web analytics
February 28, 2015 / 9 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


My Loss Or Yours

Business-Halacha-logo

Dan and Shai were standing in the train station. They had just finished a shopping spree and each carried a bag, which they put down next to them. “I got a gift for my parent’s anniversary,” said Shai. “It cost quite a lot, but it’s a very special occasion.”

As the train approached, two youths came up behind them. The youths grabbed the bags and began running away.

Dan and Shai, who were both trained in martial arts, were not cowed and immediately began chasing them. Dan was faster and had almost caught up with the two youths. The two split apart, one escaping to the right the other to the left.

Dan instinctively veered left, chasing his own bag. He realized, though, that Shai’s bag contained much more valuable items.

“Should I forget about my bag and try to save Shai’s bag?” Dan thought to himself. He made a split-second decision to do that and work it out with Shai afterward. He turned right with a burst of speed and continued chasing the other youth holding Shai’s bag. The youth, realizing he was about to be caught, dropped the bag and fled down a stairway.

Dan retrieved Shai’s bag and recovered his breath. Shai caught up with him and congratulated him for retrieving the bag. “Thanks for getting my bag back!” he said. “What about your bag, though? It looks like the other guy got away.”

“I could have caught him, but realized that your bag was much more valuable,” Dan said. “I was hoping you would reimburse me for my loss.”

“I really appreciate that you saved my bag, and will give you something for having chased the thief,” said Shai. “I just spent a tremendous amount on the gift, though, and can’t afford to cover your shopping also. It was your decision to give up your bag and save mine. Besides, I was also chasing them and had alerted the police, so we might have caught the thief, anyway.”

“I went after your bag assuming that you’d compensate me for my small loss, rather than risk losing your whole bag,” responded Dan. “And it’s not likely that you or the police would have caught him in time.”

“I hear what you’re saying,” said Shai. “Let’s ask Rabbi Dayan tomorrow in shiur.”

The following morning, Dan raised his hand in shiur. “We had a fascinating monetary question yesterday,” he said. He related the story, and asked: “Was I supposed to have chased after Shai’s bag? What about my loss?”

“There is a mitzvah of hashavat aveida,” replied Rabbi Dayan, “but if you are faced with your own loss and that of another, you are not obligated to retrieve your friend’s loss, even if far greater than your own. However, it is proper to consider your friend’s need.” (C.M. 264:1)

“If I chose to do so,” asked Dan, “does Shai have to compensate me for my loss?”

“That depends on the circumstances,” answered Rabbi Dayan. “If Shai was present and you went ahead and saved his item without saying anything to him, he is not obligated to cover your loss, only to pay the value of your service in saving his bag. However, if you stipulated that he should cover your loss, Shai must pay the full value of your loss. In addition, he cannot claim afterward that his bag might have been recovered by the police.” (B.K. 115b; C.M. 264:3-4)

“What if Shai was not present when I decided to save his bag?” asked Dan.

“You can stipulate before a beis din or three other people,” said Rabbi Dayan. “If neither Shai nor others were available, or if time did not allow this, it is assumed that the friend would agree to cover the loss, as if stipulated.” (Rama 264:3; SM”A 265:8)

“If the police later recover Dan’s bag,” asked Shai, “I assume I would not have to pay anything even if he stipulated?”

“Actually, you would still have to cover his initial loss,” said Rabbi Dayan.

“Why is that?” asked Dan.

“When the thief took Dan’s bag and ran off, it’s as good as lost, and becomes hefker,” explained Rabbi Dayan. “Therefore, you have to pay for it, in accordance with the agreement. Even if the police recover the bag and return it, it’s like Dan acquired it anew from hefker.” (See Pischei Choshen, Aveida 8:1])

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 “My Loss Or Yours”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
18,000 Iranian Centrifuges
Reducing Iran’s Number of Centrifuges Makes a Bomb More Likely
Latest Judaism Stories
Niehaus-022715

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

Mendlowitz-022715-Basket

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.

Winiarz-022715-Kids

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

Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

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)

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

This was a spontaneous act of rest after the miracle of vanquishing their respective foes. The following year they celebrated on the same days as a minhag.

The way we must to relate to our young adult children is to communicate with genuine loving-kindness

Jewish prayer is a convergence of 2 modes of biblical spirituality, exemplified by Moses and Aaron

In holy places it’s important to maintain a level of silence permitting people to dialogue with God

Eventually, after some trial and error, including an experience with a prima donna and one with a thief, I baruch Hashem ultimately found a fine, honest and reliable household helper.

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/my-loss-or-yours/2013/01/10/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: