skip to Main Content

Bais HaVaad on the Parsha, Parshas Vayikra    

Beg, Borrow, or Steal

Excerpted and adapted from a
shiur by Dayan Yehoshua Grunwald

March 10,  2022



A person (adam) from among you who brings from you an offering to Hashem, from an animal, from cattle or sheep, you shall bring your offering.

Vayikra 1:2

Rashi comments that the word “adam” teaches that a korban may not be a stolen animal, just like Adam Harishon couldn’t possibly bring a stolen korban because everything was his. However, it is permitted to borrow without permission for a mitzvah in some cases. The Shulchan Aruch (O.C. 14:4) says that one may borrow a tallis without asking and even recite a bracha, provided he folds it afterward. The Rama adds that the same is true of tfillin. The Mishnah Brurah explains that a person generally does not mind someone else using his possessions to perform a mitzvah.

However, there are a number of limitations to this halacha. First, the Mishnah Brurah writes that one may only use the tallis or tfillin on an occasional basis and in the place he found it. Second, he quotes from the Pri Megadim that if one is able to verify the owner’s consent, he must do so, because the chazakah may only be relied upon when it isn’t possible to verify. Third, the Rama writes that this ruling does not apply to borrowing sfarim, because they may tear.

Today, many people are uncomfortable allowing others to borrow their tallis or tfillin, so the Aruch Hashulchan (O.C. 14:11) writes that the dispensation may no longer apply. Conversely, he writes (C.M. 72) that most people no longer mind others using their sfarim without permission, because today sfarim are printed and readily available.


NEW Yorucha Program >