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,
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