Page 1 of 1

The Talmud inheritance puzzle

PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:58 pm
by manfred
There is a curious discussion in the Talmud, which goes like this:
A man owed three people some money. The first person (let's call him "A") lent him 100 gold pieces. The second("B") lent him 200 gold pieces, and the last ("C") lent 300 gold pieces.

Then the man dies.

His debts have to be settled from the estate.

This is what the Talmud says how to split things up:

If he left 100 gold pieces, then each of the creditors get 33 and a third, a perfect equal split.
If he left 300 gold pieces, then the split is 50 for A, 100 for B and 150 for C. In other words, it is a perfect proportional split.
If he left 200 gold pieces, then A gets 50, and both B and C get 75 each.

There seems to be no rhyme or reason to this odd instruction, but it fact it is perfectly logical. Can you figure it out? If not here is the solution:

Spoiler! :
The "rule" is this: Always split the DISPUTED part by giving everybody half of the disputed amount, or if that cannot be done, divide equally between the parties.

So in the first case, when there are 100 gold pieces, THREE people claim all of this, as ALL are owed 100 gold pieces or more. So the judgement is an even split, because there is not enough money to give everybody half of the debt owed.

If there are 300 gold pieces in the estate, the same pattern is followed, but this time it is more complex: Everybody disputes 100 gold pieces (some more), so, everybody is first give HALF of this amount disputed, i.e. 50 gold pieces each. 150 gold pieces have been paid put, and 150 still remain. B and C have a dispute over further 100 gold pieces, so again this is split between the 2: another 50 to each. Now we have 50 left which go to "C" and everybody else already had half of their claim.

The last scenario works with the same algorithm: Everybody claims 100 gold pieces, so for a start everybody gets half of that. Now we have 50 gold pieces left over, and person A already had half of his debt repaid, but the other two have not, so each has a claim on all of that left over 50, resulting in both getting another 25.

And odd way of doing it, but in itself perfectly logical. Allah could have learnt something from the Talmud...

Re: The Talmud inheritance puzzle

PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 4:27 pm
by Nosuperstition
Oh I see the same sort of riddle with number of elephants replacing the number of coins occurs in a story told by Adi Sankara,the famous advaita philosopher of Hinduism to establish the fact that the world we live in is not an illusion but a reality.May be Hinduism and Judaism both borrowed the same theme from some other mathematicians of their previous classical eras.

Re: The Talmud inheritance puzzle

PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 2:38 am
by Ibn Rushd
Coolio. :smartass:

Re: The Talmud inheritance puzzle

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:34 am
by Hombre
A Jewish Rabbi and a Muslim Ayatollah were walking together in the desert. In the mid-afternoon they spotted a large cache of gold coins. Being god / allah fearing clerics, both agreed to take only those coins to which Allah will give them.

The Ayatollah marked a small circle on the sand & said, “lets stand in middle, throw the coins up to Allah. I will collect only those ones Allah had dropped in the circle”.

The Rabbi said, “Fine, you do that”. However being a modest, he said “lets us throw the coins straight up to Allah. He will keep whatever he wishes to himself. And I will collect the leftover ones”.