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Bava Metzia 12

BAVA METZIA 11-17 - This study material has been produced with the help of the Israeli ministry of religious affairs.


(a) (Mishnah): Reuven saw people chasing a lost object in his field...(his field acquires).
1. (R. Yirmeyah): This is only if one could chase and catch it.
2. Question (R. Yirmeyah): What is the law by a gift?
3. Answer (R. Aba bar Kahana): By a gift, even if one cannot catch it, the field acquires.
(b) Question (Rava): Someone threw a wallet through a yard; it left the yard before landing. (Rashi - he made it Hefker; Tosfos - he intended to give it as a gift.)
1. Being suspended in the air, in a domain in which the object will not land - is this like resting on the ground, or not?
(c) Answer (Rav Papa - Mishnah): Reuven saw people chasing...
1. (R. Yirmeyah): This is only if one could chase and catch it.
2. Question (R. Yirmeyah): What is the law by a gift?
3. Answer (R. Aba bar Kahana): By a gift, even if one cannot catch it, the field acquires.
(d) Rejection (Rava): Something moving on the ground is different, clearly it is considered as resting.
(a) (Mishnah): Reuven owns objects found by his small sons and daughters, his male and female Kena'ani slaves, and his wife;
(b) What is found by his big sons and daughters, his male and female slaves (Yisraelim), his ex-wife (even though he didn't pay her Kesuvah yet), they keep.
(c) (Gemara - Shmuel) Question: Why did Chachamim say that objects found by Reuven's small son belong to Reuven?
(d) Answer (Shmuel): Because when he finds it, he immediately brings it to his father (he picked it up with intention to give it to him).
(e) Question: This implies that Shmuel says that a minor cannot acquire mid'Oraisa!
1. (Beraisa): Reuven (not a poor man) was hired to harvest - his son may walk after him, taking Leket (gleanings);
i. If Reuven receives a fixed percentage of the harvest, his son may not take Leket after him.
2. R. Yosi says, in either case his wife and children may take Leket after him.
3. (Shmuel): The law is as R. Yosi.
4. Summation of question: If a minor can acquire - we understand why this is permitted, the child acquires for himself, then gives to his father;
i. But if a minor cannot acquire - he takes for his father, this is forbidden, for his father is not poor!
(f) Answer #1: Shmuel explained the reason of the Tana of our Mishnah (why the father gets the found objects), but Shmuel himself rules as R. Yosi.
(g) Objection: Does R. Yosi really say that a minor can acquire mid'Oraisa?!
1. (Mishnah): The found object of a child, lunatic or deaf person - it is considered stealing to take it from them, on account of peace.;
2. R. Yosi says, it is absolute theft.
3. (Rav Chisda): It is absolute theft mid'Rabanan.
i. The difference is, R. Yosi says that Beis Din makes one return it to them; Chachamim say, Beis Din does not make one return it.
(h) Answer #2 (Abaye): Really, R. Yosi agrees that mid'Oraisa, minors cannot acquire;
1. He permits the worker's children to take the Leket because the poor people despair from it (just as they despair after the second wave of collectors passes) - they assume, his children will take it all.
(i) Objection: (Rav Ada bar Masnah): Is a person allowed to force poor people to despair from taking what they are entitled to?!
(j) Answer #3 (Rava): Even though minors cannot acquire, Chachamim enacted to allow them to collect as if they can acquire.

(k) Question: Why?
(l) Answer: The poor are happy with the law, so when they themselves are hired, their children can collect after them.
(m) Shmuel argues on R. Chiya bar Aba.
1. (R. Chiya bar Aba): 'Small' and 'big' in the Mishnah do not refer to minor and adult;
i. Rather, any child that is fed by his father is called small; any child that feeds himself is called big.
(a) (Mishnah): What his male and female slaves (Yisraelim) find, they keep.
(b) Question: Their law should be as workers!
1. (Beraisa): A worker keeps what he finds - this is only if he was hired for a particular job, e.g. ''Weed (or hoe) with me today';
2. But if he said 'Work for me today', the employer gets it.
(c) Answer #1 (R. Chiya bar Aba): The case is, the slave makes holes in pearls (in order to thread them), the master does not want the slave to stop working to pick up found objects. (Therefore, the slave acted on his own behalf; he must compensate his master for the time he stopped working to take the object.)
(d) Answer #2 (Rava): The case is, the slave picked it up as he worked; since his labor was not diminished at all, he keeps it.
(e) Answer #3 (Rav Papa): The Beraisa speaks of a worker hired to pick up found objects.
1. Question: Who would hire a worker for this?
2. Answer: A river overflowed its banks, taking many fish with it; the overflowed water dried up, leaving many dead fish.
(f) (Mishnah) Question: What is the case of the female Yisra'elis slave?
1. If she became a Na'arah - she became free!
2. If she is still a minor - if she has a father, he gets her found objects;
i. If her father died, that frees her!
ii. (Reish Lakish): A Kal va'Chomer teaches that a female Yisraelis slave goes free if her father dies.
(g) Answer: (She is a minor, her father died) - Reish Lakish was refuted.
(h) Suggestion: Our Mishnah also refutes Reish Lakish!
(i) Rejection: We could say, her father is alive (and he gets her found objects) - the Mishnah only says 'they belong to them' to teach that the master does not receive them.
(j) (Mishnah): What his ex-wife finds...
(k) Question: Obviously, she keeps what she finds!
(l) Answer: The case is, she is divorced and not divorced (i.e. doubtfully divorced).
1. (R. Zeira): Wherever the Tana'im said 'divorced and not divorced', her husband must feed her.
i. Normally, Chachamim enacted that a man gets his wife's found objects, to avoid enmity - here, enmity is preferable (so he will divorce her absolutely)!
(a) (Mishnah): One who finds a document saying that Reuven lent Shimon money - if it has Achrayus (it puts a lien on Shimon's land), he should not return it, because Beis Din will make Shimon pay;
1. If it has no Achrayus, he should return it, because Beis Din will not make him pay;
2. R. Meir says, in either case he should not return it, because Beis Din will make him pay.
(b) (Gemara) Question: What is the case?
1. If Shimon admits (that he owes the money) - if it has Achrayus why not return it?
2. If he does not admit - if it has no Achrayus why return it?
i. Granted, Reuven cannot collect from land that Shimon sold - but he can collect from Shimon's own property (and money)!
(c) Answer #1: Really, Shimon admits; we are concerned that the loan was given later than the date on the document;
1. Reuven could use the document to illegitimately collect property that Shimon sold after the date but before the loan was given.
(d) Question: If so, we should be concerned for this by all documents!
(e) Answer: We are only concerned when there is something wrong (e.g. the document was lost).
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