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Graffiti on school walls


When I was younger I used to do graffiti on the property of the public school I attended. It cost money to repair the damage. Who do I have to repay or ask mehila from? Considering the fact that the principal has changed.



Thank you for your question.

The fact that the principle changed isn’t really going to change things here, because he is only a hired worker and it is not damaging him, rather the cost is to the public-school system. Assuming that you were under bar mitzva at the time, the halacha is that you don’t have to pay for it. Although there are opinions that a child that damaged something should give a compensation when he gets older, in this instance there isn’t really any way for you to give the school system a donation that will make up for the extra expense. Therefore, it would suffice to do a regular teshuva bein adom l’makom.

Best wishes


חו”מ ס’ תכ”ד סע’ ח’ וז”ל “הַחוֹבֵל בְּחֵרֵשׁ שׁוֹטֶה וְקָטָן, חַיָּב; וְהֵם שֶׁחָבְלוּ בַּאֲחֵרִים, פְּטוּרִים; אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנִּתְפַּקַּח הַחֵרֵשׁ וְנִשְׁתַּפֶּה הַשּׁוֹטֶה וְהִגְדִּיל הַקָּטָן, אֵינָם חַיָּבִים לְשַׁלֵּם, שֶׁבַּשָׁעָה שֶׁחָבְלוּ בָּהֶם לֹא הָיוּ בְּנֵי דַעַת: וע’ ברמ”א או”ח ס’ שמג סימן שמ”ג שאע”פ שא”צ תשובה לכשיגדיל מ”מ טוב לו שיקבל עליו תשובה וכפרה. וע’ מ”ב שם סק”ט שהוא לפנים משורת הדין לשלם ע”ז.


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