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 MASEI AND THE THREE WEEKS:

View Complete List

Dead First
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5760

Following Instructions!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5771

A Day of Rebuilding
Rabbi Label Lam - 5761

> To My Very Last Breath
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

Kinder and Gentler Killers
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5756

You Can’t Get More Local or Global Than That!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5773

ArtScroll

In Other Words
Shlomo Katz - 5764

Marriage Vows
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5770

Harnessing Powers
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5761

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Manifestations of Mourning
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Ramban: Why was Parshas Nedarim given over specifically to "Roshei haMatos?"
- 5771

With A Kiss
Rabbi Label Lam - 5770

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

A Book of Memories
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5767

Wandering No More
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5760

The Darkest Corner
Rabbi Label Lam - 5763

Cities of Refuge: Sanctuary for Survival
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5768



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