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How do these 2 Chazal’s go together?


On one hand, Chazal say that a person would rather have his own supply of produce more than 9 times of someone else’s produce. On the other hand, Chazal say that stolen goods are enjoyed more than goods that are permissible.
How do these 2 statements go together? For if one wants the work of his own hand why does he enjoy something stolen and if something stolen tastes better then why does he want his own stuff over others?
Thank you!




Interesting question.

While I haven’t seen anyone that addresses this question, I think that the answer is that the gemora in Babba Metzia 38a, which says that a person would rather one of his own, is referring to a person who gave some of his produce to someone to watch. That person sees that the produce is starting to get spoiled, nevertheless he should still not sell it for other produce, rather he should leave it, because a person would rather the produce that he toiled over, rather than what he buys from others. Tis is referring to a person who is eating is food honestly, he would rather to enjoy his own hard work, than the pay for the work of others. The posuk in Mishlei ( 9-17) that says stolen water are sweet, is referring to a person who is stealing. The yezter hora makes gives a certain sweetness to for bidden items, because otherwise why would one be pulled to sin and hurt himself? Therefore, the two chazal’s do not contradict each other.

Best wishes


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  1. Thank you so much.
    So an honest person gets more pleasure from his own hard work while a thief enjoys the stolen goods more?

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