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 PINCHAS AND THE THREE WEEKS:

View Complete List

Grandson of Aharon -- The Lover of Peace & Pursuer of Peace
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5766

The Nine Days of Mourning
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5758

Pursue G-d
Shlomo Katz - 5766

> Forever Sensitive
Rabbi Label Lam - 5763

Finding Ourselves - It's The Rage
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5764

The Special Potential of Each Jew
Rabbi Yosef Kalatzky - 5762

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Down In The Rankings
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5763

A Double-Edged Sword
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5772

Harnessing Powers
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5761

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

The Right Thing
Rabbi Label Lam - 5768

G-d's Food
Shlomo Katz - 5770

Standing Up to the Prevailing Winds
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5758

ArtScroll

To Win the Baal Game!
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5760

In Partnership With G-d
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5760

Much Louder Than Words
Rabbi Label Lam - 5769

The Pitfall of Consistency: Been There; Done That
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5770



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