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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 want to be nice, so they make a salad with lemon for him to eat. Except... not knowing what an Esrog is, they mistake it for a lemon, and it ends up in the salad.

What would halacha say in such a case? Are they responsible for the loss? And if so, how much would they owe?

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    Why is this different from any case of destroying someone else's produce with misplaced good intentions? – WAF Jun 23 '11 at 13:41
  • @WAF they didn't know the value of the esrog - they thought it was a lemon (which would be fine). But maybe -- if you think that's the answer you can post it. – yydl Jun 23 '11 at 18:05
  • Why do you think that damage would have t do with intent? If my baseball goes through your window, do you think I am exempt just because I didn't mean to? – mevaqesh Nov 12 '17 at 1:38
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It would depend if he had permission to make this salad. If he had permission, he is considered a Mazik B'rshus and would be patur. If he did not have permission, he could still be patur if he had good reason to assume that the Esrog was a lemon.

Source: http://www.torah.org/advanced/business-halacha/5757/vol1no24.html

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