May 9, 2019 / 4 Iyar, 5779 • Parshat Kedoshim
Issue 560
Dedicated in loving memory of Mrs. Miriam Friedman

You Must Not Steal

You must not steal money or property. You must not falsely deny someone's claim that you received an article from him on deposit or as a loan. You must not lie to one another by swearing falsely regarding having done any of these five things.

Vayikra 19:11

You must not steal

The Baal Shem Tov teaches, everything we see can teach us some lesson in how to better fulfill our Divine mission and spiritual potential, we can also elevate a forbidden character trait or action by learning from it. Rabbi Zusha of Anipoli listed seven traits of a thief that we should emulate:

1. He works silently, modestly, and without fanfare.

2. He is prepared to face danger in order to carry out his mission.

3. He pays full attention even to the smallest detail.

4. He works hard.

5. He works quickly, not wasting any time.

6. He is confident and optimistic.

7. If he does not succeed the first time, he tries again and again.

If we apply these traits to positive endeavors, we have not merely avoided stealing but elevated its redeeming characteristics, as well.

--From Kehot's Chumash Vayikra