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.


 






ARTICLES ON DEVARIM AND THE THREE WEEKS:

View Complete List

YomTov, vol. XIII # 3
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5767

Payment in Full
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5769

Golden Opportunities
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5773

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Unite!
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5760

The Shepherd Sticks with His Flock
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5761

What Are We Mourning on the Ninth of Av
Rabbi Yosef Kalatzky - 5765

> Eisav's Reward
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5759

All Israel
Rabbi Label Lam - 5770

Parshas Devarim - Eichah?
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5758

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Paradise Lost
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5759

No Child's Game
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5760

Flight to Freedom
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5763

ArtScroll

The Foundation of Piety
Shlomo Katz - 5773

Personal Judge
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5762

Who will Remember?
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5761

Tooth and Nail
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5767



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