Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Do Not Covet Part 4

As we approach the end of the laws concerning the commandment of ‘Do Not Covet’[1] , it is instructive to summarize and clarify which forms of ‘coveting’ are forbidden and which are permitted.

We noted in the first part in the series that there is no prohibition to merely want someone else’s item.[2] Rather, the word, 'tachmod' implies cajoling, pressuring, or embarrassing someone into selling him something that the owner really did not want to sell.

However, it is also forbidden to think and scheme about how to pressure one's fellow into selling him the item. Thus, even if one only plans how to attain the item in such a fashion and never proceeds, he nonetheless transgresses the Torah commandment of 'loh titaveh' which is stated in the second version of the Ten Commandments.[3]

It is also important to recognize that it is permissible to want the same item as one’s friend, as long as it is not the specific item that his friend owns. For example, Sarah likes Keren’s shoes, plans to buy similar shoes, and does indeed buy such shoes.. This is totally permissible. If, however, Sarah planned how to cajole Keren into selling her the shoes, the she would transgress ‘loh titaveh’. And if she actually succeeded in acquiring the shoes through these methods, then she transgresses ‘loh tachmod’.

In a similar vein, one may ask a Rabbi for a blessing to attain an item that is similar to the one owned by his friend. If, for example, Jon wants a house that is very similar to that of David, then he may ask a Rabbi for a blessing to attain such a house[4].

Finally, it is allowed for one who anticipates receiving gifts on a certain occasion[5] to ask for specific gifts. It would only be forbidden if he pressure someone into giving a specific item that he does not want to part with.


1.‘Loh tachmod’ n Hebrew.
2. Although it is certainly not an attitude that is in line with the Torah outlook, as will be discussed in future articles.
3. Va'eschanan, 5:18.
4. It should be stressed that perhaps there are more important things that one should ask for a blessing for -such as righteous children and health.
5. Such as a bride and groom, a boy approaching Bar Mitzvo or a girl approaching Bat Mitzvo.


 

Text Copyright © 2009 by Rabbi Yehonasan Gefen and Torah.org

Visit Rabbi Gefen's new blog at rabbiygefen.blogspot.com.

Rabbi Gefen's new book, The Guiding Light, is now available! To order, please contact Rabbi Gefen at Gefen123@smile.net.il or 00972 52 761 9935.


 

ARTICLES ON VAESCHANAN AND TU BEAV:

View Complete List

Rejoicing in a Month of Misfortune: Part 1
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Humility
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5774

The Multilayered Torah
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5771

ArtScroll

Judaism 101
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5757

For The Very First Time
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5761

Mi Casa Es Su Casa
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5770

Looking for a Chavrusah?

I Have Just Begun to See
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5761

Military Tactics
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5763

Shabbos Nachamu
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5762

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Kinah for Tisha B’Av
Rabbi Label Lam - 5771

Basic Tenet of Jewish Life
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5763

Seeing the Blessing
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5772

> At Peace With Itself
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5765

Mi Casa Es Su Casa
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5772

Opposites Are Equal (or: Of Parents and Eggs)
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5771

Mi Casa Es Su Casa
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5774



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