Whose fault is it anyway?


The Talmud teaches:
The mouse is not the thief, but the hole.
Nevertheless, if there were no mouse,
how would the hole get filled with stolen goods? [1]

In another rabbinic passage,[2] the 3rd-century Babylonian teacher, Rav, offers his students some protective advice against the local, lurking thieves. We suspend judgment regarding his stereotyping of his Babylonian neighbors.

R. Giddel said in the name of Rav:


If a man of Naresh [in Babylonia] kisses you...
fine garments
If a man of Nehar Pekod accompanies you...
large house
If a Pumbeditan escorts you...


[1] BT Gittin 45a; BT Ar 30a
[2] BT Hullin 127a

Barnes and Noble linkEnglish from: The Book of Legends (Sefer ha-Aggadah): Legends from the Talmud and Midrash, ed. H.Y. Bialik and Y.H. Ravnitzky (Schocken Books, NY, 1992).

THIEVES Table of Contents



Subscribe to the JHOM mailing list for updates.

Contact us

Tell a friend