Reading the Rambam Hilchot G'zela V'aveda Halacha 9-10:

Anyone who covets a servant, a maidservant, a house or utensils that belong to a colleague, or any other article that he can purchase from him and pressures him with friends and requests until he agrees to sell it to him, violates a negative commandment,even though he pays much money for it, as Exodus 20:14 states: "Do not covet."

The violation of this commandment is not punished by lashes, because it does not involve a deed. One does not violate this commandment until one actually takes the article he covets, as reflected by Deuteronomy 7:25: "Do not covet the gold and silver on these statues and take it for yourself." Implied is that the Hebrew tachmod refers to coveting accompanied by a deed.


Anyone who desires a home, a wife, utensils, or anything else belonging to a colleague that he can acquire from him, violates a negative commandment at the time he thinks in his heart, "How is it possible to acquire this from him?" and his heart is aroused by the matter, as Deuteronomy 5:18 states: "Do not desire...." Desire refers to feelings in the heart alone.

I guess that to violate coveting you need to do tricks to get the item that belongs to another Jew (but if you directly offer to buy it you are not in violation).

But to violate desire you the thoughts of tricks are not necessary to be in violation.

Please correct my understanding.
What are the exception of desiring and coveting another Jews property, for example practically, if you see something by your friend can you want it (is it not possible that he wants to sell it)?
Or is the buyer never allowed to offer to buy something until it is offered by the buyer for sale?

Choshen Mishpat 359.10
Arach Hashulchan 359.9


Related https://judaism.stackexchange.com/a/77351/5120

  • My understanding is this issue is only if you want that exact thing and want to take it away from the other person. If you like what the person has and want to get it also, but don't care whether or not he keeps it, that's ok. So it might be allowed to ask him to sell it if that's just your most efficient way to get it but you would be equally happy to get it somewhere else. By this logic it would still be a problem for one of a kind things.
    – Heshy
    Aug 13, 2017 at 23:10
  • @Heshy good but that only works with things that are not unique
    – hazoriz
    Aug 13, 2017 at 23:11
  • Related judaism.stackexchange.com/q/79965/5120
    – hazoriz
    Aug 14, 2017 at 9:50
  • @hazoriz when you write, "another man's", are you referring to a human being of either sex, or do you specifically mean a man as in a male person?
    – ninamag
    Aug 14, 2017 at 16:20
  • @ninamag I meant human see chinuch that it is even non Jews sefaria.org/Sefer_HaChinukh.416.4?lang=en (but obviously a only a male can have a wife)
    – hazoriz
    Aug 14, 2017 at 16:23

2 Answers 2


According to Rambam Hilkhot G'neva V'aveda 1:9 the prohibition of lo tahmod is violated by coercing the owner to sell an object. Lo titaveh does not require one to acquire the object. However, Rambam writes (1:10) that one violates it when he thinks how he will pressure/convince the owner to allow him to acquire it:

כיון שחשב בלבו היאך יקנה דבר זה ונפתה לבו בדבר עבר בלא תעשה

That is, merely desiring something would not be forbidden. Only upon setting ones mind on the object and planning to coerce the owner, is the prohibition violated. This inference is made by the Ma'aseh Rokeah (ibid).

Similarly, the Maggid Mishneh (1:10) writes that the opinion of Ra'avad is that one violates the prohibition by desiring purchasing the object against the owners' will.

ונ"ל שדעת הר"א ז"ל שחיוב התאוה זו היא שיתאוה לקנות בדמים שלא ברצון הבעלים

Here too, it sounds like merely vaguely desiring something is not forbidden. Only desire that is focused into the particular desire/plan to acquire it illicitly is forbidden.

However, the Maaseh Rokeah (there) notes that in Sefer HaMitsvot (Lo Taaseh 266, English), Rambam does not specify that one needs to set his mind on illicitly acquiring it, and the implication is that merely desiring someone else's thing is forbidden. He notes that the MT should be assumed to be exact, and in the case, the SHM should be assumed to be inexact.

Similarly, the Arokh HaShulhan (HM 359:8) writes:

ולאו דלא תתאוה אף על גב דתאוה היא בלב מ"מ אינו עובר בתאות לבו בלבד אא"כ מחשב בלבו איך להשיגה מחבירו וכיון שגומר דבר זה בלבו עובר על לא תתאוה

That is, merely desiring something is not enough, one must actually set his mind on acquiring it, and how he will go about [illicitly] doing so.


Bava Metzi’a 5b says that the prohibition of Lo Sachmod is only violated when you force someone into a sale, even if you pay them fairly for the item being sold. So a person can ask if he can buy an item, but if its owner refuses, the prospective buyer is not allowed to continue pressuring him.

  • +1 I guess my question is more about sisave תִתְאַוֶּ֜ה (by sisave there is no Force only thought)
    – hazoriz
    Aug 13, 2017 at 19:26

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