Our Sages penalized robbers and gave the person whose property was taken the prerogative of taking an oath to support his claim regarding the value of the goods taken. He may then collect that money from the robber, provided that there are two witnesses who testify that this person robbed him.


קְנָּס קָנְסוּ חֲכָמִים לַגַּזְלָנִין שֶׁיִּהְיֶה הַנִּגְזָל נִשְׁבָּע עַל כָּל מַה שֶּׁיִּטְעֹן וְנוֹטֵל מִן הַגַּזְלָן. וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיֶה זֶה מֻחְזָק שֶׁגְּזָלוֹ בִּשְׁנֵי עֵדִים:


What is implied? A person came into a colleague's home to collect collateral. He was observed by two witnesses. When he entered he was not carrying anything under his cloak, and when he departed he was carrying utensils under his cloak, but the witnesses were not able to discern what the utensils were, and the owner of the home states: "He robbed me of this and this."

Regardless of whether the robber claimed: "I never entered his home and I did not take anything," "I entered his home as the witnesses observed, but I did not take anything. The utensils under my cloak were mine," or he said: "I took this utensil," and the owner claims that he took another utensil besides the one he admits - in all instances the owner of the home must take an oath while holding a sacred article to affirm his claim. He may then collect everything that he claims.


כֵּיצַד. הֲרֵי שֶׁנִּכְנַס לְתוֹךְ בֵּית חֲבֵרוֹ לְמַשְׁכְּנוֹ בִּפְנֵי עֵדִים וְלֹא הָיָה כְּלוּם תַּחַת כְּנָפָיו וְיָצָא וְכֵלִים מֻטָּלִין לוֹ תַּחַת כְּנָפָיו וְלֹא יָדְעוּ הָעֵדִים מַה הֵן וּבַעַל הַבַּיִת אוֹמֵר כָּךְ וְכָךְ גְּזָלְתַּנִי. בֵּין שֶׁאָמַר הַגַּזְלָן מֵעוֹלָם לֹא נִכְנַסְתִּי וְלֹא נָטַלְתִּי כְּלוּם. בֵּין שֶׁאָמַר נִכְנַסְתִּי לְמַשְׁכֵּן כְּמוֹ שֶׁרָאוּ הָעֵדִים אֲבָל לֹא נָטַלְתִּי וְלֹא הָיָה תַּחַת כְּנָפַי אֶלָּא כֵּלִים שֶׁלִּי. בֵּין שֶׁאָמַר נָטַלְתִּי כְּלִי זֶה וּבַעַל הַבַּיִת טוֹעֵן שֶׁנָּטַל זֶה וּכְלִי אַחֵר. הֲרֵי בַּעַל הַבַּיִת נִשְׁבַּע בִּנְקִיטַת חֵפֶץ וְנוֹטֵל כָּל מַה שֶּׁיִּטְעֹן:


When does the above apply? When the owner claims that the robber took articles that one might assume that he owned or that it was possible that such goods would be entrusted to him for safekeeping, and it was possible for those articles to be taken out by the robber under his cloak, as the witnesses testify.


בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּשֶׁטָּעַן דְּבָרִים שֶׁהוּא אָמוּד בָּהֶן אוֹ שֶׁהוּא אָמוּד שֶׁמַּפְקִידִין אֶצְלוֹ אוֹתָן דְּבָרִים שֶׁטָּעַן וְטָעַן בִּדְבָרִים שֶׁאֶפְשָׁר שֶׁיִּנָּטְלוּ תַּחַת הַכְּנָפַיִם כְּמוֹ שֶׁהֵעִידוּ הָעֵדִים:


Different rules apply, however, when witnesses observe a person enter a colleague's home to take collateral, but do not see him depart, or they see him depart without appearing to be carrying any utensil under his cloak. Although the owner claims that the defendant took such and such, the defendant is not held liable. This applies even if the defendant denies entering the home and thus contradicts the testimony of the witnesses.

The rationale is that if he claimed: "I entered his home but I did not take anything," he would be required to support his claim with a Rabbinic oath, and then he would be exonerated. For it is possible that he entered with the intent of committing robbery, but did not.


