Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Do Not Steal1 Part 16

Up to this point, we have focused on various forms of stealing. There is a different but connected prohibition to take an item against the owner's will and pay for it. Even though the person paid the money, he transgressed the prohibition known as 'chamas' in hebrew.

For example, a person aggressively bargained with his friend to sell him an item[2] . The friend refused to sell, so the person grabbed the item and put the money on the table. Since the owner did not agree to sell at that price, the grabber was guilty of chamas.

However, if the owner in some way demonstrated that he agreed to the sale, then there is no transgression of chamas. For example, if he gave the buyer change for the money he put out, then he shows that he has consented to the transaction.

Another prohibition relating to other people's money and property is to not cheat buyers by giving short weights or measures. One who does so, not only transgresses the commandment not to steal, but also the specific command not to cheat with weights and measures[3]. Accordingly, retail store owners should be careful to tell their sales help to properly operate their scales, and on how to set the tare to deduct the weight of the bag, wrappers or container.[4]

It should be noted that this prohibition applies to non-Jews as well as Jews, and applies to stealing very small percentages of the weight or measure.


[1] Much of the information for this essay is taken from "Halachos of Other People's Money" by Rabbi Yisroel Pinchos Bodner.
[2] We will see in a future article that, this form of bargaining is often forbidden in and of itself.
[3] Vayikra, 19:35-6.
[4] Bodner, p.76.


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 LECH LECHA:

View Complete List

Bordering on the Holy Land
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5766

The Unique Level of Avraham
Rabbi Yosef Kalatsky - 5763

The Standers and the Walkers
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5760

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Cloudy Vision
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5768

The Ordeal of Departure
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5771

And Swing with All Your Might
Rabbi Label Lam - 5760

ArtScroll

Every Drop Matters
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5758

Learning How To Walk
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761

Living Miraculously
Rabbi Label Lam - 5766

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

No Second Thoughts
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5764

To the Land That I Will Show You
Rabbi Label Lam - 5763

The House that Truth Built
Rabbi Label Lam - 5762

> When Things Don't Go As Planned
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5765

This Land Is My Land (and Our Land)
Shlomo Katz - 5775

Enduring Lesson
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5759

Of Threads and Shoelaces
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 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