web analytics
March 4, 2015 / 13 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Minor Seller

Business-Halacha-logo

A group of fifth-grade boys was playing ball in the park one afternoon. Yosef zoomed into the park on his rollerblades, with a broad smile on his face.

His friend, Eliyahu, approached him. “What’s up Yosef?” he asked. “Why are you in such a good mood?”

“My father bought me new rollerblades for my birthday,” Yosef answered. “It’s a top-rated model!”

“What are you doing with your old rollerblades?” Eliyahu asked. “They’re still in good condition.”

“I don’t know,” replied Yosef. “I put them away in my closet.”

“I’ll tell you what,” said Eliyahu. “I’ll pay you $40 for them.”

“Deal,” said Eliyahu. “It’s better than sitting in the closet. Come by tomorrow after school.”

The following day, Eliyahu went home with Yosef. He gave Yosef the $40 and took the old rollerblades.

A week later, Yosef’s father inquired about his old rollerblades. “I looked in the closet for your old rollerblades,” he said, “but couldn’t find them.”

“I sold them to Eliyahu last week for $40,” replied Yosef.

“I’m upset that you did that,” said his father. “I told your younger brother that I would give them to him. Anyway, you could have asked Eliyahu for more than $40.”

“I’m sorry,” said Yosef, “but what do you want me to do now?”

“Tell Eliyahu that you need the rollerblades back; that I don’t allow the sale,” said his father. “You had no right to sell them without asking me first!”

The next morning in school, Yosef told Eliyahu he wanted the rollerblades back. “But you already sold them to me,” argued Eliyahu. “You can’t retract.”

“My father insists that I get them back,” said Yosef. “He promised them to my younger brother and thinks that you didn’t pay enough.”

“Well, I’m not giving them back,” said Eliyahu. “I bought them fair and square! Anyway, they’re yours, not your father’s.”

As their tones rose, the rebbe came over. “What’s going on?” he asked.

“Yosef sold me his old rollerblades,” said Eliyahu, “and now he wants them back.”

“My father says that I shouldn’t have sold them without checking with him,” explained Yosef. “He wants them for my brother.”

“I heard that there is a special shiur today with Rabbi Dayan,” said the rebbe. “We can ask him after the shiur.”

“Oh, wow!” beamed Yosef. “That’s great!”

After the shiur, the rebbe introduced Yosef and Eliyahu to Rabbi Dayan. “The boys have a business halacha question for you,” the rebbe said.

“I sold my rollerblades to Eliyahu, but my father insists that he return them,” said Yosef. “Does Eliyahu have to give them back?”

“The sale of a minor [below bar mitzvah] who is supported by his father is subject to his approval,” said Rabbi Dayan. “Therefore, your father can annul the sale.”

“Why is that?” asked Eliyahu.

“Selling is a legal transaction that requires da’as, legal competence,” explained Rabbi Dayan. “Therefore, the Torah does not attribute legal significance to transactions initiated by minors, since they lack da’as. However, the Sages instituted that their transactions – with the exception of real estate – should be valid, so that a child should be able to obtain his needs.” (Gittin 59a; C.M. 235:1)

“From what age?” asked Yosef.

“From a minimum of six or seven, provided that the child has some sense of value and business,” replied Rabbi Dayan. “By age ten, it is assumed that almost all children have reached this stage, unless known otherwise.” (See SM”A 235:3)

“If so, what’s the problem?” asked Eliyahu. “Yosef is already ten!”

“Elsewhere, the Gemara [Kesubos 70a] qualifies that the Sages only instituted this when there is no guardian to look after the child’s welfare, but not if there is a guardian,” explained Rabbi Dayan. “In the case where there is a guardian to tend to the child’s needs, the child can only sell with the approval of his guardian. All the more so if the child has a father to look after him. His sale is subject to his father’s approval.” (C.M. 235:2; SM”A 235:18; Aruch Hashulchan 235:1,11)

“Furthermore, in many instances, gifts given to children are not legally theirs, but are considered as belonging to the father,” added Rabbi Dayan. [Rama 270:2; Aruch Hashulchan 270:4] “Therefore, Yosef’s father can annul the sale if he objects to it. Nonetheless, he should consider the educational value of training his child to uphold his word.”

“What about a child who’s bar mitzvah?” asked Yosef.

“Once the child is bar mitzvah, he acquires da’as and his transactions are binding by the Torah,” replied Rabbi Dayan. “He is no longer subject to his father’s approval. For real estate that he inherited, though, our Sages restricted a person’s ability to sell until twenty.” (C.M. 235:8-9)

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 “Minor Seller”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Pelosi turns her back on Netanyahu and Congress.
Netanyahu Says Israel Can Stand Alone – and Pelosi Turns her Back [video]
Latest Judaism Stories
Q-A-Klass-logo

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

Why would the exemption of women from donating the half shekel exempt them from davening Musaf?

The-Shmuz

This concept should be very relevant to us as we, too, should be happy beyond description.

An anti-Semitic poster seen in Europe.

The Holocaust was the latest attempt of Amalek to destroy the special bond that we enjoy with God.

One can drink up to the Talmud’s criterion to confuse Mordechai and Haman-but not beyond.

“The voice is the voice of Yaakov, but the hands are the hands of Esav” gives great insight to Purim

Purim is the battleground of extremes, Amalek and Yisrael, with Zoroastrian Persia in between.

One should not give the money before Purim morning or after sunset.

The mishloach manos of times gone by were sometimes simple and sometimes elaborate, but the main focus was on the preparation of the delicious food they contained.

Does Hashem ever go away and not pay attention to us?

In other words, the Torah is an expression of the Way that we must follow in order to live a divine-like life and to bond in the highest way possible with God or Being Itself.

The Chasam Sofer answers that one of only prohibited from wearing a garment that contains shatnez if he does so while wearing the garment for pleasure purposes.

The avodah (service) of the kohen gadol is vital and highly sensitive; the world’s very existence depends on it.

Moreover, even if the perpetrator of the capital offense is never actually executed, such as when the fatal act was unintentional, Kam Lei applies and the judge cannot award damages.

Forever After?
‘Obligated for Challahh and Not Terumah’
(Kesubos 25a)

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

More Articles from Rabbi Meir Orlian
Business-Halacha-logo

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

Business-Halacha-logo

“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.”

“It means that the disqualification of relatives as witnesses is a procedural issue, not a question of honesty,” explained Rabbi Dayan.

“The issue is not just logistical,” replied Mr. Kahn. “I thought that halacha requires that the beginning of the adjudication and acceptance of testimony be during daytime.” (C.M. 5:2; 28:24)

A few days, Mrs. Feldman called back. “I would prefer a nice cake rather than the chocolate.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/minor-seller/2013/01/31/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: