web analytics
December 21, 2014 / 29 Kislev, 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.



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
Eleven people were injured by a motorist who plowed into a crowd in southern France. The driver yelled "Allahu Akbar" as he attacked. Dec. 21, 2014
French Driver Shouting “Allahu Akhbar” Plows into Crowd
Latest Judaism Stories
Knesset and Menorah

Israel projects global material illumination not always the light of “morality” meant by the Navi

Parsha-Perspective-Logo-NEW

To many of our brethren Chanukah has lost its meaning.

Parsha-Perspective-Logo-NEW

This ability to remain calm under pressure and continue to see the situation clearly is a hallmark of Yehuda’s leadership.

Torah-Hakehillah-121914

It would have been understandable for these great warriors to become dispirited.

The travail of Yosef was undoubtedly the greatest trauma of Yaakov’s life, which certainly knew its share of hardships.

Yosef, in interpreting the first set of dreams, performed in a manner that was clearly miraculous to all.

Chazal teach us that we need to be “sur may’rah v’asei tov,”avoid bad and do good.

When we celebrate the completion of learning a section of Torah, we recite the Hadran.

Fetal Immersion?
‘The Fetus Is A Limb Of Its Mother’
(Yevamos 78a)

Yosef proves he is a true leader; He is continually and fully engaged in the task of running Egypt

When the inability cannot be clearly attributed to either spouse, the halacha is the subject of debate among the Rishonim.

Those who reject our beliefs know in their souls Jewish power stems from our faith and our prayers.

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

Though we Jews have deep obligations to all people our obligation to our fellow Jew is unique.

In a way that decision was the first in a series of miracles with which Hashem blessed us.

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)

More Articles from Rabbi Meir Orlian
Business-Halacha-logo

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

Business-Halacha-logo

“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.

“ ‘We’re almost out of stamps,’ I said. ‘I’ll be happy to run over to the post office and pick up a supply.’ ”

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

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: