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The Talmud: Selections, by H. Polano, [1876], at

Abtinoss and Garmah.

There was a certain family, the family of Abtinoss, the members of which were learned in the art of preparing the

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incense used in the service. Their knowledge they refused to impart to others, and the directors of the Temple, fearing that the art might die with them, discharged them from the service, and brought other parties from Alexandria, in Egypt, to prepare the sweet perfume. These latter were unable to afford satisfaction, however, and the directors were obliged to give the service back into the hands of the family of Abtinoss, who on their part refused to accept it again, unless the remuneration for their services was doubled. When asked why they so persistently refused to impart their skill to others, they replied that they feared they might teach some unworthy persons, who would afterwards use their knowledge in an idolatrous worship. The members of this family were very particular not to use perfume of any kind themselves, lest the people should imagine that they put the sweet spices used in the manufacture of the incense to a baser use.

An exactly similar case to the above occurred with the family of Garmah, which had the monopoly of the knowledge of preparing the show-bread used in the services of the Temple.

It was in reference to these cases that the son of Azai said, "In thy name they shall call thee, and in thy city they shall cause thee to live, and from thy own they will give thee," meaning that trustful persons should not fear that others might steal their occupations; "for in thy name they will call thee," as with the families of Abtinoss and Garmah; "and from thy own they will give thee," meaning that what a man earns is his own, and cannot be taken away.

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