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Weekly Newsletter Volume 1, Issue 16

October 7, 2021; Cheshvan 1, 5782

Halacha – Jewish Law A Forgetful Husband

Question: If a husband forgot to buy a present for his wife on her birthday, is it permissible to say “I didn’t buy you a present because the store closed before I arrived”?

Answer: Rabbi Yitzchak Baum answers in his Kunteras Keitzad Merakdim – Page 90, that if he comes home and tells his wife the truth that he forgot to buy her a present and that will cause her pain, he is permitted to lie and tell her that the store closed to keep peace in his home.

However, if he was aware of her birthday but was lazy and neglected to purchase a gift for her, he is not permitted to lie to her subsequently

and tell her the store was closed. This is because the husband’s laziness

is no reason to permit a falsehood, even if he now finds himself in the

situation of having to lie to keep peace in his home.

This would appear to be similar to a case brought in the Sefer Chassidim

(Siman 426): If Reuvain wants to borrow money from Shimon

and Reuvain believes Shimon is not a trustworthy person in the event

that Shimon may ask to borrow money from Reuvain at a later time,

Reuvain may not borrow money from Shimon now, and rely on the fact

that should Shimon ask to borrow money from him at a later time, he

can always lie at that time for the sake of peace and tell Shimon that he

doesn’t have any money.

In both of the cases above, a person may not lie to keep the peace, if

they knowingly placed themselves in a situation that necessitated the lie.


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