Questions about the Jewish Code of monetary and civil law.

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14
votes
1answer
203 views

How much must one do to to sign a contract?

Nowadays most software comes with a EULA. In order to install the software one must click the "agree" button. However, there are some software that says are distributed through different licenses. For ...
5
votes
2answers
142 views

Recording music from radio

When I was a kid, I used to enjoy recording music from Jewish radio programs onto cassette tapes (remember those?). Nowadays the process is much easier, as many portable music players include an FM ...
7
votes
1answer
137 views

Product liability in halacha

What does Judaism say about product liability? That is, if I sell someone a product and — because it was manufactured poorly or not as advertised — the purchaser sustains damage, to ...
6
votes
2answers
235 views

Can I defend my animals with lethal force?

We know that it is permitted, in self-defense, to kill one who is trying to kill you, and I have heard that this applies to other people too (I see someone trying to kill someone else and I ...
13
votes
2answers
292 views

Can a book with ancient text really be copyright?

Pick up your local chumash, siddur or gemara. Open it to the front page. There it is, the dreaded ©. But to me that seems quite odd. Can the text of the actual davening or talmud really be ...
7
votes
1answer
198 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
113 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. ...
7
votes
2answers
150 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
126 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?
10
votes
4answers
447 views

what are the limits of “mesira”?

It seems that most people have an idea that you cannot report a Jew to the non-Jewish authorities (police, government, etc) except for extreme circumstances (imminent danger, abuse, etc). However, ...
7
votes
1answer
204 views

Are kickbacks prohibited?

Would a person be allowed to give/take bribes to a person responsible for purchasing in a company? Would it be forbidden directly as "shochad" (bribery) or under a general prohibition of Gnevas Daas, ...
17
votes
2answers
274 views

Does Jewish Law Recognize Bankruptcy?

If someone borrowed money and then declared bankruptcy, does he still have a halachic obligation to pay it back? If the lender was a corporation (bank, etc.). If the lender was a friend. Do we say ...
4
votes
2answers
189 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
412 views

Patents in Halacha?

If someone invents something new (and unique), does Judaism recognize that he has ownership over the invention [for x years]?
3
votes
0answers
44 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. ...
4
votes
2answers
215 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
95 views

How can one who contradicted witnesses use those witnesses later?

Case 1 Plaintiff Reuvein made a claim against Shimon that Shimon owes $100 to Reuvein through a loan. Shimon said: "I never borrowed anything from you". Reuvein brought two witnesses (Pair A) that ...
5
votes
3answers
207 views

Is there any issue except for Dina Dmalchusa in counterfeiting money?

If someone were to find a way to make exact forgery of currency (in such a way that it would be impossible for anyone to find that it's counterfeit), would there be any prohibition to do so (except ...
1
vote
1answer
107 views

No one's ticket collected on the train: destroy?

This is a rolloff of this question: Train ticket not collected: destroy? IF one is on a train that is too packed for any conductor to go on. Or it is a day where there is bad whether and the ...
7
votes
2answers
258 views

Stealing from or causing damage to a third party to save life or limb

Suppose Fred is in danger of death or injury, and the most direct way to avoid that fate involves stealing or damaging property belonging to Ernie, an uninvolved person. Examples: Fred is being ...
4
votes
1answer
100 views

Using physical force to get past a passive blockader

Suppose that Billy wants to enter a building that he's legally entitled to enter, but Augustine places himself in front of the building's entrance in such a way that Billy cannot enter without coming ...
4
votes
1answer
63 views

A worker who did Shich'cha

If a worker forgot a sheave in a field, thereby making it Shich'cha (one of the gifts which the owner of the field must leave to the poor), does he have to pay back the owner?
3
votes
2answers
163 views

Card Counting Permissibility

For what it is (if you haven't heard of it), see Card Counting (wikipedia) Also assuming Gambling is not a problem in that scenario. It's perfectly legal in the U.S. So would it be a problem in ...
11
votes
2answers
270 views

Receiving Too Much Change

Do I have an obligation to give back extra change I receive? Would it matter if the store owner or person giving it to me was a Jew?
6
votes
2answers
171 views

Is one allowed to cancel a check?

If I give a check to someone (as a gift) and I change my mind, am I halachically allowed to cancel it, or do we say that the check is a shtar, and by signing it is considered as if I gave him the ...
6
votes
1answer
54 views

Why can't a minor's rights to eat while harvesting crops be waived?

The Torah grants workers who are harvesting a field to consume some of it while on the job. The Mishna in Bava Metzia (7:6) points out that a worker can waive his Biblically-granted rights, and make ...
3
votes
1answer
92 views

Is one allowed to sell a forged painting?

One makes an exact carbon-copy (perfect copy, in such a way that one will never be able to tell the difference between an original and a copy. For arguments sake, lets say through witchcraft) of (say) ...
1
vote
2answers
98 views

Scratch on a car: liability if panel was later paid by another

If someone scratches my car door and then later a second person knocks it off completely and the second person has to compensate, is the first person who scratched the door still responsible to pay ...
5
votes
1answer
177 views

Car falls into my ditch- I'm not responsible?

