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Published Decision: Detrimental Reliance and Promissory Estoppel in Jewish Law

This article analyzes a recent decision issued by the Beth Din of America and discusses the principle of promissory estoppel and detrimental reliance in Jewish law, which lies at the heart of the decision. After summarizing the facts of the case–a dispute between a mortgage brokerage firm and real estate investment company–the article discusses the halakhic basis and background for awarding damages to a plaintiff who relied to his detriment on the defendant’s promise. The post also discusses the standard for determining when a business practice rises to the level of a minhag and whether courts should enforce performance of supererogatory obligations.

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Loss Splitting in Jewish Law: A Covid-19 Example

This post discusses the principle of loss sharing when a contract is frustrated by circumstances beyond the parties control, where neither party is more responsible for the loss than the other. The post discusses the Jewish law precedent for this principle and how it applies to contemporary disputes involving contracts frustrated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Finally, the post contrasts Jewish law’s approach with that of the common law.

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To subscribe to Jewishprudence and receive periodic updates about activities of the Beth Din of America, please enter your email address here:

To subscribe to Jewishprudence and receive periodic updates about activities of the Beth Din of America, please enter your email address here:

To subscribe to Jewishprudence and receive periodic updates about activities of the Beth Din of America, please enter your email address here:

Employment Contracts and Covid-19

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.

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ZABLA Panels and Courts

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.

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To subscribe to Jewishprudence and receive periodic updates about activities of the Beth Din of America, please enter your email address here:

To subscribe to Jewishprudence and receive periodic updates about activities of the Beth Din of America, please enter your email address here:

Commercial Custom, Common Law & Contracts Impacted by COVID-19

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