Rashi points out in Parshas Kodoshim 19(11) (and elsewhere) that the commandment “לא תגנוב” in the Ten Commandments refers to kidnapping. The poet in the additions to the evening service for the second night of Shavuos writes, “לא תגנוב - קבוצות זהב חשוקות Do not steal – bundles of desirable gold. Why is that?

  • 3
    He's being poetic?
    – Double AA
    Commented May 7, 2012 at 19:12
  • 4
    As far as drush, this means kidnapping, but some interpret the p'shat as including stealing, too (e.g. Ibn Ezra and S'forno).
    – Fred
    Commented May 7, 2012 at 19:24
  • 3
    @Fred, that sounds like an answer. Why don't you post it as one, perhaps after fleshing it out?
    – msh210
    Commented May 7, 2012 at 20:02

1 Answer 1


That comment of Rash"i is quoting from the G'mara (Sanhedrin 86), which derives that [although the words plainly mean "do not steal"] based on the hermeneutic device called davar halamed me'inyano. The context of capital crimes in which "lo signov" appears implies that it too must be the capital crime of kidnapping. The meaning of the pasuk is therefore slightly different (i.e. more specified) than the meaning of the words de(or re)contextualized. The verb ג.נ.ב is certainly still available (especially to a poet) for its broader meaning of "steal".

In fact, the same g'mara that derives the specification of "lo signov" meaning "do not kidnap" derives the specification of the almost identical pasuk "lo signovu" meaning "do not steal [things]".

  • As I mentioned above, this is not simply from context, it is from the sh'losh esrei middos shehaTorah nidreshes bahen. That's why, on a p'shat level, the Ibn Ezra and S'forno on Parshas Yisro (20:13) maintained that this very pasuk includes the prohibition against regular stealing, kidnapping, and g'neivas da'as.
    – Fred
    Commented May 7, 2012 at 22:10
  • @Fred Specifically, it is from the mida of davar halamed me'inyano, which is what I meant by the English shorthand "context". I will edit it in, but is that inaccurate?
    – WAF
    Commented May 7, 2012 at 23:34
  • Not inaccurate, but it might have given the wrong impression considering that you wrote, "The verb ג.נ.ב is certainly still available (especially to a poet) for its broader meaning of "steal"," which might be understood to mean that that interpretation can not be the p'shat in this verse.
    – Fred
    Commented May 7, 2012 at 23:51

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