רָאוּהוּ עֵדִים שֶׁנִּכְנַס לְמַשְׁכֵּן אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ וְלֹא רָאוּהוּ בְּעֵת שֶׁיָּצָא אוֹ שֶׁיָּצָא וְאֵין נִרְאֶה תַּחַת כְּנָפָיו כְּלוּם וּבַעַל הַבַּיִת טוֹעֵן וְאוֹמֵר כָּךְ וְכָךְ נָטַל. אֲפִלּוּ אוֹמֵר מֵעוֹלָם לֹא נִכְנַסְתִּי שֶׁהֲרֵי מַכְחִישׁ אֶת הָעֵדִים הֲרֵי זֶה פָּטוּר. שֶׁאִם אָמַר נִכְנַסְתִּי וְלֹא נָטַלְתִּי נִשְׁבַּע שְׁבוּעַת הֶסֵּת שֶׁלֹּא נָטַל כְּלוּם וְהוֹלֵךְ. שֶׁאֶפְשָׁר שֶׁיִּכָּנֵס לִגְזל וְלֹא גָּזַל:


Different rules apply when one witness testifies that a person entered a colleague's home and removed utensils under his cloak, but the witness was unable to recognize which utensils were taken, and the person who entered states: "I did not take anything," or he says, "I took goods that you gave to me because of a debt." The person who entered must take an oath while holding a sacred article that he did not commit robbery. He is given this prerogative because he is not considered to be a robber unless two witnesses testify against him.


הָיָה עֵד אֶחָד מְעִידוֹ שֶׁנִּכְנַס וְנָטַל כֵּלִים תַּחַת כְּנָפָיו וְאֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ מַה הֵן. וְהוּא אוֹמֵר לֹא גָּזַלְתִּי כְּלוּם אוֹ שֶׁאָמַר בְּחוֹבִי נָטַלְתִּי. הוֹאִיל וְאֵין הָעֵד יוֹדֵעַ מֶה הָיָה תַּחַת כְּנָפָיו הֲרֵי זֶה נִשְׁבָּע בִּנְקִיטַת חֵפֶץ שֶׁלֹּא גָּזַל. שֶׁאֵינוֹ מֻחְזָק בְּגַזְלָנוּת אֶלָּא בִּשְׁנֵי עֵדִים:

Mishneh Torah (Moznaim)

Featuring a modern English translation and a commentary that presents a digest of the centuries of Torah scholarship which have been devoted to the study of the Mishneh Torah by Maimonides.


Just as the owner of a home is entitled to take an oath and collect his due from the robber in the instances mentioned in Halachot 1-3, so too, a watchman appointed by the home owner, or even the wife of a watchman, may take such an oath, stating that the person took goods. This obligates the robber to pay.


כְּשֵׁם שֶׁבַּעַל הַבַּיִת נִשְׁבָּע וְנוֹטֵל מִן הַגַּזְלָן כָּךְ שׁוֹמֵר שֶׁל בַּעַל הַבַּיִת אֲפִלּוּ אִשְׁתּוֹ שֶׁל שׁוֹמֵר נִשְׁבַּעַת שֶׁזֶּה נָטַל כָּךְ וְכָךְ וּמְשַׁלֵּם הַגַּזְלָן:


If, however, the robber was observed by merely a worker or a harvester of the homeowner, they are not given the prerogative of taking an oath to allow the homeowner to collect against his claim. The person whose property was taken is not given the prerogative of taking the oath, because he was not at home at the time of the robbery. The witnesses are not able to identify the articles that the robber took under his cloak, so their testimony does not obligate him to make restitution. Nor is the robber given the opportunity to clear himself by taking an oath, for we suspect that he might take a false oath.


הָיָה שָׁם לְקִיטוֹ אוֹ שְׂכִירוֹ שֶׁל בַּעַל הַבַּיִת אֵינָן נִשְׁבָּעִין וְנוֹטְלִין. וְאֵין הַנִּגְזָל יָכוֹל לִשָּׁבַע שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא הָיָה בְּבֵיתוֹ בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁנִּגְזַל וְאֵין הָעֵדִים יוֹדְעִים מַה נָּטַל תַּחַת כְּנָפָיו כְּדֵי לְחַיֵּב הַגַּזְלָן לְהַחְזִיר. וְאֵין מַשְׁבִּיעִין אֶת הַגַּזְלָן מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא חָשׁוּד עַל הַשְּׁבוּעָה:


How is this matter resolved? The home owner has a ban of ostracism issued against any person who took goods from his home and does not admit the matter to a court.

Even if the robber admits to having taken certain articles, he is required to return only what he admits, for the owner cannot lodge a definite claim against him.


וְכֵיצַד עוֹשִׂים בְּדִין זֶה. מַחֲרִים בַּעַל הַבַּיִת חֵרֶם סְתָם עַל מִי שֶׁנָּטַל מִבֵּיתוֹ כְּלוּם וְאֵינוֹ מוֹדֶה בְּבֵית דִּין. וַאֲפִלּוּ הוֹדָה הַגַּזְלָן שֶׁגָּזַל קְצָת מַחְזִיר הַמִּקְצָת שֶׁהוֹדָה בָּהּ בִּלְבַד שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵין בַּעַל הַבַּיִת טוֹעֲנוֹ טַעֲנַת וַדַּאי:


The following rules apply when a person robs one of five people, but does not know whom he robbed, and each of the five claims that it was he whom he robbed. Although there are no witnesses that this person robbed, each of the plaintiffs may take an oath, and then the robber is obligated to pay each the amount he admits.

This is also a penalty enforced by the Sages because he transgressed and robbed. According to Scriptural Law, however, he has no obligation to pay, because the identity of the person whom he robbed is a matter of doubt.


הַגּוֹזֵל אֶחָד מֵחֲמִשָּׁה וְאֵין יָדוּעַ מִי הוּא הַנִּגְזָל וְכָל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד מֵהֶן תּוֹבְעוֹ וְאוֹמֵר לִי גָּזַלְתָּ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין שָׁם עֵדִים שֶׁגָּזַל הֲרֵי כָּל אֶחָד מֵהֶן נִשְׁבָּע שֶׁזֶּה גְּזָלוֹ וּמְשַׁלֵּם גְּזֵלָה לְכָל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד. אַף דָּבָר זֶה קְנָס הוּא שֶׁקְּנָסוּהוּ חֲכָמִים מִפְּנֵי שֶׁעָבַר עֲבֵרָה וְגָזַל. אֲבָל דִּין תּוֹרָה אֵינוֹ חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּם מִסָּפֵק:


The following laws apply when a person tells two colleagues, "I robbed one of you" - or "...one of your fathers..." - "of a maneh, but I don't know whom." If he desires to fulfill his moral and spiritual obligation, he must pay the full amount of the robbery to each of the persons. The law, however, requires only that he give the value of the robbery, and they divide it among themselves.

The rationale is that neither of them knows that he has been robbed; it is the robber himself who is notifying them. Our Sages did not impose a penalty in this instance, because no one is lodging a claim against the robber.


אָמַר לִשְׁנַיִם גָּזַלְתִּי אֶחָד מִכֶּם אוֹ אָבִיו שֶׁל אֶחָד מִכֶּם וְאֵינִי יוֹדֵעַ אֵיזֶהוּ. אִם בָּא לָצֵאת יְדֵי שָׁמַיִם חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּם גְּזֵלָה לְכָל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד. אֲבָל בְּדִין אֵינוֹ נוֹתֵן אֶלָּא גְּזֵלָה אַחַת וְהֵן חוֹלְקִין אוֹתָהּ בֵּינֵיהֶן. שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵין אֶחָד מֵהֶן יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁנִּגְזַל אֶלָּא זֶה בָּא וְהוֹדִיעָם. וְלֹא קָנְסוּ חֲכָמִים בְּדָבָר זֶה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵין לוֹ תּוֹבֵעַ:


The following laws apply when a person lodges a claim against a colleague, saying: "You robbed me of a maneh." If the defendant replies: "I did not rob from you," he is required to take a sh'vuat hesset, as is the case with regard to any defendant.

If he admits that he robbed him of 50 zuz, he must pay the fifty he admits owing and take an oath required by Scriptural Law with regard to the remainder, as is the case with regard to any person who admits a portion of a claim. He is allowed to take this oath because witnesses did not establish that he was a robber.

Similarly because it was not established that a person was a robber, he is given the benefit of the doubt in the following situation: a person claimed that a colleague entered his home and stole utensils from him. The colleague replied that he took the utensils as collateral for a debt that that person owed him. The owner of the home denied the debt. Although the colleague admitted that he took the collateral without permission, since there are no witnesses who testify that he committed robbery, he is permitted to take an oath and collect the debt he claims from the collateral. For the very mouth that created the problem, rationalized it. Since he is taking an oath and collecting money, he must take an oath while holding a sacred article, as will be explained in Hilchot To'en.


הַטּוֹעֵן אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ וְאָמַר לוֹ גְּזָלְתַּנִי מֵאָה. אִם אָמַר לֹא גָּזַלְתִּי נִשְׁבַּע שְׁבוּעַת הֶסֵּת כְּדִין כָּל נִתְבָּע. וְאִם הוֹדָה שֶׁגְּזָלוֹ חֲמִשִּׁים מְשַׁלֵּם חֲמִשִּׁים וְנִשְׁבַּע שְׁבוּעַת הַתּוֹרָה עַל הַשְּׁאָר כְּדִין כָּל מוֹדֶה בְּמִקְצָת שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא הֻחְזַק גַּזְלָן בְּעֵדִים. וְכֵן הַטּוֹעֵן אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ שֶׁנִּכְנַס לְבֵיתוֹ וּגְזָלוֹ כֵּלִים וְהוּא אוֹמֵר דֶּרֶךְ מַשְׁכּוֹן לָקַחְתִּי בְּחוֹב שֶׁיֵּשׁ לִי אֶצְלְךָ וּבַעַל הַבַּיִת אוֹמֵר אֵין לְךָ בְּיָדִי כְּלוּם אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוֹדָה שֶׁמִּשְׁכְּנוֹ שֶׁלֹּא בִּרְשׁוּת הוֹאִיל וְאֵין שָׁם עֵדִים שֶׁמְּעִידִים שֶׁגָּזַל הֲרֵי זֶה נִשְׁבָּע וְגוֹבֶה חוֹבוֹ מִן הַמַּשְׁכּוֹן שֶׁהַפֶּה שֶׁאָסַר הוּא הַפֶּה שֶׁהִתִּיר. וְהוֹאִיל וְהוּא נִשְׁבָּע וְנוֹטֵל הֲרֵי זֶה נִשְׁבָּע בִּנְקִיטַת חֵפֶץ כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּהִלְכוֹת טוֹעֵן:


The following laws apply when witnesses observe a person enter a colleague's home when the owner is not home, and take utensils. These laws apply even when he does not conceal the utensils, and even when the owner of the home frequently sells his household articles.

If the owner claims: "He robbed them from me," and the defendant claims: "I entered with your permission, and you sold them to me," "...you gave them to me," or "I took them as payment for a debt you owe me," the defendant's claim is not accepted. The rationale is that whenever a person enters a colleague's home when he is not present and takes utensils and removes them in the presence of witnesses, we presume that he is a robber.

Therefore, he must return the utensils to the homeowner. The homeowner is not even required to take an oath, for the witnesses saw that the intruder committed robbery. After the defendant returns the utensils, he may lodge a suit against the homeowner according to his claims, and the judgment will be rendered according to law.


רָאוּהוּ עֵדִים שֶׁנִּכְנַס לְתוֹךְ בֵּית חֲבֵרוֹ שֶׁלֹּא בִּפְנֵי בַּעַל הַבַּיִת וְנָטַל מִשָּׁם כֵּלִים. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוֹצִיאָן מְגֻלִּין וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁבַּעַל הַבַּיִת הַזֶּה עָשׂוּי לִמְכֹּר אֶת כֵּלָיו. אִם טָעַן וְאָמַר דֶּרֶךְ גֵּזֶל לְקָחָן וְהַלָּה אוֹמֵר בִּרְשׁוּתְךָ בָּאתִי וְאַתָּה מְכַרְתָּם לִי אוֹ נְתָתַּם לִי אוֹ בְּחוֹב שֶׁיֵּשׁ לִי אֶצְלְךָ תְּפַשְׂתִּים אֵינוֹ נֶאֱמָן. שֶׁכָּל הַנִּכְנָס לְבֵית חֲבֵרוֹ שֶׁלֹּא בְּפָנָיו וְנָטַל כֵּלִים מִשָּׁם וְהוֹצִיאָן בִּפְנֵי עֵדִים הֲרֵי זֶה בְּחֶזְקַת גַּזְלָן. לְפִיכָךְ מַחְזִיר הַכֵּלִים לְבַעַל הַבַּיִת וְאֵין כָּאן שְׁבוּעָה שֶׁהֲרֵי הָעֵדִים רָאוּ מַה גָּזַל. וְאַחַר שֶׁיַּחְזִיר חוֹזֵר וְתוֹבֵעַ אֶת בַּעַל הַבַּיִת בְּכָל מַה שֶּׁיִּטְעֹן וְהַדִּין בֵּינֵיהֶן:


Similarly, if only one witness observed the intruder taking the article, and the homeowner claims that the intruder robbed him of the article, while the defendant claims that he purchased it, he took it as payment for a debt, or it was his and was entrusted to the homeowner for safekeeping, the intruder is obligated to return the article to the homeowner, and the homeowner is not even required to take an oath.

The rationale is that if two witnesses had observed the matter, the defendant would have been obligated to pay. Since there is only one witness, the defendant is required to take an oath. And in this instance he cannot take the oath, because he does not deny the statement of the witness. Therefore, we follow the principle: Whenever a person is obligated to take an oath and cannot take that oath, he must pay.

Accordingly, different rules apply if the defendant denied the matter, saying: "I never entered his house, nor did I take anything." Since there is only one witness, and the defendant denies his testimony, he is obligated to take an oath mandated by Scriptural Law, stating that he did not take anything from the home. With this, he is exonerated.


וְכֵן אִם הָיָה שָׁם עֵד אֶחָד בִּלְבַד וּבַעַל הַבַּיִת טוֹעֵן שֶׁגָּזוּל הוּא כְּלִי זֶה בְּיָדוֹ וְהַלָּה אוֹמֵר לָקוּחַ הוּא בְּיָדִי אוֹ בְּחוֹב גְּבִיתִיו אוֹ שֶׁלִּי הָיָה וּפִקָּדוֹן הוּא אֶצְלְךָ הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב לְהַחְזִיר הַכְּלִי לִבְעָלָיו בְּלֹא שְׁבוּעָה שֶׁאִלּוּ הָיוּ שָׁם שְׁנֵי עֵדִים הָיָה חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּם וְעַכְשָׁו שֶׁאֵין שָׁם אֶלָּא עֵד אֶחָד חַיָּב שְׁבוּעָה וְאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לִשָּׁבַע שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵינוֹ מַכְחִישׁ אֶת הָעֵד וְכָל הַמְחֻיָּב שְׁבוּעָה וְאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לִשָּׁבַע מְשַׁלֵּם. לְפִיכָךְ אִם כָּפַר וְאָמַר לֹא נִכְנַסְתִּי לְבֵיתוֹ וְלֹא נָטַלְתִּי כְּלוּם הוֹאִיל וְאֵין שָׁם אֶלָּא עֵד אֶחָד וְהוּא מַכְחִישׁוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה נִשְׁבָּע שְׁבוּעַת הַתּוֹרָה שֶׁלֹּא לָקַח מִבֵּיתוֹ כְּלוּם וְנִפְטָר:


The following incident occurred. A person took a slab of silver from a colleague in the presence of one witness. The person who took the silver said: "Yes, I took it; and it was mine." Our Sages obligated him to return the silver, because the testimony of the witness obligates him to take an oath. He cannot take the oath, because he admits to what the witness says.

Had there not been a witness involved, he would have been able to take a Rabbinic oath that the silver he seized belonged to him. If he denied the statements of the witness and said, "I never took the silver," he would be required to take an oath required by Scriptural Law that he did not take it. This judgment should be followed universally in all analogous cases.


מַעֲשֶׂה בְּאֶחָד שֶׁחָטַף לָשׁוֹן שֶׁל כֶּסֶף מִיַּד חֲבֵרוֹ בִּפְנֵי עֵד אֶחָד. וּבָא הַחוֹטֵף וְאָמַר חָטַפְתִּי וְשֶׁלִּי חָטַפְתִּי. וְחִיְּבוּהוּ חֲכָמִים לְהַחְזִיר מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא מְחֻיָּב שְׁבוּעָה בְּעֵד זֶה וְאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לִשָּׁבַע שֶׁהֲרֵי הוֹדָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁאָמַר הָעֵד. וְאִלּוּ לֹא הָיָה שָׁם עֵד כְּלָל הָיָה נִשְׁבָּע שְׁבוּעַת הֶסֵּת שֶׁשֶּׁלּוֹ חָטַף. וְאִלּוּ הִכְחִישׁ הָעֵד וְאָמַר מֵעוֹלָם לֹא חָטַפְתִּי הָיָה נִשְׁבַּע שְׁבוּעַת הַתּוֹרָה שֶׁלֹּא חָטַף. וּכְדִין זֶה דָּנִין בְּכָל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה בְּכָל מָקוֹם:


