- Torah and Jewish Thought
- General Questions
In the Sefer HaMeorot HaGedolim by Rabbi Chaim Ephraim Zaitchik, he brings that Rav Yisrael Salanter used to hold that Gezel Sheina (preventing or "stealing" sleep) is Asur DOrayta. According to what I have found there is no source for Gezel Sheina even in Shas. Is there a false quotation in the book or is there an actual source?
It is well known that R. Yisrael Salanter was a Talmudic genius, as well as saintly. The term gezel sheina is found in the Tanach, Mishlei 4, 16. It definitely is prohibited to bother someone's sleep, whether because of not doing to others what you don't want others to do to you, "love your neighbor as yourself", in addition to Ona'ah [=prohibition to hurt others]. These are d'oraita Torah prohibitions. It also often would fall under the prohibition of stealing someone's time. Bava Batra 20b lists Gezel zman as a nezek, that one needs to pay damages, and the same would be regarding gezel sheina, evaluating how much one would pay to be able to sleep continuously without being woken up. Batei Din don't obligate payment on this today, but a person should try and pacify his friend, if need be, with payment. In addition, derech eretz comes before Torah, and one doesn't need a source that he's supposed to be a mentch!