Take the 2-minute tour ×
Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Most of the halachos of Choshen Mishpat have to do with one person's responsibilities viz-a-viz another person's rights. However, there is at least one halacha of which I am aware where Chazal told me what to do with my money for my own sake.

Bava Metzia 47b:

אמר ר' יוחנן דבר תורה מעות קונות ומפני מה אמרו משיכה קונה גזירה שמא יאמר לו נשרפו חטיך בעלייה סוף סוף מאן דשדא דליקה בעי שלומי אלא גזירה שמא תפול דליקה באונס אי מוקמת להו ברשותיה מסר נפשיה טרח ומציל ואי לא לא מסר נפשיה טרח ומציל

That is: On a Torah level, money creates a transaction. However, the Sages established that the transaction does not happen until the point when the purchaser takes possession, lest there be a fire in the room where the seller has the merchandise, and the seller won't bother to save the merchandise that the purchaser now owns .

The person cannot say, "it's my money and I am willing to take the risk" in order to become the owner through paying for it. (See Shach C.M. 198:9-10)

Are there any other examples where Chazal made decrees for a person's own benefit, and can this be extrapolated to a generalization (i.e. that we should not assist someone, or perhaps even hinder someone, in doing something that we deem to be financially self-destructive)?

share|improve this question
    
A person is not allowed to let another Jew charge him interest –  Clint Eastwood Feb 9 at 6:11
    
@ClintEastwood That is because of a prohibition of Ribbis, not because of protecting your personal interests. –  YEZ Feb 9 at 16:46
    
Decrees for a person's own benefit ? perhaps maaser kesafim applies where our sages do not allow you to give more than 1/5 so you yourself don't become poor. (not sure if this is universally agreed upon. could be a billionaire could give more. no time for sources today) extrapolation ? proceed with extreme caution as each case would need to be examined individually. –  eramm Feb 9 at 17:37
    
How do you define financially self-destructive @YEZ? Is giving 1/5 of someone's money not financially self-destructive? –  gaagu Jun 9 at 19:45
    
@gaagu was that directed at me? –  YEZ Jun 9 at 19:46
show 2 more comments

1 Answer 1

Kitzur Shulchan Aruch - Hilchot Aveidah Umetziah (187:1)

כל ממון של חבירו שאדם יכול להציל שלא יאבד חייב להציל והוא בכלל השבת אבידה

A friend's money that a person can save from being lost, they must save, and it's considered 'returning a lost object'.

share|improve this answer
1  
How does this answer the question? –  Yishai Jun 9 at 22:19
    
Maybe it doesn't answer "Are there any other examples where Chazal made decrees for a person's own benefit", but it answers "can this be extrapolated to a generalization (i.e. that we should not assist someone, or perhaps even hinder someone, in doing something that we deem to be financially self-destructive)", by demonstrating that Rabbi Ganzfried considers saving another's money part of the Mitzvah of Hashavat Aveida. –  gaagu Jun 9 at 23:55
    
How do you know that applies if the owner of the money would rather it not be saved? –  Yishai Jun 10 at 0:03
    
I don't. How did I imply that I did? –  gaagu Jun 10 at 0:23
2  
Then I don't see how it addresses self-destructiveness? –  Yishai Jun 10 at 0:27
show 9 more comments

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.