A man once overheard his wife telling her daughter that, though she had
ten sons, only one of them could fairly claim her husband as his father.
After the father's death it was found that he had bequeathed all his
property to one son, but that the testament did not mention his name.
The question therefore, arose, which of the ten was intended? So they
came one and all to Rabbi Benaah and asked him to arbitrate between
them. "Go," said he to them, "and beat at your father's grave, until he
rises to tell you to which of you it was that he left the property." All
except one did so; and he, because by so doing he showed most respect
for his father's memory, was presumed to be the one on whom the father
had fixed his affections; he accordingly was supposed to be the one
intended, and the others were therefore excluded from the patrimony. The
disappointed ones went straight to the government and denounced the
Rabbi. "Here is a man," said they, "who arbitrarily deprives people of
their rights, without proof or witnesses." The consequence was that the
Rabbi was sent to prison, but he gave the authorities such evidence of
his shrewdness and sense of justice, that he was soon restored to
THE TALMUD, _Bava Bathra_, fol. 58, col. 1.