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Paying on Time1, Part 12

In this article, we will discuss the people to whom bal tolin does and does not apply.

Bal tolin applies to any worker, whether he is a man, woman or child. However, bal tolin does not apply to a non-Jew. Nonetheless, a person must be extra vigilant to conduct himself with honesty and integrity in paying wages to non-Jews. Failure in this area can easily cause a chillul HaShem, (a desecration of G-d’s name). This is so serious because it causes great damage to HaShem’s ‘reputation’ so to speak. Needless to say, this does not harm HaShem himself (because He is all-powerful and cannot be hurt in any way), but it causes people to turn away from Him and His Torah, because they feel that the Jewish people are not conducting themselves in an appropriate way. Accordingly, such behavior is despicable in His eyes.

Bal tolin applies to salaried employees, service providers, craftsmen and professionals, and also applies to rentals. We will discuss the laws relating to them in the coming weeks.

Salaried employees are usually hired for a long-term, with some kind of agreement that requires payment at a set period, such as monthly. Each and every payday the employer is subject to bal tolin. Even if the payday is not the last day of the work period, nevertheless bal tolin applies.


Text Copyright © 2009 by Rabbi Yehonasan Gefen and

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