web analytics
March 27, 2015 / 7 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Playing It Safe

Business-Halacha-logo

Mr. Adler and Mr. Braun shared a small two-story building. The Adlers occupied the lower floor, and the Brauns lived above them, on the second floor.

One evening Mr. Adler came up holding architectural plans. “I’d like to submit a zoning request to add a room to my apartment in the backyard,” he said. “If you agree, you could extend a room on top. Otherwise, you might want to consider opening a doorway and using the roof of the added room as a porch.”

“Let me consider the issue with my wife,” said Mr. Braun.

The following day Mr. Braun told Mr. Adler, “We’re not in a position to build on top, but the porch option sounds like a good idea for the future. I assume this has to be factored in to the architectural planning, and may entail certain additional costs.”

“Of course,” replied Mr. Adler. “I’ll have to make a flat roof. Instead of simply waterproofing with tarpaper, you also might want a proper floor laid on the roof to be comfortable. It would then be perfect for a sukkah. I’ll check with the contractor what the differential in cost is.”

Mr. Adler consulted the contractor and came back with a figure of the extra cost to build the roof usable for a porch. Mr. Braun agreed to chip in this sum.

Mr. Adler built the additional room, with the roof potentially usable as a porch for the Brauns. Three months after the construction was completed, Mr. Braun had the contractor break his outside wall and build a doorway to the porch.

Mr. Braun then turned to Mr. Adler. “There is a mitzvah of ma’akeh, to build a guardrail around one’s roof,” he said. “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.”

“I don’t think the mitzvah applies to me,” objected Mr. Braun. “The pasuk refers to a roof that is used. I don’t use the roof at all and don’t even have access to it. If anyone is responsible to build a ma’akeh, you are!”

“I don’t think so,” replied Mr. Adler. “The verse clearly states, “If you build a new house, you shall make a fence for your roof. It’s your house, so you should be responsible to build the guardrail!”

“Let’s consult with Rabbi Dayan,” suggested Mr. Adler.

The two met with Rabbi Dayan and posed their question.

“A similar question was raised almost 500 years ago,” Rabbi Dayan said. “Someone rented out the rights of his roof to another person for laundry and recreation. The Mabit, R. Moshe b. Trani, asked his teacher, R. Yosef Karo, author of the Shulchan Aruch, whether there was an obligation of ma’akeh, and if yes, who is obligated?” (Mabit 1:110)

“What did R. Yosef Karo answer?” asked Mr. Adler.

“His answer is somewhat cryptic,” replied Rabbi Dayan. “Rav Karo answered that there would not seem to be an obligation of ma’akeh, since the obligation of ma’akeh is only on the roof of a dwelling house, and here there is no dwelling usage. He adds that if there is an obligation, because of the house below, the one using the roof is obligated, as the Gemara states that the tenant is obligated in the ma’akeh.”

“What does this mean?” asked Mr. Adler.

“He takes for granted that the lower dweller has no obligation, even though it’s his roof, since he has no use of it,” explained Rabbi Dayan. “The only question relates to the upper dweller, who uses the roof. Some authorities understood that Rav Karo remained in doubt as to whether there is need for a ma’akeh. [See Chasam Sofer Y.D. 98; Chazon Ish C.M. Likutim 18:7] Others, though, understood the conclusion of R. Yosef Karo to be definitive, that the renter is obligated.” (Knesses Hagedola II C.M. 226:11)

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 “Playing It Safe”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Jon Karl of ABC asks White House Press Secretary, "Yemen is a model of US strategy?"
White House Insists Chaotic Yemen a ‘Model’ for Obama’s War on Terror
Latest Judaism Stories
Business-Halacha-logo

“If I notify people, nobody will buy the matzos!” exclaimed Mr. Mandel. “Once the halachic advisory panel ruled leniently, why can’t I sell the matzos regularly?”

The-Shmuz

So what type of praise is it that Aaron followed orders?

Daf-Yomi-logo

Her Children, Her Whim
‘Kesubas Bnin Dichrin’
(Kesubos 52b)

Q-A-Klass-logo

Question: Must one spend great sums of money and invest much effort in making one’s home kosher for Passover? Not all of us have such unlimited funds.

Name Withheld
(Via E-Mail)

Yachatz is not mentioned in the Gemara. What is the foundation for yachatz?

First, the punishment for eating chametz on Pesach is karet, premature death at the Hand of God.

Why is it necessary to invite people to eat from the korban Pesach?

How was I going to get to Manhattan? No cabs were going, we didn’t have a car, and many people who did have cars had no gas.

Did you ever notice that immediately upon being granted our freedom from Egypt, the Jewish people accepted upon themselves the yoke of a new master – Hashem?

Why does Torah make the priests go through a long and seemingly bizarre induction ceremony?

Often people in important positions separate from everyday people & tasks-NOT the Kohen Gadol

You smuggled tefillin into the camp? How can they help? Every day men risked their lives to use them

Rambam: Eating blood’s forbidden because connected to idolatry;Ramban: We’re affected by what we eat

Rambam warns that a festival meal without taking care of the needy isn’t fulfilling simchat yom tov

Nothing beats some preparation to make it a memorable Seder!

More Articles from Rabbi Meir Orlian
Business-Halacha-logo

“If I notify people, nobody will buy the matzos!” exclaimed Mr. Mandel. “Once the halachic advisory panel ruled leniently, why can’t I sell the matzos regularly?”

Business-Halacha-logo

“Do we have to donate again?” some people asked. “Is it fair that we should have to pay twice?”

“This sounds like a question for Rabbi Dayan,” said Mr. Cohen. He took out his cell phone and called Rabbi Dayan.

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

“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.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/playing-it-safe/2014/09/04/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: