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Yitro: Nechmad MiZahav: Mitzvah 38 – Concept 476

“You shall not covet your fellow’s house. You shall not covet your fellow’s wife, his manservant, his maidservant, his ox, his donkey, nor anything that belongs to your fellow.” (Exodus 20:14) We are forbidden to covet and scheme to acquire another’s possession. (Rambam, Hilchot Gezeilah V’Aveidah – Robbery and Lost Objects)

The Nechmad Mizahav asks how, if Rashi taught that the Statement that prohibits robbery must be speaking of kidnapping because only prohibitions that are punishable by death are included in the Ten Statements, can the prohibition against coveting be included in the Ten Statements?

He answers that each time we covet something that belongs to someone else there is an element of taking away part of his life – it borders on murder! (The Likkutei Moharan has a similar idea.)

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