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 EIKEV:

View Complete List

Doing Our Part
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5763

What Do You Mean You Forgot?!
Shlomo Katz - 5765

Building on Our Blessings
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5761

> On The Heel Of Success
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5760

Humility: On the Shoulders of Our Father
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5774

The Summary of All Fear
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5762

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Perpetual Care
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5759

Going Beyond the Carrot
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5759

Faith-Heeler
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5760

ArtScroll

The Healing of the Heel
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5764

On Cue
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5757

A Clean Slate
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5758

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

National Consequence
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5758

The Spice Of Life
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5774

Steps on a Ladder
Shlomo Katz - 5763

Letting Go
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5758



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