I hired a non Jewish woman around 9 months ago to do some house cleaning through an internet-service that lists many professionals for hire. She did a good job and at the end, by way of saying “you did a great job”, I think I said something like “Wow, I definitely plan on hiring you again.”
The thing is, she charges a huge amount of money for her services. At the time, I was very desperate so even though it didn’t make any sense on paper, I hired her for around $65 an hour. (Now she charges more, around $70 an hour and we have more reason to be more careful about spending.)
Is there any halachic commitment that I made by saying that I’d hire her again? Is there a reason to hire her again if there is a possibility that she remembers that I said that, and it might cause a chilul Hashem if I don’t?
(She was telling me that she has had lots of expereince with Jews in her work and definitely realized that we are yidden. )
Do I have a chiyuv to contact her (or check back later) if on the website it says that she is no longer accepting cleaning jobs for the upcoming week?
Really, my husband would not want to hire her again unless I tell him about the commitment that we made and it is the right thing to do, and it will come out to be a large expense for us.
Thank you in advance for your psak and advice.
You have no obligation to hire her even though you did mention that you would. The general halacha is that a person that tells another, that he will give him a present or hire him, that he has to keep his word, and if he doesn’t, he is called “mechusar amana” -lit. lacking trustworthiness. There are however a number of exceptions to this, the first one is if the price changed significantly, or if the conditions after the person gave his word, then the person doesn’t have to keep what he said. In your instance, since your husband doesn’t want you to pay so much for cleaning help, you don’t have to hire her. Additionally, since she is overpriced, and you can find others to do a good job for much cheaper, you are not obligated. Additionally, you didn’t make up that you are hiring her, but you only said that you would hire her again, and she isn’t relying on what you said for a job. In truth if you would be desperate again you might hire her again, therefore you don’t have any concern regarding mechusar amana or chillul Hashem. See Sources.
ע’ משפטי יושר מחוסר אמנה פ”ג-ג שתרי תרעה הוא לא רק אם השתנה המחיר אלא גם אם השתנה העניין שעל דעת זה לא היה רוצה לעשות העיסקא או המתנה. כגון אם מצא אח”כ משהו שמוכן לעשות אותו עסק שאופן רווחי יותר. מקור לזה מח”ס יו”ד ס’ רמ”ו שאם מצא מוהל או נסדק שהוא אוהבו או צדיק ואנן סהדי דאילו ידע מזה אז שהיה נותן המילה לשני אין כאן משום כזב”. וכן אם מצא פועל שיעבד עבורו עם יותר נסיון. עוד טעם ע’ בכורות י”ג: “דברים בהם משום מחוסרי אמנה והני מילי ישראל מישראל דקיימו בדבורייהו אבל ישראל מעובד כוכבים דאינהו לא קיימי בדבורייהו לא”. וכ”כ במשפט השלום ס’ ר”ד סע’ ז’, וכן בדעת משפט תרל”ט.