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 NOACH:

View Complete List

The World is a Symphony
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5757

Great Is Peace
- 5769

People In Stone Houses Should not Cast Bricks
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5774

ArtScroll

Lesson of the Ravens
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5763

Raising Children: The Secret of Success
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5760

The Roots of Evil
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5769

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Why We Keep Sinning
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5774

Internal Beliefs Have External Effects
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5758

It's All About Redemption Part II
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5766

Looking for a Chavrusah?

When the Illegitimate Becomes Legitimate
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5758

Who By Fire, Who By Water
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5766

Make it a Habit
Shlomo Katz - 5774

> The Shame Of Cham
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5762

Law and Order
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5760

To Share in the Pain of Others
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5758

Not Better or Worse, Just Different
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5756



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