After several months of discussing the numerous laws relating to stealing,
it is important to also understand the philosophical side to why stealing is
such a serious sin.
We live in a time of Exile when HaShem's presence is hidden (hester panim).
One of the leading Rabbis in the world today, Rabbi Mattisyahu Salomon
Shlita suggests that carelessness in monetary matters (mamonos) is a
direct cause of hester panim: The Torah commands us to use accurate and
honest weights and measures . Directly following this section comes the
portion that recalls the time when the evil nation of Amalek attacked the
Jewish people ? What is the connection between these seemingly disparate
The great 19th Century commentary the Netsiv explains that cheating in
business undermines the basic tenets of faith (Emuna) and trust (bitachon)
in G-d. One who trusts that Hashem will provide for his livelihood will
have no desire to break the Torah laws pertaining to stealing, in order to
acquire money. However, a person who is willing to cheat and be rationalize
questionable behavior in order to support himself demonstrates that he is
not living with a belief that G-d is looking over him. Measure for measure,
Hashem says, ‘if you are acting as if I am not around then I will no longer
be in your midst and protect you.’ Without heavenly protection we are open
prey to our enemies. This explains why the section discussing honesty is
followed by that of Amalek. When a person steals he implicitly denies
Divine Providence. Accordingly, Hashem steps back and leaves him prey to
the numerous threats around him.
May we all merit to recognize that Hashem is constantly looking over us and
will provide for us.
 He is the mas
 Devarim 25, 13-16.
 Devarim 25, 17-19.
 His full name was Naftali Tzvi Yehuda Berlin.