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If a non-Jewish business made a mistake and sent us an additional item, do we need to return it?

 

If there is a chance that the goy will realize and it will thus cause a Chilul Hashem then one must inform the goy (therefore when possible one should tell the goy that “I’m relying on your calculation”). Likewise,  if asked about this by the goy you cannot deny that you received the extra goods.

In absence of the above circumstances you may keep the additional item.

 

*The above is the “letter of the law”. It must however be mentioned that the Sefer Chasidim writes, (roughly:)

“Do not do treat the goyim unjustly as this will only pull you down and the debt will be repaid either by you or your descendants”.

The Poskim indeed bear witness, that people who gained from a goy’s mistake saw only misfortune from their choice, whereas many of those who made a Kiddush Hashem by returning costly items merited great wealth for themselves and future generations.

 

Sources:

ראה ב”ק קי”ג ע”ב, שו”ע חו”מ סי’ שמ”ח סעי’ ב’, שו”ע אדה”ז הל’ גזלה סעי’ ד’, הל’ אונאה סעי’ י”א, הל’ מדות ומשקלות סעי’ ב’, באר הגולה בחו”מ סי’ שמ”ח ס”ק ד’, ובספר חסידים אות תתרע”ד, ועוד. וראה בארוכה במקורות ועיונים להלכה יומית אות תעה.

 

 

#926


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