Upon hearing this, the potential client struck him on the head with a sandal and went away without buying anything.
It finally dawned on the Athenian that a trick had been played on him. He said to the Yerushalmi, “Did I treat you so badly when you were in my place?”
He replied: “Henceforth, do not jeer at the men of Yerushalayim.”
Loses A wager
An Athenian once came to Yerushalayim. He found children studying, but their teacher was not with them. The children said to him, “Let us make a wager, and whoever cannot answer a question has to forfeit his coat to the other.”
“Agreed,” answered the stranger.
“You may be the first to ask a question as you are older than us.” “On the contrary,” said the stranger. “You are first because this is your hometown.”
“Very well,” said the children.
Stumped By A Riddle
The children then asked the following riddle: “What is it? Nine go out, eight come in, two pour, one drinks and 24 serve?”
The man was stumped and he couldn’t answer the question. The children took his coat away from him.
Chagrined, the man visited the great Rabi Yochanan, the children’s teacher.
“Rabi, “he cried, “Is this the hospitality you show? When a stranger visits your school, you take away his coat?”
“Is it possible that you couldn’t answer one of the children’s riddles?” asked Rabi Yochanan.
“Yes,” answered the man very sheepishly.
What riddle did they ask you?” queried Rabi Yochanan.
The man told him.
“This is the meaning of it, my son,” said Rabi Yochanan. “The nine who go out represent the months of pregnancy, eight coming in represent the eight days of circumcision, two pouring are the two breasts that provide milk, one drink is the child that has been born; and the 24 that serve are the 24 months of nursing.”
The man thanked Rabi Yochanan and rushed off to the school where he gave the children the correct answer. The children returned his coat and the man departed a much wiser person.