web analytics
September 3, 2014 / 8 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



On Whose Side?

Business-Halacha-logo

Mrs. Cooper rightly earned the title “bargain buyer.” She combed the advertisements of her local stores weekly and knew just where to buy each item that week. If you would ask her, she could tell you, “Juice is on sale here this week; chicken is on sale there.”

She had just finished shopping in a large supermarket where she found a great sale of tuna fish, three cans for $2, with no quantity limit. Mrs. Cooper packed a case in her car and went on to an all-kosher store down the block, where meat products were on a special sale.

While waiting on line, Mrs. Cooper met someone from her shul, Mrs. Fleisher, with a shopping cart containing 20 cans of tuna.

“Could I have missed a sale here?” Mrs. Cooper asked herself.

She turned to Mrs. Fleisher and asked, “Is there a sale on tuna?”

“No,” replied Mrs. Fleisher. “However, I’m hosting a lot of people for Seudah Shelishis this week, so I need a lot of tuna. The price is reasonable, though, $1.19 a can.”

“I just picked up a case of tuna at the supermarket up the block, three for $2,” Mrs. Cooper said. “You may want to buy the tuna there.”

Mrs. Fleisher thought for a moment. “Thanks a lot for telling me; I really appreciate it,” she exclaimed. “I was planning on going there anyway. Watch my wagon for a minute, while I return the tuna to the shelf.” She removed the tuna from the shopping cart and returned it to its place.

The kosher store manager, who was standing nearby and overheard the discussion, gave Mrs. Cooper a disapproving look. Although he didn’t say anything, his frown made her wonder whether it was right of her to tell Mrs. Fleisher about the sale at the nearby big supermarket.

Mrs. Cooper came home and asked her husband what he thought. “I have this dilemma all the time,” she said to him. “I could tell every customer where they could get a better bargain!”

“I guess that until Mrs. Fleisher pays for the tuna, there’s no problem in retuning it to the shelf,” he said. “But I understand the ethical dilemma. You might want to try Rabbi Dayan and hear his perspective.”

Mrs. Cooper called Rabbi Dayan and asked: “When I see someone in the process of buying something, can I tell her where she can get it cheaper?”

“There are two conflicting responsibilities here,” replied Rabbi Dayan. “The answer depends mostly on whether the person has already made a firm decision to purchase the item.”

“What do you mean?” asked Mr. Cooper.

“On the one hand, there is a prohibition against causing damage to the storeowner,” explained Rabbi Dayan. “This is true not only for direct damage, but also for indirect damage [grama]. On the other hand, there is a responsibility to spare the customer from loss, which is extension of hashavas aveidah.” (C.M. and GR”A 378:1)

“So how do we deal with this?” asked Mr. Cooper.

“The Gemara [B.B. 21b] indicates that when someone is surely expecting revenue, such as a fisherman closing in on a certain fish, thwarting him is considered damage,” replied Rabbi Dayan. “The Chasam Sofer [C.M. 379] extends this to a customer who has decided to purchase. Then, you should not help the customer through causing the storeowner damage. However, if the customer is still deliberating whether to buy the item, the storeowner cannot consider him as sure revenue. Therefore, the mitzvah of hashavas aveidah would warrant sparing the customer the extra cost.” (Mishpetai Hatorah, Hashavas Aveidah #8)

“Are there other relevant factors?” asked Mrs. Cooper.

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 Whose Side?”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Hamas's leader in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh (in blue shirt, center), benefitted politically - and in a dramatic fashion - from this summer's war.  Photo from Hamas victory rally, Aug. 27, 2014.
Gazan Deaths and Destruction Dramatically Drives Popularity for Hamas
Latest Judaism Stories
shofar+kotel

If you had an important court date scheduled – one that would determine your financial future, or even your very life – you’d be sure to prepare for weeks beforehand. On Rosh Hashanah, each individual is judged on the merit of his deeds. Whether he will live out the year or not. Whether he will […]

The_United_Nations_Building

It is in the nature of the Nations of the World to be hostile towards the Jewish People.

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

First, how could a beis din of 23 judges present a guilty verdict in a capital punishment case? After all, only a majority of the 23 judges ruled in favor of his verdict.

Of paramount importance is that both the king and his people realize that while he is the leader, he is still a subject of God.

Untimely News
‘A Mourner Is Forbidden To Wear Shoes…’
(Mo’ed Katan 20b)

Question: The Gemara in Berachot states that the sages authored our prayers. Does that mean we didn’t pray beforehand?

Menachem
Via Email

When a person feels he can control the destiny of other people, he runs the risk of feeling self-important, significant, and mighty.

Needless to say, it was done and they formed a great relationship as his friend and mentor. He started attending services and volunteered his time all along putting on tefillin.

He took me to a room filled with computer equipment and said, “You pray here for as long as you want.” I couldn’t believe my ears.

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.”

On Chol HaMoed some work is prohibited and some is permitted. According to some opinions, the work prohibition is biblical; according to others, it’s rabbinical.

If there is a mitzvas minuy dayanim in the Diaspora, then why is there a difference between Israel and the Diaspora in the number of judges and their distribution?

Judaism is a religion of love but also a religion of justice, for without justice, love corrupts.

The time immediately preceding Mashiach’s arrival is likened to the birth pangs of a woman in labor.

More Articles from Rabbi Meir Orlian
Business-Halacha-logo

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.”

Business-Halacha-logo

“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.”

“I’ll make you a deal,” he said. “If you pay monthly – it’s $4,500; if you pay six months up front – I’ll give it to you for $4,200.”

“Sound fine,” said Mrs. Schwartz. “In the middle, paint their names, Shoshana and Yehonasan. He spells his name Yehonasan with a hei and is very particular about it!”

“It is sometimes possible through hataras nedarim, nullification of vows,” replied Rabbi Dayan, “but it’s not simple for charity pledges.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/on-whose-side/2014/04/25/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: