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 contained a diamond and you were used as a Shipping service. Do you have to pay for the lost diamond?

(sources please)

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    And if it didn't crack, would you have to pay the import tariffs to the Israeli govt after notifying them that you failed to declare the goods? – Curiouser Oct 9 '11 at 4:46
  • not my question but point well taken – simchastorah Oct 9 '11 at 4:47
  • This question is tagged only with choshen-mishpat (civil law), not beis-din. Was that done by intent? I am somewhat confused, as @Curiouser makes a good point, mentioning jurisdiction. – Ellie Kesselman Oct 10 '11 at 7:31
  • Is there a reason diamonds are used in the example, and not other contraband? – Seth J Sep 11 '12 at 14:41

Torah.org discusses a case where a guest in someone's house washed a cup and drank from it (without permission), and later discovered that there was a diamond there.

They answer that there is a Machlokes Rishonim between the Tosfos and Rosh on one side and the Ramban and Ran on the Other. According to the Tosfos, one is not liable where one damaged property if the damage was totally unexpected.

However, the Ramban says one is always liable.

Because people don't hide diamonds in coffee cups, according to Tosfos he would be patur, while according to the Ramban he would be Chayav.

The Mechaber rules like the Ramban, while the Rama quotes Tosfos. Therefore, if one didn't pay yet, the defendent could say "Kim Li" like the Rama and not only can Beis Din not force him to pay, but he is free in Diney Shamayim.

  • I always heard that one with lens solution and lenses why are they the same? – simchastorah Oct 9 '11 at 5:05
  • The coffee case sounds more like the "If the host had given..." case on the torah.org page: that's a case of hezek due to normal use when permission for normal use is granted, and the coffee case is one hezek due to normal airplane travel when permission for that is granted, so I'd think the halacha should be similar. But as always CYLOR. – msh210 Oct 9 '11 at 6:52
  • @msh210 I don't think he was given permission to replace the cup. Either way the only nafka mina would be if he alrready payed, can he claim the money back. – Shmuel Brin Oct 9 '11 at 6:55
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    @msh210 I don't know if CYLOR will work here, he may have to go to the din Torah, although a LOR may be able to help him there. – Shmuel Brin Oct 9 '11 at 6:57

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