Saturday, March 29, 2008

Repentance for theft


"One who steals from another person, even that which is worth only a perutah [a minimal coin], is as though he was taking that person's life, as it is written (Proverbs 1:19), 'So are the ways of everyone who steals wealth; he takes away the life of its owners.'

"However, if the stolen item is no longer around, and the thief wishes to repent, and he comes to return the value of the stolen item, the sages enacted that one should not accept it from him. Rather, one should help him and forgive him, in order to bring the straight path closer to those who repent. The sages were not pleased with one who accepts the value of the stolen item back."

(Rambam, Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Gezeilah 1:13)

Have a great day,

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