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Bava Metzia 3

1) [line 7] TOKEF - seize

(a) If the court suspects one of the two claimants in a court case of deceiving the court for monetary gain, Rebbi Yosi and the Rabanan disagree over whether or not Beis Din penalizes both claimants in order that the deceitful one should admit to his evil intentions.

(b) The exact case in which they argue is as follows: Two people deposit money in the care of a trustee; one deposits 100 Zuz and the other deposits 200. When they come to collect their deposits, both of them claim the 200 Zuz.

1. According to the Rabanan, each of the investors receives 100 Zuz (his honest claim) and the third 100 Zuz, which is under dispute ("Manah Shelishis"), is left in escrow.
2. Rebbi Yosi responds to the ruling of the Rabanan with the words, "Im Ken, Mah Hifsid Ramai?!" - "If so, what does the scoundrel lose," i.e. "What incentive will this givethe deceiver to abandon his false claim?" Rebbi Yosi therefore penalizes the claimants and rules that *all* 300 Zuz is left in escrow, including the first 100 Zuz of both men, to which they were certainly entitled. As such, the dishonest person has an incentive to abandon his false claim.
3) [line 26] ELA, MECHAVARTA KED'SHANINAN ME'IKARA - Rather, it is clearly correct as we originally answered (i.e. "Hasam Vadai Ika Ramai...")

See Background to Bava Metzia 2:14.

5) [line 34] AT HE'EMANTEI - you put your trust in him

(a) Equivalents of coins and amounts used in the Gemara:

  • 1 Maneh = 25 Sela'im = 100 Dinerin [of Kesef, silver]
  • 1 Dinar Zahav = 25 Dinerin
  • 1 Sela = 4 Dinerin
  • 1 Dinar = 6 Ma'in
  • 1 Me'ah = 2 Pundeyonin
  • 1 Pundeyon = 2 Isarin
  • 1 Isar = 6-8 Perutos (based on Kidushin 12a)
(b) Another name for a Dinar of Kesef is a *Zuz*. All of the coins listed above are silver except for the Dinar Zahav, which is gold, and the Perutos, which are copper.

7) [line 40] V'HALAH - and the other [litigant (in this case, the alleged debtor)]

(a) If a person admits that he owes part of a claim, we suspect that the claim is true and the debtor wants to temporarily postpone part of the payment but does not have the audacity to completely deny the claim. He is therefore required to take an oath, mid'Oraisa, that he does not owe the part he denies (Shemos 22:8). If he refuses to take the oath, he must pay the entire amount being claimed.
(b) Rebbi Chiya extends this ruling to a case where the debtor denies the entire claim (a situation that normally does not require an oath to be taken), but *witnesses* testify that he owes part of the claim. According to Rebbi Chiya, he is likewise required to take an oath, mid'Oraisa, that he does not owe the part that he denies (RAMBAM Hilchos To'en v'Nit'an 4:10).

9) [line 43] TANA TUNA - the Tana of our Mishnah
10) [line 49] RAMYA RACHMANA SHEVU'AH ALEI - the Torah placed [a requirement to take] an oath upon him

11) [last line] BA"CH - Ba'al Chovo, his creditor
12) [last line] B'CHULEI BA'I D'NICHPEREI - he wants to deny [owing] the entire amount


13) [line 1] B'CHULEI BA'I D'LODI LEI - he wants to admit to him [that he owes] the entire amount

14a) [line 2] ISHTAMUTEI HU D'KA MISHTAMIT MINEI - he is eluding him (i.e. to evade his claim)
b) [line 2] SAVAR, AD D'HAVU LI ZUZEI U'FARANA LEI - he thought, "Until I have money and I can pay him back"

15) [line 9] HODA'AS BA'AL DIN, K'ME'AH EDIM DAMI - the admission of guilt by a concerned party is as good as one hundred witnesses [testifying to his guilt]

16) [line 10] KENAS (MODEH BI'KENAS PATUR - one who admits to being obligated to pay a penalty is exempt from the penalty)
Any payment that involves over-compensation for a monetary loss is considered a "Kenas" (penalty) rather than "Mamon" (compensation). In every case of Kenas, the liable party does not have to pay the Kenas if he admits to his guilt of his own accord. Only if witnesses testify to his guilt in court must he pay. If he admits to his guilt of his own accord, and later witnesses testify to his guilt in court, the Amora'im argue as to whether or not he must pay the Kenas (Bava Kama 74b-75a -- he is exempted from payment, according to the lenient opinion, only if his admission took place under specific circumstances). Until one is obligated to pay a Kenas in court, he is fully exempt from payment and does not even have a moral obligation to pay it on his own accord (RASHBA to Bava Kama 74b, see also RAMBAN in Milchamos HaSh-m at the end of the third Perek of Kesuvos).

(a) Chelev refers to the fat of an animal that is offered on the Mizbe'ach. It consists of the layer of fat covering the stomachs, all the other fat attached to the stomachs, and the fat on the kidneys along the flanks (Vayikra 3:4). The verse states, "Chukas Olam l'Doroseichem b'Chol Moshevoseichem, Kol Chelev v'Chol Dam Lo Socheilu." - "It shall be an everlasting statute for your generations throughout all your settlements, that you eat neither [forbidden] fat nor blood." (Vayikra 3:17).
(b) It is forbidden to eat the Chelev of a Kosher Behemah (farm animal), but it may be used for any other purpose. The Chelev of a Chayah (a Kosher non-farm animal), however, may even be eaten. "Shuman" refers to all the other fat of an animal that is permitted.
(c) If a person eats a k'Zayis of Chelev b'Mezid (intentionally) after Hasra'ah (being forewarned), he is punished with Malkos. If he was not given Hasra'ah, he is Chayav Kares. If he sinned b'Shogeg (unintentionally) he must bring a Korban Chatas (as with all sins for which one is liable to Kares b'Mezid). If a person is in doubt whether the fat he ate was Chelev or Shuman, he must bring a Korban Asham Taluy (see Background to Bava Kama 110:23:4).

18) [line 21, 23] ASHAM / CHOMESH (ASHAM GEZEILOS)
A person who steals money from a fellow Jew, swears in Beis Din that he holds no such money and later admits his sin, must return what he stole, pay a fine of Chomesh, an additional *fifth* (of the ensuing total, or a *quarter* of the original value), and bring a Korban Asham to receive atonement. The animal offered is a ram that costs at least two Sela'im (Vayikra 5:20-26).

(a) If two witnesses testify to a crime or an event and a later set of witnesses contradict their testimony by saying that the crime or event did not take place exactly as the first set of witnesses testified, all of the witnesses are termed Edim Mukchashim (contradictory witnesses), and Beis Din cannot use either testimony.
(b) If, however, two witnesses testify to a crime or an event and a later set of witnesses *disqualify* their testimony by saying that the first set of witnesses were with them in a different place at the time that the first set of witnesses claim that the act took place, the first witnesses are termed Edim Zomemin (conspiring witnesses). The Torah commands that the second set of witnesses are believed, rather than the first. In general, Edim Zomemim are punished with the punishment they tried to cause. (Devarim 19:16-21. See MISHNAH Makos 5a.)

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