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Geneivat Daat 1 2

Last week we began discussion of the prohibition known as ‘Geneivas Daas’ – this is literally translated as ‘stealing the mind’ of someone else. The early authorities discuss the nature of this prohibition.

The Rambam (Moses Maimonides, Hilchot Dayot, 2:6) describes this prohibition in the following way: That one should not say one thing, but think something else in his heart, rather “his inside should be like his outside”. Therefore, a person should not speak friendly words when he doesn’t mean it. The Rambam also writes that this prohibition includes how we act with non-Jews (later on we will bring examples that he brings). Similarly, the Sefer Chassidim and Pele Yoetz write that one should not show great affection to a person when he doesn’t feel affection towards him in his heart.

In this vein, the Rabbinical sources praise Yosef’s brothers that they did not act in a two-faced way towards Yosef, rather they could not speak to him friendly words, because they did not feel friendly in their hearts (Rashi, Bereishis, 37:4).


1. This article is based on a talk given by Rabbi David Genish, Shlita, Rabbi of Kehillat Meam Loez – an English speaking Sefardi shul in Ramat Beit Shemesh – one of the only English Sefardi shuls in the whole of Eretz Yisroel. For more information about the Meam Loez community, email me on: Gefen123@smile.net.il


 

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.


 


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