Badatz: Assur to Invest in Israeli Companies


lev-leviev-shaya-boymelgreenAccording to a new ruling by the Badatz, one must not invest in the shares of Israeli companies, even in those owned by frum businessmen such as Lev Leviev, Shaya Boymelgreen and Motti Zisser.

The psak 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 halacha – for instance, by chillul Shabbos or by inappropriate advertising – and one may 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 Shabbos, which the malls run roughshod over; from the products of factories that operate on Shabbos 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 Shabbos – and even on Yom Kippur…; the Maman cargo terminal at Ben-Gurion Airport, which operates on Shabbos as if it were a weekday … Even ‘innocent’ shares such as the Darban land development company owns a mall that operates on Shabbos, 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 Shabbos.”

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 Shabbos.

The Badatz’s financial investment supervisory committee was set up about two years ago to grant kashrus certificates to financial instruments. The committee’s rabbonim sat down and tried to find a formula that would permit investments in the shares of companies that operate according to halacha.

But now, the rabbonim have paskened that there can be no investment whatsoever in shares, because almost every publicly-traded company has halachic problems.

However, the Badatz does permit investments in exchange-traded funds that track the indexes, or bonds that receive halachic 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 chareidi department of the McCann-Erickson advertising agency, 42% of Israel’s 50,000 chareidi 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.

{Yair Israel/Haaretz}


  1. So everyone has to empty his 401K.
    All those brokers, what about them? Do they give up their jobs so as to transgress on “lifnei iver”?

  2. Life as a frum yid “shmekt nisht” always…huh..when your money is involved? When it touches the pocket….watch out!
    Mandy….get rid of the anger…won’t help you in the long run…it’s not always easy to be a jew and do the right thing.
    And to the rest of the guys who are struggling with “their investments”…Whatever you are meant to have, will be yours, this way or the next. Your investments will only accrue if the One Above wants you to be successful. Try as you may, nothing works without Hashem’s hand in it. Just sit back and let him take care of you. He always does, gives you what you need, not what you want. Not easy,but fact. You are not in charge of anything…sit back, relax…

  3. This ruling is a davar pashut. There is no surprise here.

    A Yid is forbidden from having his business operating on Shabbos.

    And a shareholder is an owner in the company.

  4. I agree completely with Badatz – all investment in any company in Medina Yisroel which is less than scrupulously halachic should stop. That way, all the companies will go belly up, they will pay no taxes, and the government will be broke. Then we will FINALLY be able to get all those Schnorrers and Chazaers off the public dole!

  5. Erev Shabbos Kodesh Parshas Behar-Bichukosi
    Time: 7:32 PM Pacific Standard Time

    What about investments in non-Jewish companies? Of course there, there is no problem of the company operating on Shabbos. But there are still the other problems of advertising that is often with filthy overtones, and that many companies have connections to entertainment & media companies which, as is well known, unfortunately produce tremendous amounts of wicked material.

  6. I assume that this ruling also implies that accepting money from donors who aren’t frum is assur for similar reasons?

  7. yeah, what Feldman said. What about investing in non-Jewish companies? Since they produce “wicked material” as he calls it, then, rhetoric aside, is it okay?
    I don’t plan on investing anyway. Good way to prematurely age what with the wild ans mostly unpredictable nature of stock.

  8. it`s about time to boycott israeli products and investments !
    since long ago don`t we eat fruit grown in the eretz hakodesh .
    and i don`t know why the same thing has never taken place with other products on grounds of the saffek of hillul shabbos and shutav bedavar sheyatzah bemaaseh averah. how is it possible to say a bracha on something done by a maaseh averah and become a shutav therein ?
    the only way to make them change is to put a ban on all israeli products !
    maybe they will do teshuvah besrad Hashem !

  9. aleco….Thank you..
    It applies to everything in our lives…If only a person would not think that whatever he does or thinks holds so much weight, they…we, would all lead less stressful lives and able to dedicate more time and energy to the right causes. It’s only because we are busy persuing things that are not really in our wealth.and other insignificant things..we have opionions on everything, like what we do will change the course of life or things. Foolish thinking. Man should proceed with his life in a natural fashion: take care of parnassa, his family, learn Torah, do chessed and leave the rest up to Hakodosh Boruch Hu.Mind their own business. Live an let live.
    I’m asking for too much,I know. We think we are in control…I guess everyone has to learn lifes lesson in their own way…but some people never learn. They spend their lives running, persuing, worrying…And Hashem has the last laugh.