Stealing your neigbours cleaning lady!

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    I felt compelled to write as I have recently been a victim of this system in our community whereby people desperate for a cleaning lady offer excess pay in order for them to leave their current employer (another frum family) and come work by them. Is this halachically permissable?? We all cry and complain about the increasing hourly rates that even our Lakewood Nashim do not earn when they go out to work, and yet it is OUR community that keep raising these prices – which is why my neighbours lady recently demanded $12 an hour or quit! she quit as they refused to be blackmailed, and lo and behold the next day she was working by another frum family for $12. What is the solution for this? How can you sleep at night when you know that on EREV PESACH you put another person through so much tzar for your own selfish needs. Yes we know how desperate you are but did that give you a right to offer a lady more hours, more pay in order to leave her original employment?

    In Europe the cleaning ladies are paid 4 pounds – do you want to know why? because families dont fight each other to snatch them away by constantly offering more pay? Who are the losers and who are the winners??? We are the big sore losers, and it is all self inflicted.

    I wish to thank the lady who asked me to loan my cleaning lady for ONE TUESDAY as she was renovating and didnt have anyone – Shalom Cleaning Lady – she is now working full time by this so called ex-friend.

    Your view would be interesting


    Stealing your neighbors lady!? Gevalt! How could you even ask…


    YOUR lady?

    Goodness, is this the South pre civil war?

    I dont know the halacha but I remember Mishpacha magazine in the “monetary matters” section discussed the relevant halachos. The book “Lost Scotch” also discusses a similar case and the relevant halachos.


    You should have given her the $12 and fired her after Pesach.

    Pashuteh Yid

    frumcouple, I don’t know what the answer is, but I feel your pain. It is hard to find anybody good, and they take so long to train, and with some, you feel you have now twice the work to undo the things they did.

    But on the other hand, they need to make a living and cleaning bathrooms is such an unpleasant task, that they should be well-compensated, too.


    your EX-friend? wow, what a gr8 reason to dump a friend. i think you should make up and become friends again or at least pretend. i hope that i’m more matture than that.


    How stupid will the topics get? People, get a life.

    Pashuteh Yid

    Workingman, that is not the yiddishe attitude. yehei din shel prutah chovov alecha kdin shel meah manah



    Your right on the money! I cant beleive this, lol!


    I know how unpleasant it can be when your left without cleaning help and I really feel for you. But Honestly, May you never ever be plagued with anything worst in life!!!


    workingman and nameless, I don’t think the issue is the loss of the cleaning lady. It is the selfishness and thoughtlessness of the person who enticed the cleaning lady to leave her previous employer that is bothering frumcouple. I don’t think frumcouple would start a topic here if the cleaning lady had quit to move back to the dominican republic. Am I correct?


    charlie brown, it appears to be two things that are bothering the originator of this thread. you mentioned one of them (selfishness and thoughtlessness of the person who enticed…) however this is coupled with the issue that this behavior is driving up the costs of the cleaning ladies to the point where the cleaning lady is making more per hour than the lady who is hiring her.

    I think there is a third issue that nobody wants to discuss. We complain about the landlords who rent to those that we do not want in our communities, however, as long as we employ them, they will stay and need a place to live. We should stop employing the illegals in our houses and businesses and they will be forced to move on satisfying the rental issue.


    Training? What type of training is required to clean a toilet and run the vaccuum over the carpet?

    anon for this


    By “training” Pashuteh Yid probably means training the housekeeper in how the house is organized, what tasks are expected, and to what standards the work is to be done. Cleaning a toilet requires minimal training, but folding & putting away laundry requires more.

    It seems that those who don’t use cleaning help have some difficulty understanding how dependent people can become on this help, especially when someone’s had the same housekeeper working for her for some time.

    To the OP: I hope you will find a better housekeeper soon; it may then be easier for you to resume a relationship with your former friend.


    that brings up another topic… i don’t understand why cleaning help seems like a mandatory necessity for some? My MIL worked full time with a family of 7 and her house was STILL clean and she STILL had time for her kids.

    I get upset when I see people with full time live in help… a gardener… and a few other people “helping” on the lists at schools for tuition assistance!

