Question:

Shalom,
I attend the mikvah sometimes before shachris etc, however the local mikvah’s payment machine seems to have constant problems resulting in me often being unable to pay (yet the gate is unlocked, i.e. they allow you to enter). I have really lost count how much money I owe them. What is required of me al pi halacha to pay them back?

Answer:

You should try to estimate how much money you have to pay and add money to that to make sure it is enough and pay it to the mikvah

Sources:

Igros Moshe CH:M 1-88 (12)

Tags: returning stolen money

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2 Responses to “Paying back the mikva fee”

  1. Ultimately it depends on the mikvah’s admission policy, regarding times when the entrance machine is not operating properly. If at such times, the mikvah forgoes payment, and allows people to immerse for free, then there would not be any issue of theft, and there would not be any money owed at all.

    However, even if the mikvah’s owners expect the users to pay afterwards; this case still seems different than the case cited from “Igros Moshe”.

    In the Igros Moshe’s case, the person stole from many people, and didn’t remember from who he stole from. He therefore has no other recourse, except to donate to public causes the sum that he thinks that he stole, and then some more, as explained in the “Igros Moshe”.

    However in this case, there is an identifiable victim, the mikvah owners, who were not paid the required entrance fees.

    Therefore this person who is in doubt as to how much he owes, has the ability to discuss the matter with the owners, and settle between themselves on an agreed upon sum.

    [They should also mutually agree to forgive each other; in the event that the sum paid was too much, or too little].

    • If indeed the mikva oner woud forgo payment then indeed no one has to pay, however I just wasn’t assuming that that would be the case.
      Regarding paying back the mikva owner, again it is correct that if he can discuss it with the owner and come to a compromise, then that would also work, but if he can’t etc., which was my understanding of the question, then this is what he should do to ta,ke care of his obligations to pay back what he took, (use of the mikvah)

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