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Section: Questions   Category: Halacha
TAGS:lo sachmod
Halacha - "Lo sachmod" on asking for a trade back?
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Yehonoson Hool
Question: Dear Rabbi, I gave an old item of mine to a friend as a gift (with no conditions) and then bought a new one for myself. A few months later, I realized that I prefer my old item to the new one for some personal reasons. Am I now allowed to ask my friend if he would be willing to trade items with me? (The new item is actually of better quality than the old one.) My friend has told me on several occasions how much he likes the item I gave him. In asking him if he would be willing to make the trade, am I allowed to tell him the fact that the new item is more expensive and of better quality than the used one I gave him? By desiring and attempting to get my old item back (which is not mine anymore but my friend's property), am I violating "lo sachmod"(you shall not covet) or some other prohibition? Thank you very much.
Answer: Brief parameters of Lo sachmod - You shall not covet.
One who desires another person's belongings and makes plans to obtain them, transgresses the commandment of Lo Sisaveh (Devorim 5:18). If one merely desires something but makes no plans to obtain it, the Shulchan Aruch rules that one does not violate this prohibition. If the person takes action and pressures the owner to give him or sell to him the item, and succeeds, then he has transgressed Lo Sachmod (shemos 20:14).

If one desires an item it is permitted to approach the owner to ask him if he would like to sell it. The prohibition applies only when one pesters him and pressures him until he agrees to sell it or give it. Persuading him via others, such as getting a friend, associate or influential person to persuade him to give it away or sell it is also forbidden.
posted:2009-07-09 10:29:59

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