    Mrs. L

    Dearest :Ladies of the House,

    I love this subject. You see I clean my very own daled amos. Yes, I know how to make my bathroom shine and be shmekedik. My parquet floor look terrific after using Murphy and a damp cloth (on my hands and knees). Yes, I clean all by MYSELF. I b’h raised a large family, (love to cook and bake ) and I even work out of the house. CAN YOU BELEIVE THAT SUCH A BREE”AH EXISTS?

    Whats all this whining about goytas, why such helplessness? Alls well and good to get some help when necessary, but ladies, please get a life and get a shmatta.

    Oh, I also iron.


    Mrs. L: How much do you charge and can you start tomorrow?


    Mrs. L?

    how do u have the strength to get on your hands and knees and do the perfect job?

    i don’t know, i look at my house and i say, ok big deal, what should be so hard

    and it takes forever, and i lose my koiches too fast!!

    i find that the fastest way to get my house clean is to invite s/o over and before you know it its spic

    do you have better advice?


    I have friends who are newly married, no kids, don’t cook suppers yet, but call a cleanig lady twice a week. One word. Spoiled.

    Think BIG

    Dear Mrs.L.

    Yes it’s hard such a breeah exists and kol hakavod. But please don’t do a huge disservice to the Jewish families out there by insinuating that outside help is unnecessary, and minimizing the monumental effort it must take to keep your house in ship-shape order, raise kids and work out of the home too… Many of our women are juggling multiple roles these days, and just can’t be expected to do everything.(even though you may come across a “supermom” every now and then. Expecting the woman to do everything AND raise kids usually will mean she has much less energy to give to the kids.

    Having a cleaning girl come in once, twice or three times a week can be a huge source of menuchs hanefesh, and take the strain off of them. I have heard of families who were buckling under this pressure which resulted in major problems in sholom bayis, and when minimal cleaning help was provided, the problems were subsantalliy alleviated, and sholom bayis was restored.

    We all have the same 24 hours a day to work with, and push comes to shove, if I had one hour in which to clean the bathroom or review the chumash with my son, I would choose my son. The cleaning lady is good enough for the bathroom but no one replaces a mother.

    I am not suggesting that a woman should be spoiled with full-time help etc, and then ask for tuition assistance (it’s hard to really believe that goes on, but if it does, they are in a minority, and judging them favorably might be in order.)but there is a middle path.

    Rebz. Zehava Braunstien a”h is known to have said that if you have extra money, it should go to the cleaning lady. Personally, I would rather forgo a lot of things before giving up on the cleaning help. For many, it is not a luxury but a necessity.

    Husbands out there, appreciate the necessity and don’t be stingy with your wives when it comes to this inyan. If money is tight consider giving up something that YOU splurge on.


    Mrs L, please hold on whilst I seek out the trophy to award you for your Oh So self righteousness. Lets help you to clarify a factor… My neighbour who lost her help (of 4 years) has two sets of multiples in infancy as well as financial difficulties that compel her to work many hours to assist her husband in parnassah, oh and lets not forget your health. I mean you must have more time on your hands than you admit too with your murphy and damp clothes, but did you stop to wonder about others, perhaps she needs it more for various reasons such as health matters that are totally NONE of your business though I am sure you are dying to know so that you can throw another self righteous comment on the board. Would you like to try out her life for a while though I wouldnt wish it on Amalek – just be careful who you make fun of OK!

    Jphone you must be pretty bored to take things so literally do you attack the boss who says “my secretary” or “my salesman” or “my mailman” GOT IT????ve

    The POINT I am trying to make here – for everyone else to understand – is not that cleaning lady who has long since been replaced….. and does NOT cause me sleepless nights or ever has (though I am sure many people have had sleepless nights over it), it is simply by “our people” pushing up the prices to beyond affordability and also causing tzar for those that suddenly lose their help (whether they are punkt in kimputerim, getting ready for yom tov, have a house full of children and an impending simchas – and the list goes on)…

    Our community is astounding – GO ON push up the prices and keep fighting because at the end only YOU will end up being the loser…

    just me

    These posts are talking about cleaning ladies (very important to the working mother) but this also goes for stealing another person’s employee. A competitor stole my friend’s employee in the busy season leaving my friend short handed. Then, before Yom Kipur, wrote a letter asking mechila. All of a sudden, this competitor became so frum.



    excuse me, but if they can afford it or need it, why are you making it your buisness?


