In the midst of the tensions in the south and getting my kids back to school, I’m beginning, once again, preparation for our annual conference of technical writers. I’ve got the contract in my hands. I started to review it. The price is, as we agreed. The required commitment of people – even less than I expected. All in all, it’s a great place to hold it, a fair contract. The hotel is luxurious, the food has always been excellent.
They want full payment several days in advance – this bothers me a bit. We had a conference last year at Kfar Maccabiah and I was very upset about the condition of the place, the quality of the food, even the behavior of some of the sales people. I don’t want a repeat – it was very unpleasant – and I will, if I pay in full, have no way to recoup lost amounts, except for the whim of the hotel…or court (not going there).
On the other hand, this is a standard condition for many hotels, even if it leaves me no recourse and most companies and individuals do pay in advance, so I should be able to meet this requirement. And then I got to a clause in the contract that made me proud, made me feel warm inside. This, I thought to myself, is an Israeli hotel, a Jewish contract:
In the event of a demise, Heaven forbid, in the immediate family of the Customer, such that the event is prevented from taking place according to Halachah [Jewish law], or in the event of a general mobilization of the military reserves because of an emergency situation, the full amount of the down payment shall be repaid to the Customer, without further liability to either party.
Isn’t that amazing? If there is a death in the immediate family, mourning takes precedence over joyful occasions. During the year following the death of a parent, for example, Jews are forbidden to go to weddings (under most circumstances), concerts, and joyous gatherings. It is a sign of respect and more, it forces you to deal with the mourning process.
And the general mobilization – that too is part of our lives and yet one I have never seen written into a contract. God, I love this country.