web analytics
November 22, 2014 / 29 Heshvan, 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.



Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Book Money

Business-Halacha-logo

Nachum was doing a research project on the Rambam for one of his courses. He borrowed a number of sefarim from his yeshiva’s library for a month while writing the paper. When he completed the assignment, he gathered the sefarim together to return them to the library, but noticed that one sefer was missing.

“Where could it be?” Nachum asked himself. He looked high and low, but nowhere was the sefer to be found. He asked his family whether they had seen the sefer anywhere, but no one had seen it.

Finally, Nachum gave up looking for the book. He brought the other sefarim back to the library. “I’m returning the sefarim I borrowed a month ago,” he said to the librarian. “I seem to have lost one sefer, though.”

“Which one was lost?” asked the librarian. “You’ll have to pay for it.”

“It was a new, precise edition of the Yad Hachazakah,” replied Nachum. “How much does it cost?”

“That sefer runs about 50 dollars,” said the librarian. “It was a bit expensive.”

Nachum thought for a moment. “I can get an almost brand new copy,” he said. “I have a relative who mentioned he has a spare copy and once offered it to me.”

“Actually, we have two other copies of that sefer,” said the librarian. “We don’t really need a third copy of that particular edition and would like the cash.”

“But why should I do that?” replied Nachum. “I can get the book for free from my relative!”

“When you lost the book, you became obligated to pay for it,” the librarian stated. “You owe us money, and can’t give a book instead of payment.”

“Why do I owe you money?” argued Nachum. “I borrowed a sefer. Had I not lost it, I would have simply returned it. What’s the difference whether I return it or a comparable copy?”

“If you were returning the original, fine!” insisted the librarian. “However, now that you lost it you need to pay, and we’ll do with the money as we see fit!”

“That doesn’t seem logical,” responded Nachum. “I’d like to discuss the case with Rabbi Dayan!”

“Fine with me,” said the librarian. “Let’s go!”

The two went to Rabbi Dayan. “I borrowed a special edition of Yad Hachazakah from the library and lost it,” explained Nachum. “The library wants me to pay cash for it, but I can get a free copy from my relative. Can I just give back that copy or can the library demand cash payment?”

“You can return another copy of the book,” ruled Rabbi Dayan, “provided that it is in comparable condition to the one you borrowed.”

“Why is that?” asked the librarian.

“There is a significant discussion in a case of damage whether the primary responsibility is to repair the damage or to pay compensation for the monetary loss,” explained Rabbi Dayan. “We’ll leave that particular discussion for another occasion, but it seems clear that a borrower’s primary liability is to return the borrowed item or its replacement.”

“Furthermore, the Shulchan Aruch and most authorities rule that even a thief or one who damages can pay with moveable items (metatelin) in lieu of cash. The logic is that such items can easily be sold and converted to cash. We evaluate the item according to how much it can be sold for at that time and place.” (B.K. 7b; C.M. 419:1, 101:9)

“Nonetheless,” concluded Rabbi Dayan, “if a library has clear terms that lost books must be paid for by cash value, those terms would be as binding as any other monetary agreement.”

“I’m wondering about another point,” Nachum said. “What if the borrowed item changed price between the time it was borrowed and when it was lost? Which price would you pay?”

“On this point, there is a difference between a thief and a borrower,” answered Rabbi Dayan. “A thief pays based on the item’s value at the time of the theft, if it is no longer intact to return it. A borrower, however, pays according to the item’s value at the time it was lost, because it continues to be in the owner’s possession until it’s lost.” (C.M. 362:1; Ketzos and Nesivos 291:1)

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 “Book Money”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Colleagues of the hanged Arab bus driver whose death continues to be referred to as murder despite autopsy finding of suicide. These are Arab drivers of Egged buses, claiming they suffer discrimination by Israelis.
Arab Pathologist Singing New Tune: Murder (By Jews) Not Suicide
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/parsha/book-money/2014/01/30/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: