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Verbal agreement in Halakha

Question:

Reuven hires Shimon to do a job. Reuven and Shimon have known each other a long time. Shimon wants Reuven to sign a contract but Reuven says it’s not necessary and promises to pay Shimon. Shimon does not want to do the job but Reuven insists. Shimon is an independent contractor and has to give up a project to do the work for Reuven. Reuven feels that since there is no written contract he has no obligation to pay Shimon. What is the din?

Answer:

My apologies but your question is not clear. If Shimon did the job, then he definitely has to be paid! If he didn’t do the job, then it depends on the losses that Shimon incurred, if he could have gotten another job, and the ramifications why Reuven canceled on him.

Please clarify and resend the question.

As a side point, in such cases especially if the two of them are friends, there is a need for written agreement. Either for monetary reasons, or for the simple sake of peace, because when things are written there will be much less room for misunderstandings and disagreements. Especially among friends… because you want to stay that way.

Thanks

 

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