October 27, 2013 4:25 am at 4:25 am #611043
So a new fellow moved into my neighborhood. He came by over Shabbos and sat down on a bench where some other people were sitting. The bench broke. I’m not sure if it broke only because of him, or if it would have broken regardless of who sat down next to the others.
Also, after that he came and sat down on a chair by himself, and that one also broke. Should I ask him to pay for it?
I am very happy to have him as a neighbor and I don’t want him to avoid coming to my house. He’s a good person to be friends with, because he is always throwing parties for a simcha (he has ten kids) or a siyum (his kids like to learn). OTOH, I will run out of chairs if this keeps up.
WWYD?October 27, 2013 4:52 am at 4:52 am #983874TheGoqParticipant
This thread should be removed at once some people will figure out who this man is mods I beg of please delete this threadOctober 27, 2013 5:11 am at 5:11 am #983875sammieMember
Buy better chairs.October 27, 2013 5:17 am at 5:17 am #983876
Goq, how should people know who this is? What neighborhood? Unless OP stated elsewhere where he lives.
VM – Is this before you gave him to eat or afterwards?October 27, 2013 5:36 am at 5:36 am #983877
The Goq, you think there is only one fat guy with ten kids out who has a weak-chaired neighbor? And even if there is, how would anyone know that?October 27, 2013 5:39 am at 5:39 am #983878jewishfeminist02Member
I’m sure he was very embarrassed by the incident. Please do not ask him to pay for the chair; you will only further embarrass him.October 27, 2013 5:47 am at 5:47 am #983879TheGoqParticipant
What if this man reads this thread he will be mortified!!!October 27, 2013 7:00 am at 7:00 am #983880eclipseMember
I just learned (daily 2 halochos of Shmiras Haloshon) that loshon hora is forbidden even without mentioning names because it’s often possible for some people to figure out who the subject is.
What a nightmare….
I’ve had guests that broke chairs due to weight….I felt sincere compassion for their shame and told both of them “the chair was broken anyway” or something to that effect.October 27, 2013 7:22 am at 7:22 am #983881
Wow, if the chair was expensive and you aren’t able to replace it without the cost hurting you badly due to your financial situation you have every right to ask for the money. He is an Adam HaMazik. He is obligated to pay. You don’thave to embarrass him just simply state the fact that you want to replace the chair and it costs x to do so. DDon’t make a fight about it. But you have every right to stick up for yourself here and claim what is due you.October 27, 2013 1:26 pm at 1:26 pm #983882writersoulParticipant
I’ve learned to take VM’s posts with a couple of oceans’ worth of salt, but in case this helps, I fell through a chair recently (though not because of my weight- the chair had been broken… then again, I suppose they WOULD tell me that…) and it was both painful and mortifying.
If the guy didn’t offer to pay, it’s probably at least partially because he wants to get it out of his mind. Falling through a chair is embarrassing- forgive him for not wanting to dwell on it. If it was a serious financial loss then MAYBE ask nicely about it, but if you can be mochel it, I’m sure he’d appreciate it.October 27, 2013 1:39 pm at 1:39 pm #983883SaysMeMember
pray he doesn’t read the cr. Mods??? I’m 100% with goqOctober 27, 2013 1:39 pm at 1:39 pm #983884
Writersoul,I am deeply offended.October 27, 2013 1:52 pm at 1:52 pm #983885
I don’t know how you suppose people here would ever get to know the subject. We ourselves are mostly anonymous one to another.
As far as paying for the damage, I’m not a Rabbi, Dayan, Rav or anything remotely similar. I just think of he sat on it, the normal fashion, like anyone else, then he’s not considered to be a mazik. No claim at all. Not in earthly court ???? ???, not in heavenly one either.October 27, 2013 2:39 pm at 2:39 pm #983886Shopping613 🌠Participant
We are also learning Shmuras Haloshon, this is totally loshon hara, the story will get around and people will find out who it is, this is always a possibily….lets day for example your friend tells you this story she could say
“Hey, i didnt know who it was till then, but I was there!!! So funny!!! Now i know who it is…”
Or maybe my aunt told me her friends neighbor had this shabbos guest that….and Ill know….
