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Rebuking a Theif

I saw another Jew stealing from a kosher restaurant and didn’t know if I should tell the owners or confront the person. I happen to know the person and didn’t want it to ruin the friendly relationship we have What should I do now since the time to do something about it passed? Thank you.


Unless he poses a threat for future thievery, it would seem there is nothing to gain by telling the owner as it was probably not an amount he would pursue to retrieve. If confronting him will ruin your relationship, it is likely it will also not have the desired results of remorse, tshuva, and returning the value of what he stole. Perhaps an anonymous letter would be more productive. Otherwise, his Rav or other mentor should be told, and he could approach him in a productive way.

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1 Comment

  1. We aren’t told exactly what transpired. One thing is clear, the viewer ASSUMED that person was stealing.

    However there might have been a valid explanation to his actions. It’s possible that whatever the person was seen taking was actually with the owner’s knowledge.

    Therefore, another approach would be to discuss the issue with the person in a non-judgmental manner, and give him a chance to explain his actions. If it turns out that he actually acted like a common thief, why would you want to maintain a friendly relationship with him?

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