I remember reading a quote, attributed to the Talmud, that essentially says "everybody steals". I doubt it's genuine, and if it is, it's probably heavily qualified, but I thought I'd ask: Does this quote ring a bell?

  • When a question like this shows up in HNQ, it doesn't exactly work to dispel certain negative stereotypes about Jews.
    – nick012000
    Jan 22, 2021 at 23:15
  • @nick012000 -- Why? The Talmud is making general statements about human nature, not about Jews in particular, and obviously does not approve of these behaviors. Jan 24, 2021 at 0:13
  • Sometimes statements about human nature can be seen to reveal more about the person saying them than humanity in general.
    – nick012000
    Jan 24, 2021 at 7:47

1 Answer 1


In Baba Batra 165a :

אמר רב יהודה אמר רב רוב בגזל ומיעוט בעריות והכל בלשון הרע

Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: The majority of people succumb to sin with regard to robbery, and a minority of people succumb to sin with regard to sexual matters, and everyone succumbs to sin with regard to malicious speech.

But Rashbam writes:

רוב בגזל - רוב בני אדם חשודין על הגזל כעין גזל שמורין להתירא במשא ובמתן לעכב איש מריוח הראוי לו לחבירו:

That is, the majority is suspected about stealing when they thinks it's their due, when they are teaching to themselves that's it is ok, as in business.

  • Thank you, sir! I knew I could trust my memory... Jan 22, 2021 at 13:09

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