web analytics
April 2, 2015 / 13 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Lottery

Business-Halacha-logo

Chaim and Zev had been roommates in yeshiva for a number of years. They had purchased, often jointly, many pictures of gedolim to adorn their walls. One of the most beautiful ones was a hand drawing of Rav Elyashiv, zt”l, that was not easy to find anymore.

When the time came to head their separate ways, they had to divide the pictures they had jointly bought. They were able to agree about most of the pictures, except for the one of Rav Elyashiv, which they both desperately wanted, and two other photos.

“I don’t see any way out of this other than a lottery,” said Chaim. “One will get the picture of Rav Elyashiv and the other will get the other two photos.”

Zev was not thrilled about this arrangement, especially since he had found the picture of Rav Elyashiv and suggested that they buy it, but he didn’t have a better way of deciding the issue.

The two cast a lottery and Chaim won Rav Elyashiv’s picture. Zev grabbed the picture, though, and refused to hand it over. “You know that for something to be legally binding there needs to be a kinyan, an act of acquisition,” he said. “A lottery is just a convenient means to help decide but does not carry any legal validity until you take the item. I’m retracting from my agreement to decide by lottery.”

“What do you mean a lottery does not carry any legal validity?” replied Zev. “We often find a lottery is used to determine respective shares, especially between partners. Even Eretz Yisrael was divided by the tribes through a lottery!”

“That was a special case, where Hashem decreed that the Land should be divided through a miraculous lottery,” said Chaim. “That doesn’t mean, though, that a lottery between you and me carries legal weight!”

“But doesn’t our agreement that the division should be through lottery carry meaning?” argued Zev. “What if you had gotten the picture and I wanted to back out? Would you be so quick to say that I could retract?”

Chaim stood silent for a moment. “I would certainly feel upset,” he acknowledged. “But I guess that you would have the legal right to retract if you insisted.”

“What’s the point of a lottery, then?” said Zev. “It doesn’t make sense. Once the lottery is cast – it’s over! Please give me the picture.”

“I’m not giving it until we speak with Rabbi Dayan,” said Chaim. “I wonder what halacha has to say about this.”

“Agreed,” said Zev. They walked over to Rabbi Dayan’s beis medrash.

“We agreed to divide our joint gedolim pictures by lottery,” explained Chaim. “Zev now refuses to honor the lottery and give me a picture of Rav Elyashiv. Is a lottery legally binding?”

“We find, regarding the division of Eretz Yisrael to the tribes, that a lottery has legal consequence,” said Rabbi Dayan. “Although there were additional factors there, such as the urim v’tumim, since the two partners are mutually interested to divide in this manner, any lottery carries validity.” (B.B. 106a)

“Does that mean that after the lottery I already own the picture?” asked Chaim.

“Whether the lottery itself confers ownership is a dispute between the Rishonim,” answered Rabbi Dayan. “The Rambam, cited by the Shulchan Aruch, rules that the lottery confers ownership; thus, Zev has no the legal ability to retract. The Rosh, cited by the Rama, however, maintains that the lottery just determines the shares. It enables each party to posses his respective share without explicit permission from the other, but does not confer ownership until the party makes an act of acquisition on his respective share. According to this opinion, Zev is able to retract until you acquire the picture.” (C.M. 173:2)

“Who is the halacha in accordance with?” asked Zev.

“Shevut Yaakov [3:162] considers the issue unresolved,” replied Rabbi Dayan. “However, Maharsham [3:186] rules in accordance with the first opinion that the lottery confers legal ownership. He adds that if there was a formal kinyan sudar beforehand to divide based on the lottery, or the two parties signed a contract to that effect, the lottery would certainly confer ownership.” (Pischei Choshen, Shutfim 3:72)

“What about a lottery that does not determine shares, but only the order to choose?” asked Chaim.

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 “Lottery”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Faience amulets depicting images of Egyptian gods.
Egyptian Culture Rife in Israel ‘For Years’ After Exodus
Latest Judaism Stories
Jewish Holidays' Guide for the Perplexed by Yoram Ettinger

German poet Heinrich Heine: “Since the Exodus, freedom has always been spoken with a Hebrew accent.”

Bodenheim-032715

Our ability to teach is only successful if done by example.

Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

Outside of the High Holidays, Pesach is probably the most celebrated biblical holiday for the majority of Jews.

“If I notify people, nobody will buy the matzos!” exclaimed Mr. Mandel. “Once the halachic advisory panel ruled leniently, why can’t I sell the matzos regularly?”

So what type of praise is it that Aaron followed orders?

Her Children, Her Whim
‘Kesubas Bnin Dichrin’
(Kesubos 52b)

Question: Must one spend great sums of money and invest much effort in making one’s home kosher for Passover? Not all of us have such unlimited funds.

Name Withheld
(Via E-Mail)

Yachatz is not mentioned in the Gemara. What is the foundation for yachatz?

First, the punishment for eating chametz on Pesach is karet, premature death at the Hand of God.

Why is it necessary to invite people to eat from the korban Pesach?

How was I going to get to Manhattan? No cabs were going, we didn’t have a car, and many people who did have cars had no gas.

Did you ever notice that immediately upon being granted our freedom from Egypt, the Jewish people accepted upon themselves the yoke of a new master – Hashem?

Why does Torah make the priests go through a long and seemingly bizarre induction ceremony?

Often people in important positions separate from everyday people & tasks-NOT the Kohen Gadol

You smuggled tefillin into the camp? How can they help? Every day men risked their lives to use them

More Articles from Rabbi Meir Orlian
Business-Halacha-logo

“If I notify people, nobody will buy the matzos!” exclaimed Mr. Mandel. “Once the halachic advisory panel ruled leniently, why can’t I sell the matzos regularly?”

Business-Halacha-logo

“Do we have to donate again?” some people asked. “Is it fair that we should have to pay twice?”

“This sounds like a question for Rabbi Dayan,” said Mr. Cohen. He took out his cell phone and called Rabbi Dayan.

“We really appreciate your efforts in straightening the shul,” said Mr. Reiss. “How is it going?”

“Halacha differentiates between giving a gift, forgoing a debt [mechila], and granting permission to take something,” answered Rabbi Dayan.

“I don’t accept this,” said Mr. Zummer. “I want you to finish! You’re not allowed to just stop in the middle!”

“That’s what you’re wondering?” laughed Mr. Rubin. “That ring is not mine at all. A relative gave me money to buy it for him.”

“How could you have expected my glasses to be there?” argued Mr. Weiss. “You shouldn’t have to pay.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/lottery/2013/07/04/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: