web analytics
April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Mikveh Building Fund

Business-Halacha-logo

Share Button

Yidsville had a small but dedicated Jewish community. There was one Orthodox synagogue, led by Rabbi Well, a day school, women’s mikveh, kosher butcher shop, pizza store and restaurants.

The mikveh in the community was old and in desperate need of renovation. A committee was set up to raise the necessary funds. A number of donors provided significant funding for the cause, but not enough to embark on the project.

The committee met with Rabbi Well, and decided to levy a building fee of $2,000 on each member family of the community.

A letter was sent out to the community explaining the need to renovate the mikveh and the decision of the Rabbi and the mikveh committee to levy a building fee.

A few days later, Rabbi Well received a letter from Mr. Elman:

Dear Rabbi Well,

I applaud your efforts in renovating the mikveh; it is truly in need of repair. I contributed generously to the maintenance of the mikvah throughout the years. Two years ago, though, my beloved wife passed away, so that I no longer have any use for the mikveh. As such, I don’t feel that I should have to pay the building fee for the renovations. I am happy to enclose a $250 donation towards the cause, as I often did, but feel that the $2,000 fee is excessive for me.

Respectfully,
Mr. Elman

Rabbi Well invited Mr. Elman to discuss the issue with him. “I understand your tender feelings, but the $2,000 fee is being levied on all members of the shul,” explained Rabbi Well. “We did not differentiate between those who use the mikveh on a monthly basis and those who barely use it, or those who no longer have a need.”

“Why should that be?” asked Mr. Elman. “I’m proud to be a member of the shul and support all its activities, but this is not a shul project. Unfortunately, it has no relevance for me any longer.”

“It may not be a shul project, but it is a community project,” replied Rabbi Well. “You are part of the Jewish community in Yidsville, and, as such, we expect you to participate fully in the mikveh renovations.”

“But it doesn’t seem fair to me!” exclaimed Mr. Elman. “I am willing to discuss the issue with Rabbi Dayan, though.”

“Certainly,” said Rabbi Well.

Rabbi Well and Mr. Elman met with Rabbi Dayan and asked: “Does Mr. Elman have to participate with the community in the mikveh renovation fund?”

“This question was addressed 700 years ago by Mahari Mintz [Responsa #7], as to whether elderly couples have to participate in building a mikveh,” answered Rabbi Dayan. “He ruled that since the mikveh is a communal need, every community member can be required to participate, even if he does not have a direct need.” (Rama 163:3)

“What is the basis for this?” asked Mr. Elman.

“The Mishnah [B.B. 7b] teaches that all members of a joint courtyard have to participate in expenditures needed for the proper functioning of the courtyard,” replied Rabbi Dayan. “Similarly, all townspeople have to participate in expenditures needed for the proper functioning of the city. This is because the townspeople are considered partners in the town’s endeavors.”

“But since I no longer have a wife,” argued Mr. Elman, “I’m not a partner at all in this endeavor!”

Maahari Mintz gives two reasons for his ruling,” explained Rabbi Dayan. “First, the mikveh is an essential part of any Jewish community. Thus, by definition, it is incumbent upon anyone who is a part of the Jewish community. Second, there certain times that even older people might need to use the mikveh.”

“It seems, though, that whether I have to pay might depend on the two reasons of the Mahari Mintz,” Mr. Elman pointed out. “According to the first reason I understand that I have to pay, but it would seem that according to the second reason I shouldn’t have to, since I have no need at all.”

“The SM”A (163:32) accepts the first rationale as the primary reason,” continued Rabbi Dayan. “Thus, even someone who has absolutely no need at all must participate in the mikveh fund. The Chasam Sofer [O.C. #193] seems to require also some need, as Mahari Mintz‘s second reason, but, you also have an occasional need for visiting family, daughters and granddaughters.”

Share Button

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.

No Responses to “Mikveh Building Fund”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
FBI Wanted poster for Osama bin Laden
Pakistan Library Renamed to Honor bin Laden
Latest Judaism Stories
Reiss-041814-King

Amazingly, each and every blade was green and moist as if it was just freshly cut.

PTI-041814

All the commentaries ask why Hashem focuses on the Exodus as opposed to saying, “I am Hashem who created the entire world.”

Leff-041814

Someone who focuses only on the bones of the Torah makes his bones dry and passionless.

The following is President Obama’s statement on Passover (April 14, 2014). As he has in the past, the President held an official Passover Seder at the White House. Michelle and I send our warmest greetings to all those celebrating Passover in the United States, in Israel, and around the world. On Tuesday, just as we […]

The tendency to rely on human beings rather than G-d has been our curse throughout the centuries.

“Who is wise? One who learns from each person” (Pirkei Avot 4:1)

In Judaism, to be without questions is a sign not of faith, but of lack of depth.

“I’ll try to help as we can,” said Mr. Goodman, “but we already made a special appeal this year. Let me see what other funds we have. I’ll be in touch with you in a day or two.”

Rashi is bothered by the expression Hashem used: “the Jews need only travel.”

Reckoning Time
‘Three Festivals, Even Out Of Order’
(Beizah 19b)

Two husbands were there to instruct us in Texas hold ‘em – and we needed them.

Question: Why do we start counting sefirat ha’omer in chutz la’aretz on the second night of Pesach when the omer in the times of the Beit Hamikdash was cut on Chol HaMoed?

M. Goldman
(Via E-Mail)

A few background principles regarding the prohibitions of chametz mixtures on Pesach may provide some shopping guidance.

According to the Rambam, the k’nas applies to any chametz on Pesach with which one could, in theory, transgress the aveirah – even if no transgression actually occurred.

She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.

More Articles from Rabbi Meir Orlian
Business-Halacha-logo

“I’ll try to help as we can,” said Mr. Goodman, “but we already made a special appeal this year. Let me see what other funds we have. I’ll be in touch with you in a day or two.”

Business-Halacha-logo

“Why is that?” asked Rabbi Brenner. “What happened to the rule of hamotzi meichaveiro alav hareaya (the burden of the proof is on the plaintiff)?”

“People who want to donate will give anyway,” said Mr. Bodner. “Why can’t I also gain from distributing the photo?”

“Well, I brought over a cake for the simcha,” Mrs. Kasner said. She came in and put the cake down on the counter. “Please tell your mother I’d like the serving dish back after Shabbos.”

“We’re hosting a sheva berachos tonight for my niece,” Mrs. Kohn replied. “I’m already late! I don’t even have a minute to take my projector to the office. Would you mind keeping it overnight in your office?”

When Mr. Fine received the translation he was disappointed. The translation was passing, but lacked the power and command of language in other translations he’d seen.

The day after Purim, Mordechai Freilich received the mishloach manos package with a note: “This mishloach manos was meant to be delivered on Purim, but delayed due to the storm. Please accept our apologies.”

Today was one of those days. Shimshon was standing in the hallway during recess, talking to a friend, when Dan walked over and jumped on him.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/mikveh-building-fund/2013/06/06/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: