Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Do Not Steal1 Part 9

Last week we began discussion of oshek, which involves cheating others from money or items that rightfully belong to them. There are many different situations in which a person can commit oshek.

Refusing to pay a loan constitutes oshek This includes outright refusal to pay back the loan, denying it was ever made, and claiming that the loan never took place. A person who would like to pay the loan but is unable to, is not guilty of oshek.

What does it mean that he is "unable" to pay his loan? If he has insufficient money to meet his basic food needs for 30 days, and his basic clothing and shelter needs for 12 months, and has no assets, he may defer paying. If a person finds himself in such a situation where he feels that he may be "unable" to pay the loan (and therefore not transgress oshek by not paying back the loan) then he should consult an Orthodox Rabbi to clarify the law in his specific case.

It is important to note that such poverty does not nullify the loan permanently. Rather, it merely exempts him from transgression of oshek. Needless to say, once the borrower attains sufficient funds, then he is obligated to repay the loan.

It is essential to recognize the severity of refusing to pay back a loan. The Rabbis describes a person who commits this sin as a rasha, an 'evil' person. The great Rabbi, The Chofetz Chaim[2] zt"l, added that someone who wrongfully holds the money of others will not succeed through his dishonesty. Rather, he will part from his ill-gotten gains.


[1] Much of the information for this essay is taken from "Halachos of Other People's Money" by Rabbi Yisroel Pinchos Bodner.
[2] His real name was Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan. He is universally known as the 'Chofetz Chaim', the name of his famous book on the laws of Lashon Hara, (negative speech).


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


 

ARTICLES ON MISHPATIM:

View Complete List

The Details Before the Acceptance
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5773

Climbing Unto Love or Falling into Lust
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5773

Is Life like an Onion?
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5762

ArtScroll

Reliving The Pain
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5774

Antonym or Synonym?
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5759

Letting Go...
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5776

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Growth Investment
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5760

Discipline
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5773

Don't Get Mad, Get Glad
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5762

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Anotherís World!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5773

Expect Nothing!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5771

The Devil is in the Details
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5760

> Lost Ring
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5763

Put Yourself In His Shoes
Rabbi Chaim Flom - 5755

A Holy Man
Rabbi Label Lam - 5768

Bribes Blind: Not Only Judges & A Case Study
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5776



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