Non Jews No Property Rights

The Talmud teaches that non-Jews have no property rights. Their possessions are "like unclaimed land in the desert." (See Jewish Encyclopedia, Exhibit 270) The illustration is given of the 4th Century notable Rabbi Ashi who, knowing this, acted accordingly and gave "an adroit and evasive answer" when questioned by the Gentile owner of a vineyard who overheard Ashi tell his slave to go into his vineyard and get him some grapes if the vineyard belonged to a Gentile, but not to take any if the owner be a Jew. "Is it permitted to take from a Gentile?" the owner asked. Ashi's evasive answer is given with the explanation that: "In truth Ashi coincided with the opinion of the authority stated above: namely, that . Gentile . property is considered public property, like unclaimed land in the desert." (See Exhibit 270)

The Talmudic authority which holds that Gentile property is like unclaimed land in the desert is the Talmud Book of Baba Bathra, Folio 54b, there cited. The passage actually appears on page 222 of the Soncino edition: "Rab Judah said in the name of Samuel: The property of a heathen is on the same footing as desert land;

whoever first occupies it acquires ownership."

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