Sanhedrin 91 - Defense Against the Canaanites Who Wanted Israel Back

Geviha ben Pesisa was a hunchbacked Sage. A certain disputant said to him, "Woe to you, O sinners, for you say that the dead will live. Even the living eventually die, so how can the dead come back to life?" Geviha answered, "Woe to you O sinners! If the non-existent (baby before it is born) come to life, then isn't it all the more possible that one who once lived will live again?" The disputant retorted, "You dare call me (and all of us) sinners? If I arise, I will kick you so hard that I will straighten out your hump!" Geviha said to him, "If you do that, you will be called a skilled doctor and command a large fee."

The Girgashites were descendants of Canaan who moved to Africa when the Jews conquered Israel. They came back with Alexander the Great to demand the land back. Geviha ben Pesisa said to the Sages, "Let me answer. If I loose, tell them that I am just a commoner, so their victory means nothing. If I win, say that the Torah of Moses defeated them." The Girgashites then claimed the Land, based on the fact that the Jews took " the Land of Canaan according to its borders ."

Geviha said to them, "From where do you bring the proof?" They said, "From the Torah." He said, I will also bring the proof from the Torah, " Accursed is Canaan, a slave of slaves shall he be to his brothers ." If a slave acquired property, to whom belongs the slave and the property? Certainly to his master! So the Land of Canaan belongs to us, the descendants of Shem, and not only that, but all your fields too. They thought for three days but found no answer. They then ran away and left their sown fields, which was great, because that year was Shmita, when work in the field is forbidden.

Art: Ilya Repin - Hunchback