Feb 6, 2008

Yeshiva bachurim in court

An unusual case was recently brought before the beis Din of the Eidah HaChareidit in Yerushalayim.

The Mir Yeshiva, located in the Beis Yisroel neighborhood of Meah Shearim in Yerushalayim has thousands of students. Many of these students are from abroad and they come to learn in the Mir. For housing, they often get together in groups of 4 or 5 (sometimes more sometimes less) and rent a local apartment, splitting the monthly rent.

A group of 5 students rented an apartment together. One of them in the group was more of a stickler to his schedule and when they would get back to "the dira" at 11pm, he wanted to go right to sleep.

Unfortunately he was disturbed by his roommates who would spend the next hour or two calling their family and friends on their cellphones. This made a lot of noise and kept the tired roommate awake until very late.

He could take it no longer and decided to pack his bags. he found himself another group with an apartment that had an open spot. He moved in with them.

Sounds simple enough, but the end of the month came and they needed to pay the rent. They came to him and said that he owed them his portion of the rent as he had agreed to pay and they did not want to now split it four ways. he had not found them a replacement roomie, so, they claimed, he was still obligated to pay his portiong.

he counter-claimed that when he agreed to pay 1/5 of the rent, it was on condition that he was renting the apartment with the intent that he would get home at night from a long day of studies, and he would go right to sleep. because the condition has not been fulfilled, as he is being kept awake for an additional hour or two at night, he feels it is breech of contract and he should not have to pay.

They claimed that it is completely normal to make phone calls at night for a period of time. That is the only time available to call family abroad and friends in other yeshivas, as they are learning all day. It is normal among all the apartments in the area that only an hour or two after they get back at night does it finally settle down and can they go to sleep. Therefore, they claim he owes his portion of the rent.

They took the argument to the Beis Din of the Eidah HaChareidit led by Rav Moshe Bransdorfer (Rav Meier Bransdorfer's son). Rav Bransdorfer told each side in the dispute to bring informal survey results to see what is commonly accepted as reasonable in other apartments.

the one guy brought testimony from 5 landlords who all testified that at 11pm their apartments that are rented to yeshiva students are all quiet [as the rules state I guess].

The group of 4 brought testimony from 32 apartments where it is considered acceptable to give leeway of about an hour or so from the time of arrival in the apartment at 11pm until sleep time.

Rav Bransdorfer paskened that the guy has to pay his portion of the rent because it is clearly considered reasonable in most other places. Rav Bransdorfer added that the group of bachurim also have to be fully responsible to adhere to the sleep and waking schedules and any student, or any Jew, who is careful to go to sleep early, so as to be able to awaken early to start the day, will have great reward.


  1. ישתבח שמו לעד לנצח נצחים בכל העולמות

  2. So in one ruling, he managed to be on both sides of the issue. Is he a former US diplomatic corp functionary?


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