POINT BY POINT SUMMARY
Prepared by Rabbi P. Feldman
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
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Previous daf Bava Metzia 62
BAVA METZIA 62 (10 Shevat) - Dedicated by ýHagaon Rav Yosef Pearlman of
London, England, in memory of his father in law, Harav Yeshayah ben Rav
David Chaim Goldberg Z"L, who passed away on 10 Shevat 5738.
1) MUST ONE RETURN FIXED USURY?
(a) (Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak): R. Elazar learns from
"Va'Chai Achicha Imach" - return it, in order that the
borrower will live.
(b) Question: What does R. Yochanan learn from this verse?
(c) Answer (Beraisa - ben Petura): Two people were in a
wilderness, one had a flask of water sufficient to enable
one of them to return to civilization; if they share it,
both will die. It is best that they share the water,
neither should see the other die;
(d) R. Akiva: "V'Chei Achicha Imach" - your own life takes
precedence over another's life.
(e) Question (against R. Yochanan - Beraisa): A man died,
leaving his orphans money he collected as usury - even
though they know this, they need not return it.
1. Inference: They need not return it - but their
father would have to return it!
(f) Answer: Really, even their father is exempt; the Beraisa
spoke of the children for parallel structure to the end
of the Beraisa.
1. (End of the Beraisa): If their father left them a
cow, garment or any specific item, they must return
it because of the honor of their father.
(g) Question: Why should they have to return it for the honor
of their father?!
1. "Do not curse a Nasi of your people" - one who acts
as your people (but we are not concerned for honor
of the wicked)!
(h) Answer: As Rav Pinchas answered (elsewhere) - the case
is, the father repented.
1. Question: If he repented, he should have returned
(i) Question (Beraisa): Thieves or people that lent on usury
- even if they collected, they return it.
2. Answer: He died before he was able to.
1. Question: The language 'collected' does not apply to
(j) Answer: Tana'im argue whether it must be returned.
i. If they stole - they stole!
2. Answer: 'Thieves' means people that lent on usury,
even if they collected, they return.
ii. If they did not steal - why are they called
1. (Beraisa - R. Nechemyah and R. Eliezer ben Yakov):
The lender and cosigner do not transgress a Lav and
they are not lashed because they can correct their
sin through a Mitzvas Aseh.
(k) Rejection: No - the Aseh is to tear the loan document.
2. Suggestion: The Aseh is returning the usury;
Chachamim argue, they say there is no such Aseh.
(l) Question: Do R. Nechemyah and R. Eliezer ben Yakov hold
that we consider a document as if it was already
collected (because it puts a lien on the borrower's
1. If yes - the lender and cosigner already
transgressed when they wrote the document, and they
must tear the document;
(m) Answer: They consider a document as if it was already
collected; Chachamim obligate for Shuma (setting usury
upon the borrower).
i. Similarly, it the usury was paid, they must
return the money!
2. If we do not consider a document as if it was
already collected, they did not transgress anything
- why do Chachamim argue?
(n) Support (Mishnah): The following transgress a Lav: the
lender, the borrower, the cosigner and the witnesses.
1. Question: The first three did an action - but what
did the witnesses transgress?
(o) (Rav Safra): Any case in which the courts of Nochrim
force the borrower to pay the lender, we make the lender
return to the borrower; when they do not force the
borrower to pay, we do not make the lender return it.
2. Answer: We conclude that they are liable for Shuma.
(p) Question (Abaye): But they force the borrower to pay by a
loan of a Se'ah of produce on condition to return a
Se'ah, and we don't force the lender to return it!
(q) Answer (Rav Yosef): They consider that return of a
deposit - Rav Safra refers to what they collect as usury.
(r) Question (Ravina): But one who takes land as collateral
and eats the produce without deducting from the loan -
they force the borrower to pay (if he took some of the
produce), and we do not make the lender return it!
(s) Answer (Rav Ashi): They considered that a sale (the
lender bought the land, the borrower may redeem it).
2) THE CASE OF THE MISHNAH
(t) Question: What Chidush did Rav Safra come to teach?
(u) Answer: Any case in which Nochrim force the borrower to
pay - fixed usury - we make the lender return it, i.e. R.
1. What they do not force the borrower to pay - usury
before or after the loan - we do not make the lender
(a) (Mishnah): Reuven bought a Kor of wheat from Shimon for
25 Dinarim, which was the going rate...(if Shimon has no
wine, it is forbidden).
(b) Question: Even if Shimon has no wine, it should be
1. (Beraisa): We may not contract to supply produce for
a set price until there is a set price in the
market; when there is a set price, we may contract -
even if this seller does not have, others have (and
the seller could buy and supply the produce now).
(c) Answer #1 (Rabah): In our Mishnah, Reuven never gave
money, he bought on credit (so we cannot say that Shimon
could have supplied the wine with Reuven's money).
1. Support (Beraisa): Yehudah told Levi 'Give me the
Maneh you owe me so I can buy wheat'; Levi answered
'I accept to supply to you a Maneh's worth of wheat
(at today's price) over the course of the year' -
this is forbidden (even though Levi has wheat), for
it is unlike giving money (for then, Levi could have
supplied the wheat with Yehudah's money).
(d) Rejection (Abaye): If Reuven never gave money, the
Mishnah should forbid this even if Shimon has wine!
(e) Answer #2 (Abaye): Our Mishnah is as Rav Safra taught.
1. (Rav Safra): Some things are permitted (letter of
the law), but forbidden because they look like
usury. For example, Yehudah asked to borrow 100
(Dinarim); Levi said, 'I don't have money - take
that value of my wheat'. Levi bought it back for 96
- (letter of the law) this is permitted, but it is
forbidden because it looks like usury.
(f) Question (Rava): If so, the Mishnah should not say 'Give
me my wheat', rather, 'Give me the money for my wheat'!
2. Also in our Mishnah, Reuven asked to borrow 30
Sela'im; Shimon said, 'I don't have money - take
that value of my wheat'; Shimon bought it back for
3. If Shimon has wine - this is as a sale, it is
permitted; if he has no wine, it is forbidden to
take their value in money, for this looks like
(g) Answer: Indeed, that is the correct text.
(h) Question (Rava): The Mishnah should not say 'That I want
to sell', rather, 'That I sold to you'!
(i) Answer: Indeed, that is the correct text.
(j) Question (Rava): If so, why does the Mishnah say 'I
consider your wheat as 30' - that is what he gave him!
(k) Answer: He means, 'As payment for the wheat which you
took from me in place of 30 Dinarim'.
(l) Objection (Rava): How can the Mishnah say ''You now have
that value of wine by me', and Shimon really has no wine'
- it said that he bought a Kor of wheat for 25, that was