Our sages taught:

A man should not move stones from his ground to public ground.

A certain man was moving stones from his ground onto public ground when a pious man found him doing so and said to him, “Fool, why do you move stones from ground which is not yours to ground which is yours?”

The man laughed at him.

Some days later, the man had to sell his field, and when he was walking on that public ground he stumbled over those stones.

He then said, “How well did that pious man say to me, ‘Why do you move stones from ground which is not yours to ground which is yours?’ ”

—Talmud Bavli, Masekhet Bava Kama 50b

Illustrations of the ownership vs. stewardship idea don’t get much better than this.

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