web analytics
September 23, 2014 / 28 Elul, 5774
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.



Never Borrowed!

Business-Halacha-logo

Mr. Morris was home one evening, when an acquaintance, Mr. Roth, knocked at his door. “May I have a word with you?” Mr. Roth asked.

“Certainly, come in,” Mr. Morris said, welcoming him into the living room.

“Perhaps you’ve forgotten,” Mr. Roth began, “but last year I lent you $500, which you never repaid.”

Mr. Morris scratched his head and thought for a moment. “I never borrowed from you,” he replied.

“You definitely did,” Mr. Roth insisted. “And you never repaid.”

“Do you have any written evidence?” asked Mr. Morris.

“No I don’t,” acknowledged Mr. Roth.

“That just proves I never borrowed,” said Mr. Morris, emphatically.

“No, it doesn’t,” retorted Mr. Roth. “It just proves that I was a fool for not insisting on a written document!” He stood up and left.

Two weeks later, Mr. Morris was summoned to Rabbi Dayan’s bet din. Mr. Roth was asked to present his claim.

“I lent Mr. Morris $500 a year ago, which he hasn’t repaid,” claimed Mr. Roth.

“And what do you say about this?” Rabbi Dayan asked Mr. Morris.

“I never borrowed from Mr. Roth,” claimed Mr. Morris.

Rabbi Dayan turned to Mr. Roth: “Do you have any evidence?” he asked.

“I have two witnesses to the loan,” replied Mr. Roth. Rabbi Dayan called upon the witnesses to present their testimony. Each testified that Mr. Roth lent Mr. Morris $500 in his presence.

Rabbi Dayan asked the witnesses a few basic questions. When he was satisfied with the testimony, he turned to Mr. Morris. “Witnesses have attested to the loan,” he said. “Do you have anything further to say?”

“I would like a month to seek counter-evidence,” requested Mr. Morris. Rabbi Dayan consented to delay the final verdict for a month.

At the second hearing, Rabbi Dayan asked Mr. Morris: “Have you found any evidence to counter the testimony presented last time?”

“Yes, I also have witnesses,” replied Mr. Morris. “They will prove I don’t owe Mr. Roth any money.”

The witnesses testified that Mr. Morris repaid the $500 loan to Mr. Roth four months earlier.

“See, I don’t owe Mr. Roth any money,” Mr. Morris said. “Even if I borrowed, I paid back what I borrowed.” He sat down with a triumphant smile.

Rabbi Dayan requested that Mr. Roth and Mr. Morris exit for a few moments, while the dayanim convened. The two were called in shortly for the ruling:

“Mr. Morris is liable, and must pay the $500,” ruled Rabbi Dayan.

What?!” asked Mr. Morris, shocked. “How can you hold me liable when witnesses state that I already repaid?”

“I will explain the reason,” replied Rabbi Dayan. “There is an important, well-know concept: ‘hoda’as ba’al hadin k’meiah eidim dami’ – the admission of a litigant is like the testimony of a hundred witnesses. In actuality, his admission is believed – to his detriment – more than witnesses! If a person admits he owes, even if witnesses testify that he doesn’t, he remains legally liable.”

“But I didn’t admit anything,” said Mr. Morris. “I deny the charge completely! The witnesses also say I’m exempt!”

“That is correct,” replied Rabbi Dayan. “However, realize that there are two parts to this case: one, whether you borrowed; two, whether you repaid.”

“You initially claimed in court that you never borrowed the money,” continued Rabbi Dayan. “A person who never borrowed doesn’t pay! Thus, implicit in your claim that you didn’t borrow is an admission that you didn’t repay. This is expressed in the Gemara [B.B. 6a] as: kol ha’omer lo lavisi k’omer lo parati dami ­– whoever says, ‘I didn’t borrow,’ is like saying, ‘I didn’t repay.’ ”

“But since there are witnesses to both parts of the case,” reasoned Mr. Morris, “shouldn’t we follow them?”

“In regards to the loan, obviously we accept the witnesses’ testimony that you borrowed, despite your denial otherwise,” explained Rabbi Dayan. “However, regarding repayment, we accept your implicit admission, even against the testimony of the witnesses. Thus, on the one hand, we believe the witnesses that you borrowed. On the other hand, we believe your implicit admission that you didn’t repay.” (79:1,6)

“I don’t understand, though,” insisted Mr. Morris. “All the time, people initially deny outright all kinds of claim, and then come to bet din and adjust their claim and bring witnesses. Are you saying these witnesses are all rendered meaningless?”

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 “Never Borrowed!”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Drone Intercept Along Syrian Border 1
Israel Shoots Down Syrian Sukhoi-24 Fighter Plane Infiltrating Israeli Airspace
Latest Judaism Stories
Teens-091214-Shofar

Hamas’ tunnels were destroyed as were plans for their unparalleled terror attacks on Rosh Hashana.

Hertzberg-092614

Perhaps the most important leadership lesson Elkana taught us is to never underestimate the difference a single person can make.

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch-NEW

“he’s my rabbi” the Black painter said with pride, pulling out a photo of the Rebbe from his wallet

Rabbi Avi Weiss, head of theYeshivat Chovevei Torah. Rabbi Asher Lopatin will be replacing him as head of the school.

The Torah notes that even when we are dispersed God will return us to Him.

Simply, for Rambam the number 14 (2×7) was his favored organizing principle.

One of the cornerstones of our Jewish life is chesed, kindness. Chesed can only be taught by example

Our understanding of what is and what is not possible creates imagined ceilings of opportunity for us.

This young, innocent child gave me a powerful, warm surge of energy and strength.

The Chafetz Chaim answered that there are two forms of teshuvah; teshuvah m’ahava and teshuvah m’yirah.

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

A Role Reversal
‘Return, O Wayward Sons…’
(Chagigah 15a)

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

In Parshas Re’eh the Torah tells us about the bechira to adhere to the commandments of Hashem and refrain from sin. In Parshas Nitzavim, the Torah tells us that we have the choice to repent after we have sinned.

As Moshe is about to die, why does God tell him about how the Israelites will ruin everything?

Jonah objected to God accepting repentance based on ulterior motives and likely for short duration.

More Articles from Rabbi Meir Orlian
Business-Halacha-logo

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

Business-Halacha-logo

“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.”

“Do I have to repay the loan?” he asked. “Does Yosef have to reimburse me? What if doesn’t have that sum, does he owe me in the future?”

When Yoram got home that evening, he went over to Effy: “My day camp is looking for extra supervision for an overnight trip,” he said. “Would you like to come? They’re paying $250 for the trip.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/never-borrowed/2012/08/23/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: