web analytics
September 1, 2014 / 6 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Caught On Camera!

Business-Halacha-logo

On the bima of the beis medrash stood a maos chittimpushka” (collection box) on behalf of “Matzos Chesed Organization.” The gabbai emptied the box every few days, typically finding $200-$500.

One morning the gabbai came to empty the collection box and found the lock broken and the money gone. He approached Mr. Taub, who was in charge of maintenance and related what happened.

“We recently installed surveillance cameras,” said Mr. Taub, “so I might be able to identify the thief.”

Mr. Taub viewed a playback of the night’s recording. Toward 3 a.m. a figure had entered the building. Mr. Taub slowed the playback and followed the man over to the pushka and watched him open it. He zoomed in and identified the thief as a neighborhood person who had declined morally and recently fallen on hard times.

Mr. Taub decided to confront the thief. “I have a surveillance camera recording of you stealing from the Matzos Chesed pushka,” he said to the thief. “Return $400 now or we’re going to prosecute.”

“It wasn’t that much,” said the thief. He pulled out $250 and gave it to Mr. Taub. “That’s all there was.”

“I don’t trust you,” said Mr. Taub menacingly. “I’m giving you two days to bring the remaining $150 or else…”

Mr. Taub returned to the gabbai. “I was able to recover the money!” he exclaimed happily and handed him the money.

“How much was there?” asked the gabbai.

“The thief gave me $250,” replied Mr. Taub. “I threatened that if he doesn’t give another $150 in the next two days we would prosecute.”

“But if he didn’t take $400, is it fair to make him pay that much?” asked the gabbai.

“How do I know how much he took?” answered Mr. Taub. “For all I know, he took even more!”

“Or, he could have taken less,” said the gabbai.

“Don’t you think we should penalize him anyway?” said Mr. Taub. “Let it be a donation to tzedakah!”

“I’m not sure this can be called a donation,” said the gabbai. “If you force him to give more than he took, it might be considered theft on your part.”

“I’m guilty of theft?!” replied Mr. Taub indignantly. “You should thank me for catching the thief and recovering the money!”

“I appreciate what you did and don’t mean to accuse you,” said the gabbai apologetically. “I’m just not sure that what you’re doing is correct.”

“If you want, I’ll discuss the issue with Rabbi Dayan,” said Mr. Taub. He called Rabbi Dayan and asked: “Can I demand that the thief pay me the amount I estimate?”

Rabbi Dayan answered: “If you cannot clearly state the amount the thief stole, it is not possible to obligate him in more than he admits.”

Rabbi Dayan then explained: “In most charges, if there isn’t clear evidence and the defendant denies the charge, he can swear he does not owe the amount in dispute and is exempt. However, when there is evidence that someone stole, but the witnesses do not know the amount of the theft, Chazal instituted that the victim can swear how much the thief stole and collect that amount from him. This is known as shevuas hanigzal [the oath of a robbery victim].” (C.M. 90:1)

“However,” continued Rabbi Dayan, “if the victim cannot definitively claim how much was stolen, he is not able to swear. Nor can we impose an oath upon the thief, since he is suspected of swearing falsely. Even if the thief admits to having stolen a certain amount, he has to pay only what he admits; it is not possible to obligate him in any greater amount because there is no definitive claim.” (90:5)

“What if a suspected thief refuses to admit or admits to an amount that seems unreasonably low?” asked Mr. Taub. “Is there anything that can be done?”

“Unfortunately, there is not much that can be done nowadays,” said Rabbi Dayan. “The only legal recourse of beis din is to impose a cherem, a curse, upon one who stole and does not admit. [90:5] In previous generations, when beis din had more power, if there was strong basis that a person stole but he denied it, the beis din could consider using certain coercive measures to ascertain the truth.” (See Pischei Choshen, Geneivah 1:13)

“What about reporting the incident to the police?” asked Mr. Taub, “Is there a problem if they might end up punishing the thief beyond what halacha requires?”

“When someone is breaking in it is permissible to call the police,” said Rabbi Dayan. “Even after the theft, if there is reasonable concern that the thief will repeat the crime of the thief being a repeat offender it is permitted to report the incident to ensure law and order.” (Pischei Choshen, Nezikin 2:49; 4:11)

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.

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 “Caught On Camera!”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
IDF map of terrorist tunnels that were found near Israeli communities near the Gaza border, identified and mapped. July 27, 2014. These were destroyed by the IDF. Residents fear there are more that have yet to be uncovered.
Gaza Belt Communities Fear Lack of Security, IDF Pullout
Latest Judaism Stories
shofar+kotel

If you had an important court date scheduled – one that would determine your financial future, or even your very life – you’d be sure to prepare for weeks beforehand. On Rosh Hashanah, each individual is judged on the merit of his deeds. Whether he will live out the year or not. Whether he will […]

The_United_Nations_Building

It is in the nature of the Nations of the World to be hostile towards the Jewish People.

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

First, how could a beis din of 23 judges present a guilty verdict in a capital punishment case? After all, only a majority of the 23 judges ruled in favor of his verdict.

Of paramount importance is that both the king and his people realize that while he is the leader, he is still a subject of God.

Untimely News
‘A Mourner Is Forbidden To Wear Shoes…’
(Mo’ed Katan 20b)

Question: The Gemara in Berachot states that the sages authored our prayers. Does that mean we didn’t pray beforehand?

Menachem
Via Email

When a person feels he can control the destiny of other people, he runs the risk of feeling self-important, significant, and mighty.

Needless to say, it was done and they formed a great relationship as his friend and mentor. He started attending services and volunteered his time all along putting on tefillin.

He took me to a room filled with computer equipment and said, “You pray here for as long as you want.” I couldn’t believe my ears.

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.”

On Chol HaMoed some work is prohibited and some is permitted. According to some opinions, the work prohibition is biblical; according to others, it’s rabbinical.

If there is a mitzvas minuy dayanim in the Diaspora, then why is there a difference between Israel and the Diaspora in the number of judges and their distribution?

Judaism is a religion of love but also a religion of justice, for without justice, love corrupts.

The time immediately preceding Mashiach’s arrival is likened to the birth pangs of a woman in labor.

More Articles from Rabbi Meir Orlian
Business-Halacha-logo

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.”

Business-Halacha-logo

“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.”

“I’ll make you a deal,” he said. “If you pay monthly – it’s $4,500; if you pay six months up front – I’ll give it to you for $4,200.”

“Sound fine,” said Mrs. Schwartz. “In the middle, paint their names, Shoshana and Yehonasan. He spells his name Yehonasan with a hei and is very particular about it!”

“It is sometimes possible through hataras nedarim, nullification of vows,” replied Rabbi Dayan, “but it’s not simple for charity pledges.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/caught-on-camera/2012/03/29/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: