Inadvertently taking extra merchandise – halacha

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    I just realized that a lid for a smaller size microwave container landed in one of the larger containers I bought today. It is 98% the store’s fault as they display the different sized containers and lids in a chaotic manner, and neither I nor the cashier saw the lid.

    The owners of the store are oivdai avoida zoro mamash according to just about any opinion.

    Since I need a smaller container in any case, I plan to buy one without the lid when I go back to the store later in the week for my usual mid-week purchases (it is my local supermarket).

    Al pi halacha, am I obligated to make good in any way for an error that was clearly not my responsibility to catch? Would it matter if I did not get any benefit from that extra lid without a container? For a real catch – does it matter that this store has inadvertently sold me more than the value of the smaller container’s worth of unusable, defective merchandise on another occasion?

    This is a serious halachic discussion – I’ve decided what I am going to do anyway, but I’m interested in what halachic sources say I should do.


    No. Since they are ovdei a”z you need not take any corrective action. (In fact, it may even be halachicly assur to take corrective action since it benefits ovdei a”z.) This is based on the presumption there is no likelihood of them realizing their error.


    “This is a serious halachic discussion – I’ve decided what I am going to do anyway, but I’m interested in what halachic sources say I should do.”

    So, why do you ask?


    If they are real Ovdei Avodah Zarah (assuming Catholic) then it was Assur for you to buy from them on a Sunday.


    Sam – I mean mamash A”Z as in Asian A”Z.

    Is there really an issur of buying from notzrim on a Sunday? If so, does it apply in the US or only in known Catholic countries like Italy or the Latin American countries? What about buying from a publicly owned supermarket in a Catholic country (that’s what would be open on a Sunday even when nothing else is).

    There is no likelihood of them realizing their error. This is the second time I bought these containers. The first time, I did not know they came with lids, and I did not want the lids, but the cashier insisted on my getting them. I am sure others bought them without lids, and other cashiers had no idea what they came with. They should have been packaged together, as the value of these containers is far too low to warrant an anti-theft tag on the lid.

    There are probably extra lids hanging around somewhere.


    Daniela – very simple – because it is a good idea to have halachic discussions on a board called The Yeshiva World.


    If it assur to return, why wasn’t it assur to buy in the first place?


    How do you know Asians are “Oved Ovedei Avodah Zarah”. Plenty of asians are christians and not buddists.


    Maybe they are greek orthodox or russian orthodox, & hence we are within 2 days of their idolatry holiday of the greek & russian xmas.

    But penultimately, forward all your questions to the Institute of Business & Halocho, which is the only forum to handle such matters, and as a matter of courtesy, let the coffee room know what they Paskan for you?


    I am presently in Asia. I know full well who owns this store, and while there are notzrim here this particular store is owned by an entity that is dominated by aku”m mamash. The minority notzrim are Catholics who in any case truly practice A”Z as it is a version of Catholicism similar to that in Latin America in which yoshke, his proste prutza mother, and the ‘saints’ (zol zan lig’n in der erd) are substituted for local getschkes.

    I want to see people who really know halacha discuss this, because this way more useful info is presented. The facts are exactly as I presented them. If I wanted a peanut gallery response, I’d ask the jar of peanut butter in my fridge.

    The services of the Business Halacha Institute are best reserved for far weightier matters, like finding heterim to bring those who follow Choshen Mishpat d’Chassidei Creedmoor to arkaois :).


    TheBearisBack my apologies but sometimes over the internet it is hard to figure out what’s behind a post.

    Since this is not a beis midrash but, after all, a coffeeroom, I’ll take the liberty to write. I am female, I go shopping 🙂 I was taught that even people who have deities etc. normally we don’t treat like ovdei avodah zarah as long as they have some idea (possibly very distorted) that good is different from bad and that good is preferable to bad. Thus, if we see a pagan nazi y”sh etc etc, but for just about everyone else (hindu, catholics etc) we stop, try to help and call 911 even in the middle of nowhere. For a mistake like that or extra change, and where the mistake is absolutely not ours, I believe we keep and say nothing. We can return the extra item or extra money or offer to pay the lid, if doing so gives monetary gain (e.g. expected discounts in future) or good-name gain which is larger than the price of the lid (or extra change, or whatever). I believe it is assur to return the lid to the nonjew, regardless of their religion or lack thereof, because it makes us feel good to do so.


    Bear: It’s the Lifnei Eideihem, Kal V’chomer Eideihem Atzman. The Rambam (in the uncensored editions) Paskened (based on the Gemara) that Sunday is a Christian holiday. Therefore, it’s Assur to ever do business with Catholics in Eretz Yisrael, where the Din of Lifnei Eideihem still applies.


    Sam2 – so this is only for EY?

    Daniela – the rav here says that what they believe is really superstition because it isn’t standard Budhiusim (I don’t write the names of getschkes – budhu is a yukel in Hindi or Bengali). The store is too big for me to get any benefit from returning the lid; even though it is hard not to recognize me, I don’t shop at any particular time on any particular day, and I don’t shop in the non-food part of the store very often.


    Someone once asked a Rav what was the Zmanim for the land of the Midnight sun, The Rav told him the halacha was for him to not be there and to leave ASAP.

    If you are so concerned about dealing with Buddists, dont be in that country. Leave ASAP then you wont have this problem.


    As for my benefit by buying one without a lid to make up for it – once I saw the lid I realized I can use a container of that size as well :). I do not need any extra lids for any containers – I rarely use lids.


    zsdad: A Christian country is not much better. You need to move to a Muslim country, as that isn’t a”z (unlike Christianity.)

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    Would you make a kiddush Hashem by returning it?


    I don’t speak the local language yet. I would probably not even be able to explain what happened, and I would therefore get nowhere trying to return the lid. None of the lids has a separate UPC code so the store has no idea how many lids it has. My guess, which is a very educated guess as I know quite a bit about retail tracking systems and inventory, is that I am not the first or the last customer who either has an extra lid or doesn’t have any lids.

    Also, the local new year is coming up. People will buy these containers, with or without lids, and with or without looking for a lid, during the rush buying season.


    Christianity is not monolithic. Much of Halacha on it is based on Catholicsm which is because jews lived mostly in catholic countries

    However the US is a Protestant country (regarless who lives in NY area which is mostly catholic) and many Protestants have different beliefs especially the larger ones in the US Southern Baptist and Methodist. They do not have icons. Some dont even believe in the trinity (Unitarinism)


    Of course you need to return. Even goyim don’t hold by theft. Can you find one gadol who when asked such a question ever approved of shoplifting. And that’s without getting into the question of creating a Kiddush ha-Shem be Rabim.


    my ruv says you return it whether the person is an oveyd a”z or a jew or anything else.


    Bear: I don’t precisely remember all of the details. But there are Kulas in CHU”L because we assume those Goyim are just Minhag Avoseihem and not Ovdei A”Z Mamash. It’s all in the Rambam Perek 4 or 5 from Avodah Zarah. I think we say that in CHU”L it’s only Assur on Eideihem and in E”Y it’s 3 days before+3 days after, which makes Catholics always a problem. Also, R’ Moshe has his very important T’shuvah that a priest/missionary/someone who is clearly very into his religion counts as an Oved A”Z Mamash even in CHU”L.


    Akuperma, shoplifting?! Theft??!! there is not even the shadow of shoplifting. The clerk gave an extra lid which passed unnoticed, or at least, so thinks TheBearIsBack. The OP doesn’t even care for the lid, but it’s now in his possession. He is totally willing to give it back in the case it’s proper to do so (suppose a very contrived scenario in which the lid is really owned by a yid who did not give up on it and it ended up there?) He is willing to give it back to the nonjew if appropriate. BUT, what you probably don’t realize is that, if he does want to give it back (say he wants to show the shop what a Yid is like and make a kiddush Hashem) it’s not just a matter of a few seconds or a few cents, here is what likely he has to do. Go to the closest internet cafe, open some random webpage, ask around who speaks some english. Ask who is willing to do you a favour, and request that they write “Dear shop owner, this was in my bag by mistake, I only realized at home. I did not use, is clean. I return. Pleasure to buy at your shop. Thank you.” Make sure they understand what you have told them. Take the paper and thank for their bother, and pay something to the boy. Pay the internet shop for the service you did not want nor care for. Go to the shop with your piece of paper, go to the cashier and hand out the lid and the paper. Watch the employee call someone else to make sure they understood and watch the three or four of them discuss (in the meanwhile, unpaid time flies). And then who knows? May be it turns out that there is a SPECIAL, buy large container with lid, get small lid for free, the lids which were unavailable the previous month and customers were mad, so the manager suggested “special offer”!!!

    OK if someone wants to do – fine – but I don’t think you can say that keeping the lid amounts to shoplifting.

    TheBearIsBack please explain what is a yukel. I’d keep the lid and enjoy it.


    It does not make a K’H by disparaging someone else belifs in a public forum. You dont have to like other belifs and you can strongly disagree with them, but dont post them on a public forum, say so at your private table


    It actually IS a Kiddush Hashem to publicly disparage others beliefs in avoda zora.


    So what Gadol says its OK to dispage Buddaism in a public forum that will likely backfire and make jews look bad.


    I was in shoprite last week and I saw a frum woman put extra strawberries in her container from another container. I was waiting by customer service when I saw this, and so many others probably saw this theivery. I was very upset. I should have gone over to the woman and told her that she was doing ganiva.


    Mediziner is correct. Besides everything else, A”Z is a definition, and we have to establish that definition before we can go any further. If you are uncomfortable with that, remember you are not being forced to participate on this thread or in this forum.

    Budhuism happens to be an A”Z that entraps Jews, particularly tourists from EY and “New Age” types from the US (although not because of missionaries – because Jews who know no better seek it out).

    The US is a majority notzri country but it is fully secular. Even though 25 December is a legal holiday, no one is penalized for not keeping it in public.

    I did not shoplift the lid. That is patently ridiculous. I can buy 100 containers a week, with lids, and it would hardly dent my budget. Hours after I came back with my purchase, I noticed something odd between two of the stacked containers, and I saw it was a lid. I did not put it there, and it was the store’s responsibility to keep things organized so this does not happen. (I just realized there may be no containers of the smaller size left as I did not see any on display. If there are, I want a half-dozen or so and I will take 6 containers and 5 lids to the cash).

    Given the ownership structure of this store, I can honestly say that it is majority owned by people who are very much into their A”Z.

    There are two identifiable Jews where I am. The other one doesn’t shop at this store because there is another branch closer to his home and our shul. There is no kiddush Hashem by returning it – there would be if it were a small, private shop, but whoever processes my return here would be:

    1) wasting more time than the item is worth

    2) possibly firing a subordinate for not stacking things right

    3) someone I probably would never see again

    By the way, the title I used for this thread is wrong. Can it be corrected to “Inadvertently RECEIVING extra merchandise?” I didn’t take anything – the lid was wedged between two containers in a stack.

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕


    That doesn’t make it a C”H, although it might be unwise.


    Yes, every Buddhuist reads The Yeshiva World to learn halacha. Most Buddhuists cannot even read the alphabet we are using here, let alone know what A”Z is. Those who can are probably Jewish themselves, and they should be very ashamed.


    It is a C”H, it’s a jew stealing, and so many people think of us like this already.


    neenee, what you saw was out and out geneiva. Nobody contests that such behavior is not a C”H, and I would have yelled “Shiksa Aross” or something similar to embarrass the woman and get her away from the merchandise.

