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Tractate Sanhedrin, Herbert Danby tr. [1919], at

The Housebreaker.

M. VIII. 6. The housebreaker 1 is condemned in view of what he might do afterwards. If in his breaking through he have broken a barrel, where there would be blood-guiltiness 2 (if the householder killed him) he is liable (to payment of compensation); if there would be no blood-guiltiness, 3 he is free (from that liability).

T. XI. 9. The housebreaker, if he come to kill, may be saved (from sin) at the cost of his life; if it be only to seize property, he may not be saved (from sin) at the cost of his life; nor should he be so treated if there is a doubt whether he come to kill or to seize property, for it is written: IF THE SUN BE RISEN UPON HIM, THERE SHALL BE BLOODGUILTINESS FOR HIM. 4 But does the sun rise over him alone and not over all the world? But as at the rising of the sun there is peace over all the world, so, as long as thou knowest that his intentions are peaceful, whether it be day or night, thou mayest not save him (from sin) at the cost of his life.

R. Eliezer, 5 the son of Jacob, said further: If

p. 113


there were there jugs of wine or oil, and he broke them when he broke through, he is liable to be killed.


112:1 Exod. 22. 2-4.

112:2 That is, by day.

112:3 That is, by night. The principle here assumed is, that "one who becomes liable to two penalties is to be condemned to the severer one" (cf. M. IX. 9); with the corollary that "he who commits a crime which leads to capital punishment is absolved from any payment of money compensation" (Sanh. 73b). An illustrative case is given in B. Kama III. 10: A man who fires his neighbour's corn is liable to compensation; if he have fired it on the Sabbath he is free from the liability of paying compensation for the corn, but he is subject to the death penalty for desecrating the Sabbath.

112:4 Ex. 22. 3.

112:5 A contemporary of R. Eliezer b. Hyrcanus. He was considered the authority on the structural details of the Temple.

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