The following rules apply when a person robs a jug of wine from a colleague that was worth a dinar at the time of the robbery and increased in value while in the robber's possession until it was worth four dinarim. If he broke the jug, drank its contents, sold it or gave it away as a present after it increased in value, he must pay four dinarim - its worth when it left his possession. The rationale is that if he had left it, he would have had to return it intact.

If it broke because of other causes or it was lost, the robber must pay only a dinar, its value at the time of the robbery.


הַגּוֹזֵל חָבִית שֶׁל יַיִן מֵחֲבֵרוֹ וַהֲרֵי הִיא שָׁוָה דִּינָר בִּשְׁעַת הַגְּזֵלָה וְהוּקְרָה אֶצְלוֹ וְעָמְדָה בְּאַרְבָּעָה. אִם שָׁבַר הֶחָבִית אוֹ שָׁתָה אוֹתָהּ אוֹ מְכָרָהּ אוֹ נְתָנָהּ בְּמַתָּנָה אַחַר שֶׁהוּקְרָה מְשַׁלֵּם אַרְבָּעָה כִּשְׁעַת הוֹצָאָה מִן הָעוֹלָם שֶׁאִלּוּ הִנִּיחָהּ הָיְתָה חוֹזֶרֶת בְּעַצְמָהּ. נִשְׁבְּרָה מֵאֵלֶיהָ אוֹ אָבְדָה מְשַׁלֵּם דִּינָר כִּשְׁעַת הַגְּזֵלָה:


If it was worth four dinarim at the time of the robbery, but only one dinar when it left his possession, he must pay the four dinarim it was worth at the time of the robbery. This applies whether he broke it or drank it, or whether it was broken or lost due to other causes. The same principles apply in other analogous situations.


הָיְתָה שָׁוָה בִּשְׁעַת הַגְּזֵלָה אַרְבָּעָה וּבִשְׁעַת הוֹצָאָה מִן הָעוֹלָם דִּינָר. מְשַׁלֵּם אַרְבָּעָה כִּשְׁעַת הַגְּזֵלָה. בֵּין שֶׁשְּׁבָרָהּ אוֹ שְׁתָאָהּ בֵּין שֶׁנִּשְׁבְּרָה אוֹ אָבְדָה מֵאֵלֶיהָ. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:


The following rules apply when a person obtains by robbery a basket of fifty dates. If the entire basket were sold together it would cost nine coins, but if the dates were sold one by one they would be sold for ten. The robber is required to pay only nine. We do not heed the claim of the owner, who argues: "I would have sold them one by one."

Similar laws apply if a person damages a colleague's property or is required to reimburse him for a loss in a similar instance. This principle does not apply, however, with regard to property that is consecrated. In that instance, the robber must pay ten coins.


הַגּוֹזֵל חֹתֶל שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ חֲמִשִּׁים תְּמָרִים וּכְשֶׁיִּמְכֹּר הַחֹתֶל כֻּלּוֹ כְּאַחַת יִמְכֹּר בְּתִשְׁעָה וּכְשֶׁיִּמְכֹּר אַחַת אַחַת יִמְכֹּר בַּעֲשָׂרָה. אֵינוֹ מְשַׁלֵּם אֶלָּא תִּשְׁעָה. וְאֵין הַנִּגְזָל יָכוֹל לוֹמַר לוֹ אֲנִי אַחַת אַחַת הָיִיתִי מוֹכֵר. וְכֵן הַדִּין בְּמַזִּיק. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה בְּנִכְסֵי הֶדְיוֹט. אֲבָל בְּהֶקְדֵּשׁ אֵינוֹ כֵּן אֶלָּא מְשַׁלֵּם עֲשָׂרָה:


When a person obtains an animal by robbery and it becomes old, or it becomes weak and will never regain its strength - e.g., because of an illness for which there is no cure - a coin and it cracked or was disqualified by the ruling authorities, produce and the entire amount rotted, or wine and it became vinegar, he is considered to be a person who obtained a utensil by robbery and destroyed it, and he must pay the worth of the article obtained by robbery at the time of the robbery.

If, however, a person obtained animals by robbery and they became weaker, but their strength could be restored, servants and they became old, a coin and it was disqualified as currency by one country, but still accepted by another, produce of which a portion became rotten, terumah that became impure, leaven and the festival of Passover was celebrated, or an animal that was used for the purposes of sin, became disqualified for sacrifice on the altar, or was condemned to be stoned to death, the robber may tell the original owner: "Here is your article," and return to him the article obtained by robbery.


גָּזַל בְּהֵמָה וְהִזְקִינָה אוֹ כָּחֲשָׁה כַּחַשׁ שֶׁאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לַחְזֹר כְּגוֹן חֳלָאִים שֶׁאֵין לָהֶם רְפוּאַת תְּעָלָה. אוֹ שֶׁגָּזַל מַטְבֵּעַ וְנִסְדַּק אוֹ פְּסָלוֹ הַמֶּלֶךְ. אוֹ שֶׁגָּזַל פֵּרוֹת וְהִרְקִיבוּ כֻּלָּן. אוֹ שֶׁגָּזַל יַיִן וְהֶחְמִיץ. הֲרֵי זֶה כְּמִי שֶׁגָּזַל כְּלִי וּשְׁבָרוֹ וּמְשַׁלֵּם כִּשְׁעַת הַגְּזֵלָה. אֲבָל אִם גָּזַל בְּהֵמוֹת וְכָחֲשׁוּ כַּחַשׁ שֶׁאֶפְשָׁר לַחְזֹר. אוֹ שֶׁגָּזַל עֲבָדִים וְהִזְקִינוּ. אוֹ שֶׁגָּזַל מַטְבֵּעַ וְנִפְסַל בִּמְדִינָה זוֹ וַהֲרֵי הִיא יוֹצֵא בִּמְדִינָה אַחֶרֶת. אוֹ שֶׁגָּזַל פֵּרוֹת וְהִרְקִיבוּ מִקְצָתָם. אוֹ תְּרוּמָה וְנִטְמֵאת. אוֹ שֶׁגָּזַל חָמֵץ וְעָבַר עָלָיו הַפֶּסַח. אוֹ בְּהֵמָה וְנֶעֶבְדָה בָּהּ עֲבֵרָה. אוֹ נִפְסְלָה מִלִּקָּרֵב. אוֹ שֶׁהָיְתָה יוֹצְאָה לְהִסָּקֵל. אוֹמֵר לוֹ הֲרֵי שֶׁלְּךָ לְפָנֶיךָ וּמַחֲזִיר אוֹתָהּ בְּעַצְמָהּ:


When does the above apply? When the article obtained by robbery is itself returned. If, however, the article obtained by robbery was burned or lost after benefiting from it became forbidden, the robber must pay its value at the time of the robbery.

Based on this rationale, if the robber denied possession of the article after deriving benefit from it became forbidden, and affirmed his denial with an oath, he is liable to pay the principal and an additional fifth of its value, and bring a guilt offering.


בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים כְּשֶׁהֶחֱזִיר הַגְּזֵלָה. אֲבָל אִם נִשְׂרְפָה הַגְּזֵלָה אוֹ אָבְדָה אַחַר שֶׁנֶּאֶסְרָה בַּהֲנָאָה חַיָּב לְהַחְזִיר לוֹ דָּמֶיהָ כִּשְׁעַת הַגְּזֵלָה. לְפִיכָךְ אִם כָּפַר בּוֹ אַחַר שֶׁנֶּאֶסְרָה בַּהֲנָאָה וְנִשְׁבַּע חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּם קֶרֶן וְחֹמֶשׁ וְאָשָׁם:

Mishneh Torah (Moznaim)

Featuring a modern English translation and a commentary that presents a digest of the centuries of Torah scholarship which have been devoted to the study of the Mishneh Torah by Maimonides.


When a person obtains an animal by robbery and uses it to transport a burden, rides on it, plows or threshes with it or the like, and then returns it to its owner, he violates the commandment against robbery. Nevertheless, he is not liable for any payment, for he did not cause the animal any injury or weakness.

If, however, this person becomes habituated to robbing, withholding property or performing such acts time after time, he should be penalized. This applies even in the diaspora. The court should evaluate the wage or the increase in value that he earned with the animal, and that amount should be paid to the person whose property was taken.


הַגּוֹזֵל בְּהֵמָה וְנָשָׂא עָלֶיהָ מַשָּׂא אוֹ רָכַב עָלֶיהָ אוֹ חָרַשׁ אוֹ דָּשׁ בָּהּ וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה וְהֶחְזִיר לִבְעָלֶיהָ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁעָבַר בְּלֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה אֵינוֹ חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּם כְּלוּם שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא הִפְסִידָהּ וְלֹא הִכְחִישָׁהּ. וְאִם הֻחְזַק אָדָם זֶה לִגְזל אוֹ לַעֲשֹׁק אוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹת מַעֲשִׂים אֵלּוּ פַּעַם אַחַר פַּעַם קוֹנְסִין אוֹתוֹ וַאֲפִלּוּ בְּחוּצָה לָאָרֶץ. וְשָׁמִין הַשָּׂכָר אוֹ הַשֶּׁבַח שֶׁהִשְׁבִּיחַ בַּבְּהֵמָה וּמְשַׁלֵּם לַנִּגְזָל:


When a person seizes a servant belonging to a colleague and causes him to perform labor, but does not prevent him from performing work for his master, he is not liable. The rationale is that a person is happy that his servants do not go idle. If, however, this prevents him from performing work for his master, the person who seized the servant must pay the master the wages of the servant, as if he were a hired worker.


הַתּוֹקֵף עַבְדּוֹ שֶׁל חֲבֵרוֹ וְעָשָׂה בּוֹ מְלָאכָה וְלֹא בִּטְּלוֹ מִמְּלָאכָה אַחֶרֶת פָּטוּר שֶׁנּוֹחַ לוֹ לָאָדָם שֶׁלֹּא יִבָּטֵל עַבְדּוֹ. וְאִם בִּטְּלוֹ מִמְּלָאכָה אַחֶרֶת מְשַׁלֵּם לוֹ כְּפוֹעֵל:


The following laws apply when a person seizes a boat belonging to a colleague and performs work with it. If the boat is not generally hired out, the damage to the boat should be evaluated and must be paid.

If the boat is generally hired out there are two guidelines that apply. If the person took the boat with the intent of renting it, since the owner did not grant his permission, the owner has the option. He may collect the wage usually paid or he may collect payment for the damage to the boat.

If the person took the boat as robbery, he must pay for the damages. Similar principles apply in all like situations.


הַתּוֹקֵף סְפִינָתוֹ שֶׁל חֲבֵרוֹ וְעָשָׂה בָּהּ מְלָאכָה אִם אֵינָהּ עֲשׂוּיָה לְשָׂכָר שָׁמִין כַּמָּה פָּחֲתָה וּמְשַׁלֵּם. וְאִם הִיא עֲשׂוּיָה לְשָׂכָר אִם יָרַד לָהּ בְּתוֹרַת שְׂכִירוּת הוֹאִיל וְיָרַד שֶׁלֹּא בִּרְשׁוּת אִם רָצָה הַבַּעַל לִטּל שְׂכָרָהּ נוֹטֵל רָצָה לִטּל פְּחָתָהּ נוֹטֵל. וְאִם יָרַד לָהּ בְּתוֹרַת גֵּזֶל נוֹתֵן הַפְּחָת. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:


The following rules apply when a person dwells in a courtyard belonging to a colleague without notifying him. If the courtyard is not usually rented out, he is not required to pay him rent. This applies even if the person who dwells within generally rents a dwelling, for one person is benefiting and the other is not suffering a loss.

If the courtyard is generally rented out, the person who dwells within must pay rent even though he does not usually rent a dwelling, because he is causing the owner a loss of income.


הַדָּר בַּחֲצַר חֲבֵרוֹ שֶׁלֹּא מִדַּעְתּוֹ. אִם אוֹתָהּ חָצֵר אֵינָהּ עֲשׂוּיָה לְשָׂכָר אֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לְהַעֲלוֹת לוֹ שָׂכָר. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁדֶּרֶךְ זֶה הַדָּר לִשְׂכֹּר מָקוֹם לְעַצְמוֹ. שֶׁזֶּה נֶהֱנֶה וְזֶה אֵינוֹ חָסֵר. וְאִם הֶחָצֵר עֲשׂוּיָה לְשָׂכָר אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין דֶּרֶךְ זֶה לִשְׂכֹּר צָרִיךְ לְהַעֲלוֹת לוֹ שָׂכָר שֶׁהֲרֵי חִסְּרוֹ מָמוֹן:


When a person owned wool that he was dyeing in a vat, and another person came and added other dyes without the consent of the owner, the latter must pay the owner of the wool for the decline in the value of the wool he caused. This payment does not include the value of the dye the owner used for the wool. If the person whose property was damaged seizes the value of dye that he lost, that money should not be expropriated from him.


