Questions about the Jewish Code of monetary and civil law.

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6
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1answer
87 views

In Moses' time, would freeing a slave be harmful to the slave?

Exodus 21:26 is about letting a slave go free if they are injured by their owner. This appears to be a good thing, but I'm also wondering if it would be detrimental to a slave to be freed when they ...
4
votes
1answer
72 views

What to do with stolen objects which are impossible to return?

If an object was stolen in one's childhood or teenage years, without knowledge of the laws regarding stealing (or not caring), if this object is impossible to return, either because the person has ...
0
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0answers
33 views

Implicit contract and obligation to directly link to a source in a tweet

Consider the following situation: Someone has a website that publishes original research. The articles contain links and the article itself can be reached via a link. The maintainer of the open ...
2
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0answers
47 views

Substituting security deposit for final month's rent

A friend of mine who practices law gave me the following advice: Do not pay your final month's rent. Instead, tell your landlord to keep the security deposit as your last month's rent. That way, if ...
2
votes
0answers
72 views

Anti-libertarian-ism in Chazal

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 ...
7
votes
1answer
209 views

Riches found in a purchased item. Return or keep it?

A young rabbi reportedly found nearly $100,000 in a desk he'd purchased second-hand on Craigslist, and subsequently returned the money. Is this story about a Kiddush HaShem, or a Hassid Shoteh ...
4
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0answers
40 views

responsibility for passing on a virus (medical)

Would one be obligated to pay any of the five types of damages paid upon wounding someone, if they were to infect that someone with a viral/bacterial disease, whether through: Peshia (negligence)? ...
3
votes
0answers
39 views

May an employer dismiss an employee to pressure him in a non–work-related matter

Without discussing whether the particular case currently in the news actually qualifies as the situation I’m describing, consider the following case: In his private life, an employee of mine is ...
1
vote
1answer
62 views

Does one require a non-Jew to use beit din

Often, Jewish organizations have as a contract clause that employees agree to take issues to beit din and not (or at least, before) secular courts. But if the employee is not Jewish, is that ...
3
votes
1answer
29 views

How is ona'a determined?

Partially inspired by this question I would like to know exactly how ona'a (over/underchanging by more than 1/6th) is determined. For example tap water is free and in many parts of the united states ...
7
votes
1answer
72 views

Do we account for Sentimental Value?

Suppose Reuven steals a rare picture of Shimon's great grandfather from Shimon. Reuven then disposes of the picture and later wants to (or is caught, and therefore needs to) return the money to ...
5
votes
2answers
98 views

Must one give notice?

The custom in the United States is that, whenever feasible, an at-will employee is given two weeks' notice when fired (except when fired for cause) and gives two weeks' notice when quitting a job. ...
4
votes
1answer
51 views

Lost package; who is responsible

If a seller sent an item to a customer via the postal service, the postal service claims to have left it at the house, and the customer claims it has not been received, who is responsible for the ...
3
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0answers
59 views

Is a renter allowed to withhold rent if the landlord does not fulfill his duties?

If a landlord drags his feet on fixing things in his property, is the renter allowed to withhold rent until he does so? Alternatively, may the renter bring someone to fix it himself and pay from the ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

Eruv t'chumin for dependants

One can 'force' a dependant to make an eruv t'chumin. Since they are only made for a dvar mitsva this is considered like forcing him to do a mitsva which one who has the power, has to do. Normally ...
4
votes
1answer
80 views

Is there a stated freedom to contract?

In the United States (and other countries), there is the notion of the freedom to contract. This is the idea that two people of sound mind have the right to enter into any contract with one another ...
1
vote
1answer
77 views

Repentance for stealing not accepted?

I've heard before that there is a Gemorah in Baba Kamma (also brought down in Shulchan Aruch Choshen Mishpat Hilchos Genevah) that one who steals something and later wishes to repent and return what ...
1
vote
0answers
52 views

Can I prevent trespass through (for example) my garden?

Does the Torah give me the right to stop other people using (for example) my garden as a short-cut between two places? If I try to prevent this trespass, am I to be criticised (say for withholding ...
8
votes
3answers
136 views

Is there a concept in Jewish law similar to a corporation?

