web analytics
July 5, 2015 / 18 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Just One Tile!

Business-Halacha-logo

The Alperts needed some work done around their house. The contracted Mr. Fixler, a general handyman, to do the job.

While working on one of the fixtures, Mr. Fixler accidentally knocked his drill off the ladder. It landed with a thud on the floor of the entranceway, cracking a tile.

Mr. Fixler apologized profusely for the incident. “Obviously, I will replace the tile,” he said. “Do you have any spare tiles?”

Mr. Alpert looked around his basement for remaining tiles, but could not find any. He took the broken tile to the store from where he had purchased the tiles seven years earlier. “Do you have any of these tiles left?’ he asked. “One of ours cracked and needs to be replaced.”

“We don’t carry that style anymore,” said the salesman.

“Perhaps you have an odd box left in the warehouse?” suggested Mr. Alpert.

“I’ll check with inventory,” said the salesman, “if you can wait here fifteen minutes.”

“I’ll wait,” said Mr. Alpert.

The salesman went away and returned fifteen minutes later. “There are no more of those tiles in inventory,” he said. “That style was discontinued five years ago. I checked with some other vendors that we work with; they also don’t have any left.”

Mr. Alpert returned home. “There’s no point in having one tile that doesn’t match,” Mr. Alpert said to his wife. “We’re going to have to retile the whole entranceway.”

“If we redo a strip of complementing tiles, that should suffice,” Mrs. Alpert said. “I’ll come with you.” They went to the store and chose a box of fancy, decorative tiles. They gave the tiles to Mr. Fixler to install, along with a bill for $109.

When Mr. Fixler saw the bill for the tiles, he felt that the amount was exaggerated. “You have very expensive taste,” he commented. “I don’t need to cover that.”

“How much do you think is fair?” asked Mr. Alpert.

“I cracked just one tile,” said Mr. Fixler. “I don’t owe you more than that. I’m willing to go beyond the letter of the law and replace additional tiles, but not to pay for them.”

“We would have been very happy had you not damaged any tiles,” replied Mr. Alpert. “Consider that the broken tile was also expensive.”

“It certainly wasn’t that expensive,” argued Mr. Fixler. “Anyway, the tiles were seven years old. It also was an accident.”

“The tiles were in fine condition, though,” said Mr. Alpert. “The new tiles are only needed because of your damage. It’s not fair that we should have to pay.”

“How about letting Rabbi Dayan settle this?” suggested Mr. Fixler.

“Great idea!” responded Mr. Alpert. “Let’s do that!”

The two met with Rabbi Dayan. “A worker who damages in the course of his work, even unintentionally, is required to repair or compensate for the damage, like any other person,” said Rabbi Dayan. “Therefore, you are certainly liable for the damaged tile.” (C.M. 378:1; 306:4)

“I understand, but does that require me to pay anything beyond the one cracked tile?” asked Mr. Fixler. “To replace this one tile we are installing a whole strip.”

“It can, since the primary obligation of damage is to restore the item to its former use,” answered Rabbi Dayan. “Therefore, if replacing the damaged tile requires uprooting and replacing a few additional, adjacent tiles – they are also included in the liability. Also, tiles are sold as a whole box, not singly.” (See Shach 387:1; Chazon Ish, B.K. 6:3)

“What about the fact that the tiles were old, though?” asked Mr. Fixler. “Also, the decorative strip looks nicer than the original simple flooring. The original box of tiles would cost no more than $50 had it been available!”

“If the repair adds value, the owner needs to absorb part of the cost,” replied Rabbi Dayan. “For example, if a worker broke an old sink and it was replaced with a new one, he is liable for the cost of installation and the proportional worth of the old sink; the owner is responsible for the differential in worth between the new sink and the old one.” (See Mishpetai HaTorah I:24)

“But we cannot restore the actual damage here,” said Mr. Alpert. “The original tiles are not available. The only way to make it aesthetically pleasing was by adding decorative tiles.”

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 “Just One Tile!”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Future guard? Arab child with Hamas headband aims toy rifle on the Temple Mount after prayers in the Al Aqsa mosque.
CNN Promotes Old City on Verge of Extinction Due to ‘Political Tension’
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/just-one-tile/2012/07/12/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: