Moshe in his parting speech is relating to the Israelites what happened to them during the long journey through the Wilderness. He tells them that they approached the land of Seir where the descendents of Esav lived. Moshe then says that Hashem instructed him to tell the people that you shall buy food from them for money VA’ACHALTEM, “…so you may eat…”, also water you shall buy from them with money USHETITEM, “…so that you may drink.”. (Deut. 2,6)
The words “so you may eat” and the words “so that you may drink” are superfluous. What else would they do with the food and water they purchase if not eat and drink them? But the Torah is teaching us a very important lesson. We must not eat or drink what we purchase until we actually pay for it. This may not be an obvious means of conduct but this is how the verse is explained.
The message, however, is clear. Before we assume that something is ours we must ascertain that we are the rightful owners. Too often we overlook technicalities and bypass technical steps needed to justify our actions.