Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Local practice and contractual agreements


We are taught that all agreements and contracts made with members of the Jewish community are linked to local custom within the Jewish community - meaning that if an issue in the agreement is not spelled out, the default is that the parties will follow local Jewish custom. This applies to goods and services, as well as other points of a contract, such as a laborer's hours.

For example: If one were to open a dry cleaning business, and the local Jewish practice was for cleaners to press garments as well as to clean them, and he only wanted to clean the clothing without pressing, then he would need to stipulate that arrangement at the time when people would give him clothing. To do otherwise would be dishonest.

Note that "local practice" is not something that happened once or twice, and people liked. "Local practice" is defined as something which is common and has happened many times.

(Code of Jewish Law Choshen Mishpat 331:1)

Have a great day,

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