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Issur to cause pain to a widow

Question:

In our building, the Vaad Bayit (volunteer administrator for our apartment building) is an Almana who is (understandably) a very hard woman to deal with. She is a tough lady and insisted on keeping the Vaad Bayit job even as her husband got sick and unfortunately passed away. This caused much hardship for the residents and many things that were important to take care of were not. Now, there are various issues that we had with the way the building was being run and even talked to her once, to no avail. We also have a leak in one of our rooms which the expert we brought in said it was the buildings issue and even spoke to the vaad bayit, but again, nothing doing. The question is; can we apply pressure to her to help with the issues. I have already stopped paying the monthly fee as i feel we are being ignored. Can we take her to bais din even if it will cause her pain? Can we try to force her out of the position because it is hurting everyone in the building? Also, how long must pass until she is no longer under the title “widow”? Does is stick forever? Till she remarries, iy”H? Thanks

 

Answer:

Sounds sticky. A woman is considered an almana until she remarries and has someone who will be give her a backbone and a feeling of not being alone and vulnerable.
I would suggest that someone approach her again and talk to her in a nice, calm way. What is her difficulty in taking care of the issue? After hearing what she has to say, if it isn’t satisfactory, let her know that there are certain issues with the building that need to be addressed, and if it is too hard for her, that you are willing to help her. However, the issues must be taken care of. If she will see to the issues fine, but if not, you won’t have a choice, but to make sure that that they do get taken care of. You can ask her what she prefers, the bother of her taking care of it, or that someone else does it. If she says she will take care of it, fine, but tell her you need a time limit because it has already taken a long time for the issue to get taken care of. If she refuses to take care of the issue, in a nice way, ask her what she has against fixing the leak, etc. If she doesn’t want to answer you. Then you can tell, that if you aren’t left with a choice, you will either have to go to a rov to ask what you should do. Because you might not have a choice but to take the money of the vaad bayis of the other tenants, in order to pay for the expenses that are not being paid. You can also offer to go to a rov together with her to discuss it. See what she says about this, and then let us know. The key here is for someone to communicate with her in calm understanding way.
May Hashem help that things should work out calmly and peacefully.
Hatzlocha

 

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1 Comment

  1. Thank you very much for the answer and advice. I hope all will go well.

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