start our estimate with accurate measurements of the roof then our costing is more precise. We try, whenever possible, to obtain actual roof measurements on our industrial/commercial projects. We layout our field measurements on AutoCAD to draw the roof shape to scale to aid in the process.

On March 27, 2021 after sunset, Jewish people throughout the world will begin observing the holiday of Passover to commemorate their release from slavery in Egypt 3,333 years ago. Jewish homes are cleaned of leavened products prior to the festival. The night before the holiday begins, a candlelight search is made for any leftover crumbs throughout our homes.

When we check for chametz [leavened products], our pockets also need to be checked to make sure that there are no foodstuffs there. Similarly, one should check his “pockets” before Passover to ensure that they do not contain money that may have been obtained dishonestly, by means of theft, cheating, or unfair business practices [Sefer HaShelah].

Money that was obtained dishonestly is not suitable for use in the observance of the holiday. When an object, such as money, is used to carry out G-d’s will, the object’s energy is elevated. A Commandment brought about through a sin, G-d forbid, such as giving charity from stolen funds, can never be elevated.

There is no one size fits all answer to these issues, but at Elite Roofing, we see it as our obligation to operate within these ethical principles.  We are very much aware of the pitfalls and keep trying to improve our processes, whenever and wherever possible.

Wishing you a Happy and Kosher Passover!

The Heritage Haggadah, Rabbi Eliyahu Kitov,
Tanya, Chapter 37, Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi,
The Jewish Ethicist, Rabbi Dr Asher Meir