    Daas Yochid is responding to an incorrect post by someone else.


    Oh come on. I may be a yukel but I had never heard the word yukel before. Kol HaKavod to Asians who read here and who are fluent in yiddish, they sure are smart enough to frame the discussion. BTW I just asked someone and i was told budhu means naive, it is not flattering but not an insulting word either. It is more like “naive” or “foolish” than like “stupid” or “idiot”. The lady with the strawberries, assuming she did not fill a basket which had been half-emptied by previous thieves (in which case it is proper to ask an employee to do, or go to the cashier) is outright geneiva, why do some feel the need to badmouth and post something totally unrelated? She is a bad woman and stay away from her.


    Buddaism and the especially Dali Lama actually have a following in the united States and those people read very good english.

    This website site actually has quite a large lurking population and people quote it all the time especially the negative comments.


    zsdad: Which external sites quote the coffee room?


    Then I am proud of the fact that I made it very clear that Buddhuism is A”Z and that it is entrapping Jews.

    The Dolly Lemel is a favorite A”Z guru of Jewish leftists as well.

    This side discussion is a distraction and has nothing to do with the question at hand. I made it clear we are talking about A”Z, and that is all that matters.

    Please do not make any more troll house cookies.


    Ive seen it on many blogs, and they take the most outrageous statements. You can google and find some. (They also do it to VIN as well)

    As far as OP goes you dont go into someones house and spit at them, If you dont like their house, dont go it and you wont need to spit


    zsdad: You are referring to blogs by Jews not Gentiles, correct?


    Zahavasdad, if they really want to, they can do it very conveniently with, say, English translations of the Talmud which in our days are promptly available. We should keep discussion on topic: the OP is in Asia, he buys at a shop, and storing his shopping at home, he finds himself with an extra item along with whatever he meant to buy.


    YAWN. Defining A”Z is germane to the case at hand. It has nothing to do with what my feelings are toward this A”Z (it is not missionizing and therefore harmless – it has nothing to do with the strain of A”Z that entraps Jews) or whether I want to live among those who practice it.


    Zdad, you are walking into a forum called The Yeshiva World and spitting all over those of us who are here because it is called The Yeshiva World. If you do not like the tone of the discussion, don’t participate.

    It is clear to me that you just come here for attention.

    I purposely posted this so we could have halachic discussions here, because I thought this is of interest to people who are part of the community here. I made it clear that I made my decision, so no one would have to feel he is paskening for me or has any responsibility. There is something in halacha called avoda zoro. There are certain halachas that pertain to those who practice it.

    There is a miserable failed blogger who may quote posts from here. I know him. Years ago in EY, he harassed me in person because he needed a sounding board for a pile of LH and MSR against people who were helping him financially.

    He is of those for whom the brocho Velamalshenim was written. We don’t worry about him.


    Even in the Yeshiva world one is required to be respectful and courteous


    In fact, it is even a mitzvah for us to tell A”Z worshippers that there is only one G-d. Remember Avraham Avinu? (Doing that would be illegal here.)

    In any case, unless anyone has some more real information to share, perhaps someone else would like to start a new thread about a real or hypothetical instance where practical halacha could be discussed.


    One does not discuss practical Halacha in an internet chat room

    One discusses pratical halacha with his own LOR


    Zdad, kindly take your own advice.


    Ok Joseph

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕


    One doesn’t pasken from the CR, but one can discuss.


    One can discuss a practical case to learn halacha and become familiar with sources. Had it not been taken off course, some interesting information could have been shared.

    As I said, If I wanted a peanut gallery response, I’d ask the jar of peanut butter in my fridge.

    I guess they tolerate certain posters here because every village needs what Antwerp has in the form of Fweeky Fweedy.


    I agree we can discuss ,

    some are scared of the wild animals and some arent


    Joseph? LOLOLOLOLOL.

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