The Eighth Commandment


‘You should never take, extort or appropriate anything belonging to another person without their consent. But there are concessions even with this law. As such, if for example you have not eaten for a week, or if you have no means to obtain any sustenance despite all your efforts, it is permissible to take and eat food you find unattended, in order to survive.’ 

‘But before taking it, you should make all efforts to find its owner and ask for their permission to partake of it. If they cannot be found, you should arrange to leave a message or another way of letting them know that it was you who took their property; promising to replace or pay for it as soon as, and when possible. Even if it be in the middle of a desert, you should provide means for the owner to find you easily and claim their due.’

‘For if that food is cooked or prepared, it definitely belongs to someone; and when taking such food, do not take more than you need for that moment only. Also when you find someone with food after going for a week without any, you must ask them for it. If they refuse to give it, never abuse, attack or hurt them to take it to feed yourself. You shall walk away without anger, as you too expect goodness from God, who sees all and who eventually will provide you with nourishment.’

‘A warning goes here to any one whose food has been taken in such a manner and to whom a note, a payment or a promise of payment had been left. You shall be understanding and not in any way try to punish such a person; or get them arrested in order to be punished by the Law of the land.  Be forgiving and accept their excuse and payment, just as you expect to be forgiven by God when you sin without being caught. It is for this reason that you were advised in this Law to let poor people glean from your fields, and to reserve a corner of your field where some products may be taken by those who desperately need them.’

‘You should walk away without anger if you find that your food had been taken by a more hungry person, for God who sees all will provide you with what you need., and in more abundance. By comporting yourselves in such a way, you shall be without fault before the Lord your God.’

‘Do not take anything belonging to another person in order to have more than they have.  By this, we do not mean that you should not have more than another person; only that you should deserve what you have by earning it honestly.’

‘Work honestly and hard to obtain everything you need either to live simply, in comfort, or opulence. You will enjoy it more the better, knowing that all that you have was honestly and honorably obtained, and that you did not do anything to offend either your fellow man, and God the Mighty One.’

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