(c) 2000 Dr Hendel; 1st appeared in Bais Medrash (c) Torah.Org

Date: Thu, 29 May 1997 19:52:25 -0400
From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel)
Subject: RE: Ganav vs Gazlan

Michael Cloeman and Louis Gamerman (BM V1 #5) discuss the issue of Ganav Vs
Gazlan. Besides suggesting a solution I would like to discuss HOW to
approach such problems.

First: The Rambam in the first chapters of most books offers definitions.
In this case we find in Genayva 1:3 that

GANAV--is done *secretly (others don't know) and *not in owners presence
(he doesn't know)

GAZLAN--is done *openly in *public and *with might.

Of course, as Michael points out this might strengthen the question since
the mask has the "secret" element but the fact that he is robbing "openly"
suggests he is a Gazlan.

So now the question is how do we chose between competing properties (mask =
secret vs open=gazlan).

Towards this end I would like to suggest the methods of Rav Chayiim Briske
who tried to introduce conceptual models to definitions. In this case

GANAV--violates the *property rights of man`
but the
GAZLAN--violates not only the property rights of man but also the right to
*defend ones property.

Think about it: If you are robbing in public the victim will show
resistance and the GAZLAN (who usually has a weapon or accomplices) is
prepared to deal with this resistance while the ideal GANAV simply wants
property of others but is not prepared to fight for it.

Using this conceptual model
     GANAV = I can have others property
     GAZLAN = I can harm people for their property
we easily see that a robber with a mask who confronts a person (and is
using some time of force to complete the robbery) is really a GAZLAN

I hope these methodological remarks help people in their learning.

Russell Jay Hendel; PH.d; ASA; rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu