web analytics
October 2, 2014 / 8 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Mikveh Building Fund

Business-Halacha-logo

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.”

“Would anything that affects many people be considered a communal endeavor?” asked Mr. Elman.

“Not always,” added Rabbi Dayan. “For example, if homeowners needed to hire an advocate to lobby against real estate taxes, those who are not homeowners would not need to share in this expense, since this in not per se a communal issue.” (See Rosh, Responsa 6:9, cited in Rama 163:6; Emek Hamishpat, Hilchos Shecheinim, #44).

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 “Mikveh Building Fund”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Tapuach Junction. (archive)
Border Police Stop Terrorists at Tapuach Junction
Latest Judaism Stories
Parsha-Perspectives-NEW

Often in life we become stuck – stuck in the morass of our habits and the rote of our comfort level.

PTI-100314

There is one day of the year on which the Satan has no power: Yom Kippur.

Neihaus-100314

During shmittah we refrain from agricultural activities and collection of loans, and on Yom Kippur we refrain from all physical pleasures.

Daf-Yomi-logo

A Miraculous Visual Treat
‘They Lifted It Up To Show…’
(Chagiga 26b)

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

What right do I, sinner, have to approach Hashem and request forgiveness?

Throughout the war, Akiva had several brief furloughs home, and each time exchanged whichever mishnayos volume he had finished for the next in the series.

Imagine a man who, after having a few too many drinks, gets into his car and begins driving. It takes a while before he is pulled over, but finally the police arrest him, and he stands trial for driving while intoxicated.

Mr. Fisher contacted Rabbi Dayan. “Am I allowed to use money of ma’aser kesafim to pay the shul for an aliyah that I bought?” he asked.

In addition to Yom Kippur, there is at least one other instance when a person may fast on Shabbat – the case of a ta’anit chalom, in which a person wishes to fast to prevent an ominous dream from becoming reality.

Others suggest that one cannot separate Shabbos from Yom Kippur by accepting Shabbos early.

The call of the shofar is eternal. It is not musical. Its magnetic allurement cannot be explained.

Ba’al Shem Tov: “Hashem, too, is crying; as much as He is looking for us, we rarely look for Him.”

When we cry from the heart, someone listens; When we cry on Yom Kippur, God hears us.

Contrary to popular belief, the Talmud never explicitly limits the ban on footwear to leather shoes.

More Articles from Rabbi Meir Orlian
Business-Halacha-logo

Mr. Fisher contacted Rabbi Dayan. “Am I allowed to use money of ma’aser kesafim to pay the shul for an aliyah that I bought?” he asked.

Business-Halacha-logo

Rabbi Dayan took a challah and some cooked eggs. He then called over his 15-year-old son, Aharon. “Could you please ask your friend Chaim from next door to come over and help me with the eruv tavshilin?”

When the Kleins returned, however, they were dismayed to see that the renters did a poor job cleaning up after themselves.

“Tony said that the code in most places in the U.S. is at least 36 inches for a residential guardrail,” replied Mr. Braun. “Some make it higher, 42, or even 52 inches for high porches. What is the required height according to halacha?”

“The Torah states in Parshat Ki-Teitzei: ‘If you build a new house, you shall make a fence for your roof. I think it’s your responsibility.”

On Friday afternoon, Dov called Kalman. “Please make sure to return the keys for the car on Motzaei Shabbos,” he said. “We have a bris on Sunday morning and we’re all going. We also need the roof luggage bag.”

“We’re leining now, and shouldn’t be talking,” Mr. Silver gently quieted his son. “At the Shabbos table we can discuss it at length.”

“Guess what?” Benzion exclaimed when he returned home. “I just won an identical Mishnah Berurah in the avos u’banim raffle.”

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

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: