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ב"ה

Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Gezelah va'Avedah - Chapter Eight

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Gezelah va'Avedah - Chapter Eight

1

When a person robs a colleague and then the person whom he robbed dies, he must return the object obtained by robbery to his heirs. If the object became lost or underwent a change, he must pay them its value. If the robber originally denied the robbery and took a false oath to that effect, he must pay the heirs the principal and an additional fifth.

א

הַגּוֹזֵל אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ וּמֵת הַנִּגְזָל יַחְזִיר הַגְּזֵלָה לַיּוֹרְשִׁים. וְאִם אָבְדָה אוֹ נִשְׁתַּנֵּית נוֹתֵן לָהֶם דָּמֶיהָ. וְאִם נִשְׁבַּע לוֹ וְאַחַר כָּךְ מֵת נוֹתֵן לַיּוֹרְשִׁים הַקֶּרֶן וְהַחֹמֶשׁ:

2

The following laws apply when a person robs his father and takes a false oath, and then the father dies. If the object obtained by robbery no longer exists, or it has undergone a change, he should make a reckoning with his brothers with regard to the principal and the additional fifth. If the object obtained by robbery exists, he is obligated to remove it from his possession. Therefore, he must give the object and the additional fifth to his brothers, and they must make a reckoning with him.

ב

הַגּוֹזֵל אֶת אָבִיו וְנִשְׁבַּע לוֹ וּמֵת הָאָב. אִם אֵין הַגְּזֵלָה קַיֶּמֶת אוֹ נִשְׁתַּנֵּית עוֹשֶׂה חֶשְׁבּוֹן עִם אֶחָיו עַל הַקֶּרֶן וְעַל הַחֹמֶשׁ. וְאִם הַגְּזֵלָה קַיֶּמֶת חַיָּב לְהוֹצִיא הַגְּזֵלָה עַצְמָהּ מִתַּחַת יָדוֹ. לְפִיכָךְ נוֹתֵן אֶת הַגְּזֵלָה וְאֶת הַחֹמֶשׁ לְאֶחָיו וְעוֹשֶׂה עִמָּהֶן חֶשְׁבּוֹן:

3

If the robber does not have any brothers, and he is thus the only heir, he must still remove the object obtained by robbery from his possession by giving it to his children.

If this son who robbed his father does not have children, he may give it to his creditor, give it as a loan or give it to charity. In such instances, since he has removed the object itself from his possession, he is no longer under obligation, even though he gave it as a present or repaid his debt with it. He must, however, tell the recipient: "This article was obtained by robbery from my father."

ג

אִם אֵין לוֹ אַחִין שֶׁנִּמְצָא זֶה הַגַּזְלָן לְבַדּוֹ הוּא הַיּוֹרֵשׁ מוֹצִיא הַגְּזֵלָה מִתַּחַת יָדוֹ לְבָנָיו וְאִם אֵין בָּנִים לְזֶה הַבֵּן הַגַּזְלָן נוֹתְנָהּ לְבַעַל חוֹבוֹ אוֹ בְּהַלְוָאָתוֹ אוֹ לִצְדָקָה. הוֹאִיל וְיָצְאָה הַגְּזֵלָה עַצְמָהּ מִתַּחַת יָדוֹ נִפְטַר אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנְּתָנָהּ מַתָּנָה אוֹ פְּרָעָהּ בְּחוֹבוֹ. וְהוּא שֶׁיּוֹדִיעֵם וְיֹאמַר זֶה גֵּזֶל אַבָּא:

4

Similar laws apply in the following instance. A person robs a convert, takes a false oath in response to his claim and then admits the robbery to him, and the convert considers the entire obligation a debt. If afterwards the convert dies, the robber acquires the object obtained by robbery as his own. He nevertheless is obligated to remove it from his possession.

ד

וְכֵן הַגּוֹזֵל אֶת הַגֵּר וְנִשְׁבַּע לוֹ וְחָזַר וְהוֹדָה לוֹ וְזָקַף עָלָיו הַכּל מִלְוֶה וְאַחַר כָּךְ מֵת הַגֵּר אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁזָּכָה בַּגְּזֵלָה חַיָּב לְהוֹצִיאָהּ מִתַּחַת יָדוֹ:

5

When does the above apply? When he admitted the robbery to the convert in the interim. If, however, he robbed a convert who did not have any heirs and took a false oath to him, and the convert died, he is obligated to pay the principal and the additional fifth to the priests of the watch serving in the Temple that week. He then brings a guilt offering and thus achieves atonement.

ה

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים כְּשֶׁהוֹדָה בֵּינְתַיִם. אֲבָל אִם גָּזַל אֶת הַגֵּר שֶׁאֵין לוֹ יוֹרְשִׁים וְנִשְׁבַּע לוֹ וּמֵת הַגֵּר הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּם הַקֶּרֶן וְחֹמֶשׁ לַכֹּהֲנִים שֶׁל אוֹתוֹ מִשְׁמָר וּמֵבִיא אֲשָׁמוֹ וְאַחַר כָּךְ יִתְכַּפֵּר בּוֹ:

6

Based on the Oral Tradition, it was taught that the verse in the Torah Numbers 5:8: "If a person does not have a redeemer..." refers to a convert who died without leaving heirs. The guilt offering the verse refers to is the object obtained by robbery or its worth.

For this reason, a person who returns an object that had been obtained by robbing a convert to the priests at night does not fulfill his obligation. For the verse describes this return as a guilt offering, and sacrifices are not offered at night.

The priests may not divide one object obtained by robbing a convert together with another object obtained by robbing a convert, just as they are not permitted to divide the meat of one guilt offering together with the meat of another guilt offering.

ו

מִפִּי הַשְּׁמוּעָה לָמְדוּ שֶׁזֶּה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר בַּתּוֹרָה (במדבר ה ח) "וְאִם אֵין לָאִישׁ גֹּאֵל" בְּגֵר שֶׁמֵּת וְאֵין לוֹ יוֹרְשִׁים הַכָּתוּב מְדַבֵּר וְאָשֵׁם זֶה הָאָמוּר כָּאן הוּא הַגְּזֵלָה אוֹ דָּמֶיהָ. לְפִיכָךְ הַמַּחֲזִיר גֵּזֶל הַגֵּר בַּלַּיְלָה לֹא יָצָא. שֶׁהֲרֵי אָשֵׁם קְרָאוֹ הַכָּתוּב וְאֵין מַקְרִיבִין בַּלַּיְלָה. וְאֵין הַכֹּהֲנִים חוֹלְקִין גֵּזֶל הַגֵּר כְּנֶגֶד גֵּזֶל הַגֵּר כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁאֵין חוֹלְקִין בְּשַׂר אָשָׁם נֶגֶד בְּשַׂר אָשָׁם אַחֵר:

7

Whenever the value of an object obtained by robbing a convert is not sufficient to give every priest from the watch of that week at least a p'rutah's worth, the robber who returns it does not fulfill his obligation. This is implied by Numbers, ibid., which states "it should be returned to God, to the priest," implying that a significant value must be returned to each priest.

Why does the verse referring to the robbery of a convert use the term "a man"? To teach that if the convert has attained majority, we must research the matter to determine whether or not he has heirs. If, however, the convert is a minor, there is no need to research the matter, for we can assume that he does not have heirs.

ז

כָּל גֵּזֶל הַגֵּר שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ שְׁוֵה פְּרוּטָה לְכָל כֹּהֵן וְכֹהֵן מֵאַנְשֵׁי מִשְׁמָר לֹא יָצָא הַמַּחְזִירוֹ יְדֵי הֲשָׁבָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר ה ח) "הַמּוּשָׁב לַה' לַכֹּהֵן" עַד שֶׁתִּהְיֶה הֲשָׁבָה לְכָל כֹּהֵן. וְלָמָּה נֶאֱמַר בְּגֵזֶל הַגֵּר (במדבר ה ח) "אִישׁ" שֶׁהָאִישׁ אַתָּה צָרִיךְ לַחְקֹר וּלְחַזֵּר עָלָיו אִם יֵשׁ לוֹ יוֹרְשִׁים אוֹ אִם אֵין לוֹ אֲבָל אִם הָיָה הַגֵּר קָטָן אִי אַתָּה צָרִיךְ לְחַזֵּר עָלָיו אֶלָּא חֶזְקָתוֹ שֶׁאֵין לוֹ יוֹרְשִׁים:

8

With regard to the repayment of property obtained by robbing a convert, the priests are considered as recipients of presents. Therefore, when a person robs chametz from a convert who dies without heirs and maintains possession of the chametz that he obtained by robbery during Pesach, he is obligated to pay the priests its value at the time of the robbery. For if he gave it to them at the present time, it would not be considered to be a gift, for one is forbidden to benefit from it. If, however, the convert himself were still alive, he could tell him: "Here is your article," as we have explained.

