Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Do Not Steal1 Part 9

Last week we began discussion of oshek, which involves cheating others from money or items that rightfully belong to them. There are many different situations in which a person can commit oshek.

Refusing to pay a loan constitutes oshek This includes outright refusal to pay back the loan, denying it was ever made, and claiming that the loan never took place. A person who would like to pay the loan but is unable to, is not guilty of oshek.

What does it mean that he is "unable" to pay his loan? If he has insufficient money to meet his basic food needs for 30 days, and his basic clothing and shelter needs for 12 months, and has no assets, he may defer paying. If a person finds himself in such a situation where he feels that he may be "unable" to pay the loan (and therefore not transgress oshek by not paying back the loan) then he should consult an Orthodox Rabbi to clarify the law in his specific case.

It is important to note that such poverty does not nullify the loan permanently. Rather, it merely exempts him from transgression of oshek. Needless to say, once the borrower attains sufficient funds, then he is obligated to repay the loan.

It is essential to recognize the severity of refusing to pay back a loan. The Rabbis describes a person who commits this sin as a rasha, an 'evil' person. The great Rabbi, The Chofetz Chaim[2] zt"l, added that someone who wrongfully holds the money of others will not succeed through his dishonesty. Rather, he will part from his ill-gotten gains.


[1] Much of the information for this essay is taken from "Halachos of Other People's Money" by Rabbi Yisroel Pinchos Bodner.
[2] His real name was Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan. He is universally known as the 'Chofetz Chaim', the name of his famous book on the laws of Lashon Hara, (negative speech).


Text Copyright 2009 by Rabbi Yehonasan Gefen and Torah.org Visit Rabbi Gefen's new blog at rabbiygefen.blogspot.com.


 

ARTICLES ON KI SISA AND PURIM:

View Complete List

What A Choice . . .
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5764

How Could They?
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5758

Living Up to the Highest Standards
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5756

ArtScroll

Feeling Inspired
Shlomo Katz - 5761

In Defense of Haman
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5760

Light and Joy
Shlomo Katz - 5765

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

The Reality of the Day
Rabbi Label Lam - 5774

The Negative Side of Individuality
Rabbi Yosef Kalatzky - 5764

Mishloach Manos - The Gift of Unity
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Strength in Numbers
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5767

A Major Player
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

Who Knows?!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

> A Community that Counts
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5771

Await the Dawn
Rabbi Label Lam - 5767

Watermelons, Leeks, Onions, and Cucumbers
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5761

Open for Business
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5759



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