Feb 13, 2017

Interesting Psak: buying "black" tefillin

Machon Keter - an organization that studies and encourages finances according to a torah approach - has published an interesting psak regarding the purchase of tefillin.

The question they dealt with was how to relate to holy objects - tefillin and mezuza - that was purchased from someone who does not pay his taxes. Is such a person - a sofer who does not pay taxes - passul or lose his status of being a trustworthy and reliable person (from a halachic standpoint)? Are using such objects considered performing a mitzva via an aveira? can you make a bracha on such tefillin?

Their conclusions were that:
1. a sofer who evades taxes or steals from other people is not passul from writing holy objects like tefilllin and mezuza and his status as trustworthy and reliable remains.

2. somebody who buys tefillin "black" cannot make a bracha on the tefillin he acquired through an aveira. By buying "black" he is assisting in an aveira, and cannot make a bracha, and therefor eit is also prohibited to purchase tefillin like that.  However, if the person already wore the tefillin, bdieved he fulfilled his obligation - the tefillin themselves do not become passul.

If the buyer truly does not know what the seller does regarding the paying of the required taxes, despite being negligent in not clarifying before purchasing, he can make a bracha on his tefillin. And, this is dependent on his knowledge at the time of purchase - even if he finds out later that the seller did not pay his taxes, he can continue putting on his tefillin.
source: Kipa

I am pretty sure that at least 99 times out of 100 a buyer will have no idea if the seller is paying taxes or not and won't even think of asking. It might even be rude to ask, as if you are saying you suspect that he is doing something illegal. The relevant situation might be where you ask for a discount of the taxes for paying cash.



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7 comments:

  1. Is it an issue to ask for a receipt? A proof of purchase?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. does a customer have to? I often do not and even if offered I sometimes just say no need. I dont want t take the piece of paper I am just going to crumple up and throw out 2 minutes later. Does the customer need to do whatever he can to ensure the seller pays his taxes? why is it on the customer to worry about this?

      Delete
  2. It's easy enough to know if taxes are being paid. Ask for a receipt.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. does a customer have to? I often do not and even if offered I sometimes just say no need. I dont want t take the piece of paper I am just going to crumple up and throw out 2 minutes later. Does the customer need to do whatever he can to ensure the seller pays his taxes? why is it on the customer to worry about this?

      Delete
  3. It is the obligation of the seller to pay taxes. The buyer has nothing to do with it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you sure - I heard once that the buyer has to pay; the seller only collects it on behalf of the gov't.

      Delete

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