web analytics
July 2, 2015 / 15 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Forgotten Fill-Up


Choshen-Mishpat-logo

“We are pleased to announce we have been donated a car for communal use,” read the sign in Kollel Mishpat. “Members of the Kollel can use the car g’mach, as available, in coordination with Dani.”

“Wow!” said Yossi. “How much is usage?”

“The charge is 50 cents per mile, to cover gasoline and wear and tear,” said Dani. “Payment is due immediately upon returning the car. If you fill up with gas, the g’mach will refund you that amount.”

“I have an appointment next Tuesday afternoon,” said Yossi. “Is the car available then?”

“Yes,” said Dani. “I’ll write you down.”

Yossi picked up the keys on Tuesday afternoon. “I should be back in about five hours,” he said.

“There’s not much gas in the car,” said Dani. “You’ll probably have to add gas on the way home.”

Yossi drove to his appointment 30 miles away. On the way home, he pulled into the gas station.

“How much gas should I put in?” Yossi thought to himself. He checked his wallet. “I’ve only got $40 cash. Should I put in $10, $20, or $30?” After deliberating a moment, he paid the attendant and proceeded to the pump.

When Yossi came home, his wife said, “While you have the car, there are a few more errands to do.”

Yossi returned just before Minchah. He gave the keys to Dani, and said, “I’ve got to run to minchah now! We’ll settle later.”

A month later, Dani gave Yossi a call. “I was reviewing the car log,” he said. “You drove 60 miles, which is $30, but no payment was listed.”

“You’re right,” Yossi apologized, “I forgot to take care of it, but I purchased gas.”

“That’s fine,” said Dani. “We reimburse for that. How much did you put in?”

“It’s funny, but I don’t remember anymore,” said Yossi. “I remember debating, though, whether to put in 10, 20, or 30 dollars.” He tried very hard to jar his memory, but couldn’t.

“It’s a pity you didn’t pay on time, like you were supposed to,” said Dani. “Then we wouldn’t have had this problem. Ask Rabbi Dayan how to deal with this.”

Yossi called Rabbi Dayan. “I owe the car g’mach $30, but purchased gas on the way home,” he said. “I don’t remember, though, whether I added $10, $20 or $30. Should I assume the least, most, or middle amount?”

“This issue seems to be an intricate dispute between the Ketzos Hachoshen and the Nesivos Hamishpat,” said Rabbi Dayan, “although there is an additional factor here.”

“Oh?” said Yossi. “I didn’t think it would be so complicated.”

“In general, when neither the lender nor the borrower remembers whether the loan was repaid,” explained Rabbi Dayan, “the person cannot be made to pay in beis din, and there is even a dispute whether he has a moral obligation to pay, latzeis yedei shamayim.” (See Taz 75:10; Shach 75:65-67; Pischei Teshuvah 75:21)

“This seems to be our case,” said Yossi. “Neither of us knows whether I repaid the loan by purchasing the gasoline.”

“It seems so at first,” said Rabbi Dayan, “but our case is somewhat different.”

“In what way?” asked Yossi.

“In our case, you have a definite obligation of $30 for using the car, which you did not repay, and there is a possible counter obligation of $10-30 for the gas you bought,” said Rabbi Dayan. “The Ketzos Hachosen [75:5] differentiates between a possible repayment and a counter obligation. When there are two counterclaims, the Ketzos reasons that we treat each obligation independently. The obligation of $30 is clear, whereas the counter obligation for the gasoline is questionable, so that we have to assume the minimal amount of $10. As such you remain obligated for $20.”

“You mentioned that the Nesivos argues,” said Yossi.

“Yes. The Nesivos Hamishpat [75:5] reasons that the counter obligation is considered a form of repayment,” said Rabbi Dayan. “As such, this case is also considered one of possible repayment where neither party knows, so that there remains, at most, a moral obligation.”

“Nonetheless, in this particular case, there is an additional reason to obligate you,” concluded Rabbi Dayan. “This is because the uncertainty arose because of your negligence. In a normal situation where neither the borrower nor the lender remembers whether the loan was repaid, both parties are equally at fault. Furthermore, it is understandable that people sometimes forget.

“Here, however, had you paid in a timely manner according to the rules, you would have known how much you spent on gas. Only because you delayed so much did the doubt arise, so that you cannot hide behind the veil of forgetfulness. Therefore, you can assume only the lower amount of $10, and must repay the remaining $20.” (See Pischei Choshen, Halva’ah, ch. 2, note 78; Nesivos 75:5)

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 “Forgotten Fill-Up”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
ISIS leads captured Egyptian Copts in death march.
Analysis: ISIS Will Go Down to Defeat in Egypt
Latest Judaism Stories
Balak_lecture

What’s the nation of Israel’s purpose in the world? How we can bring God’s blessings into the world?

Business-Halacha-NEW

“Is there a difference between rescuing and other services?” asked Ploni.

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

To my dismay, I’ve seen that shidduch candidates with money become ALL desirable traits for marriage

800px-Gustav_Jaeger_Bileam_Engel

Bil’am’s character is complex and nuanced; neither purely good nor purely evil.

Amalek, our ultimate foe, understood that when unified, we are invincible and indestructible.

Perhaps on a deeper level, the mitzvah of parah adumah at this junction was not just to purify the body, but the spirit as well.

Halacha isn’t random; it’s a mechanism guiding individuals and society to a higher ethical plateau.

Question: Should we wash our hands in the bathroom with soap and water, or by pouring water from a vessel with handles three times, alternating hands? I have heard it said that a vessel is used only in the morning upon awakening. What are the rules pertaining to young children? What is the protocol if no vessel is available? Additionally, may we dry our hands via an electric dryer?

Harry Koenigsberg
(Via E-Mail)

Less clear, however, is whether the concept applies to the area of civil law such as the law of transfer of property.

The greatest of men, Moshe, had to wait for Hashem to sprinkle purifying waters on Bnei Yisrael to mark the conclusion of the period of death.

My Plate, My Food
‘My Loaf Is Forbidden To You’
(Nedarim 34b)

Of Chukkim “Satan and the nations of the world made fun.” They may appear irrational & superstitious

I realized from this story that I was sent as a messenger from above. Hashem has many helpers in this world to help do his work.

Tosafos answers that nevertheless the sprinkling is a part of his taharah process.

“What difference does that make?” replied Shraga. “What counts is the agreement that we made. I said two hundred fifty and you accepted.”

More Articles from Rabbi Meir Orlian
Business-Halacha-NEW

“Is there a difference between rescuing and other services?” asked Ploni.

Business-Halacha-NEW

“What difference does that make?” replied Shraga. “What counts is the agreement that we made. I said two hundred fifty and you accepted.”

“Is the invoice signed by the students?” asked the principal. “They said they didn’t get the pizza.”

“The answer depends on the terms of the purchase agreement and local customs,” replied Rabbi Dayan.

“I wasn’t really thinking,” replied Levi. “Things in the backyard usually don’t need watching. I also didn’t expect you to be away so long. One thing is clear, though: I never accepted responsibility for the cake.”

“What do you mean?” asked the secretary. “We already issued a ruling and closed the case.”

“A person who borrowed without a written loan document, even in the presence of witnesses, is believed with a heses – rabbinic – oath to say that he repaid,”

During the course of the year, though, political events in the Persian Gulf caused the cost of gasoline to rise. Prices climbed from $2.50 a gallon to $4.00.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/forgotten-fill-up/2011/11/24/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: