Posted on December 26, 2005 () By Rabbi Dr. Azriel Rosenfeld | Series: | Level:


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M. Laws – Mishpatim

“In the thirteenth book I will include commandments regarding the relationship between a man and his fellow-man in matters involving no initial damage, such as watchmen and creditors and claims and denials. And I have called this book the Book of Laws”.

74. Hiring – Sechirus

Rental is like temporary sale; the laws of sale apply to it. Hire of temporary employees, however, is not a binding contract; either party may break it.a

We are commanded to pay for all hired things on time and it is forbidden to delay payment, as it says “[You shall not oppress a poor hireling…] on his day you shall pay his hire and the sun shall not set on him”1; and it says “The earnings of a hireling shall not lie over with you until morning”.2,b

One who is hired to work on crops can eat from what he is working on provided this does not interfere with his work; but he must not take any of it with him, as it says “If you come into your friend’s vineyard you may eat grapes until you are satisfied but you shall not put any in your vessel; if you come into your friend’s standing grain you may pull ripe grain with your hand but you shall not raise a scythe”.3 An animal that is working on crops can eat from what it is working on and it is forbidden to prevent it, as it says “You shall not muzzle an ox in its threshing”.4,c


Sources:

1. Deut. 24:14-15 a. 7:1; see 9:4
2. Lev. 19:13 b. 11:1-2
3. Deut. 23:25-26 c. 12:1-3; 13:1-2
4. Deut. 25:4