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Going to Another Hotel's Entertainment

QUESTION 45: GOING TO ANOTHER HOTEL'S ENTERTAINMENT

I went to a hotel for Yom Tov (holiday) with my family. During Chol Hamoed (the middle days of the holiday, where some work is permitted), another family heard that another hotel was having a performer for kids in the afternoon. They called the hotel to find out if they can come, and the hotel told that that it isn't a problem. If I want to come, am I also obligated to call the hotel, or may I regard the 'no problem' reply to include my family also?

RABBI BELSKY

I think that if one or two people go along it's OK, because everyone takes with him a guest or two. And since there is no added expense or bother to the hotel, you're not doing anything wrong. But if there is a whole bunch of people, I think you should call the hotel and ask them.

QUESTIONER

When each family has about five kids, when does a few people turn into a bunch of people?

RABBI BELSKY

A mature couple is one thing, or if there's one kid. But once, two, three, or four or five children, kein yirbu (may they multiply), you're adding to the tumult, the crowd is much larger. You should call them. You shouldn't walk in just because they said "no problem" to one family. The hotel has a right to be concerned. Then, if after you get permission go, if you call them and thank them, they'll feel compensated.

QUESTIONER

So one or two people is no problem, but seven people probably does require another phone call?

RABBI BELSKY

Right.


NEXT WEEK'S QUESTION 46: TIPPING

At the end of the Passover vacation at the hotel, we were supposed to tip the waiters and busboys. The recommended amount was to pay the waiters $36 and the busboys $24 for each person at the table. The hotel doesn't pay them anything, and these workers depended totally on tips for their pay. When I gave my tips, my waiter and busboy looked quite unhappy, and I asked why. They pointed out a few families that had paid very little. When I asked the head of one of these families, who had 11 adults at their table, he said they only paid a total of $75 to the busboy (the recommended fee was $264). He added, "I didn't realize that tips were extra. I thought they were included in my bill. Besides, tips are always optional, that's what the word 'tip' means." When I suggested that he understood the arrangement incorrectly, he objected to my being involved at all. I said that there was a problem of chillul Hashem (desecration of G-d's name), and that I had a requirement of tochacha (showing another person that they might be making a mistake). Did I have a requirement to tell them what I think?

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