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Reason for Mice Infestation

Is it true if you have had mice in your house its because of thievery ?


The Jerusalem Talmud [Demai 1:3] and the Medrash Rabba [Devarim 3:3] tell the story of the great Tanna, Rebbi Pinchas ben Yair [one of the authors of the Mishnayot] who came to a city to teach Torah. The inhabitants complained that they are suffering from mouse infestation. Rebbi Pinchas called together all the mice and asked them why they are eating these people’s food. They responded because they are not tithing their produce properly. When they accepted upon themselves to tithe the infestation stopped.

Some have suggested that this can be explained by what we find about the nature of mice. The Jerusalem Talmud [Bava Matziah 3:5, see Tosafot Bava Metziah 40a in the name of Ra”ch] describes how when a mouse finds food it goes and calls to it’s friends to partake. So one who doesn’t share his food and wealth with others is punished with mice.

An extension of this would be one who not only “steals” from the poor by not tithing his wealth, but actually steals from others as well.

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