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Shabbat Parashat Balak 5782

P'ninat Mishpat: Granting a House to a Neighbors Son part I

(based on ruling 81093 of the Eretz Hemdah-Gazit Rabbinical Courts)

Case: The defendant (=def) is a yishuv in the Shomron, which has only three lots slated for single-family homes. The right to build on them is to be raffled off among residents of def. The plaintiff (=pl) rents in the yishuv. Pl’s widowed mother owns a house adjacent to one of the lots, and pl wants to receive rights to it without a raffle because only if he lives there can he arrange things to best serve his mother’s needs. This would exercise his mother’s dina d’bar metzra rights (see below). Def counters that if someone receives a lot in such a manner, it will cause public accusations and acrimony.  

 

Ruling: Introduction to land acquisition in Yehuda V’Shomron – Due to various factors, one cannot buy land in these areas, but families can apply to the Jewish Agency Department for Settlement for one bar reshut (long-term permission to build and/or live on a certain plot). The Jewish Agency’s longstanding policy is to accept the recommendation of a yishuv’s administration as to who should receive a bar reshut.

Introduction to dina d’bar metzra (=ddbm)Ddbm is an extra-judicial Rabbinical institution that gives an adjacent neighbor of land that was sold to an outsider the ability to force the buyer to sell it to him at his purchase price unless the neighbor had waived the right. The logic to give the neighbor that right is that he has a unique opportunity to maximize the land, whereas others lack such an advantage from this land (see sugya starting with Bava Metzia 108a). 

One question is whether ddbm is incumbent upon the seller or just the buyer, upon whom the gemara focuses. Rashi (ad loc.) implies that it is only on the buyer, which would explain why if a non-Jew bought it, ddbm does not apply (see Perisha, Choshen Mishpat 175:36). The seller has only a moral obligation to prefer the neighbor. The Rama (CM 175:34) writes that if the neighbor is not around, it is best that he ask beit din to contact someone to represent the neighbor’s needs. The implication is that if he did not, nothing can be done to the seller.

Does def, as a public institution, have an obligation to pl based on the general moral obligation? There are two reasons that they should: 1. They are representatives of the buyers, who are obligated. 2. A community should be held to higher standards than individuals are. On the other hand, public officials have a responsibility to do what is best for the community as a whole, and that includes the family that has a chance of winning in the raffle instead of pl. We cannot ignore the situation that Israeli law does not follow ddbm, and it is not something that is in the mindset of even religious people. Other people with connections to officials can “walk in the door left open” by ddbm. Therefore, it is acceptable for def to not go beyond the letter of the law in applying a halacha that is itself beyond the letter of the law, so def can follow set procedures (i.e., raffling off the lots). 

We will continue next time with ddbm from the perspective

of the potential buyers.

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Dedication

We daven for a complete and speedy refuah for:

Nir Rephael ben Rachel Bracha
Yisrael ben Rivka

Arye Yitzchak ben Geula Miriam

Neta bat Malka

Meira bat Esther
Yerachmiel ben Zlotta Rivka

Together with all cholei Yisrael

Hemdat Yamim is dedicated

to the memory of:

Those who fell in wars

for our homeland

 

Rav Shlomo Merzel z”l
Iyar 10, 5771


Rav
Reuven & Chaya Leah Aberman z"l
Tishrei 9
,5776 / Tishrei 20, 5782

 

Mr. Shmuel & Esther Shemesh z"l

Sivan 17 / Av 20

 

Mr. Moshe Wasserzug z"l

Tishrei 20 ,5781

 

R' Eliyahu Carmel z"l

Rav Carmel's father

Iyar 8 ,5776

 

Mrs. Sara Wengrowsky

bat RMoshe Zev a”h.

Tamuz 10 ,5774

 

Rav Asher & Susan Wasserteil z"l
Kislev 9 / Elul 5780

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

 

R' Abraham Klein z"l

Iyar 18 ,5779

&

Mrs. Gita Klein z"l

Av 4

 

Rav Moshe Zvi (Milton) Polin z"l
Tammuz 19, 5778

 

R' Yitzchak Zev Tarshansky z"l

Adar 28, 5781

 

Nina Moinester z"l

Nechama Osna bat Yitzhak Aharon & Doba

Av 30, 5781

 

Rabbi Dr. Jerry Hochbaum z"l

Adar II 17, 5782

 

Mrs. Julia Koschitzky z"l

Adar II 18, 5782

 

Mrs. Leah Meyer z"l

Nisan 27, 5782

 

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Les
z"l  & Ethel Sutker
of Chicago, Illinois
in loving memory of
Max and Mary Sutker
& Louis and Lillian Klein z”l

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