web analytics
August 5, 2015 / 20 Av, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


On A Fling

Business-Halacha-logo

The 11th grade boys were a rambunctious bunch. They were not violent, but boys will be boys, and part of “playing” involved occasional roughhousing.

Today was one of those days. Shimshon was standing in the hallway during recess, talking to a friend, when Dan walked over and jumped on him. After a brief struggle, Shimshon mustered his strength and flung Dan off of him. Dan reeled backward a few steps, off balance, and fell into a ceramic vase that was decorating the hall. The vase teetered; it finally fell with a loud thud and broke.

The noise attracted the attention of the teacher in an adjacent room who hurried out and restored order. The teacher then took the two boys to the principal’s office for a discussion. After addressing the issue of fighting, the principal pointed out that they broke the vase and would have to pay for it.

Shimshon was frustrated. “Why should I have to pay?” he asked the principal. “Dan broke the vase, not me. He fell on it.”

“What do you mean?” replied Dan. “You threw me into the vase. I was totally off balance and could not avoid it. You were the one who broke it!”

“Even so right, it’s still your fault,” argued Shimshon. “You started the fight. I was just protecting myself. It all happened because of you.”

“I’m not saying that the fight wasn’t my fault, but that’s a different issue,” Dan shot back. “As far as the vase – you threw me against it, so you are responsible for breaking it!”

They both looked at the principal, waiting for a resolution.

The principal leaned back in his chair. “Hmm, this is an interesting question,” he said. “You both have valid points, and I’m really not sure who is liable here. I’d like to consult Rabbi Dayan on this; I’ll arrange to meet him tomorrow evening.”

The following evening, the principal, Shimshon and Dan met with Rabbi Dayan. “Dan attacked Shimshon, who flung him back in defense, knocking over a ceramic vase,” said the principal. “Who is liable for the vase?”

“If Shimshon was aware he was flinging Dan into the vase, he alone is liable for the damage,” said Rabbi Dayan. “If he was not aware, though, my opinion – which is debatable – is that the two have to split the damage.”

“This ruling surprises me,” said Shimshon. “Why am I liable? Dan hit the vase and broke it, not me! We learned that a person is liable even for accidental damage.”

“It is true that a person who damages is liable, even if it was accidental and not in his control,” acknowledged Rabbi Dayan. “However, when you fling another person, the second person can be considered like an object in your hand, just as if you had flung a ball or board at the vase. Thus, the damage is primarily attributed to you, whose active force caused the damage, even though you didn’t make the physical contact with the chair.” (See C.M. 378:1; Chiddushei HaGrach, Hil. Yesodei HaTorah 5:1, s.v. veyesh lomar.)

“Then why do I have to pay half if Shimshon was unaware that he was flinging me into the chair?” asked Dan.

“This rationale is most compelling had Shimshon thrown you intentionally or if you were completely not at fault,” explained Rabbi Dayan. “Then you can be considered merely a ‘tool’ or object. However, when Shimshon was unaware of the vase, though he played a prominent role in the damage, you are not completely a ‘tool’ in his hand. Moreover, since you began the fight, you were flung by a force that came about through your negligence. This is somewhat similar to a person who stood carelessly at the edge of a roof and was flung off by the wind, who is liable. Therefore, both of you are parties in the damage and have to share the liability.” (See C.M. 378:1-2; 410:34; Pischei Choshen, Nezikin 7:33)

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 “On A Fling”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
The Quran
Dawa* at Chautauqua
Latest Judaism Stories
Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

By internalizing the Exodus, it is as if we ourselves were redeemed from Egypt.

Neihaus-073115

Each Shabbos we add the tefilla of “Ritzei” to Birchas HaMazon. In it we ask Hashem that on this day of Shabbos He should be pleased with us and save us. What exactly do we want to be saved from? Before we answer this question, let’s talk about this Friday, the 15th of Av. Many […]

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

Amongst the greatest disagreements in Judaism is the understanding of the 1st of the 10 Commandments

Daf-Yomi-logo

The Day He Heard
‘One May Seek Revocation Of A Confimation’
(Nedarim 69a)

The director picked up the phone to Rabbi Dayan. “One of our counselors lost his check,” he said. “Do we have to issue a new one or is it his loss?”

Six events occurred on Tu B’Av, the 15th of Av, making it a festive day in the Jewish calendar.

Why would Moshe Rabbeinu have thought that the vow that disallowed him to enter Eretz Yisrael was annulled simply because he was allowed to conquer and enter the land of Sichon and Og?

Question: When a stranger approaches a congregant in shul asking for tzedakah, should the congregant verify that the person’s need is genuine? Furthermore, what constitutes tzedakah? Is a donation to a synagogue, yeshiva, or hospital considered tzedakah?

Zvi Kirschner
(Via E-Mail)

Snow in Jerusalem! For many New Englanders like me, snow pulls at our nostalgic heartstrings like nothing else can.

Man has conflicting wishes and desires. Man has forces pulling him in competing directions.

Perhaps the admonition here is that we should not trivialize the events of the past by saying that they are irrelevant to the modern Jew.

One must view the settlement of Israel in a positive light. Thinking otherwise is a grievous sin.

Reaching a stronger understanding of what Moses actually did to prevent him from entering the land

Anti-Zionism, today’s anti-Semitism, has gone viral, tragically supported globally & by many Jews

More Articles from Rabbi Meir Orlian
Business-Halacha-NEW

The director picked up the phone to Rabbi Dayan. “One of our counselors lost his check,” he said. “Do we have to issue a new one or is it his loss?”

Business-Halacha-NEW

The two decided to approach Rabbi Dayan. “What is the halachic status of conquered territory?” asked Shalom.

“Does that mean a person can simply renege after payment was made?” asked Benjy incredulously.

“But I’m already dwelling in the apartment,” said Mr. Gold. “Shouldn’t that count? I’m no worse than a neighbor!”

“Is there a difference between rescuing and other services?” asked Ploni.

“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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/on-a-fling/2014/02/27/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: