Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Do Not Steal Part 1

By Rabbi Yehonasan Gefen

Having spent many months on the Mitzvo of returning lost objects we finally move on to a new, essential set of Mitzvot – those that are related to stealing. With superficial analysis, a person may believe that the laws related to stealing are irrelevant to him; he feels certain that he never steals from other person. However, the Talmud suggests that it is not so simple to avoid stealing from others. The Talmud confronts us with a surprising accusation – it states that most people stumble in the area of stealing[1]!

How can this be the case? It seems that the reason most people feel that they do not steal is because they have a very narrow definition of what it means to steal. However, the Torah, in its Infinite wisdom, defines stealing in a very different fashion. According to the Torah's understanding, it is far easier to stumble in stealing than one would have imagined.

In what way does our definition of stealing differ so drastically from that of the Torah? We tend to look at stealing as blatantly taking something away from someone else. Many people do not stumble in this form of stealing. However, the Talmud sees stealing in much wider terms. It sees stealing as including any unjustified way of depriving one's fellow of what is rightfully his. Some examples of this are; using someone else's item without his express permission; taking something as a practical joke; taking the most inexpensive item, such as a ketchup packet from a restaurant, or a towel from a hotel, without permission. In the coming months we will discuss in detail the numerous aspects of the laws related to stealing and we will hopefully develop a far more sophisticated sense of respect for the property, money, and privacy of our fellow.


1. Bava Basra, 165a


Text Copyright © 2009 by Rabbi Yehonasan Gefen and Torah.org Visit Rabbi Gefen's new blog at rabbiygefen.blogspot.com.


 






ARTICLES ON MASEI AND THE THREE WEEKS:

View Complete List

To Tell You The Truth...
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5764

The Price Of Choice
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5761

Take Vengeance for Hashem
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5756

Looking for a Chavrusah?

A Body and Soul Job
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5766

Why Should We Remember?
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5768

Dead First
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5760

ArtScroll

17th of Tammuz: Why We Fast - Part 2
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Following Instructions!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5771

Cities of Refuge: Sanctuary for Survival
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5768

> The Question/Answer Dynamic
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5763

You Can’t Get More Local or Global Than That!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5773

Vengeance: Revenge is Sweet
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5766

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Oath of Office
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5759

An Ounce of Prevention
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5758

Where Have You Been?
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5766

Your Flattery Will Be The Death of Me
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5771



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information