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 VAYEITZEI AND CHANUKAH:

View Complete List

See What Will Be
Rabbi Label Lam - 5769

Of Climbing Ladders and Tugging Ropes
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5768

The Meaning of Miracles
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5766

ArtScroll

A Double Loss!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5767

Shedding Light on the Identity Crisis
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5759

Chanukah Oil: A Real No-Know
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5762

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Lend Me an Ear
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5767

A Matter of Honour
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5763

A Superficial Light
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5772

> Light From Darkness, Take Two
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5766

The Merit of 20 Years of Honest Work Surpassed the Merit of the Forefathers
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5774

Our Noble Mission
Rabbi Label Lam - 5766

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

See Yaakov Run
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5770

Analyzing The Imagery of A Familiar Chanukah Poem
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5765

Anti-Semitism: The Original Source
Shlomo Katz - 5764

Caught Not Taught
Rabbi Dovid Green - 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