If I lend out a pair of items, and the borrower loses one, are they required to pay the estimated value of the object lost, or the replacement cost?

For example, suppose I lent out a pair of Walkie Talkies, and one was lost. Does it make a difference that Walkie Talkies are usually sold as a set, and are furthermore generally useless when you have only one?

Would it make a difference if I had two sets, so rather than going from 2 → 1, I've gone from 4 → 3, so that the returned one isn't, in the end, useless to me?

  • 1
    Similar: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/90618 judaism.stackexchange.com/q/10573/170
    – msh210
    Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 16:33
  • 2
    Welcome to Mi Yodeya. This an interesting question. I'm inclined to think that if the product that you borrowed needs 2 to make it functional, and you lost one of them, it's as if you broke the product itself. Thus, you'd be liable to pay for the full product or replace at least the one broken item so that the functionality of the product is usable, again. Comparison - you lose one lens of a pair of glasses. Are the glasses useful with just 1 lens?
    – DanF
    Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 16:34
  • @msh210 Not quite similar. Seems like the opposite!
    – DanF
    Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 16:35
  • Regarding how to assign liability in your actual case, I recommend that you consult your rabbi or local rabbinic court. Mi Yodeya can't advise you or rule on your particular situation. I'm editing the post a bit to remove the appearance of asking for a personal ruling; please edit further if the product conflicts with your intent.
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 17:38
  • I feel like there's a Gemara somewhere (maybe Bava Metzia) that mentions a case where someone lent someone two earrings and they only returned one. I don't remember where it might be, though.
    – Rafael
    Commented Mar 30, 2018 at 1:26

1 Answer 1


Rav Tzvi Shpitz in his Mishpetei HaTorah vol 1:pg 86 was asked if a person borrowed a pair of shoes or earings and lost one from the pair what do they have to pay? Before the damage a pair cost 100 dollars,do we say that one of the pair is worthless or maybe its worth 10 dollars. Does the shomer have to pay half or do we make him pay for a full pair,whats the halacha?

Rav Shpitz answers the one who lost it has to pay the value of lost item how much it would cost before the damage. Therefore we evaluate the payment based off how much one shoe would cost in the shoe store. If the shoe owner would only would sell one shoe for the same price as a pair (which is logical, since he has no use for only one shoe) then the one who lost it would have to pay the price of 100 for a new pair,since thats the value of one shoe in the market. In summary we go by what the market value is for one of the pair. If the store is willing to break a pair and sell it for less than that would be the price.

The sugya is about what we consider a damage,do we say the second shoe is a direct damage or just a grma. Rav Shpitz holds that the second shoe is a grma damage and one isnt liable for it.

  • In the sefer he has many mekoros,which are very long,see it in the sefer itself
    – sam
    Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 0:06

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .