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Soon, it was the defense attorney’s turn and he used the strategy that Rav Eliyahu Chaim had outlined for him.

“Do you swear that there were 2,000 gold pieces in the wallet you lost?” he asked the nobleman.

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“I swear it!”

Turning to the judges, the attorney now said: “No one can doubt the word of the nobleman so it must be that he did indeed lose 2,000 gold pieces.

“Since, however, there is a presumption that no one who returns a loss is a thief – since a thief would have returned nothing – we must assume that there is a simple answer: The wallet that the Jew found is a different one from that lost by the nobleman!”

The nobleman’s face turned purple with anger but the judges had no choice. They could not accuse their fellow nobleman of lying but neither could they refute the fact that a thief would have returned nothing, so they gave the entire wallet to the Jew.

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