Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Do Not Steal1Part 8

In the first part of this series, we outlined three forms of stealing - gezeila, geneiva, and oshek[1] . Thus far, we have discussed the regular form of stealing. In the coming weeks, we will discuss oshek. This is translated as cheating others. It refers to when a person refuses to pay someone who has loaned him money, or who has given him services or merchandise.

Oshek is considered to be no less severe than actively taking something away from one’s fellow. It should be noted that oshek only applies when the person is able to repay the debt or loan, but refuses to do so. If he is simply unable to pay his fellow back, then he does not transgress oshek. Obviously he should strive to repay his debts as soon as possible[2] .

The prohibition of oshek includes refusal to pay very small sums of money. For example, a person ordered an item worth $101.50 but he sent a check of $100, presuming that the owner would not be concerned about the minor reduction in payment. Unless the owner agreed to this reduction, the customer is transgressing the prohibition of stealing, in the form of oshek.

Oshek is not limited to outright refusal to pay. Deceiving the person into believing that there was no debt, or into lessening the debt, is oshek. So too, giving the owner the "run around" in the hope that he'll give up chasing for his money, is also completely forbidden. For example, a tenant owes his final month of rent after having moved out, but makes it very hard for the landlord to locate him. He refuses to pick up the phone, or when confronted, he says he will pay soon. Eventually, the landlord gives up his efforts at receiving the money he is entitled to. The tenant has committed the sever prohibition of stealing.

[1]See 'Do Not Steal' Part 1, for the definitions of these terms.
[2]If the debtor has to make difficult choices between paying his debts and providing for his needs, he should consult with an Orthodox Rabbi who is well-versed in these areas.


Text Copyright © 2009 by Rabbi Yehonasan Gefen and Torah.org Visit Rabbi Gefen's new blog at rabbiygefen.blogspot.com.


 

ARTICLES ON KI SAVO AND ELUL / ROSH HASHANAH:

View Complete List

The Mystery
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5765

Our Own Akeidah
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5766

Those are the Questions?
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Everyone Counts!
Shlomo Katz - 5772

Boomerang
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5764

The Gain is Proportional to the Pain
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5772

> Walk This Way
Shlomo Katz - 5766

Sensitivity to the Needs of the Poor
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5759

Appreciation: Saves us from Sin
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5774

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The World Was Created for Me
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5757

The Ever-Present
Rabbi Label Lam - 5774

His Story
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5764

ArtScroll

Elul – It’s All Relative
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5769

Self Cancellation
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5763

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

Happy New Yira
Rabbi Label Lam - 5769



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