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 MASEI AND THE THREE WEEKS:

View Complete List

Seeing Punishment as Blessing
Rabbi Yosef Kalatzky - 5765

Cities of Refuge: Sanctuary for Survival
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5768

A Day of Rebuilding
Rabbi Label Lam - 5761

ArtScroll

What Are We Missing On Tisha B'Av?
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764

Confronting "I"
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5762

The Age Of Experience
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5772

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Ramban: Why was Parshas Nedarim given over specifically to "Roshei haMatos?"
- 5771

Ramban: Why was Parshas Nedarim given over specifically to
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5771

How?
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5761

> Collateral Damage
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5762

Vows: The Power of Speech
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5773

17th of Tammuz: Why We Fast - Part 2
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Looking for a Chavrusah?

How to Vow Your Audience
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5763

Marriage Vows
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5770

In a Month We Call -“Av”
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

The Longest Journey Ever
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5760



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