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Section: Halacha   Category: Tshuvos
V'Darashta V'Chakrata: Jewish Or Non-Jewish Laborers?
If you are hiring a contractor, and a non-Jewish contractor offers a cheaper price than a Jewish contractor, may you hire the non-Jewish contractor?  This question was asked to Rav Aharon Yehuda HaLevi Grossman (V'Darashta V'Chakrata 3:CM:8).

The Michaber paskens (CM 175:41) that although you are put in Cherem if you sell to a non-Jew instead of a Jew, that is only if you can sell it to a Jew at the same price as the non-Jew would pay.  But you need not sell to a Jew at a loss to fair market value.  The Sm'"a (73) says that this is only if the Jew is not willing to pay market value.  If he offers fair value but the non-Jew offers even more, you must sell it to the Jew.  (The Chofetz Chaim in Ahavas Chesed says that even when there is no obligation to sell it to the Jew it is still a Mitzva.)  We see that at some point a person is not responsible to pay lose money in order to hire a Jew.

Furthermore he brings the gemara (Avodah Zara 20a) that says if a person has a Neveila that he wants to sell to a Goy, he first choice must be to give it to a Ger Toshav for free.  Tosfos explains that this is because a Neveila is worth very little and it is not big loss.  Therefore the V'Darashta V'Chakrata concludes that if the Jew is charging slightly higher prices you must choose the Jew.  However if there is a significance in cost between the two, you are not required to incur the much higher price (he uses 33% as an example of a significant difference.)

Lastly based on the Chasam Sofer, he says that these same Halachos apply when choosing between a Yehudi Shomer Torah U'Mitzvos and Mumar who is not Shomer Torah.  You must choose the Shomer Torah U'Mitzvos unless there is a big difference in price.

Important Note: We try to convey the Tshuva to the best of our ability. We admit that our understanding may not be accurate. Please also understand that this Tshuva may not be the final word on this topic. One should consult a Rav before drawing any conclusions.

This article has not been reviewed by the posek of the AskRevach section, Rav Peretz Moncharsh.  Any questions regarding this topic and Halacha L’Maaseh may be asked to him at www.revach.net/ask