Rambam Bekius

How Can the Rambam Permit ANY Lying? (Hilchos Gezeilah v'Aveidah 14:12-13)

May 25, 2021 Rabbi Matt Schneeweiss
Rambam Bekius
How Can the Rambam Permit ANY Lying? (Hilchos Gezeilah v'Aveidah 14:12-13)
Show Notes

Yesterday we learned the Rambam's strict view that "even a single word of pitui (seduction) and geneivas daas (trickery) is prohibited." We wondered what the Rambam would say about the classic cases when one is permitted to lie, and were puzzled by the omission of such cases from these halachos, and from Hilchos Deios in general. This afternoon (5/25/21 at YBT) in our Rambam Bekius chavurah we focused on the surprising place where the Rambam codifies these cases: in the laws of lost objects (shout out to David Fried for directing me to the source). Our goal was not to understand why these cases were exceptions, but to understand how these cases do not contradict or undermine what the Rambam wrote in Hilchos Deios 2:6. I believe we succeeded in answering that question.
רמב"ם - משנה תורה: ספר המדע, הלכות דעות ב:ו
רמב"ם - משנה תורה: ספר נזקים, הלכות גזילה ואבידה יד:יב-יג
Bekius Disclaimer:
Note that this is a bekius chavurah - as opposed to an iyun shiur. Each session consists of us reading through the Rambam's writings together without much preparation on my part, and without going into depth by consulting commentaries or primary sources. For all these reasons, there are bound to be inaccuracies, errors, and other types of shortcomings which would not be acceptable in a prepared shiur, but are quite typical of a bekius chavurah. Please bear this in mind, and know what you're signing up for when you listen!
If you have questions, comments, or feedback, I would love to hear from you! Please feel free to contact me at rabbischneeweiss at gmail.
Rambam Resources:
- Mechon Mamre: the most accurate complete edition of the Mishneh Torah available online for free
- AlHaTorah: excellent site overall, and reliable for the first three books of the Mishneh Torah, as well as the Shelat edition of the Rambam's commentary on the Mishnah and other works of the Rambam
- Daat: features many of the Rambam's writings, including Qafih's translation of the Moreh ha'Nevuchim, complete with footnotes
- Explanatory Essays on The Guide for the Perplexed
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