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February 22, 2017 / 26 Shevat, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘stolen’

New Israel Strategy to Deal With Smart Phone Theft

14 Tevet 5777 – January 12, 2017

Israeli police and government officials have come up with a way to prevent cell phone thieves from using their ill-gotten gains.

The Communications Ministry and police are coordinating a plan to allow mobile phone companies to block the use of cell phones with a new licensing system if they are stolen, even if the SIM card is changed.

Police will also be able to locate stolen mobile phones more easily with the new technology.

Once a cell phone customer has notified the company about a theft, both the number and the device can be blocked by the company.

In addition, the phone itself will be unusable, even if someone tries to insert another SIM card into the phone.

According to Israel Police, more than 2,000 stolen cell phones and laptops were tracked down and returned to their owners last year.

A Stolen Teivah?

3 Heshvan 5777 – November 3, 2016

In this week’s parshah Hashem commands Noach to build a teivah for himself (Bereishis 6:14). Hashem also instructs Noach to take foods and provisions for himself (Bereishis 6:21). In each of these pesukim the Torah uses the word “lecha – yourself.” Generally when the Torah uses the word “lecha,” it is to exclude stolen materials. For example, it uses this word in reference to the mitzvah of taking the four minim on the first day of Sukkos, and the Gemara extrapolates from this usage that they may not be stolen.

If we apply the same principle to Parshas Noach, it follows that Hashem commanded Noach not to use stolen material in building the teivah. But why would such a command be necessary? The Torah warns us about using stolen material for mitzvos because, aside from the prohibition of stealing, one will not fulfill the mitzvah with such items. But building the teivah was not a mitzvah in the ordinary sense of the word.

The Kli Yakar suggests that the Torah felt the need to warn Noach not to use stolen materials because he may have figured that since everyone was going to die and all their possessions were destined to be destroyed, using other people’s items to build the teivah would be okay. Therefore, Hashem said, “lecha” – don’t steal anything.

The Kli Yakar’s answer, however, is difficult to understand. What is the relevance of a person’s eventual death to taking his items before he dies? As long as an individual is still alive and his possessions are still intact, they belong to him – and one may not steal them.

Rav Moshe Shmuel Shapiro, zt”l, offers an explanation to better understand the Kli Yakar’s answer. He proves from the Gemara (Sanhedrin 56b) that a ben Noach’s prohibition not to steal differs from that of the Bnei Yisrael’s. Bnei Yisrael may not take someone else’s property. Bnei Noach, in contrast, may not use someone else’s property. Noach was a ben Noach. Therefore, he may have figured that he could take food and provision items without using them until the mabul began and everyone was dead – at which point it would be permitted to use them. To prevent Noach from acting upon such a plan, Hashem said “lecha,” teaching him that taking is prohibited if there is no permitted usage at the time of the taking. That is why Hashem says, “Kach lecha mikal ma’achal asher yei’acheil – Take for yourself of every food that you can eat” – i.e., now.

It is unclear if we are to derive from here the general halachos of stealing pertaining to a ben Noach of if they applied only to Noach at that time.

The Meshech Chochmah explains the words “that you can eat” differently. He quotes the Gemara (Chullin 129a) which expounds a different pasuk with the same words as teaching us that the food should not be assur b’hana’ah (forbidden to derive benefit from), and thus may be fed to others. Hashem was thus telling Noach that he should bring food that was not assur b’hana’ah into the teivah since he would have to feed all of the animals.

I would like to suggest an alternate p’shat. Perhaps there was no reason for Noach to think that he would be able to steal other people’s property. Why then did Hashem tell him not to steal anything? Because the mabul was the result of robbery. As the Torah says, “Ki mal’ah ha’aretz chamas” (6:13). Therefore, the means by which Noach was to be saved could not be stained with the very sin that brought about the destruction. Therefore, Hashem warned Noach not to steal the building items and provisions for the teivah even though there was no reason for Noach to think that he would be permitted to do so.

The Gemara (Rosh Hashanah 26a) states, “Ein k’teiger na’aseh sinager – The prosecutor cannot serve as the defender regarding using a cow’s or calf’s horn as a shofar. Since the calf (i.e., Eigel Hazahav – golden calf) caused destruction, its horn cannot serve as a means of saving us.

Stolen Vehicle Catches Fire in Samaria Police Chase

1 Heshvan 5777 – November 2, 2016

An Israel Police chase after two stolen vehicles on Route 50 in Samaria ended up with one of the vehicles catching fire when its Arab thief attempted to break through a security check post, Israel Police and Israel’s Defense Ministry said in separate statements. Three Arab suspects were arrested.

