Ketubot 31 - Stealing on Shabbat

Previously we mentioned that if one violates a girl for relations with whom he is liable with his soul , then only this punishment applies, and he does not have to pay the penalty of fifty shekalim. The prototypical example of this, however, is found on Shabbat, when one steals a purse from a house, and then carries it into the street. Since for carrying the purse into the street on Shabbat he is liable to death by the Court, he does not have to pay the penalty for stealing and only has to return the stolen goods. This will apply even if he is not executed, such as if there were no witnesses or no proper warning.

And yet, what are the precise circumstances of his stealing? If he lifts the purse while in the house, he acquires it right then and there, becomes liable to return double, and Shabbat violation - which comes only later, when he crosses the doorstep - would not relieve him of the penalty. The Talmud tries to construct various ways of his walking where this would be true, but finds faults with them. Final conclusion is that this applies when he is dragging the purse on the floor, since he only acquires it when he crosses the doorstep - and then the Shabbat violation happens simultaneously with stealing.

Art: Still Life With Book And Purse By Gerrit Dou