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GENTILE (continued)


Dilling Exhibit 271
Para. 2

[page 622] It sometimes happened that the Gentile wishing to take advantage of the liberal Jewish laws, summoned his Jewish opponent to a Jewish court. In such cases the Gentile would gain little benefit, as he would be dealt with in accordance with the Jewish or the Gentile law, as might be least advantageous to him. The judge would say: “This is in accordance with our law” or ”with your law,” as the case might be. If this was not satisfactory to the Gentile, legal quibbles and circumventions might be employed against him. R. Akiba, however, would not permit such proceedings, which tended to profane the Holy Name (B. K. 113a).

The differences between their laws were the main barriers between Jew and Gentile. The Talmud would excommunicate a Jew who without a summons testified in a petty Gentile court as a single witness against a Jew, for the Jewish law required at least two witnesses. But in the supreme court a single Jewish witness might testify, as the Gentile judge would administer the oath to the defendant, which proceeding was similar to that prescribed by Jewish law (ib.).

The Jewish mode of acquisition of real property by deed or by three years’ undisputed possession did not apply to Gentiles (Kid. 14b), who as a rule acquired their property by seizure. The Persian laws leased property for a term of forty years, so that three years’ occupation would not amount to a presumption of purchase (B. B. 55a). In case of transfer of chattels, a money payment was sufficient without delivery or removal, which the Jewish law required (B.K. 13a). Part payment or a consideration was not valid (B. B. 54b).

Acquisition by a consideration was an old established Jewish law: “This was the manner in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for to confirm all things: a man plucked off his shoe and gave it to his neighbor” (Ruth iv. 7). The article of consideration in “former times” was changed in later times to a kerchief. The Gentiles did not admit acquisition by a consideration. Transfers of their property were effected only for ready money to the full amount (Kid. 8a). The Persians bound themselves by an exchange of presents, which was considered equivalent to a word of honor, but not, however, in the sense of a consideration (Ab. Zarah 71a).

The Persian law ordered the guarantor to pay immediately on the default of the debtor; while the Jewish law required the creditor first to proceed against the debtor, and that then, if the debt were not paid, he should sue the guarantor (B. B. 173b, 174a).


Dilling Exhibit 271
Begins Para. 1

The Jewish law against overcharging one-sixth or more above the current price of marketable merchandise—a violation of which affected the validity of the sale—applied only to a Jew or domiciled alien, not to a Gentile. “If thou sell ought unto thy neighbor, or buyest ought of thy neighbor’s hand, ye shall not oppress (overcharge) one another” (Hebr. = “his brother”; Lev. xxv. 14), was contrary to the Gentile legal maxim, “A bargain is a bargain.” For this the Gentile was paid in his own coin, so to speak. Samuel declared legal a transaction in which an error has been made by miscalculation on the part of a Gentile. Following out his theory. Samuel was unscrupulous enough to purchase from a Gentile a gold bar for four zuz. which was the price of an iron bar: he even beat down the price one zuz. Such transactions, while regarded as perfectly proper and legitimate among the Gentiles, were not tolerated among the Jews themselves.

On the other hand, there were many examples of cases in which Jews refused to take advantage of errors. A rabbi once purchased wheat from a Gentile agent, and, finding therein a purseful of money, restored it to the agent who blessed “the God of the Jews.” Simeon b. Shatah restored a valuable pearl he had found on a donkey to the Gentile of whom he had purchased the beast (Yer. B. M. ii. 5). In cases of wilful murder, an alien Gentile who observed the Noachian laws which forbid murder was treated like a Jew. “One law and one manner [judgment] shall be for you and for the stranger that sojourneth with you” (Num. xv, 16) — that is, provided he abides by the same law. According to the Talmud, there is a difference between a domiciled alien, one who abandoned idolatry in order to be allowed to settle in Palestine, and a true alien, who voluntarily and conscientiously observed the Noachian laws (see PROSELYTE AND PROSELYTISM).

In regard to manslaughter (unpremeditated homicide), for which the culprit was exiled to a city of refuge (Num. xxxv. 11), the Mishnah says: “All were exiled for the manslaughter of an Israelite; and an Israelite was exiled for the manslaughter of others, save a domiciled alien. The latter was exiled for the manslaughter of another domiciled alien” (Mak. ii. 3). This was in accord with the general rule that a man could not be sentenced to death without a previous warning; and since such forewarning was necessarily lacking in cases of manslaughter, the Israelite guilty thereof was simply exiled, this step being taken to forestall the avenger of blood. The Gemara to the Mishnah cited above (Mak. 8b) holds that an alien was not entitled to the forewarning, and hence should be executed.

