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Shabbat Parashat Chukat 5780

P'ninat Mishpat: Paying Community Taxes part III

(based on ruling 76111 of the Eretz Hemdah-Gazit Rabbinical Courts)

Case: The plaintiff (=pl) is an aguda (association) that developed in 2015 from a kibbutz, which expanded by building a section for non-kibbutz members. The defendants (=def) bought a home in the expansion and signed the standard forms obligating themselves to the rules, including paying aguda taxes. Pl’s main claim is about outstanding payments that def is claimed to owe pl. Def’s main responses are that he should not be bound by the agreement with pl because several of its provisions are mekape’ach (unfair or discriminatory), because he is not a member of pl, and because he paid in an alternative manner. Def also countersued for overcharging and for being turned down for benefits coming to him. [We will specify more specific claims as we deal with them.]   

 

Ruling: Def has two complaints about the running of pl. One is that members of the kibbutz are exempt from paying some of the dues that members of the extension are obligated to pay. While pl explains that this is because kibbutz members established the infrastructure of the kibbutz from which all benefit, def claim that the fact that new members of the kibbutz are also exempt shows that this arrangement is discriminatory and therefore a portion of their payments are improper. Beit din accepts pl’s explanation. It is standard practice for established communities that expand to exempt the founders of the community, who agreed to the expansion, from certain payments. The fact that they worked and paid for the kibbutz over the years makes it understandable and not discriminatory. New members of the kibbutz pay in their own way to receive the status that the founders have, and it is reasonable that members of the extension do not deserve such privileges.

Def is countersuing for 2,000 shekels, which as a member of pl, he deserves from the proceeds of five years of rental of a public building to a family. 2,000 shekels corresponds to the percentage coming to him (and likewise to others). Beit din rejects this claim. It is possible that the board of pl is not doing a good job of handling the joint funds and properties. However, such organs have a hierarchy through which it is possible to ask questions, complain, and even lodge formal complaints at meetings of pl. Only when all of the internal steps have been taken without a reasonable response is it appropriate to take the matter to an external judicial body such as a beit din. Since this was not done, beit din will not look into the merits of the specific claim of misuse of property [in a manner which affects every other member of the community as it does def].  

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Dedication

We daven for a complete and speedy refuah for:

 

Nir Rephael ben Rachel Bracha
Refael Yitchak ben Chana

Netanel Ilan ben Sheina Tzipora

Netanel ben Sarah Zehava

Meira bat Esther

Yair Menachem ben Yehudit Chana

Rivka Reena bat Gruna Natna

Lillian bat Fortune

Yafa bat Rachel Yente

Eliezer Yosef ben Chana Liba

Ro'i Moshe Elchanan ben Gina Devra

Esther Michal bat Gitel

Yehudit Sarah bat Rachel

 

Together with all cholei Yisrael

 

Hemdat Yamim is dedicated

to the memory of:

those who fell in wars

for our homeland

 

Eretz Hemdah's beloved friends

and Members of

Eretz Hemdah's Amutah

 

Rav Shlomo Merzel z”l
Iyar 10 5771

 

Rav Reuven Aberman z"l

 Tishrei 9     5776

 

Mr. Shmuel Shemesh  z"l
Sivan 17 5774

 

R' Eliyahu Carmel z"l

Rav Carmel's father

Iyar 8    5776

 

Mrs. Sara Wengrowsky

bat R’ Moshe Zev a”h.

Tamuz 10       5774

 

Rav Asher Wasserteil z"l

Kislev 9   5769

 

R'  Meir ben

Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld z"l

&

Mrs. Sara Brachfeld z"l

Tevet 16 5780

  

R'  Yaakov ben Abraham & Aisha

and

Chana bat Yaish & Simcha

Sebbag, z"l

 

Rav Yisrael Rozen z"l
Cheshvan 13 5778

 

Rav Benzion Grossman z"l
Tamuz 23    5777

 

Rav Moshe Zvi (Milton)

Polin z"l

Tamuz 19     5778

 

R' Abraham Klein z"l

Iyar 18 5779

  

  Hemdat Yamim
is endowed by Les & Ethel Sutker
of Chicago, Illinois
in loving memory of
Max and Mary Sutker
and
Louis and Lillian Klein, z”l

 

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