web analytics
December 28, 2014 / 6 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



A Drill For A Saw

Business-Halacha-logo

Betzalel was a “fix-it” man who enjoyed carpentry as a hobby. He did many home improvements himself, which he found both economical and enjoyable. He was now building a swing set for his children, happily sawing, drilling, hammering, and bolting the pieces.

As he drilled into a thick piece of lumber, Betzalel hit a knot in the wood. The bit caught and stalled, and a burning smell began to waft from the motor. He unplugged the drill and let it cool. Ten minutes later, Betzalel tried to use the drill, but it remained silent, motionless. “The motor went,” he said sadly. “I’ll have to get another drill.”

Betzalel called a neighbor, Dan, who shared his crafting interest and asked: “Do you have a drill I can borrow for a couple of days?”

“Sure,” said Dan. “What happened to yours? I heard you drilling and sawing away all morning!”

“I hit a knot in the wood, and the motor burned,” Betzalel said. “I’ve had the drill a long time and it looks like I’m going to have to get a new one.”

“I’ll tell you what,” said Dan. “I’ve been planning to make a small cabinet, but don’t have a circular saw. I’ll lend you my drill if you’ll lend me your saw when you finish your project.”

“Deal!” laughed Betzalel. “When I finish the swing I’ll bring my saw together with your drill.”

Two days later, Betzalel returned Dan’s drill and brought his saw with it. Dan took the tools and put them in the shed in his yard.

During the night, there was a severe thunderstorm. A bolt of lighting hit a tree in Dan’s yard, splitting it. A heavy branch landed squarely on the tool shed, flattening it. When Dan checked in the morning, he saw that Betzalel’s saw had been crushed.

“I put the saw away securely in the shed,” Dan apologized to Betzalel. “There’s nothing I could do about the lightening and the tree.”

“When you borrow, you are fully liable, even for such circumstances,” said Betzalel. “That’s the rule of a sho’el (borrower).” (C.M. 340:1)

“But why am I a sho’el?” said Dan. “I loaned you my drill as payment for using your saw!”

“That wasn’t payment; we both borrowed,” argued Betzalel. “I borrowed your drill and you borrowed my saw. Had something happened to your drill, I would be liable; the tree fell on my saw – you’re liable. It’s that simple!”

“To you it’s simple; to me it’s not,” exclaimed Dan. “Let’s ask Rabbi Dayan: Am I liable for the saw as a sho’el?”

“A person is considered a borrower (sho’el) only when the benefit is entirely his,” answered Rabbi Dayan. “However, if the lender also has a tangible benefit from lending the item, the borrower is considered a renter (socher).”

“Since Betzalel loaned his saw in return for borrowing Dan’s drill, each benefited from granting the loan,” continued Rabbi Dayan. “Betzalel gained use of the drill and Dan gained use of the saw. Therefore, you do not have the rule of borrowers, but that of renters.” (C.M. 305:6; Pischei Choshen, Pikadon 10:4-5)

“What is the rule of a renter?” asked Dan.

“A renter is liable for negligence, and even theft or avoidable loss, but not for circumstances beyond his control (oness),” answered Rabbi Dayan. “Thus, since the saw was destroyed through oness, Dan is not liable for it as a sho’el but is exempt as a socher. Had the saw been stolen, though, he would be liable.” (C.M. 303:2-3)

“I assume it makes no difference whether the drill and saw were borrowed on separate days or simultaneously?” inquired Betzalel.

“Actually, it does,” replied Rabbi Dayan, “in cases such as theft.”

“Really?” exclaimed Betzalel. “Why should that be?”

“It’s a bit complicated,” answered Rabbi Dayan. “When you borrow an item, you are responsible for looking after it, which may be a kind of service to the owner. Thus, when two people mutually borrow, they may be doing each other a mutual service. The Rama cites two opinions whether we apply here the concept of shemira b’baalim.”

“What is that?” asked Dan.

“When the owner of the borrowed item is serving or employed by the borrower at the time of the loan, the borrower is exempt unless grossly negligent,” explained Rabbi Dayan. (C.M. 346:1-2) “Thus – according to the lenient opinion that considers borrowing from a borrower as shemira b’baalim – had Dan borrowed the saw while Betzalel still had his drill, Dan would not have to pay for theft of the saw, since Betzalel was serving him by looking after his drill. However, Betzalel could withhold the drill, in accordance with the stringent opinion that does not consider him as serving Dan, and does not view this as shemira b’baalim.”

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 “A Drill For A Saw”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Brandeis University junior Khadijah Lynch who tweeted she has "no sympathy" for slain NYPD officers, shown here on "Wake Up With Tayla Andre, "Dec. 24, 2014.
A War of Words (Some More Accurate Than Others) at Brandeis
Latest Judaism Stories
Torah-Hakehillah-121914

Why is the tzitzis reminder on our clothing? How does it remind us that there are 613 mitzvos?

Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

The court cannot solely rely on death certificates issued by non-Jewish institutions without conducting its own investigation into the facts of the case.

Business-Halacha-logo

“I’m still not sure we have a right to damage his property,” said Mrs. Schloss. “Can you ask someone?”

Rabbi Sacks

Jacob’s blessing of Ephraim over Manasseh had nothing to do with age and everything to do with names

Slavery was universal; So, why was Egypt targeted in this object lesson?

Rav Akiva Eiger is assuming that the logic of the halacha that both the son and his mother are obligated to honor his father and therefore he must honor his fathers wishes first, is a mathematical equation.

The first requirement is a king must admit when he is wrong.

Reward And Punishment
‘Masser Rishon For The levi’im’
(Yevamos 86a)

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

Reb Shlomo Zalman could not endure honorifics applied to him because of his enormous humility

Because we see these events as world changing, as moments in history, they become part of us forever.

They stammer “I’m not Orthodox,” as if that absolves them from the responsibility of calling to G-d

It’s fascinating how sources attain the status “traditional,” or its equivalent level of kashrus.

She was determined that the Law class was Dina’s best chance of finding a husband, and that was the real reason she wanted her to go to college.

But who would have ever guessed that Hashem would unlock the key to the birth on same day as the English anniversary of our wedding.

More Articles from Rabbi Meir Orlian
Business-Halacha-logo

“I’m still not sure we have a right to damage his property,” said Mrs. Schloss. “Can you ask someone?”

Business-Halacha-logo

He stepped outside, and, to his dismay, the menorah was missing. It had been stolen.

“I do not owe anything,” Mr. Feder replied. “However, if I must come – I will.”

Mr. Weiss refused to listen and sued Mr. Cohen in civil court.

In the afternoon, he reached into his pocket to check for the money, but it was empty. “The $50 bill must have fallen out,” Alex exclaimed. “It’s got to be in one of the rooms I was just at.”

Dovid turned to the other people sitting at his table. “I’m revoking my hefker of the Chumash,” he announced. “I want to keep it.”

“That’s what I thought, so I returned the money to Aharon,” said Reuven. “But this morning, Shimon, who owes me $70, told me he left $70 for me under the table last week! Now I don’t know whether the $70 was connected to the note, and was Aharon’s for the purchase of sefarim, or was repayment to me from Shimon, unrelated to the note.”

On Tuesday, Mr. Ross picked up the bris kit. While driving home, he was stopped by armed thugs. They forced him out of the car and drove off with the bris kit inside.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/a-drill-for-a-saw/2013/04/24/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: