Aug 23, 2011

Rav Zilbershtein Defends His Recent Tzimmer Psak

Last week there was an interesting psak, and a controversial one, by Rav Zilbershtein about a fellow who was part of a family group reserving a set of tzimmers. He had to cancel, and then re-reserved it under questionable circumstances at a significant discount. Rav Zilbershtein paskened that the fellow was fine taking the discount, even if he used some questionable methods to get it, as that was the market value.

The psak created quite a stir, to the point that Rav Zilbershtein felt it important in his next shiur to defend his psak. Rav Zilbershtein says that all the other rabbonim argue with him, but this is how he sees it. he does not even understand the other arguments.

You can listen to Rav Zilbershtein's shiur (thanks to the reader who sent it to me) and hear it for yourself. After the section where he discusses this case, and responds to questions, there are also some other interesting topics he discusses. BTW, if you listen to the shiur, you should continue and listen to the questions and answers. I think he says more in response to the questions than in his initial explanation.

  • Rav Zilbershtein seems to realize that the fellow used semi-deceptive means to get the discount, but despite that it was all based on the truth and was therefore ok
  • the psak is based on what is according to beis din and is not a "dinei shamayim" issue. Perhaps he should have made a kiddush hashem and offered to pay the difference for the loss he caused, but that is not part of the halachic discussion.
  • Rav Zilbershten insists that this was the market value and at the end of the day that is all that matters
  • one point that was initially unclear - the original cancelation. At the time of the original reservation he had said he might need to cancel as he might need to travel abroad. the owner agreed to allow him to cancel with a certain amount of notice. Because he agreed to it, everything is ok. 
  • It is important to point out that this is all true because the original cancelation and the subsequent re-reservation were made in good faith. Had he been planning the whole thing in advance, and canceled just so he could re-reserve at a discounted price, the psak would be different.


  1. "the psak is based on what is according to beis din and is not a 'dinei shamayim' issue" - i.e. he admits the guy is a naval birshut hatorah.

    "insists that this was the market value and at the end of the day that is all that matters" - this is where he is very very wrong.

  2. BTW, I hope the avreich enjoys his vacation and that the zimmer owner doesn't inflict on him some grievous bodily harm when he realizes the fast one that has been pulled on him.

  3. I wonder what the value was of his publicizing the psak all over the internet, considering that he said as well that his psak would have been different were there to be a potential for Chillul Hashem.

    Surely, this psak could be misinterpreted in a way that justifies lying and conniving (bad lesson for everyone) and in a way that shows that the Torah (and frum Jews) have no problem with that.

  4. does not the very first point contradict himself? what happened to midvar sheker tirchak?

  5. point five is false. there was no good faith in the re-reservation. he specifically hid who he was. good faith would be to say who he was and ask for the newer rate.

  6. We've sunken very low. How sad this is. Although, I guess the upside is that he had to defend himself because other poskim were on his case.


Related Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...