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“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)

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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.
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