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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 26, 2007 / 8 Adar, 5767

A free ride?

By Rabbi Dr. Asher Meir


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Hotel room for two? Then three is a crowd.


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Q: My friends are renting a hotel room for vacation and they offered to let me sleep on the floor. I can't afford a vacation otherwise. Can I take them up on their offer?


A: Hotel managers have many good reasons for charging by the guest and not allowing additional guests to stay over. We can find precedents for these in Jewish law.


The Mishna states: "Someone who has a house in an adjacent courtyard may not open it up to this courtyard." The Talmud explains that this creates excessive traffic in the yard. The situation is someone who owns a house in each of two adjacent common courtyards. If he allows the residents of house B to use the entrance and courtyard of house A, then the other residents using courtyard A find that their courtyard is now overcrowded. (1)


Maimonides writes, "From this we can learn that if one resident brings other tenants into his house, his neighbor can prevent this, because he increases traffic. And the same holds for someone who rents a house from someone else and brought in relatives and friends to live together with him, the landlord can object." (2) Since the landlord doesn't necessarily live together with the tenant, later authorities inferred that increasing traffic is only one reason for this limitation. Another reason is that having more tenants increases wear and tear on the apartment. (3)


These reasons certainly apply to your situation. If hotel rooms are more populated, the common areas of the hotel become much more crowded as well. These areas are very expensive to maintain, and in addition when they are crowded it is an annoyance to paying customers. So the owner is entitled to get paid by the tenant, not just by the room.


In addition, there is no question that having more guests translates into more wear and tear — especially when we are talking about active young people who are known to be particularly hard on dwellings. For the young people themselves it's "the more the merrier", but it's well known that the premises do not always share in the merriment.


In the case of the hotel there is an additional consideration. If the hotel owner allows non-paying customers, then he will lose the income from customers who otherwise would pay. This applies even if the additional tenant imposes no costs whatever on the landlord. You personally can't afford a vacation without "a little help from your friends", but there are other people who could afford one but are happier taking a free ride.


This consideration too is discussed in Jewish law. The usual situation in rentals is that the landlord would be able to find another tenant and the tenant would have to pay to live in another dwelling. But sometimes this is not the case: some apartments are empty and not for rent, and some tenants have the ability to live elsewhere. The Talmud raises the question of whether the tenant has to pay in cases where he benefits but the landlord doesn't lose, or where he doesn't benefit but the landlord does lose. (4) All of the commentators understand that the landlord is within his rights to prevent a tenant from taking a free ride in this fashion. Maimonides explicitly states (in a slightly different context) that if the tenant's actions result in the loss of a paid tenant for the landlord, this is considered imposing a cost. (5)


If you want to go on vacation with your friends, you will have to find the money to pay your way. Your friends may not mind your imposition, but it's not fair to you to take a free ride at the expense of other guests and above all at the expense of the owner.


SOURCES: (1) Babylonian Talmud, Bava Basra 59b. (2) Maimonides' Code, Laws of Neighbors 5:9 (3) Pischei Choshen, Laws of Rentals 4:8 (4) Babylonian Talmud, Bava Kama 20b (5) Maimonides' Code, Laws of Theft and Loss 3:9

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JWR contributor Rabbi Dr. Asher Meir, formerly of the Council of Economic Advisers in the Reagan administration, is Research Director of the Business Ethics Center of Jerusalem, Jerusalem College of Technology. To comment or pose a question, please click here.

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