Shabbat Parashat Eikev| 5770
Hemdat HaDaf Hayomi: Representation in Beit Din (31a)Rav Ofer Livnat
Av 14-20, Shevuot 28-34
This week in the Daf Hayomi, the Gemara deals with the proper procedure and behavior in a Beit Din. In this context, the Gemara criticizes a person who appears by power of harsha'a (authorization). It is possible, in certain situations, for a person to authorize someone else to represent him in Beit Din and sue another person. This authorization is called harsha'a. But the Gemara states that a person who represents another by power of harsha'a is considered one who "did that which is not good among his people" (Yechezkel 18, 18). What is the reason for the opposition to harsha'a?
Rashi explains that the problem is that when a person represents someone else, since he is not the owner of the money in dispute, he cannot compromise with the defendant, while if the owner would have been present, he may have agreed to a compromise. The Tosafot (d"h zeh) explain that the Gemara is referring to a situation where a person is looking to get involved in a dispute that does not concern him. However, if the situation is where a person is unable to sue by himself, and one is trying to help him, then it is a Mitzvah to represent him.
The Ra'avad (Shluchin 3, 5) distinguishes between situations where both parties are in the same city and where they are in different cities. If they are in the same city, it is not proper to represent by power of harsha'a. However, if they are in different cities, it is proper to represent the plaintiff to help him receive his money.
The Beit Yosef (Choshen Mishpat 123) claims that there is no dispute between the Tosafot and the Ra'avad. The principle is that, if the plaintiff is able to sue the defendant himself, he should do so. However, if he is unable to for some reason, it is a Mitzvah to help him receive what he deserves.
Summary and Ruling:
The Mechaber (Shulchan Aruch Choshen Mishpat 123, 15) rules like the Ra'avad that if both parties are in the same city it is improper to represent by power of harsha'a, but if they are in different cities it is a Mitzvah to do so. The Remma quotes the Tosafot that it is all dependant on the intent of the one who receives the authorization. If his intent is to get involved in a dispute that does not concern him, it is not proper, but if his intent is to help someone who is being exploited, it is a Mitzvah.
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Hemdat Yamim is dedicated in memory of
Rav Yehuda Amital zt”l,
Rosh Yeshivat Har Etzion
Gila Bat Eliyahu
on the occasion of her yahrzeit, Av 21st
Hemdat Yamim of this week is dedicated
Yitzchak Eizik Ben Yehuda Leib Usdan, a"h,
the 29th of Av
This week’s Hemdat Yamim is dedicated in loving memory of
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