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Shabbat Parashat Vayigash 5777

Vayigash | 9 Tevet 5777 | 1/7/2017

P'ninat Mishpat: Sub-Par Guest House Experience? part I

The plaintiff (=pl) runs a guesthouse, which hosted a group of students in a program organized by an informal education resource organization (=def). Defs representative #1 (later replaced by rep. #2), who had stayed at the guesthouse before, negotiated after receiving a brochure about pls services. The group came for Shabbat with approximately 40 people for a price of 4,500 shekels for lodgings and 2,500 shekels for food, after giving a 3,500 shekel down payment. The group came closer to Shabbat than envisioned, without the groups leader, and complaints were raised about lack of room. Some students were supposed to sleep on mattresses, and bedding was available, but many did not find them and slept without bedding or on the floor. The same is true of disposable utensils. Food was available for seuda shlishit as well, but the group did not take it. A representative of pl testified that on Friday, he showed a school staff member where all provisions were. Another major complaint was that pl did not have a kashrut certificate. (Some of the staff and of the girls did not eat pls food for that reason or because they did not like it). On Motzaei Shabbat, def refused to pay the fees balance (3,500 shekels) due to the things they claimed were missing (some will be mentioned in the ruling). Def is countersuing for 6,500 shekels for return of the down payment and for the cost for an apartment that a staff member took for his family when he saw there was no room for them. While there were issues to be worked out between the school and def, they were not brought before beit din.


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