The check post separates Route 50 from Route 5, a major Israeli highway connecting to the coastal highway to Tel Aviv and Haifa.

Stolen vehicle turned over at Route 50 check post, Nov. 2, 2006

Stolen vehicle turned over at Route 50 check post, Nov. 2, 2006

One of the stolen vehicles rammed against several cars waiting at the check post, the other caught fire. The fire was put out by local security staff.

One woman suffered a panic attack. The check post was closed down for half an hour, causing enormous delays to Jewish community residents who go through the facility on their way to work.

Heirs of Jewish Refugee Suing Met over Stolen Picasso

4 Tishri 5777 – October 6, 2016

The estate of Paul Leffmann, a German-Jewish businessman who fled Nazi Germany in 1938, on Friday filed a lawsuit against the Metropolitan Museum of Art in new York, over ownership of Pablo Picasso’s painting The Actor, The Art Newspaper reported.

The 1904-5 oil on canvas painting shows a lanky man gesturing with his hands. The Met curators describe it as a “simple yet haunting” work that marked the beginning of Picasso’s interest in “the theatrical world of acrobats and saltimbanques (acrobats).”

According to the suit, Leffmann sold the painting under duress for $13,200, when he and his wife were in Paris, to pay for their escape to Brazil. The painting was sold to art dealer Hugo Perls and Picasso’s dealer Paul Rosenberg. The painting was then purchased for $22,500 in 1941, by Thelma Chrysler Foy, daughter of founder of the Chrysler Corporation, Walter Chrysler. In 1952, she donated the picture to the Met.

The suit argues that the Met should have known that the original owner was forced to part with the painting, today estimated at $100 million, because he was the victim of “Nazi and Fascist persecution,” according to The Art Newspaper.

The Met argues that Leffamann actually received for his Picasso more “than any other early Picasso sold by a collector to a dealer during the 1930s.” They bring as proof the fact that when the Leffmanns, after the war, were trying to recover their stolen property, they did not include The Actor on their list. If the Leffmanns themselves did not consider the painting stolen, why should the Museum be accused of holding improperly acquired property?

The litigation was begun by Leffmann’s great-grandniece, who presumably discovered her family’s connection to the Met’s Picasso about ten years ago.

French Government Returns Stolen Degas to Jewish Owners

2 Iyyar 5776 – May 9, 2016

“Trois danseuses en buste,” a late 19th-century charcoal sketch of three ballerinas by Edgar Degas which was discovered in 1951 in the building where the Nazi German Embassy resided during the occupation and had since been in the Louvre, was finally returned to its rightful owners on Monday, news outlets reported.

French Culture Minister Audrey Azoulay handed the work to Viviane Dreyfus, whose late father Maurice, the owner of the stolen drawing, died in 1957. Ms. Dreyfus said she was “extremely touched” by the gesture, and confessed she didn’t know the work existed, much less that her family owned it, since her father had never spoken about it.

According to the French government, the country’s museums are in possession of some 2,000 similarly unclaimed works, out of which some experts are certain at least 145 were stolen from their Jewish owners by the Nazis.

Torah Scroll Stolen from Moshav Bareket

6 Heshvan 5775 – October 29, 2014

A Torah scroll was stolen yesterday (Tuesday, Oct. 28) from Moshav Bareket, according to sources from within the community. Bareket is located in the Shefela region, in central Israel.

The writing of the scroll and its intended donation was paid for by a woman in memory of her five lost children.

“The mother hasn’t stopped crying” since the scroll was stolen, a member of one of Israel’s branches of the Chabad-Lubavitch women’s organization, told JewishPress.com on Wednesday.

“Please let people know,” she urged. “Perhaps the stolen scroll will surface if the thieves try to sell it, and then they will be caught and we will be able to recover it.”

Two Torahs Stolen from Bayit V’Gan Shul

19 Tevet 5774 – December 22, 2013

On Saturday night thieves broke into the “Gra” shul in Bayit V’Gan in Jerusalem, and stole two Sefer Torahs.

Afterwards, the thieves tried to break into the Orchot Meir yeshiva, but were unsuccessful.

The police are investigating.

As Torah scrolls in Israel are marked so the owners can be easily determined, its not clear what market for a stolen Sefer Torah in Israel actually exists.

Weapons, Ammo Stolen from Karnei Shomron

21 Av 5773 – July 27, 2013

Over Shabbat, at around midnight, there was an infiltration into the town of Karnei Shomron. The infiltrators stole a weapon and ammunition.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/weapons-ammo-stolen-from-karnei-shomron/2013/07/27/

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