web analytics
July 6, 2015 / 19 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Glistening Glass

Business-Halacha-logo

Yair was always looking for spare jobs to earn some extra money. Before Pesach he would clean houses, before Sukkos he would build sukkahs, in the summer he would drive people to the mountains.

One evening he received a call from Mrs. Glazer. “Our fridge and oven have gotten really filthy over the summer and need a serious cleaning,” she said. “I heard that you have experience doing this kind of cleaning.”

“Sure, usually Pesach time,” he replied, “but I’ll do it for you.” He arranged to come the following afternoon.

Yair showed up the next day with his cleaning supplies. He removed the parts that could be easily taken off for more effective cleaning, including the doors of the oven. He sprayed and scrubbed and washed until the fridge and oven were shining again.

When everything was clean, he began to reassemble the pieces he had removed. As he picked up one of the oven doors, the metal guard holding the glass fell off. The glistening glass fell to the floor and shattered.

Yair stood there stunned. “How did that happen?” he asked himself.

He saw that he had picked up the door upside down. “That shouldn’t make a difference,” he thought. “I’ve done this many times with other ovens.” He picked up the other door and carefully turned it upside down. The glass remained securely in its place.

Yair gathered the shattered glass and the metal piece. He looked for the screws that held the metal piece in place and found that they were rusty and corroded. “My rotten luck that the screws failed now,” said Yair.

Yair called over Mr. Glazer and showed him what happened. “I picked up the oven door to return it to its place, but the screws fell out,” he apologized. “The glass slipped out and broke.”

“How could it have fallen out?” asked Mr. Glazer. “I see that the bottom guard is in place.”

“The top guard was loose, and I accidentally picked up the door up upside down,” explained Yair. “It usually doesn’t make a difference, though. I’ll show you.” He picked up the other door upside down, and the glass remained held fast in place.

“You’re right about that,” acknowledged Mr. Glazer. “But had you picked up the door the right way, it also wouldn’t have happened. You are partly to blame.”

“Well, you didn’t warn me that the oven had loose, rusty parts,” countered Yair.

“We need to consult with someone on this,” said Mr. Glazer. “Would you like to ask Rabbi Dayan?”

“Sure, that would be great,” said Yair.

The two went to Rabbi Dayan and asked: “Is Yair liable for the glass that broke?”

“In principle, a worker who is entrusted to work on an item is considered equivalent to a shomer sachar,” replied Rabbi Dayan. “He is not liable for loss due to circumstances beyond his control (oness), but is liable for preventable loss (geneivah v’aaveidah).”

“What is our case considered?” asked Yair.

“Yair is not completely free of blame, since he held the door upside down,” said Rabbi Dayan. “On the other hand, he wasn’t negligent in any way, since picking up the door upside down is not supposed to be a problem. Furthermore, he was entrusted with a defective door that had corroded screws, without being warned.

“Similarly, we find that Chazal instituted that a porter who stumbles and damages his load is exempt, unless he was negligent, such as if he tried to carry a heavy load that requires two people. If the porter tried carrying a load that was somewhat heavy for one person, but doesn’t usually require two people, he is liable for half the amount. It can’t be called negligence, since often a single person does carry it, but cannot be called uncontrollable, since the load was somewhat heavy for an individual.” (C.M. 304:1-4)

“This isn’t quite a case of porters,” commented Mr. Glazer.

“This was said about porters, but perhaps a similar idea could be applied to our case, since it’s difficult to ascertain clear responsibility in this case,” said Rabbi Dayan. “Considering also that the door was defective, it would seem best to compromise that he cover approximately a third of the cost of the glass.”

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 “Glistening Glass”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Haneen Zoabi (L) and Basel Ghattas (R), Arab members of Israel's parliament, both participated in flotillas attempting to break Israel's legal naval blockade of the Gaza strip.
Who Is Damaging Relations Between Arabs and Jews?
Latest Judaism Stories
17th_of_Tammuz_(medium)_(english)

17th of Tammuz: Beginning 3 weeks of mourning for the destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

Rabbi Avi Weiss

With Ruth, The Torah seems to be stating that children shouldn’t be punished for the sins of parents

Neihaus-070315

Without a foundation, one cannot hope to build a structure.

Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

Why do we have a parsha in Sefer Shemos named after Yisro who was not only a former idolater, but actually served as a priest for Avodah Zarah!

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)

This Land Is ‘My’ Land
‘[If The Vow Was Imposed] In The Seventh Year…’
(Nedarim 42b)

The Shulchan Aruch in the very first siman states that one should rise in the morning like a lion, implying that simply rising form bed requires strength of a lion, in line with the Midrash.

Attempts to interpret the message of Hashem in the absence of divine prophecy ultimately may twist that message in unintended ways that can lead to calamitous events.

Suddenly, the pilot’s voice could be heard. He explained that this was a special day for those passengers on board who lived in Israel.

If the sick person is thrust into a situation where he is compelled to face his sickness head on, we who are not yet sick can encourage him by facing it with him.

All agree that Jews ARE different. How? Why? The Bible’s answer is surprising and profound.

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

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

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

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

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/glistening-glass/2013/08/15/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: