web analytics
November 24, 2014 / 2 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Save Me A Seat

Business-Halacha-logo

Shlomo and Kalman planned a trip up north during winter vacation. “We’ll meet at the bus station and board together,” they arranged.

Shlomo arrived at the bus station half an hour early, whereas Kalman got delayed on the way. As departure time approached, Kalman called Shlomo. “I’ll be there in ten minutes,” he said. “Get on the bus meanwhile and save me a seat next to you towards the back.”

Shlomo boarded the bus and settled in. He put his knapsack on the seat next to him, saving it for Kalman.

Someone boarded the bus and asked Shlomo to please remove his knapsack so that he could sit. “I’m saving this seat for my friend,” Shlomo replied politely. “There are other seats available.”

As the minutes wore on, the bus become more and more crowded. Shortly before departure time, Kalman contacted Shlomo again. “I just bought my ticket and am waiting on line,” he said. With relief, Shlomo saw that Kalman was about to board. Before Kalman boarded, though, there were no longer any seats available.

Another young passenger asked Shlomo to move his bag and allow him to sit. “I’m saving the seat for my friend, who’s about to board,” said Shlomo.

“It’s nice of you to look out for your friend,” said the passenger. “However, I’m first and there are no other seats available.”

“But my friend already bought his ticket,” explained Shlomo. “He’s also entitled to a seat, and he asked me to save the seat on his behalf!”

“Who gave you a right to save him a seat?” argued the other passenger. “First come, first served!”

Meanwhile, Kalman boarded the bus. “There’s my friend,” said Shlomo. “He’s coming down the aisle.”

The other passenger, though, removed Shlomo’s knapsack from the seat and sat down.

“What are you doing?” said Shlomo. “You have no right to touch my knapsack.”

“You fellows are rude,” the other passenger said to Shlomo. “You should have been decent enough to remove the knapsack yourself.”

Kalman came over. “I asked you to save me a seat next to you,” he said to Shlomo.

“I did, but all the other seats were taken,” said Shlomo. “This fellow insisted he had a right to the seat.”

When Shlomo and Kalman returned to yeshiva, they asked Rabbi Dayan about the incident. “Did Shlomo have a right to save the seat for me?” asked Kalman.

“The Gemara [B.M. 10a; Kesuvos 84b] teaches that even in cases that a creditor can grab property from his debtor, another person cannot grab on his behalf when there are limited assets and additional creditors who may lose out,” replied Rabbi Dayan. “This is referred to in halacha as ‘tofes l’baal chov bemakom shechav l’achrini.’ The Shulchan Aruch rules that the other person may not do so even if he was an agent of the creditor, who instructed him to grab the property on his behalf.” (C.M. 105:1)

“How does this apply here?” asked Shlomo.

“Each person who buys a bus ticket is entitled, when he pays, to any available seat,” explained Rabbi Dayan. (See C.M. 198:6) “Saving a seat for your friend is like grabbing property on his behalf at the expense of other passengers, who also have a right to that seat. Thus, you are not able to save him the seat if there are no comparable seats available.”

“What if I had bought both tickets?” asked Shlomo. “Does that make a difference?”

“Then it would be permissible to save the seat,” said Rabbi Dayan, “since you are then entitled to utilize two seats. You could even use one seat for the knapsack if you needed.” (See SM”A 105:2)

“Of course, these rules apply in the absence of any explicit terms of the bus company or common practice among people,” concluded Rabbi Dayan. “Therefore, if the company explicitly states that one may not save a seat under any circumstances – those terms are binding on the passengers. Alternatively, if the common practice is to allow people to save seats for their immediate family – spouse, parents/children – who are getting on at the same stop, it is permissible.” (See Mishpetai HaTorah 1:85)

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 “Save Me A Seat”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Banner at Tehran military parade, Sept. 23, 2013. Although the English statement is relatively mild, in Persian and Arabic it says “Death to America.”
Iran Says Nuclear Deal ‘Impossible’ by Nov. 24 Deadline
Latest Judaism Stories
Rabbi Avi Weiss

Yitzchak thought the Jewish people needed dual leadership: Eisav the physical; Yaakov the spiritual

Weiss-112114-Sufganiot

According to the Sefer Yetzirah, the nature of the month of Kislev is sleep.

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch-NEW

Though braggarts come across as conceited, their boasting often reflects a low sense of self-regard

Nimchinsky-112114-Learning

Not every child can live up to our hopes or expectations, but every child is loved by Hashem.

Leaders must always pay attention to the importance of timing.

While our leaders have been shepherds, the vast majority of the Children of Israel were farmers.

Maimonides himself walked and prayed in the permissible areas when he visited Eretz Yisrael in 1165

If a man dies childless, the Torah commands the deceased’s brother to marry his brother’s widow in a ceremony known as yibum, or to perform a special form of divorce ceremony with her known as chalitzah.

Dovid turned to the other people sitting at his table. “I’m revoking my hefker of the Chumash,” he announced. “I want to keep it.”

Ever Vigilant
‘When Unworthy, One’s Number Of Years Is Reduced’
(Yevamos 50a)

Question: My young daughter was recently diagnosed with autism. She does not function well socially and is extremely introverted, but we have noticed that she reacts very well to small animals. We reported this to her therapist who suggested that we get a dog or cat as a pet. We know that most religious people frown upon having pets, but we hate to see our daughter suffer and want to do anything that would make her happy. Would it be okay to own a pet in the circumstances we described?

Her Loving Parents
(Via E-Mail)

Ramban interprets Korban as self-sacrifice, each Jew should attempt to recreate Akeidas Yitzchak.

Dr. Schwartz had no other alternatives up his sleeve. He suggested my mother go home and think about what she wanted to do.

Why does Lavan’s speaking before his father show that he was wicked? Disrespectful, yes. Rude, certainly. But a rasha?

We find that in certain circumstances before the Torah was actually given, people were permitted to make calculations as to what would better serve Hashem, even if it were against a mitzvah or aveirah.

More Articles from Rabbi Meir Orlian
Business-Halacha-logo

Dovid turned to the other people sitting at his table. “I’m revoking my hefker of the Chumash,” he announced. “I want to keep it.”

Business-Halacha-logo

“That’s what I thought, so I returned the money to Aharon,” said Reuven. “But this morning, Shimon, who owes me $70, told me he left $70 for me under the table last week! Now I don’t know whether the $70 was connected to the note, and was Aharon’s for the purchase of sefarim, or was repayment to me from Shimon, unrelated to the note.”

On Tuesday, Mr. Ross picked up the bris kit. While driving home, he was stopped by armed thugs. They forced him out of the car and drove off with the bris kit inside.

“ ‘We’re almost out of stamps,’ I said. ‘I’ll be happy to run over to the post office and pick up a supply.’ ”

Noach felt a tug, and then heard a rip. His jacket had been caught on the nail, and the beautiful suit had a tear.

Shimon started adjusting the branches on the roof. In doing so, a branch fell off the other side of the car and hit the side-view mirror, cracking it.

Some seforim on a nearby bookcase toppled over and knocked the esrog out of Lev’s hand. It fell to the ground and a piece broke off.

Mr. Fisher contacted Rabbi Dayan. “Am I allowed to use money of ma’aser kesafim to pay the shul for an aliyah that I bought?” he asked.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/save-me-a-seat/2014/01/09/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: