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reply to “Honesty in Business/Commerce”

Question:

Thanks so much for that information. If one item was purchased already, and since there is doubt as to whether the manufacturer was allowed to sell it, what is the proper way to disregard the item? May it be donated to a Jewish thrift store if it may have unintentionally been violating halacha to be purchased in the first place (“stolen goods”)…or donated perhaps to a general thrift store that is not Jewish… please advise… Thanks very much again.

Answer:

You do not have to disregard the item or give it away, and you may keep it and enjoy it. Although what the company did was a breach of contract (if that was indeed the case), but what you did was helping them steal, but not actually stealing, therefore the mitzva of returning a stolen item will not apply. In fact, there is no one here that you would even have to ask mechila. It wouldn’t be worse than any aveiro bein adom l’makom, and even that is questionable

Best Wishes.

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