Questions about the Jewish Code of monetary and civil law.

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10
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4answers
381 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, ...
5
votes
3answers
198 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
522 views

Is it permitted to take extra food from a buffet?

If you're at a hotel and there is a buffet meal, and you can take as much as you want, is there any problem taking a few extra rolls or any of the food back to your room for later? I assume if I'm not ...
14
votes
1answer
192 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
199 views

Self-defense (in a case of one's capital, not a capital case)

There is a well known rule that if A is threatening B's life, B may kill A, if necessary, to prevent that. Is there any such rule in non-capital cases? Specifically: If A is threatening B with ...
16
votes
3answers
408 views

Is ad-blocker software permissible?

Kalashnikover_Rebbe at hashkafah.com asks: Isn't blocking ads stealing??? The people put them on the sites for a reason.... He elaborates: On one hand the argument can be made that [forum ...
4
votes
1answer
84 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 ...
16
votes
5answers
457 views

Train ticket not collected: destroy?

Assuming a train line where single-ride tickets are normally collected or cancelled manually by train crew circulating among seated passengers, and it is physically possible to use them later if they ...
10
votes
1answer
66 views

How do you “take someone to beis din”?

Reuvain and Shimon are having a monetary dispute. Reuvain wants to take Shimon to beis din to settle the dispute, how does this work in practical terms? Does Reuvain have to tell Shimon first? Can he ...
4
votes
2answers
159 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
90 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
379 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
161 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
358 views

Patents in Halacha?

If someone invents something new (and unique), does Judaism recognize that he has ownership over the invention [for x years]?
35
votes
7answers
1k views

May I use my neighbor's Wi-Fi without asking permission?

My neighbor has never set up password protection on his wireless router. If I wanted, I could wirelessly connect to his high-speed Internet service. May I use his Internet service without asking him ...
12
votes
1answer
227 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
3answers
220 views

Stealing from a thief

If someone steals a previously stolen item from the thief is he guilty? Would it matter if he was stealing it only to return it to its original owner, or if the second thief was the original owner?
7
votes
1answer
215 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
105 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
197 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
402 views

Is it Gezel Sheinah for a teacher to wake up a student in class?

Yes, it's a little tongue-in-cheek, but it occurred to me while reading the question on stealing a parents tuition by skipping, and I think that there is a real benefit in the question. Is it Gezel ...
16
votes
3answers
315 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, ...
13
votes
2answers
219 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
211 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
109 views

Do our sources address the question of intellectual property vs the public good?

The NYTimes recently ran a piece about a malnourishment treatment that could save lives in Africa, but one company owns the recipe and controls it tightly. (See the article, I apologize if I'm not ...
8
votes
1answer
267 views

Neighbors inappropriate mail

If I see a neighbors inappropriate mail, am I allowed to throw it out?
7
votes
2answers
221 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
101 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
129 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. ...
6
votes
1answer
89 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
122 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
105 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. ...
5
votes
0answers
122 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
235 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. ...
5
votes
1answer
164 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
212 views

Is Telemarketing Prohibited by Jewish Law?

I understand that it may be prohibited due to the laws of "Dina D'malchusa Dina," (when and if) American law prohibits it. However, that reason aside, is there any Judaism based reason to prohibit it? ...
3
votes
2answers
93 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
107 views

Non responsibility for Damages on Purim

Why is one not required to pay if one causes damage on Purim? Does it apply in all situations?
2
votes
0answers
87 views

Unethical landlord

Ownership of an apartment building changed hands, and the landlord for the new owner is demanding unusually high additional monthly payments from preexisting tenants for parking privileges that are ...
2
votes
5answers
106 views

Mi.ShAino.Yodeya [closed]

Which halachah [hint:Choshen Mishpat] applies to "mi sh'aino yodeya"? (I ran across this last night researching another question)