In the previous articles we discussed various types of workers to whom baal
tolin applies. We focused on salaried employees and service providers.
This week, we move on to craftsmen. Bal tolin can apply to craftsmen in
1. When a craftsman perform a service for someone on a one-off basis it is
usual to pay the worker upon completion of the job. If the worker does not
verbally agree to push off the payment, then the employee could easily
transgress bal tolin. For example, if a plumber comes on a one-time visit,
and fixes a problem, the home owner must pay him upon the completion of the
work – if she does not pay him and does not have a valid reason for doing
so , then she transgresses bal tolin. However, if he verbally agrees to
delay payment, then there is no bal tolin.
2. Subcontractors do not usually expect payment from the contractor
immediately upon completion of the work. Rather, the accepted practice is
to wait a short time for payment. Therefore, there is no bal tolin.
1. Much of the information for this essay is taken from "Halachos of Other
People's Money" by Rabbi Yisroel Pinchos Bodner.
2. See earlier articles for examples of exemptions.