August 14, 2017 3:38 pm at 3:38 pm #1338464mw13Participant
What would you do if you a fellow Jew shoplifting?
A) Start yelling and screaming at him/her, chasing them if need be
B) Go over and quietly say “I saw you take that item, and I really think Hashem wants you to put it back”
C) Option B, but adding “if you don’t put it back, I’ll go call the manager (or resort to option A)”
D) Walk away and mind your own business
E) Other (explain)August 14, 2017 3:54 pm at 3:54 pm #1338615JosephParticipant
Is the store owner a yehudi? Do you think the answer to that has no halachic relevance to your question?August 14, 2017 7:11 pm at 7:11 pm #1338972👑RebYidd23Participant
“If I saw you do that, you’ll definitely get caught if you try it again.”August 14, 2017 8:00 pm at 8:00 pm #1339017
There are a few reasons why you should protest the shoplifting, but they each have different ramifications:
1) Hocheach Tochiach es Amisecha: You are obligated to rebuke your fellow when he contravenes the Torah laws. Regarding something which is “mefurash baTorah”, we don’t say מוטב שיהיו שוגגים ואל יהיו מזידים, and you must rebuke him, even if you think it likely that he will not listen. This would obligate you to rebuke him privately.
2) Chillul Hashem – I think the earliest source for this is Rabbeinu Yonah, and it is brought by the Mishna Berura – you must speak out when someone publicly transgresses the Torah, so that it doesn’t look like you consent to what he does. This would obligate a public comment. However, if nobody else saw this, you cause more Chillul Hashem by saying anything publicly than by ignoring it.
3) Lehafrish Me’Issurim – You are obligated to stop a fellow Jew from transgressing any Issur. You may/must use necessary physical force to enforce that nobody transgresses a commandment (BB”K 28a). There is a discussion in the Poskim if this obligation extends to enforce positive commandments or only to prevent transgression of negative commandments (originally Ketzos v. Nesivos 3). If you have the capacity to stop him stealing, you must definitely do so. However, the moment he picks it up with intention to take it, he has already transgressed the prohibition; now there is only a chiyuv to return it.
I am not sure what the halachah would be regarding the obligation to return a stolen item – would that be classified under positive commandment (in which case it would be a machlokes Ketzos and Nesivos) or is it the same as a negative commandment because it is a תיקון of לא תגזול in the form of לאו הניתק לעשה.
Also, if the owner is a Goy, then although it is prohibited to steal, there is no obligation to return the item once you have taken it. Therefore, once he picked it up, he is allowed to keep it, unless there is an issue of חילול ה’ (which there won’t be if you are the only guy who has seen it and don’t plan on trumpeting it).
The Halachos of Macha’ah (which cases require a protest, what constitutes a protest, whether to protest publicly or privately) are discussed by the Mishna Berura in the beginning of Hilchos Yom Kippur. If I remember correctly, he is not consistent with his policy in Chafetz Chaim (question mark).August 14, 2017 8:52 pm at 8:52 pm #1339056chabadgalParticipant
good question… I honestly have no clue what I would do.August 15, 2017 2:39 am at 2:39 am #1339188jakobParticipant
if hes a yid i would wrap my loving arm around his shoulder & tell him nicely that if he puts it back now quietly that i promise not to report him to the owner of store or police & it will stay between us for life & no chillul Hashem wil have occurred, otherwise he leaves me no choice for his benefit-so he never does it again-& my torah responsibilities- of preventing someone from sinning-but to report him to the owner & if necessary to the cops also.August 15, 2017 10:17 am at 10:17 am #1339297
1. Please cite your source for your contention that the thief does not have to return the object he stole from a goy. How else would he do teshuva?
2. The Meiri says that gentiles who have the rule of law are treated like Jews for these matters and Rav Hirsch and Rav Kook pasken like him.
3. The kiddush Hashem would be greater than the chillul Hashem, as it always is (Yerushalmi Kiddushin 4:1).
4. If he steals from a goy he will also steal from a Jew (Tanna d’Bei Eliahu and see Rema CM 388:12).
5. Many shoplifters have various mental issues that cause this behavior. If he is one of them you will be doing him a favor as he will be sent to rehab. It might even be an aveira on “al taamod la dam r’eicha” not to report him.
6. I do not suggest that you take physical action for various practical reasons. I once saw a girl get on the back entrance of the bus and start to proceed towards the rear. I gave her a look and she shamefacedly went to pay the driver.August 15, 2017 10:38 am at 10:38 am #1339350
Avi, truthfully, you should be the one that needs to bring a מקור, but I happened to find these.
שער המלך (פ”א מהלכות גזילה) בשם מהר”ם חביב
שו”ת הר צבי אורח חיים ב’ סימן ע”דAugust 15, 2017 10:57 am at 10:57 am #1339356
שער המלך himself argues.August 15, 2017 10:57 am at 10:57 am #1339355
Please cite your source for your contention that the thief does not have to return the object he stole from a goy. How else would he do teshuva?
He must return it because of Chilul Hashem. There is no obligation MiHilchos Gzeilah, though. See Nesivos 348 for further explanation. The mitzva of והשיב את הגזילה אשר גזל doesn’t apply.
(I don’t remember the whole sugya, nor do I have time to look at it now. There is definitely a discussion to locate source for the issur to steal from a goy – whether it is the regular לא תגזול (Rambam), whether it is a דרבנן (I think the Maharshal holds it is אסמכתא, and the Achronim are medayek that Rashi Sanhedrin 57[?] holds like that too), or if it is an עשה (See BB”K 113). It will make a difference whether you have a mekor for a chiyuv Hashavah. See the Nesivos, who compares it to הפקעת הלואתו.)
See the Rema here.August 15, 2017 10:57 am at 10:57 am #1339360August 15, 2017 11:27 am at 11:27 am #1339362
The bottom line is as Yekke2 writes, that first we need to establish the מקור for the איסור גזלה, then see if והשיב applies.August 15, 2017 2:02 pm at 2:02 pm #1339548MammeleParticipant
If it’s an expensive item, there’s always the chance the store owner may have hidden cameras and can review the footage if he discovers the loss. So then chillul Hashem is an actual risk, not just because a Jew stole, by because another Jew “looked the other way” if it’s ignored.August 16, 2017 4:55 am at 4:55 am #1339902
According to Ramban even if there is no mitzva of hashava there might be an obligation of “keduushim tiyu” (see Be’er HaGola CM 348:5).August 16, 2017 4:56 am at 4:56 am #1339900
Yekke and DY,
1. The Rema says that the “only” reason for having to return it is kiddush Hashem. Is that light in your eyes? May one compel a fellow Jew to do a kiddush Hashem?
2. Rav Menashe Klein disagrees with the Netivot ( <a href=”http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=1878&st=%d7%92%d7%96%d7%9c&pgnum=373
“>Mishna Halachot 6:305)). This is also the view of Rav Ovadia (הלכה ליום רביעי כ”ט טבת תשע”ד). In any case, the Netivot himself says that the thief must pay for the object.
3. The Chatam Sofer says (v. 6 Sukka 30) that the Rambam holds that one must return the object.
4. See also Yerushalmi Baba Kama 4:1 and Biur HaGra EH 28:5.
5. You have not addressed by citation of the Meiri nor have you addressed my other points.August 16, 2017 7:49 am at 7:49 am #1339921
I don’t understand what you are quoting from the Meiri. If you quote his loshon, or provide a link, or explain in your own words what he says, I’d be happy to respond.August 17, 2017 8:49 am at 8:49 am #1340975
Yekke, you can find his statement here .
Rav Kook wrote:
“אהבת הבריות צריכה להיות חיה בלב ובנשמה… להיטיב לעמים כולם… תכונה זו היא שמסגלת את רוחא דמלכא משיחא לחול על ישראל (מכשירה את ישראל לרוחו של מלך המשיח). בכל מקום שאנו מוצאים רמזי שנאה (כלפי הגויים), הרינו יודעים ברור שהכוונה רק על הרשעה, שהיא מרתקת (אוחזת) בחזקה את האיגוד של עמים רבים, גם בהווה ובייחוד בימים מקדם שהיתה זוהמת העולם יותר מסואבת. אבל עלינו לדעת כי נקודת החיים, אור וקודש, תמיד לא זזה מהצלם האלוקי שנחנן בו האדם בכללו, וחוננו בו כל עם ולשון…” (מידות ראי”ה אהבה סעיף ה’):
“…העיקר כדעת המאירי שכל העמים שהם גדורים בנימוסים הגונים בין אדם לחברו הם כבר נחשבים לגרים תושבים ….” (אגרות הראי”ה פט).
