Gezel Akum

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    What, exactly, is the issur of Gezel Akum? How is it different than gezel? Where is the issur derived from? (It isn’t the same as gezel from a yehudi.) And gezel from a non-Torah observant yehudi or a Jewish rasha or Jewish baal avoda zora falls into what category?

    M’koros please.

    Darchei Noam

    The reason Gezel Akum is not allowed, is because of Mipnei Aivah/Darchei Shalom/Chillul Hashem. There is no other reason. Just like you shouldn’t go to a nochri and curse him, you shouldn’t engage in gezel from him.


    Do you work for the KGB?


    Choshen Mishpat 348:2

    “Anyone who steals even a minor amount violates the prohibition of [Leviticus 19:11] “You shall not steal” and is required to repay [the amount stolen] whether one steals from a Jew or a gentile.”

    Choshen Mishpat 359:1

    It is forbidden to rob or to cheat even a minor amount from either a Jew or a gentile.

    Kitzur 182:1

    It is forbidden to rob or to steal even a minor amount from either a Jew or a gentile.

    Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Gezeilah 1:2

    And it is biblically forbidden to steal even a minor amount; even a gentile – it is forbidden to steal from him or to cheat him. And if you stole from him or cheated him you must return the stolen money or object.

    Sefer HaChinuch, 259

    Maimonides of blessed memory wrote that if one lies in his measures and thereby overcharges even to an idolatrous gentile one violates a negative commandment and must return the money. Similarly, it is forbidden to mislead the gentiles in calculating prices as it says [Leviticus 25:50] “he shall make a reckoning with his purchaser” [see below] even if he is subjugated to your authority; even more so if the gentile is not subjugated to your authority and it says [Deuteronomy 25:16] “For an abomination to the Lord, you G-d, are all who do this.”

    Bava Kamma 113a-b

    And who permits stealing from a gentile [which is implied in an earlier case]? Doesn’t it say [in a baraita]: R. Shimon said that R. Akiva taught this when he came from Zephirin: From where do we know that theft from a gentile is forbidden [Leviticus 25:48] “After he [a Jew] has been sold [as a slave to a gentile] he shall have a redemption.” We see from here that the Jewish court cannot take him away and he will leave his gentile owner. Maybe [after being redeemed the Jewish slave will go free and] the gentile will have to collect his money on his own – therefore it says [v. 50] [between this teaching and the earlier case]. Here [in this teaching] we are speaking about theft and here [in the earlier case] we are speaking about annulling a loan.

    Tosefta Bava Kamma 10:8 “It is worse to steal from a gentile than from a Jew because of desecration of [G-d’s] name”

    Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Geneivah 1:1, 7:8, Hilchot Gezeilah 1:1; R. Yechezkel Landau, Noda BiYehudah I Y”D 81; R. Yom Tov Algazi, Hilchot Bechorot 2:17; R. Chaim of Volozhin, Responsa Chut Hameshulash, 14, 17; R. Ephraim Navon, Machaneh Ephraim, Hilchot Gezeilah, 3; R. Yair Bachrach, Chavot Yair, 79; R. Tzvi Ashkenazi, Chacham Tzvi, 26 all state it is a deoraysa

    (thank you to gil student’s for these mekoros)

    in addition there is the issue of dina dimalchusa dina, which means that even if for some reason it was muttar to steal, it would still be forbidden due to american law. furthermore there would be a tremendous chillul hashem entailed. the meiri states (this one i dont have the mekor in front of me) that modern day religions do not have the status of akum and therefore one is obligated to return their property just like a jews etc. ) furthermore there is a principal that if a non-jew is obligated in something from the sheva mitzvos we are also obligated, and non jews cannot steal from eachother based on the sheva mitzvos

    kol tuv

    – gavi


    Darchei Noam – That is a myth. Try looking at the mekores that were mentioned!



    I find it hard to believe that you need a source to tell you to act like a mensch


    If you steal you are a ganuf whether you steal from a jew or a goy. Hashem sees everything you do and knows your intentions. What is the point of this discussion?

    Darchei Noam

    Re: The Noda B’Yehuda (and some others), we see this kind of disclaimer on almost every sefer. They can’t all be meant seriously. Sefer Seder Ya’akov on maseches avodah zarah even has a disclaimer, but inside the sefer says clearly that the disclaimer is false. Have you seen the Aruch HaShulchan’s introduction to Choshen Mishpat and his unending praise to the Russian Czar? Can we take that seriously given what we know about the Russian czars? Maybe I’m being overly skeptical but I think it is clear that these types of disclaimers are a reaction to the medieval Talmud trials and the attempt to disingenuously avoid such trials and pogroms due to contemporary halachic literature. The difficulty with these disclaimers is that they appear on sefarim (such as those of the Noda BiYehudah and Chasam Sofer) in which the authors explicitly say that the Christians in their day are ovdei avodah zarah and that the various halachos in the gemara do apply to them.

