Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Do Not Steal1, Part 13

In the past months we have discussed various aspects of stealing, involving taking money or items from other people. What is the law with regard to borrowing items without permission, but having intent to return them after use?[2]

The basic law is that borrowing an item without permission is forbidden. This is the case even when one returns it in the exact condition in which he found it, uses it only for a short time, and returns it to the exact same location. According to many authorities, borrowing in this fashion is considered stealing even when the owner subsequently says that he did not mind that the item was borrowed without his permission. This is because the borrower could not be certain at the time of borrowing that owner would not object.

There are a number of possible exceptions to this law.

1. If the borrower has borrowed this item before from its owner and therefore knows that the owner is not strict in this regard, it is permitted to use the item without attaining permission on this occasion. Needless to say, the borrower should be careful to return the item to its previous location so as not to make it difficult for the owner to find it. 2. Similarly, even if the borrower has never borrowed this specific item before, nonetheless, if he knows for certain that the owner will not mind his borrowing it because of their relationship, then it is permitted. Accordingly, a person may borrow his brother's ruler, for example, safe in the knowledge that his brother does not mind.

3. There are a number of items that no one minds when others borrow them. It is permissible to borrow such an item even from a stranger. Possible examples of such objects are simple chairs, hangers or washing cups for which one washes his hands. However, if the borrower is aware of some factor that may cause the owner to object, he may not use it without permission. Moreover, it should be noted that it is forbidden to borrow an item that most people do not mind others borrowing, but a minority do mind.

In the coming article we will discuss a further case in which it may be permissible to borrow an item without permission.


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

[2] Note that we are referring to items that when used do not get used up, such as a chair or a book. The law with regard to taking items that do get used up is even more strict.


Text Copyright 2009 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 MASEI AND THE THREE WEEKS:

View Complete List

A New Chapter
Shlomo Katz - 5771

What Are We Missing On Tisha B'Av?
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764

Forgotten Oaths
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5764

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Faithful Contentment
Rabbi Naphtali Hoff - 5774

First Things First
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5761

Creatures of Our Environment
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5763

> Confronting "I"
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5762

The Eye Generation
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5763

Crossing Holiness to the Other Side of the River
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5757

ArtScroll

A Lesson About Our Psyche
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

Armed with the Past
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5765

Appreciation
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5772

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

From Rock Bottom to Bottoms Up
Jon Erlbaum - 0

9th of Av: Reasons for Fasting - Part 1
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Criticm - To Accept or to Defend
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5759

Learn from Your Past!
Rabbi Berel Wein - 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