web analytics
August 29, 2015 / 14 Elul, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Pasul Esrog

Business-Halacha-logo

After davening on Hoshana Rabbah, Mr. Hadar fondly packed away his esrog. “Maybe I’ll fill it with cloves and use it for spices at Havdalah,” he thought. “Or maybe I’ll make jelly out of it.”

Mr. Hadar then saw a sign in shul, posted by Rabbi Posek, which read: “I am collecting esrogim to teach students in my kollel about the laws of esrogim. The esrogim will be made into jelly afterwards and distributed as a segulah to families.”

“That’s a good use!” exclaimed Mr. Hadar. After Sukkos he brought the esrog to Rabbi Posek.

Rabbi Posek thanked Mr. Hadar for the esrog. As he took it, though, he could not help but notice a clearly evident black spot toward the top of it.

“Is this the esrog you used all Sukkos?” Rabbi Posek asked Mr. Hadar.

“Sure, made a berachah on it every day,” answered Mr. Hadar. “Isn’t it beautiful? Big and yellow and perfectly shaped, with ridges all around! Just has one black spot on it. That doesn’t matter, does it?”

“Actually, the black spot is a significant problem,” replied Rabbi Posek gently. “All of the things you mentioned are hiddurim [enhancements], but an evident black spot toward the top renders the esrog pasul [invalid].” (O.C. 648:12)

Mr. Hadar was crestfallen. “What should I do now?” he asked Rabbi Posek.

“You tried your best,” encouraged said Rabbi Posek. “But there’s nothing like learning the laws ahead of time. Now you’ll know for next year.”

“What about the money I paid?” Mr. Hadar asked.

“Take the esrog back to the seller and tell him you were told the esrog was pasul,” replied Rabbi Posek. “See if he’ll refund your money.”

Mr. Hadar returned to the seller. “I bought this esrog from you and found out today that it’s pasul,” he said. “I’d like my money back.”

Now you’re asking me?!” asked the seller incredulously. “Sukkos was over a week ago! You used the esrog already, and there’s nothing to do with it now; it’s practically worthless.”

“What difference does that make,” responded Mr. Hadar. “You sold me defective merchandise; I’m entitled to a refund.”

“But you had a chance to check the esrog all Sukkos,” objected the seller. “If you chose not to check it, you forfeited your right to the money.”

“I didn’t forfeit any rights; I assumed what you sold was kosher,” replied Mr. Hadar. “I suggest we consult Rabbi Dayan!”

“Happy to,” said the seller. “But at this point, I really don’t see any reason to return the money.”

Mr. Hadar and the esrog merchant went to Rabbi Dayan. “I bought this esrog before Sukkos and was just told it was invalid on account of an evident black dot,” Mr. Hadar said. “Must the seller refund my money?”

“If the esrog was pasul when you bought it before Sukkos, the seller would have to return the full value you paid,” said Rabbbi Dayan. “The merchandise was defective, so the sale was a mekach taus [faulty purchase]. If the p’sul [disqualification] could have occurred later, though, he would not have to.”

“What about the fact that Mr. Hadar had ample time to check the esrog?” asked the seller.

“This point is relevant to the laws of ona’ah, mispricing,” answered Rabbi Dayan. “If the aggrieved party, who was overcharged or underpaid, had sufficient opportunity to verify the price afterwards and did not do so, he forfeits his chance for redress. [C.M. 227:7-8]

“Regarding defective merchandise, though, even if the person did not bother checking, he is entitled to a refund, since the sale from its very inception was faulty. Of course, if it is a common commercial practice [minhag hamedina] not to return after a certain point , the practice is binding.” (C.M. 232:3,19; Pischei Teshuvah 232:6)

“And if it’s not clear when the esrog became pasul?” asked Mr. Hadar.

“Then whoever is in possession of the money has the upper hand,” replied Rabbi Dayan. “Since Mr. Hadar already paid, we would assume it became pasul in his possession. Thus, if there was a gouge that could have occurred during Sukkos, the seller would not have to refund the money. (C.M. 232:11,16)

“Does it make a difference whether the p’sul of the esrog was biblical or rabbinic?” asked the seller.

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 “Pasul Esrog”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Former Arkansas Governor and current presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee in Jerusalem.
Official PA Media Calls Huckabee ‘Inane Creature’ and ‘Wicked Man’
Latest Judaism Stories
Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

The common translation of the opening words of this week’s parsha, Ki Seitzei, is: “When you go out to war against your enemy.” Actually the text reads “al oyvecha” upon your enemy. The Torah is saying that when Israel goes out to war, they will be over and above their enemy. The reason why Bnei […]

Rabbi Avi Weiss

The love between Gd & Israel is deeper than marriage; beyond the infinite love of parent for child

Q-A-Klass-logo

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)

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

Since giving the machatzis hashekel will not change his financial situation, he is obligated to do so even though it is more than a fifth of his income.

Today, few people fast during the Days of Selichot, but the custom is to rise early to recite Selichot.

Each month is associated with a particular tribe. The month of Elul is matched up with Gad. What makes Gad unique?

Sanctions and indictment of the Jew, holding him to a higher standard, is as common and misplaced as ever.

To allow for free will, there are times when Hashem will allow a person the “opportunity to be the messenger.”

“There is a mitzvah to pay the worker on that day,” answered Mr. Lerner.

Be happy. Be grateful. God knows what he is doing. It is all happening for a reason.

We get so busy living our lives, handling our day-to-day little crises that we forget to go that one step deeper and appreciate our lives.

The promise for long life only comes from 2 commandments; What’s the connection between them?

Mighty Amalek deliberately attacked enemy’s weakest members, despicable even by ancient standards

If we parents fail to honor responsibilities then society’s children will pay the price for our sins

Consider how our Heavenly Father feels when He sees His children adopting all other parents but Him

More Articles from Rabbi Meir Orlian
Business-Halacha-NEW

“There is a mitzvah to pay the worker on that day,” answered Mr. Lerner.

Business-Halacha-NEW

Mr. Steinberg ran downstairs to the ground floor. He saw that the table had fallen onto one of the cars sitting in the parking lot below.

“I don’t understand, though,” objected Mr. Weiss. “If the Torah states that the loan should be remitted, how can Hillel institute that the creditor can collect, against Torah law?”

“So there’s no way to lend past the shemittah year?” asked Eli.

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?”

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!”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/pasul-esrog/2013/09/25/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: