web analytics
April 2, 2015 / 13 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


What A View!

Business-Halacha-logo

Levi and his family were sitting on the deck in the back of their house, enjoying a summer afternoon. Their house overlooked the ocean – almost. Ari’s house intervened, but they could look through his yard and see the seashore. The children enjoyed watching the ships, while the parents would watch the sun and rippling waves.

While the family was sitting there, they saw Ari talking to a contractor and walking around the perimeter of the property. A few days later, the contractor started putting poles around the edge of Ari’s property.

“What are you doing?” Levi asked Ari.

“We feel we have no privacy in our property,” Ari replied. “We decided to enclose it with an six-foot high fence.”

“But that will block our view!” exclaimed Levi. “You can’t do that!”

“What do you mean?” asked Ari.

“We like to look from our deck through your property at the ocean,” replied Levi. “If you enclose your property with a fence, we’ll lose that beautiful view and face a dull fence.”

“I understand that you enjoy the scenic view,” replied Ari, “but that doesn’t give you legal rights in our property. We’re entitled to privacy in our yard!”

“But it’s been this way for years,” argued Levi. “We’ve established a chazaka (legal status quo) to view the ocean from our house!”

“Just because it’s been that way until now doesn’t mean I can’t change it,” retorted Ari. “It’s my property; I can build on it as I see fit. Our privacy is also important!”

Levi pondered what to do. He decided to summon Ari to a din Torah before Rabbi Dayan.

Levi and Ari came before Rabbi Dayan. “For many years we have been viewing the ocean from our deck through Ari’s yard,” began Levi. “He now wants to build a six-foot fence on his property that will block the view. May he do so?”

“You cannot restrain Ari from building a fence on his property,” answered Rabbi Dayan. “Our sages restricted a person from building a wall directly in front of his neighbor’s window, which would block light and air from entering. However, it does not seem they restricted blocking the view.” (Pischei Teshuvah C.M. 154:8)

“It sounds like there’s some discussion of the topic?” said Ari.

“Yes, the Gemara [B.B. 7a] discusses a case of two sons who divided their father’s estate; one received an airy building and one the garden in front of it,” explained Rabbi Dayan. “Shortly afterward, the one who received the garden built a wall in it that blocked the airy building, and litigation arose. Rashi explains that the issue was blocking light; R. Tam explains that issue was blocking the view of his fields.”

“What was the ruling in that case?” asked Levi. “According to R. Tam that case sounds exactly like ours!”

“The dayan upheld the brother’s right to build the wall within his property,” replied Rabbi Dayan. (C.M. 154:27) “Nonetheless, our case is not so simple.”

“Why not?” asked Ari.

“Some Rishonim imply that this was only because the brother who owned the airy building did not yet establish chazaka,” continued Rabbi Dayan. “Where a person already established chazaka to look through his neighbor’s property, Mahara Sason maintains that R. Tam would not allow the neighbor to block the view. However, Maharalbach questions this understanding. Furthermore, he writes that the person might be able to restrain his neighbor only when he had a particular need to look through his property, such as to guard his fields, and had a window clearly for this purpose, but not when blocking a scenic view.”

“How do we rule in this dispute between Mahara Sason and Maharalbach?” asked Levi.

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 “What A View!”

  1. Ronny Mol says:

    Glad your column is in the Jewish press.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Faience amulets depicting images of Egyptian gods.
Egyptian Culture Rife in Israel ‘For Years’ After Exodus
Latest Judaism Stories
Jewish Holidays' Guide for the Perplexed by Yoram Ettinger

German poet Heinrich Heine: “Since the Exodus, freedom has always been spoken with a Hebrew accent.”

Bodenheim-032715

Our ability to teach is only successful if done by example.

Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

Outside of the High Holidays, Pesach is probably the most celebrated biblical holiday for the majority of Jews.

“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?”

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

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

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

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/what-a-view/2014/06/26/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: