In the previous articles we discussed various types of workers to whom baal
tolin applies. We focused on salaried employees and service providers, and
craftsman. This week, we continue our discussion of craftsmen.
1. If the customer brings his item to a craftsman to be repaired, there is
bal tolin. However, whilst the craftsman holds the article there no bal
tolin, because he cannot expect payment as long as he holds on to the item.
Moreover, even if the craftsman tells the customer that the item is ready,
there is still no bal tolin until he returns it. If the craftsman delivers
the item, and the customer needs the money he has for something else, then
he may refuse to accept the delivery. Since the item remains in the
possession of the craftsman, bal tolin does not apply.
Once the craftsman returns the item, he must be paid before sundown. For
example, a jeweler informed the customer that his jewelry was ready – the
customer came to pick up the jewelry and said he would return soon to pay.
He forgot to return until after sundown. In such a case, he violated bal tolin.
1. Much of the information for this essay is taken from "Halachos of Other
People's Money" by Rabbi Yisroel Pinchos Bodner.