Article

Eliezer the Matchmaker: Ethical Considerations and Modern Negotiation Theory

Aaron Levine

in The Oxford Handbook of Judaism and Economics

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780195398625
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195398625.013.0002

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Eliezer the Matchmaker: Ethical Considerations and Modern Negotiation Theory

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In modern society, the dealmaker is one of the most admired economic actors. This article focuses on the Biblical account of how Eliezer, servant of Abraham, made the matrimonial match between Rebecca and Isaac, described in Genesis 24:1–67. Firstly this article considers the propriety of the test Eliezer devised in light of the Torah's ethical principles. It also examines the various discrepancies between Abraham's charge to Eliezer and what happened at the well, on the one hand, and Eliezer's account of them, on the other. The second concern is whether the stratagems Eliezer employed as a matchmaker conforms to the success formulae recommended by modern theorists in the field of negotiations. The article analyses the ethical considerations related to Eleizer's matchmaking adventures, role of Agency as essayed by the former. This article also analyses the duty of Judaism's disclosure. A discussion on negative leverage, a threat-based strategy and creating values concludes this article.

Keywords: Eliezer; Torah; ethical principles; matchmaker; Judaism; negative leverage

Article.  15576 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; Microeconomics

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