ח

הַכֹּהֲנִים בְּגֵזֶל הַגֵּר כִּמְקַבְּלֵי מַתָּנוֹת הֵן. לְפִיכָךְ הַגּוֹזֵל חָמֵץ מִן הַגֵּר שֶׁאֵין לוֹ יוֹרְשִׁים וְעָבַר עָלָיו הַפֶּסַח חַיָּב לִתֵּן לַכֹּהֲנִים אֶת דָּמָיו כִּשְׁעַת הַגְּזֵלָה. שֶׁאִם יִתְּנֵהוּ לָהֶן עַכְשָׁו אֵינָהּ מַתָּנָה שֶׁהֲרֵי הוּא אָסוּר בַּהֲנָאָה. וְאִלּוּ הָיָה הַגֵּר קַיָּם הָיָה אוֹמֵר לוֹ הֲרֵי שֶׁלְּךָ לְפָנֶיךָ כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

9

When a priest robs from a convert who has no heirs, takes a false oath to him, and then the convert dies before the object obtained by robbery is returned to him, the priest does not acquire the object in his possession. Instead, he must give it to his brethren, the priests of the watch serving in the Temple that week.

ט

כֹּהֵן שֶׁגָּזַל גֵּר שֶׁאֵין לוֹ יוֹרְשִׁים וְנִשְׁבַּע לוֹ וּמֵת הַגֵּר לֹא זָכָה זֶה בִּגְזֵלוֹ שֶׁתַּחַת יָדוֹ אֶלָּא יוֹצִיא מִתַּחַת יָדוֹ לְכָל אֶחָיו הַכֹּהֲנִים בְּנֵי הַמִּשְׁמֶרֶת:

10

The following rules apply when a person robs from a convert, takes a false oath to him, the convert dies, the robber sets aside his guilt offering and the object obtained by robbery with the intent of bringing them to the priests, but dies before he could gain atonement. The robber's sons inherit the money set aside to pay for the object obtained by robbery or the object itself. The animal set aside for the guilt offering should pasture until it receives a disqualifying blemish, as has been explained in the appropriate place.

י

הַגּוֹזֵל אֶת הַגֵּר וְנִשְׁבַּע לוֹ וּמֵת הַגֵּר וְהִפְרִישׁ אֲשָׁמוֹ וּגְזֵלָתוֹ לְהַעֲלוֹתָן לַכֹּהֲנִים וּמֵת הַגַּזְלָן קֹדֶם כַּפָּרָה הֲרֵי בְּנֵי הַגַּזְלָן יוֹרְשִׁים אֶת כֶּסֶף הַגְּזֵלָה אוֹ הַגְּזֵלָה עַצְמָהּ וְהָאָשָׁם יִרְעֶה עַד שֶׁיִּפּל בּוֹ מוּם כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ בִּמְקוֹמוֹ:

11

If the robber gave the money to the priests of the watch, but died before the sacrifice that brings him atonement could be offered, the robber's heirs may not expropriate the money from the priests.

This is derived from Numbers 5:10: "When a man gives it to the priest, it shall be his." Even when the robber is a child who does not have the halachic capacity to give his property away as a present, his heirs cannot have the property expropriated from the priests.

יא

נָתַן הַגַּזְלָן אֶת הַכֶּסֶף לְאַנְשֵׁי מִשְׁמָר וּמֵת קֹדֶם כַּפָּרָה אֵין יוֹרְשֵׁי הַגַּזְלָן יְכוֹלִין לְהוֹצִיא מִיַּד הַכֹּהֲנִים שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר ה י) "אִישׁ אֲשֶׁר יִתֵּן לַכֹּהֵן לוֹ יִהְיֶה". וַאֲפִלּוּ הָיָה הַגַּזְלָן קָטָן שֶׁאֵין מַתְּנָתוֹ מַתָּנָה אֵין יוֹרְשָׁיו מוֹצִיאִין מִיַּד הַכֹּהֲנִים:

12

If the robber gave the money to priests from a watch that was not serving in the Temple at that time, and the animal to be sacrificed as the guilt offering to the priests of the watch serving in the Temple that week, the money should be given to the priests of the appropriate watch. For a watch that took money at a time other than its week did not acquire it, and it may be expropriated from the members of that watch.

יב

נָתַן אֶת הַכֶּסֶף לְאַחַת מִן הַמִּשְׁמָרוֹת וְאֶת הָאָשָׁם לְמִשְׁמָרָה זוֹ שֶׁהִיא שַׁבַּתָּהּ יַחְזִיר הַכֶּסֶף אֵצֶל הָאָשָׁם לְאַנְשֵׁי הַמִּשְׁמָרָה הַקְּבוּעָה שֶׁהַמִּשְׁמָרָה שֶׁלָּקְחָה כֶּסֶף בְּלֹא שַׁבַּתָּהּ לֹא זָכְתָה וּמוֹצִיאִין מִיָּדָהּ:

13

The guilt offering should not be sacrificed until the robber returns the principal to its owner, or to the priests if it was a convert without heirs who was robbed.

If the robber gave the owner the principal but not the additional fifth and had the guilt offering sacrificed, he is granted atonement, for the additional fifth does not prevent atonement from being granted. He is, however, obligated to give the owner the additional fifth after receiving atonement.

יג

אֵין מַקְרִיבִין אֶת הָאָשָׁם עַד שֶׁיַּחְזִיר הַגַּזְלָן הַקֶּרֶן לַבְּעָלִים אוֹ לַכֹּהֲנִים אִם הָיָה גֵּזֶל גֵּר שֶׁאֵין לוֹ יוֹרְשִׁים. נָתַן אֶת הַקֶּרֶן וְהִקְרִיב אֲשָׁמוֹ נִתְכַּפֵּר לוֹ וְאֵין הַחֹמֶשׁ מְעַכֵּב הַכַּפָּרָה וְחַיָּב לִתֵּן אֶת הַחֹמֶשׁ אַחַר כַּפָּרָה:

14

The obligation to pay an additional fifth does not apply with regard to the robbery of Canaanite servants, promissory notes and landed property. This is derived from Leviticus 5:21, which states: "If he denies his colleague's claim regarding an entrusted object...." All the subjects mentioned in the verse are movable property that itself has financial worth. Thus, it excludes landed property - and servants, for they are equated with landed property - and promissory notes, for they themselves are not of financial worth.

Similarly, if these articles were obtained by robbing a convert who has no heirs, there is no obligation to give them to the priests.

Moreover, landed property never becomes the property of a robber, but rather it always remains the property of its rightful owner. Even if it were to be sold to a thousand people in succession and the owner were to despair of its return, it must be returned to its rightful owner without charge.

The person from whom it was expropriated should then sue the person who sold it to him. Each person in turn should sue the one who sold it to him, until the person who purchases it from the robber should sue the robber and collect from him, as will be explained in the following chapter.

יד

הָעֲבָדִים וְהַשְּׁטָרוֹת וְהַקַּרְקָעוֹת אֵין בָּהֶן תּוֹסֶפֶת חֹמֶשׁ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ה כא) "וְכִחֵשׁ בַּעֲמִיתוֹ בְּפִקָּדוֹן". כָּל הָאָמוּר בָּעִנְיַן מִטַּלְטְלִין הוּא וְגוּפָן מָמוֹן. יָצְאוּ קַרְקָעוֹת וַעֲבָדִים שֶׁהֻקְּשׁוּ לְקַרְקָעוֹת וְיָצְאוּ שְׁטָרוֹת שֶׁאֵין גּוּפָן מָמוֹן. וְכֵן אִם הָיוּ גֵּזֶל גֵּר שֶׁאֵין לוֹ יוֹרְשִׁים אֵינָן חוֹזְרִים לַכֹּהֲנִים. וְכֵן הַקַּרְקַע אֵינָהּ נִקְנֵית לְעוֹלָם לַגַּזְלָן אֶלָּא בִּרְשׁוּת בְּעָלֶיהָ עוֹמֶדֶת. וַאֲפִלּוּ נִמְכְּרָה לְאֶלֶף זֶה אַחַר זֶה וְנִתְיָאֲשׁוּ הַבְּעָלִים הֲרֵי זוֹ חוֹזֶרֶת לַנִּגְזָל בְּלֹא דָּמִים. וְכָל מִי שֶׁיָּצְאָה מִתַּחַת יָדוֹ חוֹזֶרֶת עַל זֶה שֶׁמְּכָרָהּ לוֹ וְחוֹזֵר הַמּוֹכֵר הַשֵּׁנִי עַל הַמּוֹכֵר הָרִאשׁוֹן עַד שֶׁיַּחֲזֹר הַלּוֹקֵחַ מִן הַגַּזְלָן עַל הַגַּזְלָן וְיִטּל מִמֶּנּוּ כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר:

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The Mishneh Torah was the Rambam's (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon) magnum opus, a work spanning hundreds of chapters and describing all of the laws mentioned in the Torah. To this day it is the only work that details all of Jewish observance, including those laws which are only applicable when the Holy Temple is in place. Participating in one of the annual study cycles of these laws (3 chapters/day, 1 chapter/day, or Sefer Hamitzvot) is a way we can play a small but essential part in rebuilding the final Temple.
Download Rambam Study Schedules: 3 Chapters | 1 Chapter | Daily Mitzvah