Stealing A Greeting From Someone Else
+ Stealing Brachos From Hashem
In our previous video (#89), we started a theme of bein adam l'chaveiro. As we finish off the 9 days, we are trying to go through cases of stealing that are between one person and another.
We spoke last video about a case of stealing Torah thoughts from another person. We said that that was considered geneiva/stealing. You can refer to that video (# 89 Click Here to see). Today, we are going to finish off with two more cases where it would seemingly not be geneiva/stealing, but is, according to Chazal (great Rabbis of previous generations).
We're using the sefer Halachos of Other People's Money, by Rabbi Yisroel Pinchos Bodner. He brings over here two final cases. One is about stealing a greeting and the second is about stealing brachos that should have been said to Hashem.
Regarding the first case (greetings), there's a Gemara in Brachos 6b, that says that if you know that somebody else always gives you a greeting, a “Shalom” in the street, so you should actually be first to greet them. However, if you don't greet first and the other person greets you, so you would be chayav/obligated to return the greeting to the person. If you don’t return that greeting, you are considered a gazlan, a thief.
Now, like we brought in the last video to explain, the reason why it's considered gezel/thievery is because you may not have taken something from the person, however, there is another form of stealing called osheik, which is when you prevent somebody else from possessing something which belongs to them. In this case, since you are obligated to return the greeting, if you withhold that greeting which is owed to the person, that is considered a form of stealing, as you are withholding the return greeting from the person.
He brings over here the final case, which is a person who eats without saying a brachah/blessing. There are two Gemaras which mention this, one in meseches Brachos 35, and one in meseches Sanhedrin, stating that if a person doesn't thank Hashem properly by making a brachah, then he's actually considered having stolen from Hashem.
According to the above explanation, it's not that he stole the food. It's not that by eating without a bracha, you're stealing the food from Hashem. Rather, as he explain in the footnotes from Rabbi Zalman Nechemia Goldberg, the reason why a person is considered a gazlan/theif in such a case, is because he's withholding the thanks that is owed to Hashem. Since he's chayav/obligated in that thanks to Hashem, if he withholds it, that would be a form of osheik, of withholding payment, and he is considered stealing.
We wish everybody an easy and meaningful fast this Tisha B'Av (if we end up having to fast on Tisha B'Av and the Beis HaMikdash has not yet been rebuilt in that time, which be”H it should!)
***Please note that these halachos are intended to inform and educate the reader/listener in general. For any specific questions which arise, it is recommended to speak over the exact case with a competent halachic authority in order to assess the halacha accordingly as any small change will greatly affect the final halacha. You can send your questions in to us as well by replying via WhatsApp to our halacha Q & A number on the group, sending an email to [email protected], or via our contact page at MoneyHalacha.com/contact-us
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