Monday, July 4, 2022

The Prohibition of Geneivas Daas

The Semag (Negative Prohibition 155) and the Shulchan Aruch Harav (Onaah 11) likewise state that the prohibition of deception is a Torah law. The Semak (262), however, writes that the prohibition is rabbinic, and this is also the opinion of the Bach (Choshen Mishpat 228).

Some authorities make a distinction between commerce and other matters, writing that the Torah prohibition applies only to sales and commerce (see Sefer Ha-Kovetz, De’os 2:6; see also Shulchan Aruch Ha-Rav, who makes special mention of deception that results in financial gain). Certainly, if a merchant purposely conceals a flaw in the goods he sells, it will be a full transgression of the prohibition (and be classified as monetary theft as well).

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