The ongoing pandemic has had far reaching economic ramifications. With so many contracts canceled or rendered unperformable, the pandemic has brought the halachic theory of contracts and risk allocation into the foreground. This article discusses an employer’s obligation to pay an employee for work that became unperformable during the pandemic.
Much has been written about the potential benefits and pitfalls of convening an ad hoc “ZABLA” panel whereby each litigant chooses one dayan (Jewish law judge), known as a borer (rabbinic arbitrator) and the two borerim in turn select a third dayan, typically referred to as the shalish (literally, “third”), to round out the rabbinic panel.
Last week the world lost a towering leader, the Av Beth Din of the Beth Din of America, Rabbi Gedalia Dov Schwartz. Rabbi Schwartz, zt”l, was the rabbi of the Young Israel of Boro Park for 18 years, and he previously held pulpits in Rhode Island, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. He served as Av Beth Din … Continue reading Rav Gedalia Dov Schwartz zt”l
The Beth Din of America recently published Chaya Plaut v. Anshei Troy Synagogue (the anonymized decision can be accessed here ). This post summarizes the facts of the case, analyzes the halakhic principles underlying the dayanim’s decision, and discusses whether secular law would yield a different outcome.
Which secular law principles might a beis din apply in a contractual dispute arising out of COVID-19 and its related circumstances? Our last post explained when and how minhag hasochrim – commercial custom – might be applied by a beis din when adjudicating contractual disputes. In this post, we consider which of these secular law … Continue reading Commercial Custom, Common Law & Contracts Impacted by COVID-19
One of the central questions in any din Torah is the extent to which the outcome should be determined by secular law. Why should a din Torah ever consider secular law? Does choshen mishpat not provide its own set of rules and principles? One of the principles within the system of choshen mishpat is to … Continue reading Commercial Custom and Jewish Law
The current novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had and will continue to have far reaching economic ramifications. Within our communities, there have been many cancelled travel plans, institutional dinners, simchos, and the like. What does halacha say about a rental contract frustrated by a pandemic? If someone put down a deposit for a Pesach rental … Continue reading COVID-19 and Cancelled Rental Contracts
When a highly unexpected event happens, a party’s contractual obligations may become difficult, unprofitable or impossible to perform. The Beth Din of America hosted a webinar on April 28, 2020, exploring the extent to which contractual obligations are modified or suspended in light of a pandemic such as COVID-19. In “Cancelling Contracts Due to Pandemics: … Continue reading Contracts and COVID-19
Jewish law prescribes two different methods for courts to resolve disputes: din (strict judgement according to the letter of the law) and pesharah (court-imposed settlement). Under din, courts are instructed to decide cases by applying the substantive halakhot of Jewish civil law to the dispute at hand. Under pesharah, courts are instructed to resolve disputes by imposing a reasonable and fair settlement on the parties…
Our previous post discussed the pitfalls of zabla proceedings. Because these problems are exacerbated when to’anim serve on the panel, the Beth Din of America will not allow a litigant to initiate a zabla by selecting a to’en as his or her borrer. As we noted in an earlier post discussing the hazmanah process, when … Continue reading Published Procedural Letter: Zabla Panels