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Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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Bava Metzia 44


(a) Question: What are their sources for their opinions?
(b) Answer (Beraisa - Beis Shamai): "Al Kol Davar Pesha" - this teaches that one is liable for intention as deed;
(c) Beis Hillel say, he is only liable if he actually took the object - "Im Lo Shalach Yado".
(d) Beis Shamai: But is says "Al Kol Davar Pesha"!
(e) Beis Hillel: But it says "Im Lo Shalach Yado"!
(f) Question: What do Beis Hillel learn from "Al Kol Davar Pesha"?
(g) Answer: One might have thought, he is only liable if he himself used it - "Al Kol Davar Pesha" teaches, he is liable even if his slave or agent used it on his command.
(a) (Mishnah): If he tilted a barrel...
(b) (Rabah): He is only exempt on the rest if the barrel broke - but if the wine soured, he is liable.
(c) Question: Why is this?
(d) Answer: Taking some causes it to sour quicker (because the barrel is no longer full).
(e) (Mishnah): If he lifted a barrel and took...
(f) (Shmuel): He is liable for lifting it to take, even if he never took.
(g) Suggestion: Shmuel says that one who makes unauthorized use is a robber even without diminishing the object.
(h) Rejection: No - here is different, for the taker wants the rest of the barrel to help preserve the Revi'is he wants to take, he is considered a borrower.
(i) Question (Rav Ashi): One who lifts a wallet to take a coin from it - what is the law?
1. Wine needs other wine to preserve it - this does not apply to coins!
2. Or - perhaps he wants the coin to be guarded in the wallet, it is less likely to be lost than a loose coin!
3. This question is not resolved.
***** PEREK HA'ZAHAV *****


(a) (Mishnah). In a sale, Meshichah (pulling to one's domain) of the *commodity* being sold consummates the sale; Meshichah of the *currency* being paid for it does not. As such, if gold coins were traded for silver coins, gold is considered the commodity and silver the currency. Meshichah of the gold therefore "acquires" the silver (i.e. it consummates the sale and *obligates* the one who did Meshichah to pay his silver in exchange for the gold). Meshichah of the silver does not consummate the sale (and the owner of the gold can still retract the sale), since silver is considered the currency;
(b) Copper acquires silver (through performing a Meshichah on the copper), silver does not acquire copper (through performing a Meshichah on the silver);
(c) Bad coins acquire good coins, not vice-versa;
(d) A blank coin (which hasn't been stamped) acquires good coins, not vice-versa;
(e) Metaltelim acquire coins, not vice-versa;
(f) All Metaltelim acquire each other.
1. If Reuven did Meshichah on Shimon's produce to buy it and did not yet pay, Shimon cannot retract;
2. If Reuven paid for Shimon's produce and did not yet do Meshichah on it, Shimon can retract - however, Chachamim said, He who punished the generations of the flood and the dispersion, He will punish one who does not honor his word.
3. R. Shimon says, whoever is holding the money has the upper hand.
(a) (Mishnah): Rebbi taught his son R. Shimon 'gold acquires silver'.
(b) R. Shimon: In your youth, you taught that silver acquires gold!
(c) Question: What was Rebbi's reason in his youth and old age?
(d) Answer: In his youth, he reasoned that gold is more important, therefore it is the currency; in his old age, he reasoned that silver is more accepted (by sellers), so it is the currency.

(e) (Rav Ashi): Presumably, his first reason is correct, for the Mishnah continues: copper acquires silver, silver does not acquire copper;
1. If silver acquires gold, we understand why this was taught - even though silver is the commodity with respect to gold, it is currency with respect to copper;
2. Question: But if gold acquires silver, why this was taught - if silver is the currency with respect to gold (even though gold is more important), all the more so it is currency with respect to copper (which is less important and less accepted by sellers than silver)!
(f) Rejection: No, we needed to teach it - one might have thought, in places where copper is used, it is more accepted than silver, it is the currency - the Mishnah teaches, this is not so, since there are places where it is not accepted.
(g) (We infer from the following that) R. Chiya also says that gold is the currency with respect to silver.
1. Rav borrowed gold coins from R. Chiya's daughter; their value increased (with respect to silver). R. Chiya ruled that he returns coins like he borrowed.
2. This ruling is fine if gold is the currency.
3. Question: But if gold is the commodity - this is as lending a measure of grain on condition to return the same measure, which is forbidden (lest grain rise in value, and this is usury mid'Rabanan)!
(h) Rejection: No - Rav had gold coins at home; in such a case, it is permitted to lend measure for measure.
(i) (Rava): The following Tana says that gold is the currency.
1. (Beraisa): A Perutah is an eighth of an Italian Isar - this is the amount needed to make Kidushin;
2. An Isar is a 24th of a silver Dinar - this is pertinent to commerce;
3. A silver Dinar is a 25th of a gold Dinar - this is pertinent to redemption of a firstborn son (which is five silver Shekalim, which equal 20 silver Dinarim).
4. This is fine if gold is the currency, for then its value is considered fixed (and the redemption is always four fifths of a gold Dinar);
i. But if it is the commodity - why does the Tana gauge the redemption in gold, it fluctuates (the price of gold changes)!
(j) (Mishnah - Beis Shamai): One who has silver Sela'im (a Sela equals four Dinarim) of Ma'aser Sheni - he may not make (i.e. convert) them to gold Dinarim;
(k) Beis Hillel permit this.
(l) Version #1 (R. Yochanan or Reish Lakish): They argue regarding converting Sela'im to gold Dinarim - Beis Shamai say that gold is the commodity, we do not redeem currency on commodities (only on food in Yerushalayim);
1. Beis Hillel say that gold is the currency, we may redeem commodities onto currency;
2. All agree that we may redeem produce onto gold Dinarim.
3. Question: Why do Beis Shamai agree (they say that gold is the commodity!)?
4. Answer: For the same reason that Beis Hillel permit redeeming fruit onto silver - even though silver is the commodity with respect to gold, it is the currency with respect to produce;
i. Likewise, Beis Shamai agree that gold is currency with respect to produce.
(m) (The other of R. Yochanan and Reish Lakish): They even argue regarding redeeming produce onto (gold) Dinarim. (Beis Shamai say that gold is a commodity, we do not redeem onto it).
(n) Question: If so, the Mishnah should rather teach the argument by redeeming produce onto Dinarim!
(o) Answer: If so, one might have thought that Beis Hillel agree that gold is the commodity with respect to silver, and silver may not be redeemed onto gold.
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