Is there a halacha today regarding the prohibition of inaccurate weights and measures? Would it apply to preserving antique weights and measures, with different proportions than those in current use, for curiosity or education?
H. David Levine, Roanoke, VA; USA
The prohibition against false weights and measures is as relevant today as ever. I don't think, though, that if one has antique weights and measures, which are not being used in actual commerce, that he has to make sure they are still accurate.
There is a concept of not keeping potentially harmful things (Halachically harmful) even if you do not plan to use them. For example, the Gemara in Kesuvos (19b) says that a lender should not keep an IOU around the house that has been paid off (and not returned to the borrower), for fear that he might try to collect the loan a second time. I think, though, the difference is clear. In the case of the IOU, nothing stands in the way of him using it again other than his good conscience. In our case, however, it would be very unusual to use start using antique weights and measures in a modern buisness.
This is not a Psak Halachah