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 110
BAVA METZIA 109-110 - anonymously dedicated by an Ohev Torah and
Marbitz Torah in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel.
1) AMBIGUOUS DOCUMENTS
(a) A document (of Mashkanta) said 'years' without specifying
how many. Reuven (the lender) says it was for three
years, Shimon (the borrower) says two.
2) COLLECTING FOR IMPROVEMENTS
(b) (Rav Yehudah): If Reuven already ate the produce for
three years, he must pay for the last year - when in
doubt, we establish land to belong to the original owner
(c) (Rav Kahana): Our question is regarding the produce,
which is by Reuven - the Chazakah favors him, he need not
1. The Halachah follows Rav Kahana.
(d) (Rav Yehudah): If Reuven says it was for five years (and
he lost the document), and Shimon says three, Reuven is
believed, Migo he could have said that he bought it (i.e.
if he wanted to lie, he had a better lie to say).
2. Question: But the Halachah follows Rav Nachman (in
monetary laws) who says that when in doubt, we apply
Chazakah to the land and say it belongs to the
3. Answer: That is when the doubt will never be
resolved (e.g. when two expressions contradict each
other, we do not know which to follow);
i. Here, witnesses might come and testify how many
years it was for - Beis Din does not force
someone to pay if we anticipate that future
testimony might force Beis Din to retract its
(e) Rav Papa: Rav Zvid and Rav Avira argue with Rav Yehudah.
1. A buyer is only careful with his document for three
years - but a lender is careful as long as he is
entitled to eat the produce (we assume that he did
not lose it, he is hiding it in order to eat extra
(f) Question ((Rashi - against Rav Yehudah; Rashba - also
against Rav Zvid and Rav Avira) - Ravina): If so,
Mashkanta of Sura, in which they write 'After such and
such years, the land reverts to the owner for free' - the
lender should be believed to say that he bought it!
1. Chachamim would not enact something that enables the
lender to steal.
(g) Answer (Rav Ashi): Chachamim enacted that the borrower
pay the taxes and fix the trench around the field (so all
will know that he did not sell it).
1. Question: What if the land has no taxes or trenches?
(h) (Rav Yehudah): If Reuven (a sharecropper) claims that
Shimon hired him on condition to receive half the
produce, and Shimon says that he promised to give a
third, Shimon is believed;
2. Answer: He must protest (tell people) that the land
was not sold, it is being eaten as Mashkanta (this
obligates one who claims to have bought the land to
guard the document).
3. Question: What if he did not protest?
4. Answer: He caused his own loss through his
(i) (Rav Nachman): We follow the local custom.
(j) Suggestion: Rav Yehudah can agree with Rav Nachman - Rav
Yehudah speaks in a place where the custom is that
sharecroppers get a third.
(k) Rejection (Rav Mari bra d'bas Shmuel citing Abaye): No -
even in a place where sharecroppers get half, Shimon is
believed, Migo he could say that Reuven is not his
sharecropper, he is only a hired worker.
(a) Question: Reuven died, leaving land and a creditor
(Shimon). His orphans claim that they improved the land
(and Shimon can only collect from the value of what they
inherited), Shimon claims that Reuven improved the land -
who must bring proof?
(b) Answer #1 (R. Chanina): The land is in the Chazakah of
the orphans, Shimon must bring proof.
3) WHEN WAGES MUST BE PAID
(c) Rejection: R. Yochanan said, the orphans must bring
(d) Question: What is R. Yochanan's reason?
(e) Answer: Since Shimon stands to collect the land, it is as
if he already collected it (he is Muchzak).
(f) Support (Abaye - Mishnah): (A tree within 50 Amos of a
city may be cut; if it preceded the city, they must
compensate the owner.) If we are unsure whether the tree
or city came first, it may be cut without paying the
1. Since it may be cut in any case, the owner must
bring proof to collect;
(g) The orphans proved that they improved the land.
2. Here also, in any case Shimon collects the land - we
are unsure whether Shimon must compensate for the
improvements, the orphans must bring proof to
(h) (R. Chanina): Shimon must let them keep a piece of the
land worth as much as the improvements.
(i) Rejection: No, he may give them money.
1. (Rav Nachman citing Shmuel): In three cases we
evaluate the improvements and pay it with money: a
firstborn (if the brothers improved the land
together, the firstborn gets an extra share of the
land but he is not entitled to an extra share of the
improvements), a creditor or widow (entitled to a
Kesuvah) collecting from orphans, and a creditor
collecting from someone who bought the borrower's
land after the loan.
(j) Question (Ravina): Does Shmuel really hold that a buyer
is compensated for improvements when a creditor takes the
1. Contradiction (Shmuel): A creditor collects the
(k) Answer: A creditor collects the improvements for free if
he is owed the value of the land and the improvements;
2. Suggestion: Perhaps Shmuel says that a buyer is
compensated for fruit that is almost ready to be
harvested, a creditor takes (for free) fruit that
needs to remain attached for a while.
3. Rejection: Shmuel often authorized a creditor to
take fruit almost ready to be harvested.
1. If not, he must return the value of the improvements
- Shmuel taught, he may return money.
(l) Question: According to the opinion that if the buyer has
money he may pay the debt and keep the land (against the
creditor's will), the buyer can say, if I had money, you
would not get any land - the improvements should be
considered as partial payment, you must let me keep their
value in land!
2. This is according to the opinion that the creditor
may take the land even if the buyer has money and
wants to pay the debt and keep the land.
(m) Answer: The case is, the land was made an Apotiki, the
loan is to be collected only from it.
(a) (Mishnah): If Reuven rents a field from Shimon for a
Shavu'a (seven year period) for 700 Zuz, Shemitah counts
as one of the seven years;
1. If he rents for seven years for 700 Zuz, Shemitah
does not count as one of the seven years.
(b) The following are the periods for paying workers: a
worker hired for a day must be paid that night, one hired
for a night must be paid the coming day, one hired by the
hour must be paid that night or day,
1. One hired for a week, month, year or Shemitah cycle
- if he ends working by day, he must be paid that
day; if he ends working by night, he must be paid
that night of the coming day.
(c) (Gemara - Beraisa): "Lo Salin Pe'ulas Sachir Itecha Ad
Boker" - this teaches that a worker hired for a day must
be paid that night;
1. "B'Yomo Titen Scharo" -this teaches that one hired
for a night must be paid the coming day.
(d) Question: Perhaps the former verse speaks of one hired
for the night, and the latter verse speaks of one hired
for the day!
(e) Answer: Wages need not be paid before the job is
finished, we cannot obligate one to pay a day worker by
day (or to pay a night worker by night).
(f) (Beraisa): "Lo Salin" already teaches that one may not
keep a worker's wages the entire night - what does "Ad
(g) Answer: This teaches that one transgresses only the first
(h) Question: What if he further delays paying?
(i) Answer (Rav): He transgresses 'Bal Tishaheh' (delaying
1. (Rav Yosef): Rav learns from "Do not say 'Lech
va'Shuv, I will pay you tomorrow', when you have the