"And there was quarreling between the shepherds of Abram's flock and the shepherds of Lot's flock."
Yahveh promised that he would give the Land of Israel to the seed of Abraham. The shepherds of Lot (Abraham's nephew)
started using private land for grazing of their animals. This resulted in quarreling between Abraham's and Lot's shepherds.
Lot's shepherds claimed that since Abraham had no children, and Lot was Abraham's closest relative, they were allowed to use
these lands. Abraham's shepherds answered that it was forbidden until Abraham actually inherited the land.
One form of theft about which people are not so careful concerns stealing from the public. People are mistaken when they
think that it is permitted since they aren't stealing from anyone in particular. Another rationalization is that one might
think it is permitted since it also belongs to them. Taking from the public is the worst form of stealing, because one is
stealing from many people, and it is impossible to return any item that's already consumed to many people. Therefore one must
be extra careful as to how he treats public property. A true believer will be careful that his dealings with other people,
private and public, are carried out with integrity, even if he is in financial distress and his debtors are pouncing on him
from all directions.
If a person wants to know if he can trust someone, he should observe how the person behaves in business dealings. If
one is careful about every penny that goes through his hands, especially if he is the type of person who does not like to
take from others, then he can be trusted. Seeing a person praying with great zeal is unfortunately not an indication of how
he behaves when it comes to money matters.