Skip to main content

Thought for the Day: Takanas HaShuk -- Buyer Protection

This actually happened to my kids.  They had hired a new cleaning lady (with references).  My daughter came home unexpectedly at lunch time and found that the new cleaning lady had invited a couple of friends... one of whom was at the front door standing lookout.  Long story short: the friends had stolen my son-in-law's laptop and managed to fence it for $100 to a local pawn shop.  The police put the perpetrators in custody and told my son-in-law he could buy his laptop back from the pawn shop.  I was astounded!  Why should he have to buy back his own property?

I really should learn more.  Anyone who has bought a house knows that before you make an investment like that, you are going to want a thorough title search to be sure your investment is safe.  Without a title search, most would-be buyers would be scared off by the fear that at any moment they could lose their home to the rightful owners of the house.  It is impossible to do a title search on moveable property -- clothing, blenders, flatware, etc.  Chazal were sensitive to the fact that buyers who are constantly nervous about losing their clothing, blenders, flatware, and whatnot at any moment are not enthusiastic buyers; commerce would be severely hampered.

Chazal therefore instituted "takanas ha'shuk" to protect the marketplace by limiting the type of loss a buyer can experience (Bava Kama 115, and oodles of other places throughout shas and poskim).  While there are many details (are you tired of me saying that?), the broad strokes are straightforward.  Thomas the thief or Mark the mugger steal Oscar the owner's davening jacket.  Thomas and/or Mark sell said jacket to Bruce the buyer for a fair market value of $60.  Thomas and/or Mark are apprehended and identify that Oscar's jacket is in Bruce's possession.  Of course, the jacket needs to be returned to Oscar.  Takanas ha'shuk says (as long as Thomas and/or Mark are not well know criminals and Bruce is not a well known fence) that Oscar must reimburse Bruce for his expenses; Oscar will have to deal with suing Thomas and/or Mark for to be reimbursed for his expenses.

If Thomas and/or Mark had used Oscar's jacket to make a payment on their loan with Larry the lender, on the other hand, then Oscar gets his jacket back and the onus is on Larry to sue Thomas and/or Mark for his expenses.  Fair is fair, after all; there is no reason for Larry to benefit at Oscar's expense.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Thought for the Day: Using a Mitzvah Object for Non-Mitzvah Purposes

As I am -- Baruch HaShem -- getting older, I am more cognizant of the fact that I'd like to stay as healthy as possible right up the moment I leave this world.  Stuff hurting is not the problem (I am told there is an old Russian saying that once you are 40, if you wake up and nothing hurts -- you're dead), stuff not working, however, is a problem.  To that end, for several years now I commute to work by bicycle (weather permitting, 30 minutes on an elliptical machine when weather does not permit).  I recently took up some upper body weight training.  Not because I want to be governor of California, just simply to slow down loss of bone mass and extend my body's healthy span.  Simple hishtadlus.  I have an 18 month old grandson who is just the right weight for arm curls (yes... I am that weak), so I do about 10 reps when I greet him at night.  He laughs, I get my exercise; all good.  (Main problem is explaining to the older ones why zeidy can't give them the same "…

Thought for the Day: Thanking HaShem Each and Every Day for Solid Land Near Water

Each and every morning, a Jew is supposed to view himself as a new/renewed creation, ready for a new day of building his eternal self through Torah and mitzvos.  We begin the day with 16 brachos to praise/thank/acknowledge HaShem for giving us all the tools we need to succeed.  We have a body, soul, and intellect.  We have vision, mobility, and protection from the elements.  Among those brachos, we have one that perhaps seems a bit out of place: רוקע הארץ על המים/Who spreads out the land on/over the water.  After all, it's nice to have a dry place to walk, but does that compare to the gratitude I have for a working body and vision?  As it turns out, I should; as explained by the R' Rajchenbach, rosh kollel of Kollel Zichron Eliyahu (aka, Peterson Park Kollel).  Your best bet is to listen to the shiur; very distant second is to continue, which I hope will whet your appetite for the real thing.

First... since we have dry land, I don't have to slog to work through even a foot…

Thought for the Day: Hydroponically Grown Humans... I Feel Sick

I am quite openly not at all objective about abortion in particular and the treatment of human embryos and fetuses in general.  I am, after all, the survivor of a failed abortion attempt.  Not "thought about it, but couldn't go through with it"; not "made appointment, but then chickened out at the lost moment"; but, "tried a procedure, but was unsuccessful in attempt to abort".  Nonetheless, I try very hard to listen to the liberal arguments (which I also used to chant as part of the general liberal catechism), and am genuinely empathetic to the plight of women who find themselves in that difficult position.

What I heard on NPR this morning, however, has left me feeling physically ill.  You can read about it, if you like, but here's the bottom line:  Scientists in Cambridge have achieved a new record, they fertilized a human ova and then kept it alive in vitro (that is, in a test tube/petri dish in a laboratory) for 14 days.  The scientist involve…