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Bava Metzia 44

1) [line 1] "AL KOL DEVAR PESHA [AL SHOR AL CHAMOR AL SHE AL SALMAH AL KOL AVEIDAH ASHER YOMAR KI HU ZEH, AD HA'ELOKIM YAVO DEVAR SHENEIHEM; ASHER YARSHI'UN ELOKIM YESHALEM SHENAYIM L'RE'EIHU.]" - "In every case of liability, [whether it be for an ox, for a donkey, for a sheep, for a garment, or for any kind of lost thing, about which he will say that this is it, the claims of both parties shall come before the judges; and whom the judges shall condemn, he shall pay double to his neighbor.]" (Shemos 22:8) - According to Beis Shamai, the words "Devar Pesha" ("Devar" is related to "Dibur" - speech) imply that even a statement or a thought of Shelichus Yad is enough to make the Shomer liable.

2) [line 12] HECHEMEITZAH - if it turned into vinegar
3) [line 13] GIREI DIDEI HU D'AHANU LAH - his actions (lit. arrows) were effectual [in causing the wine to turn into vinegar]

4) [line 20] ARNEKI - a change purse or money bag

*****PEREK #4 HA'ZAHAV*****

5a) [line 25] ZAHAV - gold [Dinars]
b) [line 25] KESEF - silver [Dinars]


(a) When a person acquires an object, he must make a Ma'aseh Kinyan, a formal Halachically-binding act denoting his acquisition of the object, in order for the acquisition to be irrevocably binding. Depending on the object involved, different Kinyanim are used.
(b) One of the forms of Kinyan that may be used for the acquisition of Metaltelin (mobile items) is Meshichah, i.e. pulling the item or causing it to move. Meshichah can only accomplish a Kinyan in a private or semi-private area (such as an alleyway), but not in Reshus ha'Rabim. It may be accomplished not only by *pulling* the object towards one's self, but even by causing it to come towards one's self, such as by calling an animal and causing it to come closer. Paying for an object (Kinyan Kesef), on the other hand, does not accomplish a Kinyan.
(c) The Amora'im (Bava Metzia 47b) argue whether Kinyan Meshichah (as well as Kinyan Hagbahah and Mesirah, see Background to Bava Metzia 7:11:b:1, 3) is mid'Oraisa. Some maintain that Kinyan Meshichah *is* recognized by the Torah and Kinyan Kesef is *not*. Others maintain that Kinyan Meshichah is a Rabbinic institution which was established in order to replace Kinyan Kesef, which *is* recognized by the Torah but which was invalidated by the Rabanan. According to those who maintain that Kinyan Meshichah is mid'Oraisa, its source in the Torah is from the verse "Kanoh *mi'Yad* Amisecha" (Vayikra 25:14), which implies that one may transfer property by *handing* it over to the buyer (Bava Metzia ibid.).
(d) According to both opinions recorded above (c), in practice, Meshichah is Koneh while Kesef is not. Therefore, in a sale in which currency is being paid for merchandise, the buyer's Meshichah (pulling to one's domain) of the *merchandise* consummates the sale. The seller's Meshichah of the *currency* that was paid for it does not. When defining "merchandise" (or "Peiros") and "currency" (or "Tiv'a") in this regard, any item that is readily accepted as payment among merchants can be considered currency; items that are not normally accepted as payment are considered merchandise. If two items, both of which are accepted as payment among merchants, are being exchanged, the item that is more readily accepted is considered to be the currency and the other one is considered merchandise. (The Gemara discusses whether the value of the material can also give it the status of currency.)
(e) When the Mishnah states "ha'Zahav Koneh Es ha'Kesef," (and "ha'Nechoshes Koneh...," Ma'os ha'Ra'os Konos..." etc.), the intention is that the *Meshichah* of the Zahav, Nechoshes etc. is what makes the exchange irrevocably binding and obligates the buyer to pay what he stipulated. That is, these objects are considered "Peiros" in comparison to the objects being traded for them, and are Koneh the other objects, which are considered currency. The word "Koneh," when used in this context, means that their Meshichah *obligates* the person who made the Meshichah to pay for them. Meshichas ha'Kesef, Ma'os ha'Yafos, etc., on the other hand, does not make the exchange irrevocably binding since they are considered "Tiv'a," and pulling them constitutes the Kinyan of Kesef, which the Chachamim invalidated.

