Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Do Not Steal1 Part 10

This week we continue our discussion of the form of stealing known as oshek - cheating a person out of money or property that is rightfully his.

Refusing to pay rent for real estate or items that one rented is also considered to be oshek. There may be times when a person feels justified in cheating someone out of his money. For example, if he dislikes the behavior of his landlord, he may feel justified in avoiding his final payment after having left the apartment. He may rationalize that the landlord caused him a great deal of anguish and that he deserves being released from the final payment. This is incorrect, and doing so constitutes stealing. This is even the case if he tries to avoid the landlord without outright refusing to pay, in the hope that the landlord will give up chasing him.

Refusing to pay a worker's wages also constitutes a transgression of oshek. (In addition, there is a separate mitzvo to pay a worker on time - this will be discussed in a future series). This is even the case if the employer has lost money and feels that he has lost more than his employees. (Refusal to pay wages because of bankruptcy is a more complicated matter - one should consult an Orthodox Rabbi as to the law in such a case).

Refusal to return money or valuables that were deposited for safekeeping, is also within the category of oshek. A common situation occurs when one receives a deposit with the understanding that should the buyer change his mind, his deposit will be refunded. If the customer does change his mind, the seller may not refuse to refund the deposit. Again, one may rationalize in certain cases, that there is nothing wrong with doing this - for example if the deposit is a small amount. However, we have seen that it is forbidden to steal anything, no matter how low its value.

A common theme that arises in this scenarios, is that a person will often have a strong inclination to justify retaining money or property. However, in numerous cases, doing so is forbidden. It is essential that a person recognize his inability to be completely objective when any amount of money is involved. Moreover, he should accustom himself to asking a Rabbi in situations where there is any measure of uncertainty as to the validity of his planned course of action.


1. Much of the information for this essay is taken from "Halachos of Other People's Money" by Rabbi Yisroel Pinchos Bodner.


Text Copyright © THISYEAR by Rabbi Yehonasan Gefen and Torah.org

Visit Rabbi Gefen's new blog at rabbiygefen.blogspot.com.

Rabbi Gefen's new book, The Guiding Light, is now available! To order, please contact Rabbi Gefen at Gefen123@smile.net.il or 00972 52 761 9935.


 






ARTICLES ON KI SEITZEI AND ELUL / ROSH HASHANAH:

View Complete List

Nerve Centre of the Year
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5763

Dead Man Falling
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5759

The Reward for Shiluach haKen Is the Inverse of the Reward For Kibud Av v'Em
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5771

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Tough Love
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5768

Yefas Toar: Captivating Beauty
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5766

To Be Respected
Rabbi Label Lam - 5769

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Lessons from a Farewell Speech
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5760

Close Only Counts
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5770

Say It with Chumros
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5771

> The Art of the Deal and It's Impact
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

The Extended Family Called Society
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5766

Armed With Torah
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5764

ArtScroll

It's Never Too Late
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5765

A Right to Repent?
Shlomo Katz - 5771

Putting The "Snap Crackle and Pop" Into One's Marriage Relationship
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5766

Of Fashions and Foods
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5759



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