Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Do Not Steal Part 1

By Rabbi Yehonasan Gefen

Having spent many months on the Mitzvo of returning lost objects we finally move on to a new, essential set of Mitzvot those that are related to stealing. With superficial analysis, a person may believe that the laws related to stealing are irrelevant to him; he feels certain that he never steals from other person. However, the Talmud suggests that it is not so simple to avoid stealing from others. The Talmud confronts us with a surprising accusation it states that most people stumble in the area of stealing[1]!

How can this be the case? It seems that the reason most people feel that they do not steal is because they have a very narrow definition of what it means to steal. However, the Torah, in its Infinite wisdom, defines stealing in a very different fashion. According to the Torah's understanding, it is far easier to stumble in stealing than one would have imagined.

In what way does our definition of stealing differ so drastically from that of the Torah? We tend to look at stealing as blatantly taking something away from someone else. Many people do not stumble in this form of stealing. However, the Talmud sees stealing in much wider terms. It sees stealing as including any unjustified way of depriving one's fellow of what is rightfully his. Some examples of this are; using someone else's item without his express permission; taking something as a practical joke; taking the most inexpensive item, such as a ketchup packet from a restaurant, or a towel from a hotel, without permission. In the coming months we will discuss in detail the numerous aspects of the laws related to stealing and we will hopefully develop a far more sophisticated sense of respect for the property, money, and privacy of our fellow.


1. Bava Basra, 165a


Text Copyright © 2009 by Rabbi Yehonasan Gefen and Torah.org Visit Rabbi Gefen's new blog at rabbiygefen.blogspot.com.


 
Sell Chometz Online







ARTICLES ON KEDOSHIM AND THE OMER:

View Complete List

Burden of Reproof
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5757

The Students of Rabbi Akiva
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

Justice Must Be Carried Out
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5757

Looking for a Chavrusah?

In Hillel's Footsteps
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5760

...And Hear It We Must
Rabbi Label Lam - 5762

Prisms of Light - Reflections of Shattered Glass
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5772

ArtScroll

In Pursuit Of Holiness
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761

Orlah - No Shortcuts?
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5765

Why is this Portion Different from Other Portions?
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5757

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Following Torah Standards
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5770

Identical but Different
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5758

Now Become Holy!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5770

> Who Has To Honor Whom?
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5773

The Joys of Animal Noise
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5773

Unspoken Words
Rabbi Label Lam - 5760

Cloaked in Dignity
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5761



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