Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

The Punishment For Theft

By Rabbi Daniel Travis

All flesh that walked the earth perished. (Bereshith 7:21)

In some cases, if someone died owing money to others, whether because he had stolen or for other reasons, his soul must return to this world.(1) However, he will not return to the world as a human being, but as a horse, and he will have to toil for years before he will be pardoned for the money he owes.(2)

Rav Meir of Premishlan once stayed at the home of a man who owned many horses. Rav Meir asked his host if he would be willing to sell him one of the horses. The host explained that he could not sell the specific horse Rav Meir had chosen for it was his finest horse. A short while later, Rav Meir asked his host if he had any debtors’ notes. The host showed Rav Meir his collection of notes, and when Rav Meir looked through them, he picked out one and inquired about it. The host told him that the man who signed that note as a debtor had passed away, and there was no one from whom to collect the money. That being the case, Rav Meir asked if he could keep the note, and his host agreed. Rav Meir then ripped the note to pieces.

Immediately, one of the servants was heard shouting that the master’s finest horse had died suddenly, just at that moment. The host was shaken by this bizarre scenario, and asked Rav Meir the meaning of all that had transpired. Rav Meir explained that the individual whose note he had destroyed had been sent back to the world in the form of a horse in order to compensate the host for the money he had never repaid him. When the host gave Rav Meir the note, the debt was effectively cancelled, and the soul of this individual was freed to leave this world and enter the World to Come in peace.(3)


1. Vilna Gaon, Commentary on Mishlei 14:25.

2. Chofetz Chaim, Sefath Tamim, Ch. 4.

3. Beith Yisrael Ch. 8 p. 117.


Text Copyright © 2006 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org


 

ARTICLES ON KI SAVO AND ELUL / ROSH HASHANAH:

View Complete List

Open Your Eyes
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5770

Everything Depends on Our Teshuvah
Rabbi Label Lam - 5773

Tapping Into Our Meritorious Pedigree
Rabbi Naphtali Hoff - 5768

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The Epitome of G-d's Kindness
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

And Straight Again!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5766

Walk This Way
Shlomo Katz - 5766

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

That Ancient Memory
Rabbi Label Lam - 5771

Apparently Heir-Apparent
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5765

Past, Present, and Future
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5763

ArtScroll

A Matter of Attitudes and Altitudes
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5760

A Time to Remember and Be Inspired
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

Rabbi Frand on Rosh HaShana
- 5769

> Strike While the Iron is Hot
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5765

A Kindly Glance or a Penetrating Stare
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5758

Let the King Be Proud
Rabbi Chaim Flom - 5767

"Grind it out"
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5772



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