In modern law, a corporation, according to Black's Law Dictionary, is an "artificial person or legal entity created by or under the authority of the laws of a state or nation . . . ordinarily ...
5
votes
1answer
92 views

Is it permissible to embarrass a thief?

Here's a story I witnessed: Someone trying to get his car out of the public parking lot next to his building found his way out blocked by two cars parked right on the ramp out, whose owners went into ...
6
votes
3answers
165 views

How is one allowed to live in Israel?

When Yehoshua came to Israel, he conquered it and divided it among the Jews. This land belongs to them and their descendants. When the Jews were exiled many years later and came back (by the 2nd Beis ...
4
votes
1answer
181 views

Magazine not delivered - what are they responsible for?

If someone has a subscription to a Jewish weekly or magazine or newspaper (for example: Mishpacha, Binah, Ami, Jewish Press, Yated, Hamodia, etc.) and they are supposed to deliver on a specific day of ...
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0answers
55 views

Is Sephardi Chief Rabbi Sholomo Amar's recent psak on fiduciary responsibility really “unprecedented”?

HaAretz, last week, reported that Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar issued a halachic decision that "[b]usiness owners whose actions, either intentionally or through negligence, cause the public ...
3
votes
2answers
101 views

Can a judge take an equal bribe from both sides?

It says in CH"M Siman 9 that it is forbidden for a Dayan to take a shochad (bribe.) What about if a particular Dayan is dealing with a case between Reuvan and Shimon that they both want to give the ...
5
votes
0answers
95 views

Is it halachically permissible to click on contextual ads with no intention of buying?

Contextual ads are those ads you see when you do a search on Google. The advertisers only pay if someone actually clicks on their ad. It seems "pashut" to me that clicking an ad if you know you're not ...
7
votes
2answers
76 views

Dressing similarly at a Din Torah - When did this change and why?

Gemara Shevuos 31a says that if two people come to Bais Din one dressed in rags and the other dressed in expensive clothing, we make them dress similarly. Sefer Hachinuch Mitzva 235 indicates that ...
3
votes
1answer
101 views

Receiving money for a day's work, considering it to cover a debt?

I will pose this general question by presenting the following scenario: Reuvan works for Shimon. One time, at the end of the day, when Shimon came to pay Reuvan for that day's work (which was $100.), ...
4
votes
2answers
147 views

Using a Stamp from an RSVP Card

Many invitations come with return card envelopes that are already affixed with proper postage. Suppose, the recipient of such a card has no intention of replying (or decides to reply by some other ...
1
vote
0answers
82 views

Genevas Daas (deception) with a gift

The Shach in YD Siman 117 Sif-Katan 13 writes, דאין במתנה משום גניבת דעת With regard to a gift there is no problem of "genevas daas" (deception). The Shach writes this in regard to selling ...
12
votes
2answers
308 views

What is the halachic status of things in outer space?

Is everything in outer space hefker? For example if a private person lands on the moon or an asteroid can he be koneh it? Do you retain the rights to something that you send into space?
4
votes
1answer
106 views

Who is responsible for damage to something that was used at the owner's request?

Suppose you ask someone to use something that belongs to you, so that you can benefit from their use of it. For example, you (voluntarily) give a camera to someone you know to take a picture (of ...
2
votes
1answer
88 views

Woman giving away husbands money

The gemorah in Moed Katan Daf 8a says, אמר רב כהנא אמר רב יהודה אמר רב מעשה באדם אחד שכינס מעות לעלות לרגל ובא ספדן ועמד על פתח ביתו ונטלתן אשתו ונתנתן לו ונמנע ולא עלה Rav Kahana said in ...
11
votes
1answer
207 views

Insurance against משיח

According to this rather amusing blog post, there is apparently a common clause in rental contracts in Jerusalem, called the Messiah clause, in which, when a landlord outside of Israel rents out a ...
9
votes
1answer
223 views

El Al Airfare error and Halachah

What are the Halachic implications of yesterday's El Al airfare snafu? In brief, El Al's air tickets were being sold online very cheap for a while; the price was later corrected, and El Al claimed the ...
6
votes
1answer
88 views

Why can't we Mafkiya kiddushin?

