Rambam, Mishneh Torah, Laws Pertaining to Disputes between Plaintiffs and Defendants 11:1
1 א
רמב"ם הלכות טוען ונטען פרק יא הלכה א
כל הקרקעות הידועות לבעליהן אע"פ שהן עתה תחת יד אחרים הרי הן בחזקת בעליהן,
Whenever land is known to have belonged to a person, we presume that person is the owner even though the property is now in the possession of another person. [Translation by Rabbi Eliyahu Touger. Edited for gender neutrality]
3 ג

Suggested Discussion Questions:

1. What is the legal reasoning behind this law? What is the moral reasoning? Are the two different?

2. Why do we defer to our knowledge of the previous owner in establishing ownership? Is this fair?

3. How might this text help us understand conflict in the world today?

4 ד
Time Period: Medieval (Geonim through the 16th Century)