Welcome to the concise, relevant Weekly Dvar. This week's Dvar
is the first of hopefully all new Dvars, so feel free to provide
as much feedback as you'd like, as well as continuing to pass
this one, telling friends, and enjoying...
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Parshat Kedoshim is one of several that tries to instill
"Jewish Values", one of which is the commandment not to steal.
In an effort to drive home the point, the Torah uses several
terms that seem redundant, when it says "Do not steal, do not
deny falsely, and do not lie to one another" (19:11). Other than
making sure we get the point, what is the significance of these
specific forms of honesty being listed?
The Gemara in Makot (24a) sheds some light by saying that the
Torah is telling us to speak the truth in our hearts, like Rav
Safra did. The Gemara goes on to tell the story of Rav Safra who
was Davening (praying) when someone came to buy something from
him. When Rav Safra didn't respond because he was praying, the
buyer raised his price several times, until finally Rav Safra
finished praying and responded. Rav Safra insisted on selling
the object at his original price, even though the man offered
more because in his heart Rav Safra agreed to the first price.
The Torah is driving home that we should not steal in actions
or words. That means not manipulating people to get what you
desire, not distorting words to fit your opinion, and not
frivolously demanding from others. If we live by these Torah
values, we'll hopefully fully value them!