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 NASO:

View Complete List

When Less Is Truly More
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5763

Nicknames for the Torah
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5760

Be Committed
Shlomo Katz - 5773

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The Missing 18 Months
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5762

Limiting the Wine
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5761

Learned From Their Mistakes
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5764

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Channeling Divine Light to the Entire World
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5771

Faith in Motion
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5773

Channels of a Different Type
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5758

ArtScroll

Priestly Pipeline
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5767

Being a Levi
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5773

Through Thick and Thin
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5760

> Just Say 'No'
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5762

Bring Blessings to the Children of Israel
Rabbi Label Lam - 5763

In the Wilderness
Shlomo Katz - 5768

Naturally Divine
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5764



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