Mods you MUST delete this! We learned in Shmuras Haloshon on friday that this thing is EXACTLY FORBIDDEN!!!!!!!October 27, 2013 3:04 pm at 3:04 pm #983887
The problem with learning shmiras halashon is that it turns out everything is forbidden.October 27, 2013 3:06 pm at 3:06 pm #983888
People, please. I think I know some of those halachos too. Cool it. Someone is writing that someone sat on a chair and every seems to know where, when and what. FYI everyone, there’s a big world out there, plus these things happen all the time. There are many houses on a block. There are many blocks in a neighborhood. There are many neighborhoods in a borough. There are many boroughs in a city. There are many cities in a state. There are many states in a country. And there are many countries in the world. (and there are many ..)
Same for chairs. Same for people breaking chairs.
There’s a lot more publicized here that are more pointed, and no one seems to give a hoot.October 27, 2013 3:10 pm at 3:10 pm #983889rationalfrummieMember
relax. VM is just seeking a simple eitzah regarding how to react to a certain not-so-common life situation. Everyone here is anonymous and no one knows where anyone lives. And anyway, as VM said, there are plenty of people that have broken a chair before in every jewish neighborhood. its not loshon horah to ask for advice anonymously.October 27, 2013 3:16 pm at 3:16 pm #983890dunnoMember
I can’t believe people actually believe this happened.October 27, 2013 3:18 pm at 3:18 pm #983891writersoulParticipant
VM: I deeply apologize.
You may want to invest in a new screen name for serious posts.
Shopping: I agree, this isn’t a very nice post. I kept that in mind in my post- I have no idea who it was who did it (if it happened at all) and I really don’t care, but if it did happen or if it happens to anyone else then I definitely empathize.October 27, 2013 3:27 pm at 3:27 pm #983892rebdonielMember
I’d say that this is probably a Choshen Mishpat she’eila (and one I’d rather not comment on). Speak to your local dayan, as to whether he is obligated to pay or not.
To my mind, however, this damage was certainly unintentional and I don’t see how he could have avoided this happening. Bava Kamma 27b says that it is not customary for a person to constantly check the path that he is walking on to make sure that he won’t damage someone else’s item that may be in the way. Therefore, if someone were to unintentionally damage someone else’s item that is in his way as he is walking, he would not have to pay for this item; the principle to be learned from this gemara is that although a person is held responsible even for unintentional damages, this is only if the damage could have been prevented if the person had exercised a little more care. Tosafos call this “Onnus K’Ein Aveidah”, unintentional damage that is similar to losing something. Just as the loss of an item can generally be prevented with a little foresight, so too for a person to be liable for damages it must be damage that could have been prevented with a little foresight. However, this is only where it is expected for people to act with caution. Since, generally, people are not cautious of what may be in their paths as they walk along, there would be no liability in such a case. Likewise, it doesn’t seem like a reasonable expectation for a person to assess the sturdiness of a chair before they sit down on it. If you offer a place for a person to sit in your home, they’d assume it’s safe and secure for them to sit there. The Nesivos and Ketzos both say that a person cannot be held liable for gramma be nezikin; i.e. a person can not be held liable in Bet Din for damage that indirectly resulted from his actions. I don’t see how this guy directly broke your bench, and it’s certainly not vadai whether this fellow broke your bench or not.
I’d suggest speaking to a dayan or a scholar learned in Choshen Mishpat.October 27, 2013 3:49 pm at 3:49 pm #983893
It really depends on how heavy he was and if he should have reasonably expected that a regular chair or bench of that strength can’t easily tolerate his weight.October 27, 2013 4:44 pm at 4:44 pm #983894Shopping613 🌠Participant
Mods please look it up, its in the Chofetz Chaim Shmiras Haloshon book, this is spdcifically assur, I cant beleive its evdn here! What if that man is me!!! Hiding behind the UN?????October 27, 2013 5:08 pm at 5:08 pm #983895
Shopping.. you seem very agitated.. hm… I wonder..October 27, 2013 7:26 pm at 7:26 pm #983896jewishfeminist02Member
Incidentally, if you are only friends with this guy because you want to get invited to parties and siyums, it sounds like middah keneged middah, if you know what I mean.October 27, 2013 8:06 pm at 8:06 pm #983897the-art-of-moiParticipant
This thread could be very hurtful to overweight people, and it’s very immature. So many people are being over on an important halachah through a forum that is under your responsibility- it is for your sake that I ask you to please close this thread.
