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Reading Assignment - Class #25

Please read mitzvot #130 – 137.  Try to find the answers to the following questions:

Mitzvah #130:

  1. A thief must return stolen items to the owner; if the thief does not return the stolen property the thief must pay the value.  What is the first case the author describes where the thief pays rather than returning the stolen item?
  2. Let’s say the stolen item decreases in value.  What is the general rule for who suffers that loss?
  3. The rabbis make an exception to the general rule above where the item increased in value.  What is that rabbinic rule?  Why did the rabbis make that rule?  The rabbis rule varies from the d’oraita result in a way that is problematic.  What is that problem?  What principle gives the rabbis the right to do that?
  4. The thief sells the stolen item to someone else, and the original owner is trying to recover the property.  What happens if the thief has a reputation as seriously dishonest?  What if the thief has an upstanding reputation?
  5. Look at the questions for further study at the end of the essay and see if you can figure out why each is a significant issue without an obvious answer.