web analytics
June 30, 2015 / 13 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Until When?

Business-Halacha-logo

Outside the school, a person stood selling waterproof knapsacks. A sign above him read: “SALE! Only $100 for a knapsack! Limited time offer.”

Mr. Wasser passed by and was intrigued by the knapsacks. He came over and asked the salesman about them.

“These are high quality knapsacks,” the man assured him. “Fully waterproof!”

“One hundred dollars seems high, though,” said Mr. Wasser.

“Oh, no,” replied the salesman. “I’ve seen these packs sold for twenty and even thirty dollars more.”

“I’ll take one for my son,” said Mr. Wasser. He took out $100 and gave it to the salesman, who handed him a knapsack.

Two days later, Mr. Wasser happened to stop at a large local store. He passed by the backpack aisle and saw the exact same knapsack being sold for $60. “Wow! I can’t believe it,” he thought to himself. “I thought that $100 was a bargain!”

He asked the salesperson whether this was a special price for the knapsack. “No,” replied the salesperson. “This is the regular price.”

On the way home, Mr. Wasser stopped off at another store to check how much the knapsacks were selling for there. He saw the same knapsacks offered for $70. Another store sold them for $55. A small, old-time store was the most expensive he found, at $80.

“I was gypped by the salesman,” he said to wife. “This is classical case of ona’ah (overcharging). This is grounds to invalidate the sale.”

“Then return it to him,” she said.

Mr. Wasser returned to the salesman. “Overcharging above the going price range by a sixth is a violation of ona’ah,” he said to the salesman. “More than a sixth invalidates the sale. The highest price I saw this in the area for these knapsacks is eighty dollars, and many stores were less. I’d like my money back.” (C.M. 227:4)

“Had you returned the knapsack yesterday, there would have been what to discuss,” said the salesman. “However, now it’s too late!”

“What’s the difference?” said Mr. Wasser. “You overcharged me. It’s not like I waited a week. I just realized today that you overcharged me.”

“Time’s already passed,” said the salesman. “Sorry.”

“You’re required to take it back,” Mr. Wasser insisted. “Here, ask Rabbi Dayan.”

Mr. Wasser dialed Rabbi Dayan and put on the speakerphone. “Someone sold me a knapsack two days ago for one hundred dollars. I found out in stores today that the very same knapsack runs between fifty-five and eighty dollars. Must he take it back?”

“Although you were significantly overcharged,” ruled Rabbi Dayan, “since sufficient time passed for you to verify the price and you did not check, you forfeited the right to demand restitution.”

“What’s the difference?” asked Mr. Wasser.

“While significant overcharging is reason to invalidate a sale, Chazal wanted to uphold commerce, and not allow people to undo sales after time passed,” explained Rabbi Dayan. “Therefore, they determined that if enough time passed for the customer to verify the price and he did not do so, we presume that he was mochel – willing to forgo his claim.” (C.M. 227:7; Sefer Hachinuch #337; Aruch Hashulchan 227:8)

“What is the time frame?” asked Mr. Wasser.

“This varies according to circumstances,” answered Rabbi Dayan. “The Gemara uses the expression, ‘time to show a merchant or relative.’ If the item is readily available, and can easily be checked in other stores, the time would be short – possibly even the same day. However, if the item is a specialty one that requires professional evaluation, the time would be longer, so that the customer would have the opportunity to meet with a specialist.” (See C.M. 227:17)

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.

One Response to “Until When?”

  1. He should punch the guy that overcharged him. Twice, 10 dollars for each punch.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
A "rifle-holding" lesson at a Palestinian Authority summer camp.
Palestinian Authority Incites Summer Camp Kids with AK-47 Rifles
Latest Judaism Stories
Staum-062615

Amalek, our ultimate foe, understood that when unified, we are invincible and indestructible.

Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

Perhaps on a deeper level, the mitzvah of parah adumah at this junction was not just to purify the body, but the spirit as well.

Rabbi Avi Weiss

Halacha isn’t random; it’s a mechanism guiding individuals and society to a higher ethical plateau.

Q-A-Klass-logo

Question: Should we wash our hands in the bathroom with soap and water, or by pouring water from a vessel with handles three times, alternating hands? I have heard it said that a vessel is used only in the morning upon awakening. What are the rules pertaining to young children? What is the protocol if no vessel is available? Additionally, may we dry our hands via an electric dryer?

Harry Koenigsberg
(Via E-Mail)

Less clear, however, is whether the concept applies to the area of civil law such as the law of transfer of property.

The greatest of men, Moshe, had to wait for Hashem to sprinkle purifying waters on Bnei Yisrael to mark the conclusion of the period of death.

My Plate, My Food
‘My Loaf Is Forbidden To You’
(Nedarim 34b)

Of Chukkim “Satan and the nations of the world made fun.” They may appear irrational & superstitious

I realized from this story that I was sent as a messenger from above. Hashem has many helpers in this world to help do his work.

Tosafos answers that nevertheless the sprinkling is a part of his taharah process.

“What difference does that make?” replied Shraga. “What counts is the agreement that we made. I said two hundred fifty and you accepted.”

Zaidie’s legacy of smiles and loving words was all but buried with him, now the family fights over $

Israel’s complaining frustrated Moshe, making it increasingly hard for him to lead effectively

Dovid’s musical Torah teachings were designed to penetrate the soul and the emotions.

It occurred to me, as my brain rattled in my skull on a two-hundred mile ride through rural Virginia, that our souls work in much the same way.

More Articles from Rabbi Meir Orlian
Business-Halacha-NEW

“What difference does that make?” replied Shraga. “What counts is the agreement that we made. I said two hundred fifty and you accepted.”

Business-Halacha-NEW

“Is the invoice signed by the students?” asked the principal. “They said they didn’t get the pizza.”

“The answer depends on the terms of the purchase agreement and local customs,” replied Rabbi Dayan.

“I wasn’t really thinking,” replied Levi. “Things in the backyard usually don’t need watching. I also didn’t expect you to be away so long. One thing is clear, though: I never accepted responsibility for the cake.”

“What do you mean?” asked the secretary. “We already issued a ruling and closed the case.”

“A person who borrowed without a written loan document, even in the presence of witnesses, is believed with a heses – rabbinic – oath to say that he repaid,”

During the course of the year, though, political events in the Persian Gulf caused the cost of gasoline to rise. Prices climbed from $2.50 a gallon to $4.00.

“There is a diamond necklace that I wear on special occasions,” Mrs. Miller told her husband. “It was recently appraised at $6,000. If need be, we can give that as collateral.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/until-when/2014/02/13/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: