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Parsha Mitzvot: Vayikra: Mitzvah 125 – Concept 478

“So it shall be that when he will sin and become guilty, he shall return the robbed item that he robbed, or the proceeds of his fraud, or the pledge that was left him, or the lost item that he found (Vayikra 5:23)” Return the robbed object or its value (Rambam, Hilchot Gezeilah v’Aveidah – The Laws of Robbery and Lost Objects).


The Torah wanted to inform us of three distinct wrongs committed by the sinner in question: 1) He appropriated to himself something which did not belong to him, an aspect of the sin of robbery. 2) “Against God,” may imply that by trying to rearranbge the allocation of wealth to people other than those decreed by God, the sinner interfered with God’s scheme of things. Hence, the Torah describes him as having committed a trespass against God. By doing so, the sinner creates the impression that he denied God’s justice and fairness in allocating wealth to different people at different times. It is even possible that the reason the Torah repeats the expression, “u’ma’ala ma’al,” includes the victim’s impression of God’s sense of justice and fairness. Ny the sinner having done what he did, he produces a feeling in the heart of his victim that God has allowed him to be victimized. This is an additional sin committed by the person described as guilty of trespass. 3) The meaning of the words, “and he denied to hus friend,” is that the sinner, the recipient of a loan who now denies to the lender that he had received it, accuses the righteous of being wicked when he makes it appear as if the lender is lying. (Ohr ha-Chaim ha-Kadosh)

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