For robbery or defaulting in a trust the guilty person was required to repay the principal and to pay one-fifth in addition (Lev. v. 21-24 [A. V. vi. 2 - 4); in other cases fines, ranging from double to four and five times the original amount for theft, were imposed (Ex. xxii. 1 - 4). Where the stolen property belonged to a Gentile or to the public, however, the guilty was required to pay only the principal, without the additional fines (Maimonides, “Yad,” Gezelah, i.. 7). As the fine was a personal compensation, the public, lacking individuality, could not receive it; nor could a Gentile, since his own laws were at variance with reason and justice. For example, the Twelve Tables ordained that a thief be whipped with rods and condemned to slavery; and the Greeks inflicted capital punishment for stealing even a trifle.

The prohibition of usury, or rather of taking any amount over and above that of the original loan, specifies of “a poor brother” and a stranger (alien) “that he may live with thee” (Ex. xxii. 25; Lev. xxv. 35 - 47). “Unto a stranger [~= ‘foreigner”], however, thou mayest lend upon usury” (Deut. xxiii. 20). This was a purely economic measure, encouraging a tax on loans to foreigners, and cautioning against impoverishing the domestic producer. The Gentile was considered a foreigner whom an Israelite need not support, and his own laws did not prohibit usury. The Jewish prohibition extended to the alien (“ger”), as the text plainly indicates; but there is a question whether it included a domiciled alien (“ger toshab”; B. M. 71a). Nevertheless the Mishnah says the Gentile poor shall be supported together with the Jewish poor, for the sake of peace (Git. 61a). The Talmud also says that a pious Jew shall not take interest from a Gentile, and quotes Ps. xv. 5: “He that putteth not out his money to usury” Mak. 24b). In fact, the Talmud did not tolerate the charging of interest to Gentiles (B. M. 71a). See USURY.

The relation of the Jews to the ruling government was fixed by Samuel’s maxim, “The law of the land is binding,” thus validating all enactments of the land not in conflict with the Jewish religion. And rendering unto Caesar his due as regards taxes and imposts, which no one might evade — provided, however, that the taxes were authorized (B.K. 13a). Rabbenu Tam, defining this maxim, adds: “provided the king’s edicts are uniform, and apply to all his subjects in all his dominions.” R. Eliezer of Metz says: “provided the king taxes his own subjects and settlers; but he can not extort money from journeymen passing through his dominion without having any intention to remain there. Otherwise, it is not law, but robbery” (Mordecai in B.K. x. §215; Annotations to Rosh Ned. iii. 11).


Dilling Exhibit 272

Inasmuch as the Jews had their own distinct jurisdiction, it would have been unwise to reveal their laws to the Gentiles, for such knowledge might

Gentiles May Not Be Taught the Torah.

have operated against the Jews in their opponents’ courts. Hence the Talmud prohibited the teaching to a Gentile of the Torah, “the inheritance of the congregation of Jacob” (Deut. xxxiii. 4). R. Johanan says of one so teaching: “Such a person deserves death” (an idiom used to express indignation). ‘It is like placing an obstacle before the blind” (Sanh. 59a; Hag. 13a). And yet if a Gentile study the Law for the purpose of observing the moral laws of Noah, R. Meir says he is as good as a high priest, and quotes: “Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments, which if a man do, he shall live in them” (Lev. xviii. 5). The text does not specify an Israelite or a Levite or a priest, but simply “a man “ -even a Gentile (‘Ab. Zarah 26a).

Resh Lakish (d. 278) said, “A Gentile observing the Sabbath deserves death” (Sanh. 58b). This refers to a Gentile who accepted the seven laws of the Noachidae, inasmuch as ‘the Sabbath is a sign between God and Israel alone,” and it was probably directed against the Christian Jews, who disregarded the Mosaic laws and yet at that time kept up the observance of the Jewish Sabbath. Rabbina, who lived about 150 years after the Christians had changed the day of rest to Sunday, could not quite understand the principle underlying Resh Lakish’s law, and, commenting upon it, added: “not even on Mondays [is the Gentile allowed to rest]”; intimating that the mandate given to the Noachidae that “day and night shall not cease” (Hebr.=“have no rest”) should be taken in a literal sense (Gen. viii. 22) — probably to discourage general idleness (ib. Rashi), or for the more plausible reason advanced by Maimonides, who says: “The principle is, one is not permitted to make innovations in religion or to create new commandments. He has the privilege to become a true proselyte by accepting the whole Law” (“Yad,” Melakim, x. 9). R. Emden in a remarkable apology for Christianity contained in his appendix to ‘Seder ‘Olam” (pp. 32b-34b, Hamburg, 1752), gives it as his opinion that the original intention of Jesus, and especially of Paul, was to convert only the Gentiles to the seven moral laws of Noah and to let the Jews follow the Mosaic law — which explains the apparent contradictions in the New Testament regarding the laws of Moses and the Sabbath.

With the conversion of the Gentile to Christianity or to Islam, the heathen and pagan of the civilized or semi-civilized world has become almost extinct, and the restrictions placed on the ancient Gentile are not applicable to the Gentile of the present day, except in so far as to consider him a Noachian […]