Halacha dictates that if someone were to dig a huge hole in the middle of the street and a car fell into it, he would not be responsible to pay for the damage to the car. The language of the Talmud ...
3
votes
1answer
43 views

Do I need to use damage compensation for repairs?

If I get a scratch on a car door and I am compensated, do I have to repair or can I just keep the money and live with the dent or scratch? (This may be a similar question but I am unsure so I made ...
12
votes
3answers
435 views

Are parents responsible if their children damage in a store?

If a parent brings a child (defined as under 13 for a boy and under 12 for a girl) into a store, and that child damages an item, is the parent responsible to pay? Would it matter if the child simply ...
3
votes
2answers
97 views

Am I allowed to use borrowed money for something else?

Reuven goes to his good friend Shimon and tells him that he needs $10,000 for X. Shimon naturally agrees. Reuven then realizes that he needs the money for Y instead. Is Reuven allowed to use the ...
6
votes
1answer
116 views

Can an ex-employee steal customers?

Character definitions: Reuven is the proud owner of Big Business A. Shimon was hired to work for Big Business A. As part of his job, Shimon is responsible for interacting with various Big Business A ...
7
votes
2answers
132 views

Attaching Conditions to a Sale

If I sell someone an item (e.g. an orange), and I attach a condition (e.g. "you may not make orange juice"), is it successfully binding? What happens if that someone does violate the condition (e.g. ...
11
votes
1answer
137 views

Can I keep the smuggled diamonds as an award?

Inspired by Diamonds in the coffee (and highly related): I've always got a kick out of the supposed story (I have not been able to confirm it's true, but it's definitely plausible): Reuven gives ...
7
votes
1answer
112 views

Diamonds in the coffee

A friend requests that you take a jar of Coffee to Israel and you happily oblige. On the way to your destination the jar cracks, so you just buy a replacement. Later you find out that the can ...
2
votes
1answer
66 views

Bread in the freezer

The title of the question is tongue in cheek. There was a very kind family that was away for the summer and allowed their home to be used by a second family. The second family got there and found the ...
9
votes
2answers
237 views

Saving Parking Spots

Reuven calls Shimon to ask if Shimon may stand inside a parking spot and reserve it until Reuven gets there in five minutes. While standing there, Levi pulls up and directs Shimon to vacate the spot ...
6
votes
2answers
130 views

Check that did not clear

If I give a check in payment of an obligation or purchase and the check never cleared. The recipient never called me to say he lost it or misplaced it. Do I have to call the recipient and give him ...
2
votes
1answer
117 views

The Ushpizin Esrog-Lemon Case

If you never saw Ushpizin, this video will give you a quick summary of what I'm talking about [especially starting at 3:55]. Basically, two non-frum Jews come over to Moshe's house for Sukkos. They ...
17
votes
3answers
325 views

Can I lend out a Library Book?

I just borrowed a wonderful book from the local library (let's assume Jewish library - but does it matter?). My friend sees the book and wants to read it. My library lets me keep the book for a week, ...
7
votes
1answer
107 views

Limits to Financial Dina Dmalchusa

What are the limits of Dina Dmalchusa (specifically financial Dina Dmalchusa, unlike this question which deals with non-financial dina dmalchusa)? In general, dina dmalchusa means one must pay taxes ...
7
votes
2answers
205 views

Are late or overdue fees Ribbis?

If I take out a library book, and they charge me $.10 per each additional day extra. Or if I owe money on a bill, and they charge me a $10 late fee for being overdue. Are these a case of Ribbis? Or ...
10
votes
4answers
421 views

“Is the market-based distribution of income fair or unfair?”

This post, by a leading economist, lists the main differences on economic policy between the right and left-leaning economists. On many economic issues, Judaism does not necessarily take a clear ...
12
votes
2answers
116 views

Are Jewish Court Rulings subject to Appeal?

Is there such a thing as an appeal in Jewish law, or are rulings issued by Jewish courts absolutely final?
9
votes
1answer
250 views

What Halachot apply to serving on jury duty?

Halachically, what are the responsibilities of one who is called to jury duty? What if one of the litigants is Jewish, and the halacha would find differently than civil law does in the case, are you ...
4
votes
1answer
113 views

Would the rabbis who prohibit all gambling and lotteries prohibit a no-lose lottery?

In a no-lose lottery, lots of people put money in a bank; all of them will get their money back whenever they want. Additionally, the bank takes the proceeds from investing their money and ...
5
votes
1answer
139 views

Responsibility for Incoming Call / Text Message Charges in Halacha

In many places (or at least in the USA), users are charged for incoming calls and text messages. If someone explicitly tells someone else to stop calling or texting their number, does that person ...
4
votes
1answer
90 views

Compromising a Doubtful Loan and Ribbis

First let's get the case: Reuven lends $100 to Shimon to be paid back in a year. There is no record of the amount of the loan. And then, one month later, one of the following happen: Shimon ...
2
votes
1answer
72 views

Chometz Gezel Akum

The Gemara in Pesachim (ה:‏) says if you are holding Chometz for a gentile and Pesach comes you have to burn it. How is it possible to say that: it is Gezel Akum and even if you pay him back you ...