Question:

Many shuls,yeshivahs, charitable organizations hire son-in-laws, children for Rabbinical and spiritual roles. Although these candidates might be able to “do the job” it might be very likely other (non-related) candidates would be even more qualified.
Is there a problem of nepotism in ethics or Jewish law?

(Los Angeles – not Shabbos currently)

Answer:

Without getting into the specifics of any particular situation, there is a concept of a child “inheriting” is father’s position if he is qualified, (although it isn’t exactly an inheritance per se, but it would be similar to it. Besides there are times when an organization or shul was started by a certain person, and he has the rights over it. However there are times when a person is hired of elected to a certain position for a specific amount of time, then things would be different.

Sources:

Tosefta Shekalim 2-15, Sifrei Shftim 162, Rambam Hlchos Melachim 1-7, Rema Y:D 245-22, Gr”a ibid, Shut Chasam Sofer O:CH 12, Pischei Choshen- Yerusha chap. 1 ftnt 63 (pg. 30-35 discusses this at length).

Tags: Inheritance

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