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Don't Steal an Idea or Word

The Obligation to protect other people's belongings

The prohibition of theft

You hear a great idea from someone and you spread this idea as your idea, this is a form of stealing.

Rabbi Yeshayahu Horowitz writes, "One should repeat Torah ideas in the name of the person who originally said it, for the theft of such ideas is worse than the theft of money."

You can extend this to all the good ideas someone has. If you "sell" someone's good ideas as your ideas, you are stealing someone's honor, the credit given to you belongs to the other.

Pirkei Avot 1:13 says; “one who seeks a name, loses his name”.

The general principle: whoever prides himself becomes disappointed. For he thinks that if he runs after honor, people will honor him and if he conducts himself with humility people will debase him.

Give glory to the man to whom it belongs But it is really the opposite. One who seeks humility will find honor, while one who seeks honor will find shame.

Give glory to the man to whom it belongs.

Brought By Angelique Sijbolts


Angelique Sijbolts is one of the main writers for the Noahide Academy. She has been an observant Noahide for many years. She studies Torah with Rabbi Perets every week. Angelique invests much of her time in editing video-lectures for the Rabbis of the Academy and contributes in administrating the Academy's website in English and Dutch. She lives in the north of the Netherlands. Married and mother of two sons. She works as a teacher in a school with students with special needs. And is a Hebrew Teacher for the levels beginners and intermediate. She likes to walk, to read and play the piano.

More from Angelique Sijbolts



The Divine Code by rabbi Moshe Weiner 4e edition p. 487

Chabad Article: The Laws of Stealing - Mitzvahs & Traditions

Pirkei Avot


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