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Regarding R’shus

Question:

I am an exercise instructor for women. We have a private group and each member has her own exercise mat, with her name on it. After class they are rolled up and put into a large bin. Since covid, some women wrote on their mat “Bli r’shus”, as they do not want the mat used by anyone. Someone said, that if the mat is there, it can be used by anyone, or the owner should take it home after each class. (this caused quite an upset atmosphere). As each mat has identification, and in the event a newcomer comes in to try out, I offer a mat whose owner has not come that day. I honor the “Bli R’shus”. I am wondering if it is k’halacha allowed – that the mat can stay there and not be used, or if she has to indeed take it home..There are enough mats to share..just saying

 

Answer:

Thank you for your question.

If the mats are meant to be kept in the bin, and the owner of the area allows the women to keep their mats there, I don’t see why the women should be obligated to take them home. If the woman wrote bli reshus, then she is clearly stating that she is particular that no one else use her mat and indeed it may not be used.

Best wishes

 

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