Aug 25, 2011

Hetter Mechira In Bnei Braq

Someone paying attention to advertisements on Israeli websites might notice that Optica Halperin is running advertisements for a huge end of the summer sale. For one week only glasses are something like 50% off.

It looks like it is a shiva sale. The owner of the chain of Optica Halperin, Rav Raphael Halperin, just died and his family is sitting shiva. According to the halacha they should be shutting the business for the week, especially because the identity of the business is so closely identified with him. It is not really a shiva sale, but an end of the summer sale. The point of the sale does not make a difference, but the chain should really be closed for the week of shiva.

The problem with closing Optica Halperin for the week is that it would incur a tremendous loss by doing so.

The solution, to allow Optica Halperin to stay open, is to allow a form of "hetter mechira". The business cannot be open as long as it is owned by the Halperin family. They asked Rav Wosner what they could do,as it would be a tremendous loss.

According to Bechadrei, the psak Rav Wosner gave them was that they could open the stores and operate as normal if they would, for one week and one day, legally change the ownership of the business to the family lawyer, someone they would trust to transfer it back at the end of the period.

So they did, and so the chain continues to operate.

So, at times, the hetter mechira is even used in Bnei Braq.


  1. i thought that the chain was sold a few years ago to his son-in-law. His daughter should be sitting shiva, but the shaila is different.

  2. I am not aware of that, and it was not mentioned in any of the articles I read on the subject or about him. dont know if ti is true or not.

    if true, this whole thing of selling it to stay open should not have been necessary/ Unless maybe because it was still identified with him eve though he didnt own it.. doesnt sound right though.

  3. While the title of the blog post is amusing, it should be noted למען האמת that there are many different complications in היתר מכירה for שביעית than in this story. מכירה itself as a genuine form of changing ownership is globally accepted, as we do for Pesach.


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