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  • Family and Society
  • Damage and Theft

Stealing Sleep

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Rabbi Elchanan Lewis

8 Kislev 5767
Question
What is known about stealing sleep (Gezel Sheina)?
Answer
Gezel Shena (sleep theft) does not appear in the Talmud or the major Halachic sources in this way, it may not be a simple prohibition of theft, yet clearly prohibited for other reasons. There is the Mitzvah of Gmilut Chesed – acts of loving kindness, a prohibition of doing to your fellow friend what would bother you – Veahavta Lereacha Kamocha, a prohibition of causing sorrow to a person – Onaah; these all rule Gezel Shena as prohibited, especially since it is almost impossible to rectify the damage. (see Mishane Halachot 12:443, 14:12)
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