web analytics
September 19, 2014 / 24 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
In Print
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.

‘Forget About It!’


Yanky was going through difficult times. “My company merged over a year ago and I got laid off,” he poured his heart out to Moish, a neighbor. “I’ve been trying everywhere to get a job, but nothing’s available.”

“How have you been managing meanwhile?” asked Moish.

“Barely, with my wife’s salary and savings,” said Yanky. “Yom Tov was very difficult with all the expenses.”

“I’m sorry to hear that,” said Moish consolingly. “Is there some way I can help?”

“If you could lend us $1,000 for four months that would help greatly,” said Yanky. “I expect that I should be able to find something by then.”

“I can do that,” replied Moish. “Come by tomorrow. I just ask that you write an IOU note for the loan.”

“Definitely,” replied Yanky. “It’s always best to have a written record.”

The following day, Yanky stopped by Moish’s house and received the loan. “We will make every effort to repay on time,” he said.

Three months later, Moish was talking with Yanky. “What’s doing?” he asked. “Any leads with a new job?”

“Unfortunately, nothing yet,” said Yanky. “I had a couple of interviews, but nothing’s panned out.”

“I wish you hatzlacha (success),” Moish encouraged him.

“Thank you,” said Yanky. “We’ve been setting aside a little each month toward repaying you, but now the transmission went on the car. We’re going to have to use that money to cover the repair!”

“How much is the repair?” asked Moish.

“It’s almost $2,000,” said Yanky with a sigh.

Moish thought for a moment. “You’ve got too much on your head,” he said. “Forget about the loan; you don’t have to repay it.”

“Thank you,” said Yanky. “That will be a big burden off of me.”

A week later, Yanky met Moish. “Guess what?” he said. “I just found a job!”

“I’m happy to hear,” said Moish. “How did you get it?”

“It’s a funny story,” responded Yanky. “I’ll tell you about in another time. At least we’re back to two salaries again.”

“I’m glad to hear that,” said Moish. “So you’ll be able to pay me back the $1,000 sometime soon?”

“But you told me to forget about the loan,” said Yanky with surprise.

“I did,” said Moish. “But that was because I thought you wouldn’t be able to come out from under.  It’s not like I can easily afford to forgo $1,000. Anyway, I didn’t sign any release or receipt and I’m still holding the IOU.”

“I don’t understand you,” said Yanky. “I am thankful for the loan, but you told me I didn’t have to repay! We’re not rolling in money, and a word is a word!”

“Not if said mistakenly,” said Moish. “Anyway, words alone do not always carry legal validity, especially when a document remains extant.”

“I suggest that we consult with Rabbi Dayan,” said Yanky. “If he says that I still have to pay, I will.”

Yanky and Moish arranged to meet with Rabbi Dayan. He listened attentively, and then ruled: “Yanky does not have to repay the loan, even though no formal release was made.”

“Why is that?” asked Moish.

“When you said to Yanky, ‘Forget about the loan; you don’t have to repay it,’ it is considered mechila [forgoing the loan],” explained Rabbi Dayan. “Although most transactions require some formal act or document to be legally valid, mechila is valid with words alone; it does not require any official confirmation, receipt, or kinyan [act of transaction].” (C.M. 241:2)

“But doesn’t the fact that I continued to hold on to the IOU note negate the mechila?” asked Moish.

“There is, in fact, a dispute whether mechila with words alone is valid when the lender continues to possess a loan document [shtar],” replied Rabbi Dayan. “However, the Rama indicates that it is valid. Even if we consider the dispute as in doubt, Yanky is in possession of the money and cannot be made to pay. Furthermore, the dispute relates to a loan document signed by witnesses, not an IOU note signed by the borrower alone.” (Shach 241:4; Pischei Teshuvah 241:2)

“What about the fact that the mechila was made by mistake,” argued Moish. “I wouldn’t have been willing to forgo the loan if I had known that he would get a job a week later.”

“You are correct that a mechila made mistakenly is not valid,” answered Rabbi Dayan. “However, this applies only when there was a mistake at the time of the mechila, such as if Yanky had already found a new job. However, if there was no mistake at the time and circumstances changed afterward, the mechila remains valid.” (Pischei Teshuvah 241:3)

“Therefore,” concluded Rabbi Dayan, “Yanky does not have to repay the loan and Moish must return the IOU note to him.”

About the Author: Rabbi Meir Orlian is a faculty member of the Business Halacha Institute, headed by HaRav Chaim Kohn, a noted dayan. To receive BHI’s free newsletter, Business Weekly, send an e-mail to subscribe@businesshalacha.com. For questions regarding business halacha issues, or to bring a BHI lecturer to your business or shul, call the confidential hotline at 877-845-8455 or e-mail ask@businesshalacha.com.

If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “‘Forget About It!’”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Protest rally against Metropolitan Opera staging Death of Klinghoffer on 9/22 at 4:30 pm at the Met.
For Grass Roots Klinghoffer Protest 9/22, Jewish Establishment MIA
More Articles from Rabbi Meir Orlian

When the Kleins returned, however, they were dismayed to see that the renters did a poor job cleaning up after themselves.


“Tony said that the code in most places in the U.S. is at least 36 inches for a residential guardrail,” replied Mr. Braun. “Some make it higher, 42, or even 52 inches for high porches. What is the required height according to halacha?”

“The Torah states in Parshat Ki-Teitzei: ‘If you build a new house, you shall make a fence for your roof. I think it’s your responsibility.”

On Friday afternoon, Dov called Kalman. “Please make sure to return the keys for the car on Motzaei Shabbos,” he said. “We have a bris on Sunday morning and we’re all going. We also need the roof luggage bag.”

“We’re leining now, and shouldn’t be talking,” Mr. Silver gently quieted his son. “At the Shabbos table we can discuss it at length.”

“Guess what?” Benzion exclaimed when he returned home. “I just won an identical Mishnah Berurah in the avos u’banim raffle.”

“Do I have to repay the loan?” he asked. “Does Yosef have to reimburse me? What if doesn’t have that sum, does he owe me in the future?”

When Yoram got home that evening, he went over to Effy: “My day camp is looking for extra supervision for an overnight trip,” he said. “Would you like to come? They’re paying $250 for the trip.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/%e2%80%98forget-about-it%e2%80%99/2011/10/26/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: