Honesty with Gentiles

This week we read פרשת בהר that deals with שמיטה, the sabbatical year, and laws related to inheriting the land.

There are references to the stranger living in the land as well as the עבד כנעני. The stranger refers to the גר תושב who accepts the observance of the seven Noachide laws. The עבד כנעני accepts all of the Mitzvot incumbent on a woman, and has a Jewish master.

Rabbeinu Bechaye introduces a concept called גזל הגוי, which simply means, stealing from a non-Jew. We must take extra care to be certain that the Gentile is treated fairly and is not taken advantage of.

We learn this from Yakov Avinu. It refers to when the brothers returned from Egypt after seeing Yosef, and they found that all of their money was returned to them. Yakov instructed his sons to return that money. He did not want to be accused of stealing from non-Jews.

We learn from here how careful we must be in our dealings with non-Jews, that we act in a dignified upright manner. Shabbat Shalom