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Need to reimburse/mechila for ‘small’ damages?

Question:

Hi,

I’ve two choshen mishpat questions regarding from a while ago when I was a counselor at a special needs camp.

1) I used someone’s watergun whilst which I thought belonged to the camp rather than to a camper. I accidentally bent part the watergun – it still worked after being bent but not as smoothly. The boy wasn’t bar mitzva at the time but is now.

My question is whether I need to somehow ask mechila or owe any money to either the child (who wasn’t bar mitzva at the time but now is) or the parents (who are divorced).

It theoretically would be possible to track down the owner of the watergun but this wouldn’t be particularly practical, especially as the camper has special needs (high functioning down syndrome) and it would seem quite odd for me to be reaching out.

2) Whilst at the camp, I was showering and needed to use some soap. I should not have done this but I used a little soap belonging to one of the campers. I told the boy about this afterwards. His response was unclear (I think he’s mildly autistic). At first he said that it was not okay that I used some of his soap, and then he was like ‘whatever’ about it. I’m not sure whether the camper was bar mitzva at the time but can find out if this would make a nafka mina.

My question is very similar to the 1st case. Do I need to be in touch with anyone about this to ask mechila or to reimburse or is there anything else I should do?

Kind regards,

Answer:

It would be better to actually ask the child or the parents, however if it is difficult, you can rely on the fact that the item still belonged to the parents and they they allowed you to use it and are mochel it.

Best wishes

 

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