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Daily Mitzvah

Negative Commandment 247

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Negative Commandment 247 (Digest)
Withholding Monies Owed

"You shall not defraud your neighbor"Leviticus 19:13.

It is forbidden to withhold monies owed to another. As opposed to theft or robbery, which involve monies that came into a person's possession in an unlawful manner, this prohibition is addressed to the individual who has not obtained property illegally, but refuses to pay money owed. Examples include an employer who withholds wages and a debtor who refuses to repay a loan.

This prohibition includes flat refusal to pay as well as postponing payment employing deceptive methods.


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.
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Cherish criticism, for it will place you on the true heights
  –Rabbi Sholom DovBer of Lubavitch
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