Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Do Not Steal1 PART 15

It is not only forbidden to steal items. One may not help or encourage others to steal. Included in this prohibition is purchasing stolen merchandise, or merchandise that has very likely been stolen. The source of this prohibition is the mitzvo of :"Do not put a stumbling block in front of a blind man."[2] This mitzvo teaches us that one may not cause or aid other people to sin. This also applies to helping a non-Jew transgress one of the mitzvos that pertain to him.[3] Since it is forbidden for a non-Jew to steal, one may not purchase an item that was stolen by one non-Jew from another, because doing so, encourages the thief to continue in his evil ways.

Similarly, one may not sell equipment or provide information to a person who appears to be preparing to use it in order to steal. There are two reasons given as to why one may not cause others to sin.

1. To do so, constitutes a direct violation against Hashem. Hashem created the world in such a way that the spiritual actions of human beings have a great effect on creation. When a person performs a mitzvo, he causes great benefit to the world in a spiritual sense. Conversely, when he sins, he causes great spiritual damage. Accordingly, when a person causes or helps his fellow sin, he is contributing to the subsequent damage.

2. Causing another person to sin also constitutes a violation in the realm of interpersonal relationships (bein adam lechaveiro). When a person sins, he not only damages the world, but he damages himself. It is not simply that Hashem 'punishes' people for their sins, rather He has placed a spiritual system of action and consequence. This system is identical to the system present in the physical world. If a person steps off a high wall he will harm himself - it is not considered as if he was punished, rather he committed an action that had negative consequences. In a similar way, when a person sins, he steps of a metaphorical wall, and causes himself harm. Accordingly, helping someone sin, causes him harm, therefore it is forbidden.


[1] Much of the information for this essay is taken from "Halachos of Other People's Money" by Rabbi Yisroel Pinchos Bodner.
[2] Kedoshim, 19:14.
[3] The Noachide Laws.


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.


 

ARTICLES ON KI SEITZEI AND ELUL / ROSH HASHANAH:

View Complete List

Parashat Haazinu
Shlomo Katz - 5764

Hide and No Seek
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5761

Love, Awe, Humility, Wisdom, and Birds
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5763

ArtScroll

Two People, One Soul
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5772

The Proverbial "Kick In The Pants"
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5761

Trust and Position
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5765

> The Sound of True Devotion
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5763

Better Innocent than Guilty
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5756

Benevolent Association
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5762

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The Weigh to the Real War
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5758

Lessons on Prayer
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5760

Leave it Up to the King
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5764

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Recognition of Good
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5760

The Time Is Now
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5759

Yefas Toar: Captivating Beauty
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5766

Say It with Chumros
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5771



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