According to DoubleAA, R' Shechter says that any three people have a right to declare items hefker through Hefker Beis Din Hefker. According to that, why doesn't an average Beis Din have a power to ...
4
votes
1answer
98 views

Does a borrower-lender / borrower-bailor have a claim against his borrower/bailee?

If a shoel (someone who borrowed non-fungible personalty) re-lent the borrowed item to a further borrower (which he may not do), the original borrower (i.e., the relender) is liable to the original ...
7
votes
1answer
83 views

Is Dina D'Malchusa a din in Gavra or in Cheftza?

Let's say that Reuvain owes Shimon money in American law, and Dina Demalchusa applies, does that mean: Reuvein has a halachic monetary obligation to Shimon which is as strong as any other ...
5
votes
0answers
111 views

Which beis din can declare items Hefker?

There is a rule that Hefker Beis Din Hefker, that a court can declare items ownerless. What are the requirements for a Beis Din to declare items ownerless? Are there any courts nowadays with such ...
10
votes
1answer
204 views

Does a child own what he's implicitly given by his parents?

I assume that when a parent owns an object and a child uses it, it remains the property of the parent's absent any intent/declaration on the parent's part to grant it to the child (and absent an act ...
7
votes
1answer
166 views

Transfer of loan / mortgage from non-Jew to Jew

What happens if a Jew borrows money on interest from a non-Jew, and then the lender turns around and sells the debt to a Jew? (Such transactions are very common in the mortgage industry.) Is it ...
5
votes
0answers
79 views

Is it acceptable to use software which incidentally blocks ads?

A question on this site on whether ad-blocking software is permissible suggests that the answer is that it probably, but not definitely, is acceptable. I don't use ad-blocking software myself, but I ...
8
votes
1answer
97 views

Animal rights vs other considerations in halacha and hashkafa

On a boat, Reuven owns five ostriches and one of them eats a diamond off of Shimon's hat which is on his head. Though we are not sure which one ate it we know with certainty that one of them did. ...
2
votes
1answer
148 views

What is the status of a library loan?

When you borrow something from the (secular) library does it follow the same halacha as a loan from one Jew to another?
6
votes
2answers
125 views

Do you have to pay if you damage someone in order to stop them from sinning?

There is a story in Brachos where R' Ada bar Ahava ripped a Karbalta (a red non-tznius garment) off a woman, and then discovered that she was not Jewish. He then was fined for that act 400 zuz. He ...
8
votes
1answer
107 views

Does one have to return the specific bills that one stole?

If one stole a hundred dollars in regular cash (e.g. no rare bill editions), and still has those bills, does he have to return those particular bills or can he return any hundred dollars?
6
votes
1answer
84 views

What is the Halachah if someone lost an object despite efforts to protect it?

If someone charged with guarding an object took protective precautions, but it nonetheless disappeared, what is the Halachah? Let us assume they were not paid for their guardianship, nor were they ...
4
votes
2answers
142 views

Do non-Jews inherit?

Inspired by this question. If a non-Jew dies, do his children (or other inheritors) automatically assume possession of his properties (karka), loose items (metaltelin), and debts the way Jewish ...
3
votes
0answers
41 views

Ethical business dealings [closed]

A synagogue (shul) employee who is not empowered to obligate the shul financially, convinced a member to get a loan against her house to lend the synagogue money to put on a concert of Jewish music. ...
5
votes
2answers
227 views

Are robo-calls permitted?

A robo-call is an automated phone call that does not involve a human caller. The majority of these are uninvited solicitations (either for money or votes), and these are the ones I'm asking about. ...
4
votes
2answers
156 views

Handling Conflict between Jewish and Civil Law

This question is an offshoot from the one titled "Questions about Polygamy in Jewish Law and Culture" Taking under the knowledge that the previous question was well answered with an observation: It's ...