מִי שֶׁהָיָה לוֹ צֶמֶר וְסַמָּנִים שְׁרוּיִין וּבָא אֶחָד וְצָבַע הַצֶּמֶר בַּסַּמָּנִין שֶׁלֹּא מִדַּעַת חֲבֵרוֹ. מְשַׁלֵּם לוֹ דְּמֵי מַה שֶּׁהִפְסִיד בַּצֶּמֶר וְאֵינוֹ מְחַשֵּׁב לוֹ שֶׁבַח סַמָּנִין שֶׁעַל גַּבֵּי הַצֶּמֶר. וְאִם תָּפַשׂ הַנִּזָּק דְּמֵי מַה שֶּׁחָסְרוּ מִן הַסַּמָּנִין אֵין מוֹצִיאִין מִיָּדוֹ:


A person who without the owner's consent takes an object entrusted to him for safekeeping to use for his private purposes in a way that will diminish it, or to take as his own is judged as a robber. This applies whether he takes the article himself, or it is taken for him by his son, his servant or his agent.

The person who takes the article is liable for it if it is destroyed by forces beyond his control, and the object that he took is considered to be within his domain according to the laws that govern all robbers.

A watchman who decides to take an entrusted article for his private purposes is not held responsible for it until he actually takes it. When, however, he takes the article from one place to another in his domain in order to take it for his private purposes, he is liable although he did not take any portion of the entrusted article. For the watchman becomes responsible in such an instance even when the entrusted article remains intact.


הַשּׁוֹלֵחַ יָד בְּפִקָּדוֹן בֵּין שֶׁשָּׁלַח יָד בְּעַצְמוֹ אוֹ עַל יַד בְּנוֹ וְעַבְדּוֹ וּשְׁלוּחוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה גַּזְלָן וְנִתְחַיֵּב בְּאֳנָסָיו. וְנַעֲשֵׂית הַגְּזֵלָה בִּרְשׁוּתוֹ כְּדִין כָּל הַגַּזְלָנִים. חָשַׁב לִשְׁלֹחַ יָד בְּפִקָּדוֹן אֵינוֹ חַיָּב בְּאַחֲרָיוּתוֹ עַד שֶׁיִּשְׁלַח יָד. וּמִשֶּׁשָׁלַח יָד נִתְחַיֵּב בּוֹ. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא חָסַר מִמֶּנּוּ כְּלוּם אֶלָּא נָטַל הַפִּקָּדוֹן מִמָּקוֹם לְמָקוֹם בִּרְשׁוּתוֹ כְּדֵי לִשְׁלֹחַ בּוֹ יָד הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב שֶׁשְּׁלִיחוּת יָד אֵינָהּ צְרִיכָה חִסָּרוֹן:


As soon as the watchman lifts up the jug to take a revi'it of wine, he is liable for it in the event of its destruction by forces beyond his control, even though he has not taken it.

If, however, he lifts up a wallet containing many coins to take one dinar, there is a doubt whether he is liable for the entire wallet if it is destroyed by forces beyond his control, or he is liable only for the one dinar. Similar laws apply with regard to other instances where a container holds several discrete entities.


הִגְבִּיהַּ אֶת הֶחָבִית לִטּל מִמֶּנָּה רְבִיעִית נִתְחַיֵּב בָּאֳנָסֶיהָ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא נָטַל. אֲבָל אִם הִגְבִּיהַּ אֶת הַכִּיס לִטּל מִמֶּנּוּ דִּינָר וְכַיּוֹצֵא בַּכִּיס מִדְּבָרִים שֶׁאֵינָן גּוּף אֶחָד הֲרֵי זֶה סָפֵק אִם נִתְחַיֵּב בְּכָל הַכִּיס אוֹ לֹא נִתְחַיֵּב אֶלָּא בְּדִינָר בִּלְבַד:


When produce was entrusted to a person for safekeeping and he took a portion of it as his own, he is responsible only for the produce that he actually took. The produce remaining in its place remains the property of the original owner. If, however, the entire produce becomes spoiled because of the amount that he took, he is liable for the entire amount.

