web analytics
July 6, 2015 / 19 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Missing Payment

Business-Halacha-logo

Dr. Oren had a small psychology practice and rented office space from his colleague, Dr. Wieder, on Thursday afternoons. The rent amounted to $500 for the month. Since the two usually did not see each other, the arrangement was that Dr. Oren would leave the rent money in the top drawer of the desk.

One Thursday afternoon toward the end of the month, Dr. Oren brought the rent money with him. He counted the bills twice: “100, 200, 300, 400, 500 dollars.” He poked around his attaché case for an envelope to put the money in, but couldn’t find one, so he left the stack of bills loose in the drawer.

The following day, Dr. Wieder called. “Did you leave me cash?” he asked Dr. Oren.

“Yes, I did,” replied Dr. Oren. “I didn’t have an envelope, so I left the money in the drawer. I hope you got it.”

“How much did you leave there?” asked Dr. Wieder.

“I left the full amount for the month, $500,” replied Dr. Oren.

“Are you sure of the amount?” asked Dr. Wieder.

“Absolutely; I counted it twice,” answered Dr. Oren. “How much did you find?”

“Only $300,” said Dr. Wieder. “$200 is missing!”

“Do you doubt I left $500?” asked Dr. Oren, slightly offended.

“No, I don’t doubt you,” answered Dr. Wieder. “I’m concerned, though, since I suspect a certain patient of poking around the office. It would have been better had you sealed the money in an envelope.”

“I’m really sorry,” apologized Dr. Oren. “I usually try to leave the money in an envelope. There have been a few times, though, that I left cash loose in the drawer. There was never a problem and you never said anything.”

“I’m not accusing you of doing wrong, but you could have been more careful,” said Dr. Wider. “In any case, you still owe me $200 rent, since I never ended up receiving the money you left.”

“I feel bad,” replied Dr. Oren, “but I shouldn’t have to carry the loss, since I followed our arrangement to leave the money in the drawer. I’d be happy to discuss the issue, though, with Rabbi Dayan.”

“Fine with me,” said Dr. Wieder.

The two met with Rabbi Dayan, and asked: “Who is responsible for the missing $200?”

“There are two issues to consider here,” replied Rabbi Dayan. “One, whether placing money in the drawer is the same as handing it to Dr. Wieder. Two, whether the fact that this was the prearranged agreement is sufficient reason to exempt Dr. Oren.”

“Regarding the first issue,” Rabbi Dayan continued, “a person who owes money remains liable until he hands it over to the lender or his agent [C.M. 120:1]. Here, although the money was not handed directly to Dr. Wieder, placing it in the lender’s house in his presence is like handing it to him.” (Aruch Hashulchan 120:2)

“But I wasn’t present when the money was placed in the drawer,” argued Dr. Wieder. “In fact, I didn’t even find out until after the $200 was taken!”

“When the lender was not aware that the money was placed in his property, there is a question,” explained Rabbi Dayan, “since a person’s property acquires on his behalf even without his awareness [243:20]. Nonetheless, when returning a theft, the owner has to be made aware, so that he knows to guard the stolen object again [355:1]. This likely does not apply here, though, so long as the money was placed in a secure location.” (Pischei Choshen, Halva’ah 5:2)

“Regardless of whether or not Dr. Wieder knew I left the money, how about the second issue?” asked Dr. Oren. “Since our arrangement was to leave the money in the drawer, I don’t see any reason I should remain responsible!”

“Even if the lender instructs the borrower to throw the money to him, the borrower remains responsible if it gets lost, unless the lender explicitly said that the borrower would be exempt,” replied Rabbi Dayan. “This is because the lender presumably meant: ‘Throw the money, but continue watching it.’ However, if the lender said, ‘Give the money to someone specific,’ or, ‘Leave it in a certain secure place,’ the borrower is exempt even if the lender didn’t explicitly exempt him.” (SM”A, Nesivos 120:1)

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 “Missing Payment”

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/missing-payment/2012/09/06/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: