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Does Hezek Riya Apply When Both Neighbors Bought Their Homes From Non-Jews? 

Rav Shmuel Honigwachs

Question: In the last segment, we discussed a case where one neighbor purchases a home from a non-Jew. What if both neighbors bought their houses from non-Jews? How would that impact issues of hezek riya?

Answer: If both neighbors originally purchased their homes from non-Jews, as long as the window existed beforehand, the halacha is that Reuven doesn’t have any rights to force Feivel to do anything that he couldn’t force John to do.

This is actually the most common scenario with pools, as most neighborhoods that are built for Jews do not contain pools. Thus, in the common case where two neighbors purchased their homes from non-Jews, neither would be able to force their neighbor to close off a window. The laws of hezek riya would only apply if one of them wants to make a new window. Any window that existed before the homes were purchased from the non-Jews is permitted to remain. Of course, to stand and view the private affairs of a neighbor is always forbidden.


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