6) [line 26] NECHOSHES - [Perutos of] copper

7a) [line 27] MA'OS HA'RA'OS - coins that became worn out (a) and are unusable (RASHI); (b) and are just barely usable (TOSFOS DH ha'Zahav)
b) [line 28] YAFOS - coins that are usable; legal tender

8a) [line 29] ASIMON - (a) (O.F. fladon) a blank, metal disc from which a coin is stamped using a die (O.F. coinz - a die to stamp coins) (RASHI); (b) a medallion (TOSFOS, citing Rabeinu Tam)
b) [line 29] MATBE'A - a coin

9) [line 35] MI SH'PARA... HU ASID LIPARA... - (lit. He Who took retribution) a Rabbinic curse that begins with the words "He Who took retribution"
(a) A person who pays money to purchase Metaltelin (mobile goods) does not acquire them by paying for them until he performs Meshichah (see above, entry #5c) upon them. Therefore, both the buyer and the seller may retract from the purchase until Meshichah or another valid Kinyan is performed. (There are those who are of the opinion that paying for the goods does not effect a Kinyan mid'Oraisa. Others hold that it does effect a Kinyan mid'Oraisa, but the Rabanan instituted that the buyer and seller may still retract until the buyer does Meshichah -- Bava Metzi'a 47a). However, it is not proper for a person to go back on his word and retract a sale after money has been received for the goods being sold. If either the buyer or the seller do retract at such a point, they have not acted in the manner of proper, upstanding Jews (RAMBAM Hilchos Mechirah 7:1).
(b) If one of them wishes to retract in any case, he is brought to Beis Din to accept upon himself the curse of "Mi she'Para" from Beis Din. Beis Din says to him, "He Who took retribution from the Generation of the Flood (Bereishis 6:1 - 7:23) and from the Generation of the Dispersion (Bereishis 11:1-9) and from the inhabitants of Sedom and Amorah (Bereishis 19:24-25) and from the Egyptians who were drowned in the sea (Shemos 14:26-31) will punish he who does not stand by his word" (Bava Metzi'a 48a).

10a) [line 36] DOR HA'MABUL - the Generation of the Flood (Bereishis 6:1 - 7:23)
b) [line 36] DOR HA'PELAGAH - the Generation of the Dispersion (Bereishis 11:1-9)

11) [line 38] KOL SHEHA'KESEF B'YADO; YADO AL HA'ELYONAH - the seller, once he has received the money has the upper hand, and has the choice to annul the sale, while the buyer does not

12) [line 44] CHASHIV - important, valuable
13a) [line 45] TIV'A - currency
b) [line 45] PEIRA - (lit. fruits) merchandise

14) [last line] KANI LEI PEIRA L'TIV'A - (lit. merchandise buys currency) performing a Kinyan Meshichah on the merchandise consummates a sale (see above, entry #5c)


15) [line 1] CHARIF - (lit. sharp) is legal tender
16) [line 11] B'ASRA D'SAGYEI - in a place where they are accepted as legal tender (lit. where they "go")

17) [line 12] KEIVAN D'IKA DUCHTA D'LO SAGI BEI - since there are places that do not accept them as legal tneder

18) [line 14] OZIF - borrowed
19) [line 15] BERATEI D'REBBI CHIYA - the daughter of Rebbi Chiya
20) [line 17] TAVIN U'SEKILIN - good and full-weight [coins]

