Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend


65. Theft - Geneivah

It is forbidden to steal, as it says "You shall not steal".1 A thief must pay double; and if he steals an ox or sheep and sells it (or gives it away) or slaughters it he pays for five oxen or four sheep [as it says "If a man steals an ox or sheep and slaughters it or sells it he shall pay five cattle in place of the ox and four sheep in place of the sheep... if the theft is found in his hands... he shall pay two"].2 If the theft is intact he must return it; if not, he pays for it. Double payment applies only to real, movable property that belongs to an individual, as it says "For an ox, for an ass, for a sheep, for a garment... he shall pay double to his friend".3,a

It is forbidden to buy stolen goods from a thief. If one does so and the thief is caught the buyer must return the goods to the owner (unless the owner had given up hope), but the owner compensates him and collects from the thief. If he bought from a known thief, however, he must return the goods to the owner (or pay for them, if the owner had given up hope) and collect from the thief.b

We are commanded to keep accurate scales, weights and measures, as it says "You shall have just scales, just stones, a just dry measure and a just liquid measure".4 It is forbidden to keep inaccurate ones in our possession even if we do not use them, as it says "There shall not be in your pocket a large stone and a small stone...".5 It is forbidden to cheat someone by the use of false measure, as it says "You shall not do injustice in measure, weight or volume"4; and if one does so he must pay. There is a special prohibition against stealing land in the land of Israel by moving boundary markers, as it says "You shall not push back your friend's border... in the inheritance that you inherit..."6,c

It is forbidden to kidnap, as it says "You shall not steal",1 and it says "If a man is found stealing a person of his brethren of the children of Israel and he enslaves him and sells him, that thief shall die",7 and it says "And one who steals a man and sells him... shall die".8,d

If a thief is caught in the act it is permitted to kill him unless it is certain that he would not have killed anyone who tried to stop him, as it says "If the thief is found in the tunnel and is struck and dies he has no blood-rights...".9,e

Sources:

1. Ex. 20:15, Lev. 19:11, Deut. 5:17 a. 1:1,4,6,12; 2:1-2,10
2. Ex. 21:37; 22:3 b. 5:1-3
3. Ex. 22:8 c. 7:1-3,11;:8:1
4. Lev. 19:35-36 d. 9:1-2
5. Deut. 26:13-15 e. 9:7-10
6. Deut. 19:14
7. Deut. 24:7
8. Ex. 21:16
9. Ex. 22:1-2



 


ARTICLES ON MIKETZ AND CHANUKAH:

View Complete List

The Inside Story Revealed
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5758

Shehechiyanu in Bergen Belsen
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5756

A Little Light Chases Away a Lot of Darkness
Rabbi Label Lam - 5760

> Repent! For the End is Dear
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761

The Good Times are Rolling
Rabbi Label Lam - 5763

Some on Chariots, and Some on Horses
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5758

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Chanukah: A Postscript
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5756

Days of Eight
Rabbi Label Lam - 5763

Mercy Filling
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5763

ArtScroll

Darkness and Light
Shlomo Katz - 5773

Nice Guys Finish Second -- Second in Command to Pharoah
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5766

Chanukah and Mechiras Yosef: The Hidden Connection
Shlomo Katz - 5764

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Why Eight Days?
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

Our Noble Mission
Rabbi Label Lam - 5766

Build with Your Dreams
Shlomo Katz - 5772

Miracles of Modesty
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5762



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