This was also the view of Rav Shimshon Raphael Hirsch (The Collected Writings p. 225), Rav Yaakov Emden (on Pirkei Avot 4:13), Rav David Tzvi Hoffman (Fundamentals of Judaism ed. by Rav Jacob Breuer p. 182), Maharatz Chayes, and Rav Aharon Soloveitchik (Logic of the Heart, Logic of the Mind pp. 139 and 151. According to RAS the obligation of kiddush Hashem applies because there is a “deeper ethical responsibility” (קדש עצמך במותר לך). This follows from the fact that we do many things even though the other nations do not like them.August 17, 2017 10:30 am at 10:30 am #1340976
Yekke, you can find his opinion in Bet HaBechira on href=”http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=40773&st=&pgnum=325&hilite=”>Baba Kama 113b .
This was also the opinion of Rav Kook (Iggeret 89), Maharatz Chajes (Tifferet l’Yisrael, Rav Shimshon Raphael Hirsch (<Collected ritings v. 7 “Talmudic Judaism and Society”, Rav David Tzvi Hoffman (Fundamentals of Judaism edited by Jacob Breuer ch. 8 , Rav Yaakov Emden (on Pirkei Avot 4:13), Rav Aharon Soloveichik ( “Logic of the Heart, Logic of the Mind pages 139, 151) and Rav Nahum Rabinovich, and Rav Lichtenstein in the name of Rav Joseph Soloveichik (Laws of Medical Treatment on Shabbat by Rabbi Dov Karrol, who all say that gentiles who have an orderly society are considered gerim toshavim. RAS adds that the mitzva of קידוש השם only applies where there is an ethical imperative to so act (קדש עצמך במותר לך) – we do many things despite the fact that the other nations dislike them.August 17, 2017 10:30 am at 10:30 am #1341010
See also Megilla 13a that anyone who denies a”z is called a Yehudi.August 17, 2017 11:15 am at 11:15 am #1341101
Even if they are atheists?!August 17, 2017 3:04 pm at 3:04 pm #1341298Lilmod UlelamaidParticipant
There is a halachic chiyuv of tochacha in certain circumstances, as pointed out above by Yekke (and maybe others), but how to do it is not necessarily so simple, and one has to really think carefully and evaluate the situation and the best way to deal with it. (and maybe ask a sheilah).
Giving tochacha the wrong way can be an aveirah and may be worse than not giving it.
(Frum?) Jews rarely shoplift, so the two things I would want to figure out are: 1. Who is this person, and 2.Why he is shoplifting?
Are we talking about someone with psychological problems, a kid-at-risk, a hardened criminal, a desperately poor person or a kid giving in to peer pressure? Is he a child, a teenager, or an adult? Do you personally know the person?
I think that how one deals with it would depend a lot on the answer to those questions.August 17, 2017 6:37 pm at 6:37 pm #1341332👑RebYidd23Participant
Is tochacha the same thing as stopping someone mid action?August 18, 2017 1:04 am at 1:04 am #1341622
Yekke, I already asked a rav that question. He did not have an answer. However, I contend that someone who does not believe in ethical monotheism has no inherent limits to what he will do. In fact, the most destructive war in history was started by two atheists, Hitler and Stalin ym”s. interestingly, a recent study published in Nature Human Behaviour shows that even most atheists consider atheists to be immoral (although it would seem to be that “amoral” would be more accurate.August 18, 2017 6:58 am at 6:58 am #1341668
RebYidd23 – There is a chiyuv to rebuke at all times, before, during and after the sin.
Where the source of the obligation to prevent a sin taking place comes from is a matter of debate in the Achronim. Many say the source is הוכח תוכיח.
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