The Value of Jewish Good Will- Kiddushin 58

Today’s daf had an interesting Mishna. Can a man use teruma (the portion of produce given to the Kohen) to “mikadash a women” or effectuate a women. The Talmud quotes Abaye who immediately says, The “tovas Hannah” does not translate into money value. Tovas Hanaa is the value one has in choosing which Kohen he will give his teruma to. This is the good will one engenders by giving Teruma to one particular Kohen. The Talmud then discusses whether he is right and Tovaas Hanaa has value.

The Talmud then presents the all time weirdest Jewish question. If one steals a pile of produce that had yet to be tithed (the Teruma and tithes was not separated) does the thief have to give or pay back the entire value of the stolen produce, or just the value of the produce minus the tithed portion. The case is where a pile of produce is waiting to have the titled separated and is stolen before the tithes are taken.

How strange. One opinion says he has to pay back the whole thing. One opinion says the thief only pays back the portion deducting the tithed value.

What is there theory behind deducting the value? The Talmud gives a typical Jewish, almost “Seinfeldesq”. The opinion who says the thief only pays back with with the value of the tithe says ; It serves the guy right for waiting to take the tithes. Essentially, he is penalized for delaying in separating the tithes. Had he not delayed. This smacks a little of blaming the victim. This argument bears on whether the tovaas hana has value or not (Abaye)

The Shikkerdovid would like to weigh in on this. Life is not simple or clear cut. There is rarely clear definitions of right and wrong. The lesson here is that, even when someone is seemingly within their rights, or within the letter of the law, they still must seek to engage in practices beyond the letter of the law. in this case, separating the tites immediately. While the thief is clearly wrong, the Jewish lesson is to learn of higher values. Doing things immediately.

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