Are there any sources that would constitute the following as stealing/gezel: If one buys a product that the website requires one to be 18 years or older to purchase and is underage? So let’s say you try to buy a pencil and the website requires you to be over 18, and one buys it but is under 18. Is this stealing?

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    It might be closer to sheker. Nov 23, 2018 at 7:31
  • related (opening statement connects lying to gezel) judaism.stackexchange.com/a/71143/1362
    – rosends
    Nov 23, 2018 at 11:42
  • Is it stealing? I think my recent post on Lo Sachmod would answer this just the same. But even if it’s not, is it permitted? No. It’s lying. It’s geneivas Da’as. According to almost everybody, it’s a violation of dina d’malchusa.
    – DonielF
    Nov 23, 2018 at 13:35
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    @DonielF I think you targeting all the points. You should post as an answer. I agree that it is a violation of Dina D'Malchuta. The law clearly states that you have to be a certain age to purchase this product. You violated the law, and the seller also violated the law by selling it - even in a case where he didn't know (law requires them to ask for ID!) If the authorities find out, the seller would be penalized and, possibly the buyer as well.
    – DanF
    Nov 23, 2018 at 16:06
  • I should add that it may even be a form of stealing if you request someone over 18 to buy it for you. This scenario crosses a fine line, though. You're using someone else as an agent for you to do something illegal, possibly.
    – DanF
    Nov 23, 2018 at 16:08

2 Answers 2


לא תחמוד

I recently posted an answer on the site - on a question of yours, in fact - that discusses the prohibition of Lo Sachmod, do not covet. The two points from that answer that are relevant to this question are:

  1. As per SA CM 359:1, if it is a stealing issue, it does not matter whether the parties involved are Jewish or not - stealing is always prohibited.
  2. Forcing someone into a sale they didn’t willingly agree to is prohibited by Lo Sachmod (Ibid. §9, from BM 5a).

Since the website (or store, for that matter - no reason to limit the question to websites) requires that their customers be over 18, if one tricks them into selling something to an underage client, they are in violation of Lo Sachmod.

Lying and Geneivas Da’as

Your question was about whether this is stealing or not, so technically the answer stops here. However, even if it’s not a stealing issue, it would still be forbidden for several other reasons.

The first one is that you’re lying. When the store asks you to confirm that you’re over 18, and you click that checkbox, you have lied to them.

Most poskim - including the Shulchan Aruch (YD 402:12) and Sefer HaChinuch (74) - hold that lying is always forbidden. However, a minority holds that it only applies where it causes a loss of money - including the Rambam (De’os 5:13).

But even according to the Rambam, it would seemingly be an issue of Geneivas Da’as - misleading someone to your advantage (De’os 2:6).

Dina d’Malchusa Dina

And now we come to the part everyone seems to forget about. Just because it’s not Jewish Law doesn’t mean we don’t care about it.

The Halacha is that the law of the land is binding. I’ll refer you to another post of mine here for details, but the main point is that according to just about everyone, if the site says only those above 18 can purchase because of federal law, then whatever federal restrictions are in place are indeed binding.

  • Downvoted. It has nothing to do with לא תחמוד. Aug 22, 2019 at 13:25
  • @Alaychem How doesn’t it have to do with לא תחמוד?
    – DonielF
    Aug 22, 2019 at 20:09
  • לא תחמוד is about putting pressure on someone to sell, while he does not want to sell at all, he this product is for sale, just not for you. Aug 25, 2019 at 5:21
  • @Alaychem where do you see a distinction is ever made between not wanting to sell and not wanting to sell to you?
    – DonielF
    Aug 25, 2019 at 11:54
  • We know that לא תחמוד is as I described. If you want to say that it cover another case - where there is a significant difference (the object is for sale), you should provide a proof, which you don't have. Aug 26, 2019 at 6:23
  1. Not exactly, it is called מקח טעות because it overrides an explicit condition presented at the moment of the מכירה.

  2. On the side of the buyer, it is a transgression of גניבת דעת, as he presents himself of what he's not.

  3. Therefore the sale is automatically invalidated but I could never truly understand what happens to the state of the product and the money once it is מקח טעות.

  4. As All of the above applies to the Jews, I tend to think it is irrelevant to buying from goyim, and since nobody is tracing the transactions and there's no Hilul Hashem it seems that it would be still valid.

  • “As all of the above applies to Jews” - that is patently false. Geneivas Da’as applies to non-Jews as well.
    – DonielF
    Nov 24, 2018 at 22:29

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