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From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@saber.towson.edu> Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2000 18:09:35 -0500 (EST) Subject: Collect call game Matthew Pearlman (v31n8) Bill Bernstein and Robert Israel all responded to my "incredible" claim that "collect calling a parent with intent that the parent should reject the collect call and call you" is permissable since the phone companies anticipate such practices (and hence make collect calls more expensive); they point out that many store owners anticipate shop lifting (which is clearly not permissable). But I gave not one but two arguments. My MAIN argument was a citiation of the Rambam, Sales 18:4 which I now explain according to the Rambams commentary on Baba Metziah 60a: >The sages (vs Abba Saul) permit sifting pounded beans >(Rambam: He sifts them because their peels have a mark >which enables you to tell how well they cook;(if he left >the peel only the good ones would be bought--therefore >he intentionally sifts the beens to remove the peel >so that all beans should look alike, thus increasing his sales) >(Gmarrah: R Aha explains that it is permitted to sift >the peels off the beans because IT MAY BE SEEN). So the Gmarrah (according to the Rambam) explicitly allows the store owner to maliciously destroy the peels THEREBY GETTING PEOPLE TO BUY BEANS THEY NORMALLY WOULD NOT BUY!!! The reason this fraud is allowed is because it is recognizable. Hence we conclude that Halacha allows aggressive business tactics if the fraud committed is transparent. Hence THEFT (which is not seen) is prohibited while CALLING COLLECT AND HAVING YOUR PARENTS SAY NO AND THEN CALL YOU BACK is permitted (because all is seen). I embellished the above argument by pointing out that unlike theft where the store does not benefit, here, the phone company does benefit True it loses the labor of the operator requesting the collect call and being told no by the parents, but then the phone company gets the revenue of the parents calling! So BESIDES BEING PERMISSABLE BECAUSE IT IS SEEN it should also be permissable because the phone company profits...It is a business decision. I hope this clarifies my "incredible" position. Russell Hendel; Phd ASA; Math; Towson Univ Moderator Rashi is Simple; http://www.shamash.org/rashi/