Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Do Not Steal* Part 3

By Rabbi Yehonasan Gefen

In the previous article, we discussed the three forms of stealing: Stealing in secret (geneiva), stealing in public (gezeila) and cheating someone of what is rightfully theirs (oshek). In the coming weeks we will focus on various forms of taking items and discuss whether they constitute stealing according to the Torah. We will see that the prohibition of stealing applies to a far wider range of actions than we may have initially thought.

Taking Items of Miniscule Value

It is forbidden to steal any item regardless of its value. Even if the item is worth less than a prutah** , one may not take it without permission. For example, a person stays in a hotel and when he leaves, he takes a small ketchup packet from the dining area. It is quite possible that the hotel owner objects to people taking anything with them, therefore the visitor should refrain from this practice unless he is completely certain that the owner allows people to take items when they leave.

The one exception to this is if one can be totally sure that nobody would ever object to such an item being taken. For example, one may take a splinter of wood from a fence in order to use that splinter - if in fact, the owner of the fence does in fact object, then taking the splinter would constitute stealing.

Taking as a Practical Joke

One may think that taking a friend's item as practical joke is not considered stealing since the joker intends to return it. However, this is considered to be a form of stealing that is prohibited by the Torah. Taking something even temporarily is nonetheless an act of thievery. It is important to educate one's children taking things in such a fashion is an unacceptable activity.


*Much of the information for this essay is taken from "Halachos of Other People's Money" by Rabbi Yisroel Pinchos Bodner.

**A prutah is defined as the lowest common denomination coin that can be used to purchase items. A penny or nickel is certainly less than a prutah.


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


 

ARTICLES ON ACHAREI MOS AND KEDOSHIM:

View Complete List

Parshas Kedoshim
Shlomo Katz - 5771

Giving for a Good Cause
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5762

Beyond Common (In)Cense
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5758

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Orlah - No Shortcuts?
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5765

Everybody's a Dreamer Everybody's a Star
Jon Erlbaum - 0

A Tremendous Mitzvah
Rabbi Label Lam - 5774

> Do it Because I am Holy
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5758

Holy Nation
Rabbi Label Lam - 5771

Rabbi Frand on Parshas Acharei Mos
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5765

ArtScroll

"What Does God Say?"
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5770

The Value of Reverence
Rabbi Yosef Kalatzky - 5764

A Good Place to Begin
Rabbi Label Lam - 5768

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

A Holy Mindset
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5772

Exodus - What Does it Mean to Be Free?
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5765

The Good That Men Do
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5767

Love From Inside Out - Part 2
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5763



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