Reuven and Shim'on are neighbors. They haven't discussed this matter, and Shim'on isn't available to consult. When Reuven is shoveling snow off of his walk, may he throw it onto Shim'on's lawn? Assume that this creates no apparent additional hazard or hardship for Shim'on, as snow on a lawn usually wouldn't. I'm wondering whether, from a property-rights perspective, Reuven may use Shim'on's property thus without permission, or whether it would be considered stealing.

Similarly, suppose Reuven wants to throw his snow into the public street, and again assume that it creates no apparent additional hazard or hardship, since the additional snow is diffuse enough in the street to not make a difference. May Reuven do this?

  • 1
    Similar: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/27996/170
    – msh210
    Jan 13, 2019 at 21:01
  • In other words, זה נהנה וזה לא חסר?
    – DonielF
    Jan 13, 2019 at 22:42
  • I can't see a problem with shoveling snow onto the street. It's a public area. Unless the snow causes a hazard. As for snow on neighbor's property, to me this sounds somewhat similar to the allowance of cutting branches from your neighbor's tree that hangs into your property, which , I think you can do. With a heavy continuous mass of snow, it's hard to tell which snow is yours and which is your neighbor's. OTOH, if your neighbor clearly has an empty lawn and you don't, then, you're putting stuff on his lawn is clear, and I don't think that's allowable.
    – DanF
    Jan 14, 2019 at 18:06

1 Answer 1


I would name a couple of possible transgressions:

  1. If that snow causes Shimon any additional expenses or inconveniences, it is clearly a Damage (נזק) and is prohibited.

  2. If it might endanger Shimon by making his way slippery or whatever, it falls under "לא תעמוד על דם רעך" and "לפני עוור" and "ונשמרתם" etc.

  3. If it only makes Shimon angry Reuven transgresses the prohibition of "אונאת רעך" and "ואהבת לרעך" and "מה דסני עלך לחברך לא תעביד" and more.

  4. In other words, the only way of not transgressing anything is to get Shimon's explicit permission in the first place. But I would still suspect he might be doing it unwillingly and #3 can be still in force. Therefore I Pasken that the only way of being truly "ועשית הישר והטוב בעיני ה' ואדם" is when we know for sure that Shimon is profiting from that snow.

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