- Question: [Thursday, 14th Kisleiv 5783]
I have a relative who works in investments and has offered members of our family a great financial opportunity to invest in a string of nursing homes which we hope will bring in a nice income. However, when I was discussing this with a friend of mine he said that he thinks he remembers that the Rebbe was not encouraging of people investing in nursing homes. Is this correct?
You are indeed correct that the Rebbe was not fond of people investing in nursing homes unless it can be ascertained that the profit will not come as a result of providing low-quality care to the nursing home patients. The following is a letter of the Rebbe on the subject which speaks for itself:
“based on what I have heard of the way that nursing homes are managed, the main profit comes from the fact that the management diminishes the amount of money spent for medical care of its residents, including those medical treatments that are necessary for the residents, in addition they diminish the amount of food that they get, and they are cheap in properly heating their homes [in order to save money on electric bills] and matters of the like. I heard this information from a number of people. From then on, I advise all those who consult with me to not enter into this business, as the daily challenge in this is simply too great, especially that people make for themselves different justifications of Heterim being that it is not they who are directly doing the above malnourishment of the residence”
In short, the Rebbe viewed such an investment as dishonest, immoral, and unethical towards the residents of the nursing home, and from here one could learn regarding all investments of the like which are unethical for a human in general and a Jew in particular. Making money must be done in a Kosher and ethical manner.
Sources: See Igros Kodesh 28:133