What is implied? If the watchman tilted a jug while it remained in its place and removed a revi'it or more, and then the jug was broken afterwards, the watchman is liable only for the amount that he took, for he did not lift up the jug. If the wine turned into vinegar, he must pay the value of the entire jug at the time he took it. Similar principles apply in all like situations.


הָיוּ פֵּרוֹת מֻפְקָדִין אֶצְלוֹ וְנָטַל מִקְצָתָן אֵינוֹ חַיָּב אֶלָּא בְּאַחֲרָיוּת הַפֵּרוֹת שֶׁנָּטַל וּשְׁאָר הַפִּקָּדוֹן הַמֻּנָּח בִּמְקוֹמוֹ בִּרְשׁוּת בְּעָלָיו הוּא. וְאִם נִפְסַד הַשְּׁאָר מֵחֲמַת זֶה שֶׁנָּטַל חַיָּב בַּכּל. כֵּיצַד. הִטָּה אֶת הֶחָבִית בִּמְקוֹמָהּ וְנָטַל מִמֶּנָּה רְבִיעִית אוֹ יֶתֶר אִם נִשְׁבְּרָה אַחַר שֶׁנָּטַל וְהִיא בִּמְקוֹמָהּ אֵינוֹ חַיָּב אֶלָּא כַּמָּה שֶׁנָּטַל שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא הִגְבִּיהַּ הֶחָבִית. וְאִם הֶחְמִיצָה מְשַׁלֵּם אֶת דְּמֵי כֻּלָּהּ כִּשְׁעַת הַגְּזֵלָה. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:


When a person denies in court having been given an object entrusted to him for safekeeping, he is considered to be a robber if the object was in his possession at the time of his denial. He is liable for the article if it is destroyed by factors beyond his control.


הַכּוֹפֵר בְּפִקָּדוֹן בְּבֵית דִּין. אִם הָיָה בִּרְשׁוּתוֹ בִּשְׁעַת שֶׁכָּפַר נַעֲשָׂה עָלָיו גַּזְלָן וְחַיָּב בְּאָנְסוֹ:


A person who borrows an object without the consent of its owner is considered to be a robber.

If a utensil was in the hands of a person's son or servant and another person took it from him and used it, he is considered to have borrowed the object without the consent of its owner. The article is considered to have entered his domain, and he is responsible for it in the event of its destruction by forces beyond his control until he returns it to the owner.

Therefore, if he returns it to the minor or to the servant who was holding it beforehand, and then it is lost or stolen, the borrower is liable. Similar principles apply in all like situations.


הַשּׁוֹאֵל שֶׁלֹּא מִדַּעַת הַבְּעָלִים הֲרֵי זֶה גַּזְלָן. הָיָה כְּלִי בְּיַד בְּנוֹ שֶׁל בַּעַל הַבַּיִת אוֹ בְּיַד עַבְדּוֹ וּלְקָחוֹ אֶחָד מֵהֶן וְנִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ בּוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה שׁוֹאֵל שֶׁלֹּא מִדַּעַת וְנַעֲשָׂה בִּרְשׁוּתוֹ וְנִתְחַיֵּב בָּאֳנָסָיו עַד שֶׁיַּחְזִירֶנוּ לַבְּעָלִים. לְפִיכָךְ אִם הֶחֱזִירוֹ לְקָטָן שֶׁהָיָה בְּיָדוֹ אוֹ לְעֶבֶד וְאָבַד מֵהֶן אוֹ נִשְׁבַּר חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּם. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:


When a person seizes collateral from a debtor without receiving license from the court, he is considered to be a robber, despite the debt that he is owed. Needless to say, if he enters the debtor's home and seizes collateral, he is considered to be a robber, for Deuteronomy 24:11 explicitly states: "Stand outside and the man who owes the debt to you will bring the security out to you."


הַחוֹטֵף מַשְׁכּוֹן מִיַּד הַלּוֶֹה שֶׁלֹּא בִּרְשׁוּת בֵּית דִּין הֲרֵי זֶה גַּזְלָן אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא חַיָּב לוֹ. וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר אִם נִכְנַס לְתוֹךְ בֵּית חֲבֵרוֹ וּמִשְׁכְּנוֹ שֶׁהוּא גַּזְלָן שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כד יא) "בַּחוּץ תַּעֲמֹד":