# 3201 Already Paid For?


Q. I was walking with my elderly friend back from Shul last Shabbos and I saw he was walking very slowly and with difficulty. I asked him if he was OK and he said that he was just tired. He lives alone across the hall from me. About five minutes after, I decided to check on him. I knocked in the door and he didn’t answer, then I banged really loud but no response. I called Hatzalah, but from prior experiences, I know that it takes them to come to our building about ten minutes. Since I have taken a few courses on first aid, and was afraid of something serious, knowing that minutes count, I broke in, B’H my friend was was only very deep asleep.
I have a number of questions. 1) Do I have to pay for the door I broke?
A. Nishmas Avrohom (Choshen Mishpat 426: 1) rules in the name of the Rosh (Sanhedrin 8: 2) and others, that the one saved should pay back to his rescuer, the costs involved in his rescue act.
However, Horav Shlomo Miller’s Shlit’a opinion is that in this particular case the rescuer should pay for the door since after all, it was not needed, as he was only asleep.
The Rov further argued, that he may be exempt of payment, since the ruling of ‘Kom Lei Bederaba Minei’ or one is exempt of payments when a severe prohibition is involved, such as the desecration of Shabbos. It applies even when done unintentionally (Tana d’bei Chezkia). The prohibition involved was ‘S’tirah or the breaking of the door, and it was done for a constructive purpose, as saving a life is.
Still, if able, the Rov advises to pay for it ‘B’dinei Shomaim’ or out of good will.
Rabbi A, Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller and Horav Aharon Miller Shlit’a


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