If you have an issue with the halachos of shmiras halashon, please take it up with your rabbi.October 28, 2013 12:18 am at 12:18 am #983898
I agree with all the above posters. It boggles the mind that someone could be so insensitive as to put out benches that are not strong enough to hold a perfectly normal guest who so happens to have big bones.October 28, 2013 12:41 am at 12:41 am #983899
BYOB – Bring Your Own Bench!October 28, 2013 1:09 am at 1:09 am #983900
PBA: Like Popa Bar Abba?October 28, 2013 1:18 am at 1:18 am #983901yaakov doeParticipant
You could have caused serious injury by having chairs that couldn’t hold the person’s weight. You can’t hold the sitter responsible unless you warned him beforehand, but he could hold you responsible for injury.October 28, 2013 8:11 am at 8:11 am #983902OutsiderMember
“You could have caused serious injury by having chairs that couldn’t hold the person’s weight.”
Who could know the weight limit of any given chair??? I’m not ever sure if this comment is serious or you’re trying to make a point with reverse psychology.
Anyhow: Listen, If you’ve befriended this person, and you’ve partaken in the simcha, give the guy a break. It costs a lot of money to be able to throw parties. Also, are you seriously worried about the guy breaking your chairs? if so, try to meet him at his home or on neutral territory.
For the moderators: This is a serious question that I am sincerely interested in hearing about. Please do not close this thread. Some people are big, some people are small, let’s all just be sensitive to their needs. but AVOIDING THIS ISSUE WILL NOT HELP A SINGLE PERSON LEARN. If someone is being insensitive, say why you think this the case and move on, we can all learn from this situation.October 28, 2013 3:27 pm at 3:27 pm #983903🐵 ⌨ GamanitParticipant
What I would do is make sure to replace the chair with a solid sturdy chair that can withstand a greater weight. If the shul doesn’t have enough money for the bench right now, they can ask him as a new neighborhood resident to become a member of the shul and then use his money directly for the new sturdy bench.October 28, 2013 4:15 pm at 4:15 pm #983904
The problem with learning shmiras halashon is that it turns out everything is forbidden.
From my vantage point, the L”H problem here is not that the OP mentioned that a neighbor broke one of his chairs and asked whether he should ask the neighbor to pay for the damages since he wants to remain on good terms. That type of situation happens all of the time and the question phrased that way carries no risk of embarrassing or identifying anyone.
The problem with this OP, however, is all of the personal details supplied, such as the approximate time the person moved in, the number of children he has, his social habits, and additionally some unusual and unique features of the incident that have no bearing on the question but would render it recognizable to anyone reading this thread who was there or knows this person. None of these details were needed to ask the question, so given the fact that they carry the risk of embarrassing this neighbor, they should not have been supplied. Five details that, standing alone, couldn’t identify someone specifically may very well identify that person when taken together.
If I had a vote, it would be to edit the OP to remove the details, but keep the question.October 28, 2013 4:21 pm at 4:21 pm #983905
In my humble opinion, it would be considered a “shoel”, and the act to be a “maisah machmas melacha”, that he’s not responsible.
When someone comes to your home you either offer him a seat or he takes one on his own, knowing that that is your desire, that he be seated. You know he’s not taking it home, he’s using it, and returning it.
As long as nothing out of the ordinary occurs, as long as he’s using it in the normal fashion, that would be considered “machmas melachah”.
