I have a money issue with a fellow Jew. When we met to take care of the difference, we solved part of the problem which was a mistake of one of his employees but the remaining lost money we weren’t sure who owes who, so we decided to consult a Rav. I made three times the effort and appointments with a Rav (a posek) but he failed to confirm the appointments. Then one day he demanded that I pay him the money in dispute (about $10,000)I said to him that we both agreed on a din Torah and he was the one who failed to show up. Then, later on reviewing the whole matter I found an error in my own account (about $6,000) and I jumped into the conclusion that I owed him this and the rest of the money to him, so I told him so but then I wasn’t sure about it and expressed to him invited him to go to the Rav. He said I promssed to pay I should keep my word. I consulted the Rav and told to forget about it unless he decides to go to a Beth Din (not his). One day before Yom Kippur I felt guilty of not keeping my word and sent a mail (he doesn’t answer nor return my calls) telling him and his partner that being shomer mitzvot my word is a word and will pay the $6,000. I should mention that I’ve being affected financially because of his employee’s errors (it turn out that that employee ran out with a lot of money stolen from him and other customers like myself). I’d appreciate your advise, should I pay even when there is a doubt if I owe him in order to avoid provoke chillul Hashem and spoil my good name among some of our mutual acquaintances?
Thank you in advance and forgive the length of my inquire. Best regards

Answer:

If you found an error in your accounts, and you came to the conclusion that you owe the money, and you therefore promised him to pay – then it seems right that you should pay, even if a niggling doubt remains in your mind.

This does not mean that there is a full halachic obligation to pay. If there remains doubt over the obligation, the promise will not obligate you to pay.

However, from the wording of the question it seems that you, too, believe to a great degree that you are obligated to pay the money, and after declaring that as a Torah observant Jew you wish to pay, this certainly seems the right thing to do.

I wish you much success.

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