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The Yamim Tovim were over, but the celebration continued. The chassanim of Simchas Torah were sponsoring a kiddush for the community.

The gabbai contacted Mr. Furst, who was honored with Chassan Bereishis. “We have arrangements with the caterer for standard kiddush, deluxe, and super deluxe,” he said. “Which would you like?”


“I’m happy to sponsor the super deluxe,” said Mr. Furst. “It’s a very special occasion for me! But I have to ask the other chassanim.”

Mr. Furst called Rabbi Yunger, who was honored with Kol Hanea’rim and shared in the kiddush of the chassanim in their shul. “The gabbai asked what kind of kiddush to order,” he said. “I’d like to order super deluxe.”

“I agree,” replied Rabbi Yunger. “It was a big zechus to be with all the children!”

Mr. Furst then called Rabbi Moses, the Chassan Torah. “I’m happy to sponsor a deluxe kiddush,” Rabbi Moses said.

“Rabbi Yunger and I were thinking of super deluxe,” said Mr. Furst. “This is a very special occasion.”

“I agree that it’s very special, that’s why I said deluxe,” replied Rabbi Moses. “I think that super deluxe is excessive. It’s almost a meal, and afterwards people go home and have a full Shabbos meal prepared. I’d rather spend my money on things that people need, like worthy tzedakah causes, tuition for the children, or sefarim for the shul library.”

“We’re sponsoring the kiddush together, “said Mr. Furst. “Two out of three want super deluxe.”

“You’re welcome to cover super deluxe,” replied Rabbi Moses. “How can you require me, though, to pay for something I consider excessive?”

“Since we’re sponsoring the kiddush together,” argued Mr. Furst, “the majority opinion should prevail, like anything else!”

Mr. Furst called Rabbi Dayan and asked:

“Is Rabbi Moses required to share equally in a super deluxe kiddush?”

“In most shuls, the chassanim are expected to sponsor a kiddush after Simchas Torah,” replied Rabbi Dayan. “They accept the aliyah with this understanding and become partners in sponsoring the kiddush, even though there is no explicit arrangement between them.

“The principle regarding partners is to act according to the accepted practice for such a partnership, unless explicitly agreed otherwise” (C.M. 176:10).

“Thus, the Mishnah (B.B. 2a) teaches that neighbors building a joint wall between their properties should build in the accepted construction manner of that locale. However, if there is no clear manner of construction, one cannot force the other to participate beyond the cheaper construction” (C.M. 157:4; Sma 157:13).

“Therefore, if the practice in that shul is that the chassanim sponsor a certain kind of kiddush, any one of them can insist that the others share in doing so” (see Pischei Choshen 2:[12]).

“What if the chassanim sometimes sponsor deluxe and sometimes super deluxe,” asked Mr. Furst. “Does the majority opinion prevail?”

“Regarding communal issues of the city, Rama rules that we follow the majority opinion,” replied Rabbi Dayan. “This is because community members are considered like a beis din for the city’s issues” (C.M. 2:1;163:1; Chazon Ish, B.B. 4:8; Tzitz Eliezer 3:29:4, 16:51).

“Although we do not follow the statistical majority in monetary matters (see Business Weekly #626 “Recording Hours”), in a ruling of Beis Din, the minority opinion is nullified by the majority opinion” (Sma 18:4).

“Igros Moshe (C.M. 2:23) similarly writes about partnership issues, e.g., whether to hire an additional worker, that we follow the majority opinion, unless the partners stipulated otherwise, since it is impossible that partners will agree on all issues.

“Nonetheless, this applies to the needs of the partnership. However, for issues of personal preferences, without any objective need, the majority cannot impose its preference on the minority at his expense, unless there is a clear practice to follow the majority on this, as well” (Aruch HaShulchan 2:2-3; Chazon Ish, B.B. 5:3).

“Therefore,” concluded Rabbi Dayan, “you cannot require Rabbi Moses to sponsor a super deluxe kiddush.”

Verdict: Partners can usually impose the majority opinion for partnership needs, but not for personal preferences at additional expense, unless the practice is to follow the majority for this as well.

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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 [email protected]. 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 [email protected].