Feb 17, 2019

interesting psak: lending an Arab worker a phone charger

this is one of those questions you don't know why it was ever asked and never thought such a question would be necessary to ask..but it was asked, so here goes..

Kikar is reporting about a question posed to a number of poskim by a group f yeshiva bochurim. The question asked was that an Arab employee of the yeshiva, working in the maintenance and cleaning of the yeshiva, sometimes asks the boys to borrow a phone charger from them for a few hours at a time so that he could charge his phone. The question is, would lending the Arab worker a charger fall under the prohibition of "lo techanem" - not giving anything in the form of a gift to a non-Jew - and therefore should they be refusing such requests?

Rav Chaim Kanievsky responded that if there is any concern that the Arab worker might hold it against them in some form of "eiva", hatred, they would be allowed to lend the charger with no prohibition. In the case of an employee of the yeshiva, this will definitely be a concern and is therefore allowed.

Rav Yaakov Meir Stern responded that a yeshiva employee is not invcluded in the prohibition of lo techanem, as the worker would at any time be able to return the favor in all sorts of form, and this would not be a free gift. The students would always be expecting some sort of return from their goodwill gesture when they would need it.

Rav Mordechai Gross responded that not lending the charger would cause a chilul hashem when he sees they have a charger available.

Rav Moshe Fried responded that nowadays the media turns everything into a big story especially if it can make yeshiva students look bad, and one should be concerned that the disgruntled employee will tell people outside the yeshiva and it will turn into a chilul hashem, so they should lend him the charger. Rav Fried adds that he proposed this to Rav Yitzchak Zilbershtein and Rav Zilbershtein agreed.

The consensus is to lend the hcarger, though they differ slightly as to the reason why.

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  1. How about the fact that it's not a gift? It saddens me that anyone thinks doing favors for non-Jews is forbidden.

  2. Absolutely agree with the above comment by Avi. All of a sudden, favors are 'gifts'?


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