Borrowing without Permission
Jump to navigation Jump to search
- Using an item that belongs to someone else without his permission is considered stealing. This is the case even if you have intention to return it to the exact place and in the same condition that you found it. There is a dispute if this is a Torah prohibition or rabbinic.
- If the item which you borrow without permission will not lose value when you use it, then you are not required to pay for the item until you actually proceed to use it; picking up the item is not enough to require you to pay the owner. However, if the item you borrow without permission will lose value when you use it, then your requirement to pay the owner for the use of the item is activated immediately upon lifting up the item.
- Even using the item of a non-Jew or a minor without their permission is considered stealing.
- According to many poskim, even if the owner subsequently consents and says he does not mind that the item was borrowed, since the borrower did not receive permission before he took the item, he is considered a thief. For example, if I would borrow my neighbor's rake that he left outside to rake my leaves without asking him, I would be considered a thief, even if when I inform the owner he does not mind. See Stealing from a Family Member or Close Friend for the Halachot of borrowing things from those whom you know will not mind even a priori.
- This prohibition applies to land as well.
- If you are certain the owner does not mind or you see that the owner has allowed the shortcut to become established on his property, then you may cut through his lawn.
- If a private parking lot has a sign restricting parking to customers or the like, it is prohibited for others to park there. If it is evident that the owner needs the lot for his customers it is prohibited to park there even without the sign.
- If a person parks in a spot, in a manner that the owner of the parking lot would not approve of, such as blocking the entrance or exit, it is considered an act of stealing.
- It is prohibited to block a private driveway by parking or double parking in front of the driveway, but this is not considered stealing. If someone blocks your driveway, and you have tried to tell them not to park there and they continue to nevertheless, one is permitted to call the police to tow the car away.
- There is a disagreement between Poskim about whether knowledge that the owner would not object to you borrowing his things without specific permission is sufficient justification. However, there is a distinction between "using" and "using up" in this context, as perhaps even the position that doesn't allow relying on implicit permission would permit using an item that would remain unchanged upon borrowing temporarily.
- If it is clear that the owner does not object, one may borrow the item without permission. For example, if in the past one regularly borrows a particular item, it indicates that the owner does not object, the person may use that type of item without asking permission.
- It is not considered stealing to borrow an item that will surely not be damaged from use, that nobody objects when others borrow it. For example, since nobody minds when you use their hanger, sit on their chair, or wash your hands with their washing cup, it is not considered stealing to borrow it.  However, if a significant minority would object, even if not the majority, it may not be used without permission. Certainly, if the owner is standing there and objects to your usage, it would be stealing to use it anyway. Additionally, if the borrower is aware of some reason that the owner might object, he may not use it without his permission.
Items Used for Mitzvot
- If an item is being borrowed to perform a mitzva, we presume that the owner does not object if it doesn't cost him anything, as people are usually pleased to have others perform a mitzva with their possessions.
- see Borrowing Tallit or Tefillin, Borrowing a Sefer without Permission, Borrowing a Shofar without Permission, Using Someone Else's Sukkah without their Permission and Borrowing Four Minim without Permission.
- However, there are instances where common sense dictates that the owner would not want you to borrow his item without asking for permission:
- If the borrower knows that the owner would object because he is very meticulous or stingy or the like.
- If the owner might need it for himself, it should not be taken without permission.
- The item may not be used on a regular basis.
- The item should not be taken to a different place.
- The item must be put back as found.
- If the owner is present, the borrower should ask permission.
- Rambam Gezela Vaaveda 3:15, Shulchan Aruch CM 359:5, Rama CM 308:7, Halachos of Other People's Money pg. 53. see by Rabbi Dovid Grossman
- Shulchan Aruch CM 292:1, also see Halachos of Other People's Money pg. 53-55
- see Halachos of Other People's Money pg. 53 note 128-ב
- Shulchan Aruch CM 292:1
- The Mishnah Berurah 937:10 quotes the Magen Avraham A.C. 472:2 who writes that one should not build a Sukkah in a public space, as one must be certain that all the people who reside in public space would permit you to build your Sukkah there. The Magen Avraham assumes that the Jewish people of the area would be okay with it, but he assumes that the non-Jewish people would not be okay with you building your Sukkah in the public space, and thus he recommends not making the brachah on sitting in the Sukkah in such a situation. The implication is that borrowing the property from the non-Jew would be stealing.
- Shulchan Aruch C.M. 348:2. [The Shulchan Aruch writes that stealing from a minor is forbidden, and borrowing from a person without permission is stealing (see footnote 1).]
- Halachos of Other People's Money pg. 56
- Pitchei Choshen 7: note 29, Halachos of Other People's Money pg. 57. see there note 137 where he writes that even if you will not cause any damage, it is still forbidden.
- Halachos of Other People's Money pg. 56-57 and note 134 there citing Rav Zalman Nechemya Goldberg and Rav Elyashiv, Rashbam Bava Batra 57b s.v. lkula, Pitchei Choshen ch. 7 fnt. 29.
- Halachos of Other People's Money pg. 57, Shulchan Aruch CM 377:1
- Halachos of Other People's Money pg. 58
- Halachos of Other People's Money pg. 58
- Halachos of Other People's Money pg. 59
- Halachos of Other People's Money pg. 59 note 142 in the name of Rav Elyashiv. regarding damaging a double-parked car, see Business Halacha Institute
- Shach 359:1 says that you can use someone's things without specific permission if you know the owner would not mind. The Tosefot on Bava Metziya 22b disagrees. The Gemara on Bava Metziya 22b brings a story of some Amoraim who are invited by a sharecropper to eat some crops from the field he was working on. Two of the Amoraim ate with the sharecropper, but one refused. Tosefot understands that the disagreement between the Amoraim could not have been regarding whether the owner of the field would mind for them to eat from his crops, as surely all of the AMoraim would agree that it is not permitted to eat from crops without the owner's explicit permission. The Ketzot 359:1 agrees with Tosefot.
- Sefer Mishpittei HaTorah 1:52, quoted by Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz in an online Shiur , 'Using Your Roomates Stuff Without Permission' (https://www.yutorah.org/lectures/lecture.cfm/924635/rabbi-aryeh-lebowitz/ten-minute-halacha-using-your-roomates-stuff-without-permission/).
- Halachos of Other People's Money pg. 61
- S"A Harav Hilchot She'ela Seif 5 based on Ritva Baba Metzia 41a, Halachos of Other People's Money pg. 59. However, he writes that if the owner is around, one should still ask permission
- S"A Harav Hilchot She'ela Seif 5, Shu"t Igrot Moshe OC 5:20:5, Halachos of Other People's Money pg. 60
- Halachos of Other People's Money pg. 60 note 145, Maharsham 227
- Halachos of Other People's Money pg. 60
- Halachos of Other People's Money pg. 61, Shulchan Aruch OC 14:4
- Halachos of Other People's Money pg. 62, Aruch Hashulchan 14:11
- Halachos of Other People's Money pg. 63
- Halachos of Other People's Money pg. 63 based on Magen Avraham OC 14:7 and Mishna Brura 14:13, Shach CM 72:8
- Halachos of Other People's Money pg. 63 based on Mishna Brura 14:13
- Halachos of Other People's Money pg. 63
- Halachos of Other People's Money pg. 64 based on Mishna Brura 14:13