-My opinion. Check it out with a certified Dayanician.October 28, 2013 4:22 pm at 4:22 pm #983906
This is an example of what I mean. Suppose the OP were phrased this way (everything here came from the OP except what I have italicized):
So a fellow came by my place and sat down on a chair by himself, and it broke. The chair was not weak or broken prior to this. Should I ask him to pay for it?
I am very happy to have him as a neighbor and I don’t want him to avoid coming to my house. OTOH, I will run out of chairs if this keeps up.
Note that details important to the question (e.g., the state of the chair before he sat) were added, and details unimportant to the question, but could identify this neighbor, were left out.October 28, 2013 4:37 pm at 4:37 pm #983907
Popa bar abba in the gemara did not have big bones, he was just regular fat because he intaked more calories than he outputOctober 28, 2013 4:49 pm at 4:49 pm #983908
The bottom line is if I broke or ruined someone else’s property I would feel obligated to offer compensation and not wait to be approached.October 28, 2013 5:18 pm at 5:18 pm #983909
VM, are you sure he didn’t just lean on the other guys who were sitting on the bench?October 28, 2013 5:25 pm at 5:25 pm #983910Sam2Participant
It’s a B’feirush Gemara. He’s Chayav for the chair. He’s Pattur for the bench unless he was ridiculously overweight and the bench didn’t have so many others.October 28, 2013 5:25 pm at 5:25 pm #983911
Moshe Rabbeinu was also fat but I doubt it was because he ate so much. I’m not sure why he was fat but it’s mashma that its a maalah.October 28, 2013 6:15 pm at 6:15 pm #983912
Wiy: it must have beeb why. You can’t be fat unless you have more intake than outputOctober 28, 2013 6:17 pm at 6:17 pm #983913metrodriverMember
Veltz Meshugener: I don’t know what advice the other posters gave you in regards to your new neighbor. But something tells me that your neighbor/Shabbos guest is in dire need of a weight loss/life coach. Additionally. He could use “Sit-Down” therapy (If it is not as yet offered, it soon will.)
Also, it would be advisable for you to check all other chairs and tables in your house for stability, in order to avoid any unpleasant surprises. Especially when you have guests around.
As for asking your “friend”/neighbor to pay for the damage you have a choice. Either ask for the money or keep a friend. You can’t have both.October 28, 2013 8:51 pm at 8:51 pm #983914October 28, 2013 9:07 pm at 9:07 pm #983915
I guess so, but I just can’t imagine it…besides they ate Manna so how was it possible to get fat? From meat maybe?October 28, 2013 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm #983916nfgo3Member
To the opening poster: You write: “He’s a good person to be friends with, because he is always throwing parties for a simcha (he has ten kids) or a siyum (his kids like to learn).”
I infer from your statement that you are a schnorrer and an exploitive pseudo-friend who chooses friends based on the material things – like simcha parties – they offer to their friends. You did not indicate how old your broken furniture was, nor how heavy your new neighbor is. If you honestly feel that he should pay for the broken furniture, you should ask yourself why he did not offer to pay you, and whether he is the kind of person who would be a real friend. But you figure he’ll make it up in simchas, and so you do not want to lose your meal ticket with him. Do him a favor – don’t pretend to be his friend.October 28, 2013 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm #983917Sam2Participant
Was Popa a guest at VM’s house?October 29, 2013 4:31 pm at 4:31 pm #983918
I think I’m getting what you did – very clever! It does underscore that when you provide the level of detail that you did about a person, others can figure out who it was 🙂October 29, 2013 5:32 pm at 5:32 pm #983919
What do you feed a popa?October 29, 2013 6:07 pm at 6:07 pm #983920eclipseMember
Forgive me for asking, but what practical good is being accomplished from this discussion? If there is a true lesson here, I have missed it.October 29, 2013 7:11 pm at 7:11 pm #983921
“What do you feed a popa?”
Spent grain bread, homebrew, osso bucco, and Starbucks. Hold the pickles.October 29, 2013 8:05 pm at 8:05 pm #983922
That is what a popa feeds you. You feed a popa spinach pie. And apple pie. And pumpkin pie.
V’yesh omrim blueberry muffins.
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