Home Subscribe Services Support Us
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Paying on Time1 Part 2

There are no less than six Torah commandments that deal with paying a worker his wages. Three prohibit the employee from refusing to pay the worker at all. The other three direct us not to delay paying him after he finishes his work. These are the Torah sources of these mitzvos.

“You shall not cheat your fellow[2].”

“Do not steal[3].”

“Do not keep a worker’s wage with you overnight until morning[4].”

“Do not cheat a poor or destitute hired person among your brothers[5].”

“You must pay him on that day[6].”

“The sun shall not set upon him[7].”

It should be noted that the mitzvos that command us to pay on time, only apply the first time that the employer is obligated to pay the worker. If he is exempt from paying on time[8], then the Torah prohibitions to not pay on time no longer apply. Therefore, the employer does not continuously transgress these mitzvos all the time that he does not pay the employer. However, there is a Rabbinical prohibition to withhold payment when requested[9].

In the coming weeks we will discuss the details of these Mitzvos.

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

2.Vayikra, 19:13.



5.Devarim, 24:14.



8.Examples of exemptions will be discussed in the coming weeks.

9.Shulchan Aruch, Simun 339.


Text Copyright © 2009 by Rabbi Yehonasan Gefen and

Visit Rabbi Gefen's new blog at

Rabbi Gefen's new book, The Guiding Light, is now available! To order, please contact Rabbi Gefen at or 00972 52 761 9935.



View Complete List

Between Light and Darkness
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5758

Starting Over
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5760

Straightforward and Upright
Shlomo Katz - 5762


Adam Regrets His Gift to Dovid
- 5768

A Walk in the Garden
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5759

Concentric Circles:Contrasting Worlds
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5773

> One Word, One World
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5767

The Oldest Lesson in History
Rabbi Label Lam - 5763

Challal: On Many Levels
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5775

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Nobody Ever Promised We'd Understand
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5762

A Meaningful Life
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5767

In the Image of G-d
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5760

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Chochmah, Tevunah, and Daat
Shlomo Katz - 5769

All Beginnings Are Hard
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5770

The Secrets of Creation
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5770

- 5768

Project Genesis Home

Torah Portion

Jewish Law



Learn the Basics




Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base


About Us

Contact Us

Free Book on Geulah! Home Copyright Information