    Were the printers of the gemara less than fully honest when they changed words like nochri to kena’ani or kusi? If not for that we would not have had any printed gemaras for centuries. Similarly, if not for these disclaimers we would have lost centuries’ worth of chiddushei Torah. Perhaps this was an es la’asos laShem.

    Yam shel Shlomo, Baba Kamma, ch. 10, no. 20, states that the Torah

    is given solely to the Jewish people for their welfare. Thus, theft of non-Jewish property is not its concern, except as it affects the integrity of Jewish behavior.

    Whether this concern for chillul Hashem is biblical or rabbinic is the subject of debate. Kesef Mishneh, Hil Gezeilah va’aveidah 1:2, maintains that the way Rambam codifies the law (i.e., he writes that it is prohibited, but does not say that the transgressor violates a negative commandment), indicates that Rambam is of the opinion that chillul Hashem is a rabbinic


    Rema, Even HaEzer 28:1: If a Jew betroths a woman with a ring that was stolen from a non-Jew, that the betrothal is lawful, is problematic. If the ring is stolen property, then the betrothal should not be valid.

    However, even those who are permissive in these areas prohibit such behavior because of Chillul Hashem.

    Rabban Gamliel decreed that stealing from a non-Jew is prohibited because of chillul Hashem (Talmud Yerushalmi, Baba Kamma 4:3: “The Roman government once sent two officers to learn Torah from Rabban Gamliel and they learned from him mikra, mishneh, talmud, halachos and aggadot. When they were finished, they said to him, “All of your Torah is pleasant and praiseworthy except for these two matters in which you maintain … and in that which you maintain that it is prohibited to steal from a Jew but that it is permissible to steal from a non-Jew. At that very moment, R. Akiva decreed that stealing from a non-Jew would be prohibited because of chillul Hashem.). And Shimon ben Shetah refrained from keeping an object that was lost by a non-Jew lest he be considered a barbarian. “More than I want all of the money in the world,” he

    declared, “I want to hear the Gentile say, ‘Blessed be the God of the Jews.'”

    (Talmud Yerushalmi, Baba Metzia 2:5. See also Tosafos, Baba Metzia 87b, s.v. ela. Rambam’s Commentary to the Mishnah, Keilim 12:7.)

    R. Moshe of Coucy, author of SMaG, put is succinctly, “All those who steal from Gentiles are guilty of Chillul Hashem for they cause the Gentiles to say ‘the Jews do not uphold the Torah (ein Torah leYisrael)’.. and they cause them to say ‘see how God chose for His portion a people of thieves and frauds.'” (SMaG, Negative Commandment no. 2, Positive Commandment no. 74. SMaG, prohibitions, no. 152; Sefer Hasidim, no. 1414. Hagahot Maimoniyos, Hil. Gezeilah va-Aveidah 1 [a].

    Darchei Noam

    Correction – The Noda BYehuda referred to in previous comment is in its preface (rather than the cited Y”D 81) where he wrote no there is difference at all in the prohibitions of robbery. Although, the Meiri maintains that the exemption of non-Jewish property from the stealing prohibition does not apply to today’s non-Jews. The uncensored edition of Beis Yosef, Choshen Mishpat, ch. 266, maintains that there is no distinction between an idolator and a contemporary non-Jew. (Some maintain that the distinction was a form of apologetics and that it was the concern over the anti-Semitic censors that introduced this distinction into the text.)


    My chumash does not say “Lo Sigzol MaiAchicha…” It simply says “Lo Sigzol.”

    The Wolf

    Darchei Noam

    See the Yam shel Shlomo.

    so right

    The important thing to note, is that everyone is arguing over why it is prohibited, no one is arguing over if it is prohibited.


    Interesting to note that in choshen mishpat on gezel akum, on the side, the maharam m’rottenberg paskins that to’ois akum or a mistake that a goy makes, is also ossur. this is the same maharam who was imprisoned and died in jail and wasn’t allowed kevura. He witnessed many atrocities against Jews yet when it came to halocho, he paskined objectively.


    Darchei Noam:

    The Torah was given to the Jewish People for their own welfare, but the Jewish People where given to the rest of the world for its welfare. Your approach is typical of the entitlement-oriented focus of many in the Jewish world today. We are not here to take from others (yes, even non-Jews). We are here to emulate God; to give to everyone and better human civilization and human existence through our adherence to the Torah. Does theft from non-Jews comport with that mission? D’racheha darchei noam, v’chol n’sivoseha shalom!




    Is there a heter for ??? ?? to be thieves? If not, why would the question arise.

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