Hebrew | Francais

Search


> > Archive

Shabbat Parashat Vayakhel Pekudei 5780

P'ninat Mishpat: Return of Borrowed Pre-School Items II

(based on ruling 71104 of the Eretz Hemdah-Gazit Rabbinical Courts

Part II

Case: The defendant (=def) runs a religious pre-school program in an Israeli town and started employing the plaintiff’s (=pl) daughter-in-law (=dil) a few years ago. Shortly thereafter, pl gave several thousand shekels worth of pre-school accessories (tables, books, toys, etc.) in a few installments. A year ago, dil stopped working at the pre-school, of her own accord. Pl demanded the items back, claiming that she had stated it was a loan. Def refused but wrote a letter acknowledging the items belong to pl with the promise to return them to her if a relative of pl opens a pre-school program. Months later, pl told def that pl’s daughter is doing so, and def sent her some of the items. Pl claimed it was too little, too late (because of the lack of materials, her daughter stopped her plans), and many of the items have been seriously damaged. Pl now wants 30,000 shekels rather than a return of the materials. Def contends that pl did not stipulate that she might want the materials back; if she would have, def would not have taken them because it caused her to throw out old, still usable, materials. She had every reason to believe it was a donation to an altruistic religious organization close to pl’s heart. The letter admitting the items were pl’s was due to a threat, right before the beginning of the school year, that pl would come to take them.

  

Ruling: We saw last time that pl’s claim that she originally stated the items were on loan is not convincing enough to extract money.

Def claims that her admission letter was written under duress. However, the Shulchan Aruch (Choshen Mishpat 81:17) rules that even those claims that are effective against an imperfect admission do not work against an admission in writing. On the other hand, the admission’s extent is limited to that which is written in the letter.

A “gift” that returns at a certain point can take different forms: 1) she’eila (a loan); 2) a gift for a certain time (ibid. 241:6). In this case, neither side proved which of the constructs was used. One difference between them is whether the recipient is responsible to guard the items and pay if he was not successful (according to #2, the recipient is exempt). Even a borrower  (#1) is exempt from damages that occurred as a result of normal use (ibid. 340:1). Therefore, either way, def will be exempt from much of the damage. Those items that normally get fully used in a few years would not need to be accounted for at all. If viewed as a borrower, def would be responsible for some of the damages that were not due to natural wear and tear. Def would also be obligated to swear that there was no negligence that would obligate her to pay for damages.

Since being a borrower obligates the recipient, def would have had to realize that she was becoming a borrower to be obligated in that way. We do not have proof that this occurred. She would not have to be aware of becoming the recipient of a gift for a certain time, as there are no special obligations, just a need to return that which is no longer hers. Therefore, while def must return the materials, she would not be required to pay.

Next time we will discuss how to return the materials.

Top of page
Print this page
Send to friend


Dedication

We daven for a complete and speedy refuah for:

 

Nir Rephael ben Rachel Bracha
Refael Yitchak ben Chana

Netanel Ilan ben Sheina Tzipora

Netanel ben Sarah Zehava

Meira bat Esther

Yair Menachem ben Yehudit Chana

Rivka Reena bat Gruna Natna

Lillian bat Fortune

Yafa bat Rachel Yente

Eliezer Yosef ben Chana Liba

Ro'i Moshe Elchanan ben Gina Devra

Reizel Anya bat Devora

Esther Michal bat Gitel

Yehudit Sarah bat Rachel

 

Together with all cholei Yisrael

 

Hemdat Yamim is dedicated

to the memory of:

those who fell in wars

for our homeland

 

Eretz Hemdah's beloved friends

and Members of

Eretz Hemdah's Amutah

 

Rav Shlomo Merzel z”l
Iyar 10 5771

 

Rav Reuven Aberman z"l

Tishrei 9     5776

 

Mr. Shmuel Shemesh  z"l
Sivan 17 5774

 

R' Eliyahu Carmel z"l

Rav Carmel's father

Iyar 8    5776

 

Mrs. Sara Wengrowsky

bat R’ Moshe Zev a”h.

Tamuz 10       5774

 

Rav Asher Wasserteil z"l

Kislev 9  5769

 

R'  Meir ben

Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld z"l

&

Mrs. Sara Brachfeld z"l

Tevet 16 5780

  

R'  Yaakov ben Abraham & Aisha

and

Chana bat Yaish & Simcha

Sebbag, z"l

 

Rav Yisrael Rozen z"l
Cheshvan 13 5778

 

Rav Benzion Grossman z"l
Tamuz 23    5777

 

Rav Moshe Zvi (Milton)

Polin z"l

Tamuz 19     5778

 

R' Abraham Klein z"l

Iyar 18 5779

 

 R' Gershon (George)

ben

Chayim HaCohen Kaplan

z"l

Adar II 6

 

 Hemdat Yamim
is endowed by Les & Ethel Sutker
of Chicago, Illinois
in loving memory of
Max and Mary Sutker
and
Louis and Lillian Klein, z”l

 

site by entry.
Eretz Hemdah - Institute for Advanced Jewish Studies, Jerusalem All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy. | Terms of Use.