web analytics
September 16, 2014 / 21 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
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.



Cleaners Confusion

Business-Halacha-logo

Yaakov had spent Shabbos at his yeshiva for a few weeks running. “Don’t forget to bring your suit in to the cleaners,” said his mother, before he returned home. “It’s been a while since it was cleaned.”

During the lunch break, Yaakov went to the closet and took out the Shabbos suit. He brought it to the cleaners, and asked, “Can you have it ready by tomorrow?”

“We can have it ready by 11 a.m.,” the store manager replied.

“Fine,” said Yaakov. “How much does it cost?”

“A suit costs $13,” answered the manager. He entered Yaakov’s name and telephone number in the computer and gave him the receipt.

In the evening, Yaakov’s roommate, Elisha, asked him: “Did you see my Shabbos suit? It’s missing from the closet!”

“I took my suit to the cleaners,” replied Yaakov, “but yours should be there.”

“Come take a look,” said Elisha. “Maybe you took mine by mistake?”

Yaakov looked at the suit hanging in the closet. Sure enough, it was his suit. “You’re right!” he exclaimed. “I was rushing and the two suits look very similar.”

Yaakov took out the ticket and gave it to Elisha. “Look at the bright side,” he said. “I saved you the effort of bringing your suit in. They said it would be ready by 11:00 tomorrow and it costs $13.”

Elisha looked at the ticket skeptically. “You should pay the bill,” he said.

“But they cleaned your suit,” replied Yaakov. “Why should I pay? You got the benefit from this work, not me.”

“I didn’t ask them to do the work, though,” said Elisha. “I wasn’t planning on bringing my suit to the cleaners.”

“It was dirty, though,” said Yaakov. “You’ve worn it for the past month. Do you remember I pointed out a few stains on the jacket last week, which you tried to spot-wash?”

“Still, I wasn’t planning on taking it in yet,” said Elisha. “I was going to wait another two weeks. Anyway, I’m extremely low on cash, and don’t have the $13. I must have the suit back for Shabbos, though.”

“No problem, I can loan you the money,” said Yaakov. “You’ll pay me back when you can.”

“I’m not interested in borrowing,” said Elisha. “You brought the suit in; you have the responsibility to pay!”

“But it was a mistake, a mekach taus,” argued Yaakov, “I didn’t realize it was your suit.”

“Rabbi Dayan is still downstairs in the beis midrash,” said Elisha. “We can ask him.”

The two went downstairs. “If I mistakenly brought Elisha’s suit, partially dirty, to the cleaners – who has to pay?” asked Yaakov.

“The Gemara [B.M. 118a] addresses the case of a person who hired a laborer for himself, but instructed him to work in his friend’s property instead,” replied Rabbi Dayan. “The one who hired the laborer has to pay him the full salary, since he accepted responsibility for the employment. However, he can then claim reimbursement from his friend for the benefit that he provided him.” (C.M. 336:1)

“What does ‘the benefit’ mean?” asked Elisha.

“If his friend needed the work to be done anyway, it means the cost of the job,” answered Rabbi Dayan. “However, if there is a range of costs among laborers, he would only have to pay the lower end of the range, unless the job was clearly of superior quality. Thus, if there are other local cleaners who charge only $10 and do comparable work, you would only have to reimburse Yaakov $10.” (See C.M. 332:1)

“What if I wasn’t planning on cleaning the suit?” asked Elisha. “The work didn’t need to be done yet.”

“A suit needs a cleaning every so often, especially if there were already some stains,” replied Rabbi Dayan. “We would have to estimate the relative benefit of having the suit cleaned already now. Even if the suit had no stains, there is still a benefit in having a freshly cleaned and pressed suit, but that would be a much smaller sum.” (See C.M. 375:1-3)

“Why isn’t this considered a mekach ta’us, though?” asked Yaakov. “The employment agreement was a mistake!”

Mekach taus is when there was some mistake in the nature of the work – e.g., the customer asked for pressing and the store did cleaning – or in the price agreement. Here the nature of the work and price were clear, so the customer is responsible to pay the cleaners even if he gained nothing from the work.” (See C.M. 335:3)

“What if, from the very beginning, the person told the laborer to work in the friend’s property?” asked Yaakov. “For example, if someone told me to shovel the snow for his neighbor, who is responsible to pay?”

“That is a fascinating question,” replied Rabbi Dayan, “but let’s leave it for next time.”

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 “Cleaners Confusion”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
The Iron Dome was called on for the first time in 2013 to intercept a missile fired by terrorists in Sinai at Eilat.
Iron Dome: Israel Ends the Long Battlefield Reign of the Missile
Latest Judaism Stories
15th century Book of the Torah

This week’s parsha offers a new covenant; a covenant that speaks to national life unlike any other

Leff-091214

All Jews are inherently righteous and that is why we all have a portion in the World to Come.

Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

If mourning is incompatible with Yom Tov, why is it not incompatible with Shabbat?

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

Since it is a Rabbinic prohibition we may follow the more lenient opinion.

How can the Torah expect me today, thousands of years after the mitzvahs were given, to view each mitzvah as if I’m fulfilling it for the first time?

Torah isn’t a theological treatise or a metaphysical system but a series of stories linked over time

In contrast to her Eicha-like lamentations of the previous hour or more, however, my youngest was now grinning from ear-to-ear.

An Astonishing Miracle
‘Why Bring the Infants to Hakhel?’
(Chagigah 3a)

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

e are in a time of serious crisis and must go beyond our present levels of chesed.

According to Ibn Ezra, the Torah was stressing through this covenant that hypocrisy was forbidden.

“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?”

Simcha is total; sahs is God’s joy in protecting us even when we are most vulnerable.

Not only do we accept You as our King, it is our greatest desire that the name of Your Kingdom be spread throughout the entire universe.

More Articles from Rabbi Meir Orlian
Business-Halacha-logo

“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?”

Business-Halacha-logo

“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.”

“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.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/cleaners-confusion/2012/12/19/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: