Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Beating Up Thieves continued...

Here's a story you're not likely to see in Tales from the Gemara: from Gittin.

דף ח, ב פרק א הלכה ה גמרא
והדין זכה לחבריה לא יכיל חזור ביה.
דלמא רבי דוסתאי בי רבי ינאי ור' יוסי בן כיפר נחתון מיגבי לחבריה תמן
ואיתאמרת עליהון לישן ביש
אתון בעיי מיפקא מיניה
אמרין לון כבר זכינן
אמרין לון אנן בעי תקימינון טבאת
אמרין לון שומר חנם אנחנו.

דף ט, א פרק א הלכה ה גמרא
אתון לגבי ר' דוסתאי בי רבי ינאי
אמר לון ההנו כולה נסבין לר' יוסי בן כיפר
ופטרוי ואפקון מיניה.
כד סלקון להכא אתא לגבי אבוי
א"ל לית את חמי מה עבד לי ברך.
א"ל מה עבד לך.
א"ל אילו אשוויי עמי לא הוון מפקין מינן כלום.
א"ל מה עבדת כן.
א"ל ראיתי אותן בית דין שוה
וכובעיהן אמה
ומדברין מחציים
ויוסי אחי כפות ורצועה עולה ויורדת
ואמרית שמא דוסתאי אחר יש לאבא
א"ר חגיי הדא דתימר בהוא דלא יכיל מיקמה טבאות.
ברם הוא דיכיל מיקמת טבאות מיפק לון מן הדא ויטלון לדין

And if he is zocheh {transfers ownership via an intermediary} to his friend is not able to retract.
A story: Rabbi Dostai son of Rabbi Yannai and Rabbi Yossi son of Kipper went down to collect there {in Bavel} for the {support of} the scholars
And it was said about them a bad report {that they were going to pocket the money they were collecting}
They {the people who had contributed} came and wished to take {back} the money from them.
They {the collectors} said to them: we have already acquired it {for the scholars}
They {the people} said to them {the collectors}: we want to to accept achrayut {responsibility in case the money is lost or stolen - or in this case, they thought "lost" or "stolen"}
They {the collectors} said to them: we are free watchmen {who do not have this responsibility in case of loss or theft.}
They came before Rabbi Dostai son of Rabbi Yannai
He said to them they {the moneys} were all taken to Rabbi Yossi ben Kippar
And they released him {Rabbi Dostai} and took it from him {Rabbi Yossi}.
When they left to here {Eretz Yisrael} they came before his father {Rabbi Yannai}.
He {Rabbi Yossi ben Kippar} said to him {Rabbi Yannai}: Do you not see what your son did to me?
He {Rabbi Yannai} said to him {Rabbi Yossi}: What did he do to you?
He {Rabbi Yossi} said to him {Rabbi Yannai}: Had they set against me they would have not taken from us anything.
He {Rabbi Yannai} said to him {his son Rabbi Dostai}: Why did you act so?
He {Rabbi Dostai} said to him {Rabbi Yannai}: I saw that they were a formidable court
And their hats were fearful
And they were speaking from their middles {they had deep voices}
And Yossi my brother {not literally} was bent over {on the pillar to be lashed} kafot and the strap rising and falling
And I said: perhaps there is another Dostai to my father?!
Rabbi Chaggai said: this that you say {that they were not responsible for the taking back of the money} is when they were not able to accept acharayut {responsibility if it were stolen or lost}
However, if he is able to accept achrayut, you would take from this one {the collector} and give to this one {the one who was being collected for}
It is a great story. It differs from the modern story below in that here they were trying to get back money that they had donated, while in the story below the goods were recovered, but the people just wanted to beat up shoplifters and pickpockets.

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