Do Not Covet and Desire1 Part 2
In part one of the prohibition of coveting the items of one's fellow, we saw
that there were in fact two separate prohibitions; 'loh tachmod' (do not
covet) and 'loh tisaveh' (do not desire). Loh tachmod prohibits cajoling,
pressuring, or embarrassing someone into selling him something that the
owner really did not want to sell. Loh titaveh prohibits merely thinking
and scheming how to pressure one's fellow into selling him the item. Thus,
even if one only plans how to attain the item in such a fashion and never
proceeds, he nonetheless transgresses the Torah commandment of 'loh titaveh'.
Do these prohibitions also apply to pressuring a person to give an item as a
gift? Many authorities say that this does indeed constitute a transgression
of these Mitzos. For example, a son asked his father-in-law to forgo
trading his car, and rather give it to him. The father explained that the
car was expensive. Nevertheless the son-in-law persisted in making the
request, and finally the father was cornered into giving away the car. The
son-in-law was guilty of 'loh sachmod'. Similarly, many authorities
prohibit pressuring someone to rent out an item to them, or to loan them
The prohibitions of loh tachmod and loh titaveh do not apply to the
acquisition of property from non-Jews. In order to understand this law, it
is necessary to discuss a principle that underlies the Torah outlook towards
inter-personal relationships. The Torah stresses that every human being is
created in the Image of G-d and accordingly, must be treated in a respectful
manner. However, it is understood that people treat members of their family
in a more favorable manner than everyone else. Thus, it is normal for
people to lend each other money and charge interest, whereas one would not
charge interest on a loan to his brother or son.
The Torah teaches us that the Jewish people are equivalent to one 'family'.
Although all Jews are not necessarily genetically related to each other
, nonetheless we are spiritually related in a common covenant that makes us
like one family. Accordingly, whilst a Jew treats everyone with care and
concern, he acts towards his fellow Jew with extra consideration. Thus, for
example a Jew is forbidden from lending his fellow Jew with interest .
Similarly, it is normal for non-Jews to pressure one another to sell items,
so too Jews are not obligated to act any differently from how non-Jews act
between themselves. However, one must be very careful that all his business
interactions are conducted in a respectable manner, to engender a kiddush
HaShem (sanctification of G-d's name) and avoid causing a chillul Hashem
(desecration of G-d's name).
 Much of the information for this essay is taken from "Halachos of Other
People's Money" by Rabbi Yisroel Pinchos Bodner.
 This is certainly the case because of the numerous converts that have
joined Judaism throughout history.
 Parshas Mishpatim, 22:24.