The following rules apply if a person seizes gold coins from a colleague and the act was observed by one witness. The defendant says: "I seized my own money. There were twenty gold coins." Although the witness does not know how many coins there were, the defendant must pay twenty coins, for the witness knows that he took gold coins. If two witnesses had observed him, he would have been obligated to pay the full amount. Thus, when there is one witness, he is obligated to take an oath, but cannot, as explained above.


חָטַף מִמֶּנּוּ זְהוּבִים [בְּעֵד אֶחָד] וְהוּא אוֹמֵר שֶׁלִּי חָטַפְתִּי וְעֶשְׂרִים הָיוּ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין הָעֵד יוֹדֵעַ כַּמָּה חָטַף הֲרֵי זֶה מְשַׁלֵּם הָעֶשְׂרִים שֶׁהֲרֵי יָדַע בְּוַדַּאי שֶׁזְּהוּבִים חָטַף וְאִלּוּ הָיוּ שְׁנַיִם הָיָה חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּם וְנִמְצָא בְּעֵד אֶחָד מְחֻיָּב שְׁבוּעָה וְאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לִשָּׁבַע כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:


There are opinions that maintain that the following rule applies when, in the above situation, the person who took the coins said: "I seized twenty gold coins; they were mine," while the person who was robbed says, "He took 100." The defendant must pay the twenty he admitted to having taken, and take an oath required by Scriptural Law with regard to the remainder, for he was obligated for a portion of the plaintiff's claim. My opinion is that he is required merely to take a Rabbinic oath, for he did not admit any liability. Instead, he said that he took what belonged to him.


אָמַר הַחוֹטֵף עֶשְׂרִים חָטַפְתִּי וְשֶׁלִּי הֵן וְהַנִּגְזָל אוֹמֵר מֵאָה חָטַף הוֹאִיל וְאֵין הָעֵד יוֹדֵעַ מִנְיָנָן הֲרֵי מְשַׁלֵּם הָעֶשְׂרִים שֶׁהוֹדָה בָּהֶן שֶׁחֲטָפָן וְנִשְׁבַּע שְׁבוּעַת הַתּוֹרָה עַל הַשְּׁאָר שֶׁהֲרֵי נִתְחַיֵּב בְּמִקְצָת. וְדַעְתִּי נוֹטָה בָּזֶה שֶׁיִּשָּׁבַע הֶסֵּת שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא הוֹדָה כְּלוּם אֶלָּא אָמַר שֶׁלִּי חָטַפְתִּי:


The following rules apply when a person enters a colleague's home when he is not present and takes utensils, while observed by one witness. The witness does not know how many utensils were taken. The owner claims that he had twenty utensils in his home, while the person who took them states: "I took only ten, and they were my own."

The defendant is required to return the ten, for he is obligated to take an oath, but cannot. He is not required to take even a Rabbinic oath concerning the remainder, because the owner cannot issue a definite claim against the robber.


נִכְנַס לְבֵיתוֹ שֶׁל חֲבֵרוֹ שֶׁלֹּא בְּפָנָיו וְנָטַל מִשָּׁם כֵּלִים בִּפְנֵי עֵד אֶחָד וְאֵין הָעֵד יוֹדֵעַ כַּמָּה נָטַל (הֲרֵי) בַּעַל הַבַּיִת אוֹמֵר עֶשְׂרִים כֵּלִים הָיוּ בְּבֵיתִי וְהַגּוֹזֵל אוֹמֵר לֹא נָטַלְתִּי אֶלָּא עֲשָׂרָה וְהֵם שֶׁלִּי חַיָּב לְהַחְזִיר הָעֲשָׂרָה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא מְחֻיָּב שְׁבוּעָה וְאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לִשָּׁבַע. וְאֵינוֹ נִשְׁבָּע עַל הַשְּׁאָר אֲפִלּוּ שְׁבוּעַת הֶסֵּת מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לִטְעֹן עַל הַגַּזְלָן טַעֲנַת וַדַּאי: