Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Do Not Steal1 Part 21

This week, we continue with the laws of rectifying the sin of stealing.

What should the guilty person do in the event that he does not know the identity of his victims. This can occur when a person cheated the public in some way. For example, he may have used false weights or deliberately given too little change on many occasions, over the course of a significant period of time. In such instances, it is extremely unlikely that he will remember all the people that he cheated.

The first stage of rectification is to try to determine the total amount of money stolen. If that is impossible, then he should estimate an amount that he believes equals or exceeds what he actually took.

Then he should try to fund a community need such as a library, or a mikva. In this way, he can, in time, hopefully reimburse his victims the amount of money that he stole from them. The money should be given in an anonymous manner if at all possible, so that he should not receive any undeserved recognition for his 'donation'. It is insufficient to give stolen money to poor people or a charity that does not serve communal needs, because this would not benefit the victim. Needless to say, it is almost impossible for the guilty person to fully compensate all his victims - this should be a forewarning as to the seriousness of stealing, and how difficult it is to rectify this sin.

If the victim is no longer alive, one must make restitution to the victim's heirs.


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


 

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 SAVO AND ELUL / ROSH HASHANAH:

View Complete List

The Custom of Eating Symbolic Foods
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

The ‘Living’ Torah
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5766

Staying On Top of One's Blessings
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5758

ArtScroll

The Spark is There
Rabbi Label Lam - 5768

Those are the Questions?
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

Fruit of Our Labor
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5759

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

The Layers of Redemption
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5761

A Kindly Glance or a Penetrating Stare
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5758

Sweet Taste of Success
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5761

> Appreciation: Saves us from Sin
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5774

Uniforms vs. Uniformity
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5767

Mankind's Song
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5764

Looking for a Chavrusah?

From the Very First Breath…
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764

What's in a Smile...
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5757

Repentance and Changing History
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5759

Shofar: The Court Summons
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5766



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