When I walk through Binyanei Hauma in the morning, there is a gentleman who gets paid to hand out newspapers. I see how happy he is when someone takes one, so I always take one. But I do not want to read it, and throw it away when he can’t see me. Questions: is it considered stealing if I am taking something I do not plan to use, as they paid to hand it out for free; also, is it ma’aris ayin if someone sees that I, a frum person, takes a chiloni paper; third, am I allowed to do these to make him happy?

Thank you,

Answer:

Being that they are giving it out for free and not stipulating what you do with it it, there may not be stealing involved. However since it clear their intent is for those who want to read it this may be an implicit stipulation. If you have no interest at all, you should not take the paper.

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