Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Psak Rabbi Yosef Shalom Eliyashiv: "Who has to pay for the elevator !"


Another case was brought to Rabbi Yosef Shalom Eliyashiv where five people came to him in order to ask the following:

Four people stood in an elevator, as suddenly a fifth person came and asked if he can get on. The four warned him that the elevator may get stuck but the fifth person insisted on getting on.

Sure enough the elevator got stuck and a repair service had to come.

The question for Rabbi Eliyashiv:
Who actually has to pay the repair costs ? The four people who had been in the elevator first claimed that it was he fifth guy’s fault that the elevator got stuck and, therefore, he has to pay the bill. The fifth person, however, wanted to divide the bill among all five people who were in the elevator.

Rabbi Eliyashiv’s answer:

The person who actually pushed the button and started the elevator has to pay the bill and thus, it doesn’t matter whether it is the fifth or the first person. The elevator got stuck because a person pushed the button causing the elevator to carry out its job.


  1. HaRav Elyashiv Shlita is one of my favored Rabbis. About him, you can really say that he deserves his title of "Rabbi." The Lubavitcher Rebbe noted that "Rabbi" was the reshei tevos of "Rosh Benei Yisroel", the head of the Jewish people. Rabbi Elyashiv is one of them.

  2. This was Rav Nissim Karelitz who answered this question, not Rav Elyashiv. It was published by Mishpacha magazine in their Pesach interview with Rav Karelitz.

  3. B"H

    The haredi site KIKAR SHABBAT said it was Rabbi Eliyashiv and stressed that the two people involved were students of the Rabbi himself.