Ethics

For the week ending 29 May 2010 / 15 Sivan 5770

Borrow Burden

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Question: A neighbor of mine is in the habit of borrowing tools and other items but is very slow in returning them. I am reluctant to remind him for fear of embarrassing him but I do need those items. What is the right thing to do?

Answer: Your sensitivity towards the feelings of your insensitive neighbor is praiseworthy. One solution to your problem would be to not only state at the time of borrowing that the item must be returned before a certain date, but to also attach a label to it to serve as a reminder. Should your neighbor forget to return the item by that date, you have every right to call him and not be afraid of hurting his feelings.

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