    Stealing another employee? If he paid more, the employee has every right to accept the position. in america employment is “at will”. Both sides can break a relationship ith no reason given. Of course it is mentchlech to tell an employer that you are considering leaving, especially if it is because of money. Perhaps you will be offered the same amount, or more, to stay. If not, then the current employer has no right to make you stay on.


    Tosfos (Kiddushin 59A end of dibbur hamaschil Oni – sorry I don’t know how to type in lashon hakodesh) says that one is permitted to hire a rebbe for his son who is already employed by someone else to teach that person’s son – basically stealing someone else’s hired rebbe. The first employer cannot stop him by saying go find another rebbe, because the second person can say that he can’t find someone else who can teach his kid as well as this one.

    A few thoughts I’d add:

    1. it would seem that a rebbe is just an example of an employee and whatever halacha applies to stealing a rebbe would apply to stealing a cleaning lady. Is there any choshen mishpat difference?

    2. it would seem that according to tosfos you can only steal the cleaning lady if she is better at cleaning than anyone else out there (or maybe if there is a shortage of help out there and you can’t find another one without stealing from somebody?), not just because you’re too lazy to look for another one.

    3. even according to tosfos, its muttar but perhaps he would agree that al pi mussar you shouldn’t do it?

    4. a disclaimer that we can’t pasken from a tosfos. Other rishonim may disagree and the shulchan oruch and poskim may not pasken like this tosfos, I don’t know – ask your rov.

    5. another disclaimer that I didn’t look at the meforshim as i don’t have any seforim here at work (I looked at the tosfos itself on e-daf), so if anyone knows that the acharonim or maybe the other rishonim explain tosfos differently then please correct me.

    Think BIG

    jphone: is it halachically permissible for one jew to offer more money to an employee, knowing that it will “steal” her away from nother jew? OF COURSE the employee has the choice. The question is on the employer!

    And if it is halachically allowed (which i doubt) it is certainly not mentchlich!


    Ani Hamehapech Bicharara doesnt apply to employees.

    To the one who quoted the gemara about rebbeim. The gemara is clear that a rebbe is an EXCEPTION to normal rules because of the rule “kinaas sofrim taarbe chachma”.



    you wrote that “Ani Hamehapech Bicharara doesnt apply to employees”

    That’s only true if you can’t find a better employee elsewhere as per the tosfos I quoted above – which I checked and it is paskened like that in the shulchan oruch. That tosfos is on the sugya of ani hamehapech bacharara.

    You then wrote “To the one who quoted the gemara about rebbeim. The gemara is clear that a rebbe is an EXCEPTION to normal rules because of the rule “kinaas sofrim taarbe chachma”.

    Firstly, I quoted a tosfos not a gemara. Also, where is this gemara that says clearly that a rebbe is an exception? I don’t think it exists because if it does then tosfos is very shver for not bringing down that gemara and saying it based on a sevara instead. And although your sevara of kinas sofrim maybe good its not how the shulchan oruch paskens. He paskens like the tosfos that its because you can say you can’t find a better rebbe, and he doesn’t say a word about kinas sofrim. The s”ma explains that this is gufa part of the halacha of oni hamehapech – that it doesn’t apply if you will lose out by not chapping it first – such as by hefker, not that its some unique exception by rebbeim. I didn’t see the kinas sofrim sevara in any of the other nosei kailim either. Maybe other rishonim hold that way?


    Kinas Sofrim is a halacha in the dinim of hasagas gevul.

    I am mixing up 2 sugyos.

    At any rate, Ani Hamihapech possibly may apply to an employer poaching someones employees (I’m not a posek), I have a hard time believing that it ever applies to an employee who wants to look for a higher paying job.



    I mix things up all the time so don’t worry about it. 🙂

    I agree that if an employee is looking for a higher paying job it wouldn’t be a problem. I was talking about an employer poaching someone else’s employee, which is the original topic of this thread.

    BTW, That same tosfos also adds that the ani hamehapech problem will also apply to an employee who tries to get a job which is already filled by someone else – stealing his job from him. Tosfos says you can’t do that unless the employer says he was anyway planning to fire the first employee. This halacha is also paskened in the shulchan oruch.


    How are cleaning ladies different from other employees?

    Johnny Picklesauce


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