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Ben Petura


BEN PETURA (also Ben Peturi, Ben Peturin ; early second century), tanna. He is best known for his dispute with R. Akiva: "Two men are traveling in the desert; one has a pitcher containing enough water to enable one of them to reach a place of habitation. If they share the water both will die; if one drinks, his life will be saved." Ben Petura taught: "It is better that both drink and die than one witness the death of his companion." But R. Akiva expounded: "It is written: that thy brother may live with thee (Lev. 25:36) this means that 'thy life takes precedence over that of thy brother'" (bm 62a; Sifra 9:5, with slight variations).


Bacher, Tann; Aḥad Ha-Am, Al Parashat Derakhim, pt. 4 (19473); Kaminka, in: Keneset le-Zekher Bialik, 4 (1939), 352–3, no. 41; S. Pines, in: Tarbiz 16 (1944/45), 238–40.

[Zvi Kaplan]

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