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Daily Mitzvah (Rambam)

Day 254: Positive Commandment 194

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Positive Commandment 194 (Digest)
Returning a Stolen Item

"He shall return that which he stole"Leviticus 5:23.

It is a mitzvah for a thief to return stolen property to its owner. (If the thief denied his crime and falsely swears as to his innocence, he is required to repay the principal plus 25%.)

The obligation to return the actual stolen item only applies if the object has not been substantially altered. If it has, then the thief must make restitution by giving the owner the monetary value of the stolen object.

Translation of (the unabridged text of) Sefer Hamitzvot by Rabbi Berel Bell, member of the Rabbinical Court of Montreal and director of Teacher Training for the Jewish Learning Institute.

From "Sefer Hamitzvot in English," published by Sichos in English.
Daily Quote
"The footsteps of man are directed by G-d" (Psalms 37:23). When a Jew comes to a particular place it is for an inner Divine intent and purpose -- to perform a mitzvah, whether a mitzvah between man and G-d or a mitzvah between man and his fellow-man
  –Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi (1749-1812)
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