21) [line 19] SE'AH B'SE'AH (RIBIS: SE'AH B'SE'AH)
(a) It is forbidden to lend money with interest (Shemos 22:24, Vayikra 25:36, Devarim 23:20). Even if interest is charged conditionally, and it is eventually not collected, the transaction is prohibited mid'Oraisa according to some Tana'im. It is also forbidden to take money in order to allow the borrower more time to complete the payment of the loan. (Such payment is known as "Agar Natar.")
(b) The Torah forbids lending with interest only if the rate or amount of interest was fixed at the time that the loan was made. This is called Ribis Ketzutzah. If interest was paid but the amount paid was not fixed at the time of the loan, or if a higher price was paid in a *sale* in order that the seller should allow the buyer more time to complete his payment for the purchase, it is called Avak Ribis or Ribis d'Rabanan. In addition to these, certain payments that are not actually Ribis mid'Oraisa or mid'Rabanan were prohibited because they have similarities to Ribis. Chazal refer to this as "Ha'aramas Ribis."
(c) One case of Ribis d'Rabanan is known as Se'ah b'Se'ah. This refers to a person who receives a Se'ah (or any other amount) of produce (or any other commodity) and agrees to pay back the same amount of produce at a future date, even if the value of the produce increases in the interim. Paying back the produce at the higher rate is considered Ribis, since the lender is receiving in return for his loan produced valued at more than the produce that he lent. However, since this is only Ribis d'Rabanan, the Rabanan permitted such an exchange when, at the time of the loan, the recipient of the loan has enough produce at home to pay back the loan, even if the produce is inaccessible to him at the time of the loan.

(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 = 2 Shekalin = 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.
(c) The word "Shekel," as used in the phrase "Machatzis ha'Shekel," refers to the Shekel that was in use at the time of Moshe Rabeinu, which was equivalent to the "Sela" of the times of the Gemara. Machatzis ha'Shekel is half of a Sela, or two Dinerin. People became accustomed to calling the coin that was valued at half of a Sela, "Shekel," since it was "paid out" ("Shoklim" Oso) in order to fulfill the Mitzvah of Machatzis ha'Shekel each year (RAMBAN to Shemos 30:13).

23) [line 23] ISAR HA'ITALKI - the Roman coin known as an "'As," which is the equivalent of 1/24 of a Dinar (see previous entry)

See Background to Kidushin 2:1

25) [line 28] PIDYON HA'BEN
(a) The Torah requires that every Yisrael sanctify the firstborn male of his children, Kosher animals and donkeys, as it is written, "Kadesh Li Kol Bechor, Peter Kol Rechem bi'Vnei Yisrael, ba'Adam uva'Behemah; Li Hu." - "Sanctify to Me every first-born that initiates the womb among the children of Yisrael, among both man and beast; it is Mine." (Shemos 13:2)
(b) The Mitzvah of Pidyon ha'Ben applies to a Yisrael and not to a Kohen or a Levi. The first male born to a *mother* (who is the daughter of a Yisrael) must be redeemed by his father (as stated in Shemos 13:13, "v'Chol Bechor Adam b'Vanecha Tifdeh."
(c) The Bechor must be redeemed when he is one month old by giving five silver Shekalim of Kodesh (each of which weighs 19.2 or 17 grams; see Midos v'Shi'urei Torah, C. P. Benish, Benei Brak, 5760, pp. 487-488) to a Kohen as stated in Bamidbar (18:16). This applies only if the son was the first issue (i.e. he was not preceded by a Nefel -- stillborn) and was delivered through the womb (i.e. he was not delivered by Caesarian section). (Sefer ha'Chinuch #392)

26) [line 29] MESHA'ER TANA B'MIDI D'KITZ - the Tana gives a value using a quantity that is well defined

The Torah requires that Ma'aser Sheni (see Background to Bava Metzia 38:5) be brought and eaten by its owner in Yerushalayim. Alternatively, Ma'aser Sheni produce may be redeemed, in which case the money used to redeem it is brought to Yerushalayim. If the owner himself redeems the produce, he must add an additional *fifth* (of the ensuing total, or a *quarter* of the original value). The food that is bought with this money in Yerushalayim becomes Kodesh like Ma'aser Sheni and must be eaten b'Taharah. Ma'aser Sheni that was redeemed by anyone besides the owner is exempt from the additional fifth.

28) [line 37] TIV'A A'PEIRA LO MECHALELINAN - one is not permitted to exchange currency of Ma'aser Sheni for merchandise

29) [line 51] TISTAYEM - conclude

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