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 112
BAVA METZIA 112-115 - these Dafim have been dedicated anonymously l'Iluy
Nishmas Tzirel Nechamah bas Tuvya Yehudah.
1) THE PUNISHMENT FOR WITHHOLDING WAGES
(a) (Rav Asi): Even if a worker was hired only to pick one
cluster of grapes, one who withholds his wages
transgresses "Lo Salin". The first Tana learns from
"V''Elav Hu Nosei Es Nafsho" (anything he obligated
himself to do).
2) OTHER CONDITIONS FOR TRANSGRESSING
(b) R. Yosi b'Rebbi Yehudah expounds this verse as follows.
1. (Beraisa): "V'Elav Hu Nosei Es Nafsho" - a worker
risks his life, going up high ramps and trees for
(c) (Rav Huna or Rav Chisda): This refers to the employer's
life (he causes his own death).
2. Anyone who withholds wages is as one who takes his
(d) (The other of Rav Huna and Rav Chisda): This refers to
the worker's life.
1. The first opinion learns from "Al Tigzal
Dal...v'Kava Es Koveihem Nafesh";
2. The second opinion learns from "Es Nefesh Be'alav
3. Question: How does the first opinion expound the
4. Answer: The verse refers to the thief - after taking
the money, he is called "Be'alav (the owner)".
5. Question: How does the second opinion expound the
6. Answer: The employer is worthy of death because he
mortally afflicts the worker.
(a) (Mishnah): If the worker did not ask for his wages, the
employer does not transgress.
(b) (Beraisa): "Lo Salin Pe'ulas Sachir Itecha Ad Boker" -
one might have thought, this is even if the worker did
not ask for his wages;
1. "Itecha" (they are with you on your volition), i.e.
you only transgress if he asked for his wages.
(c) (Mishnah): He does not transgress if he made an
arrangement with the worker that he be paid by a grocer
2. Suggestion: Perhaps he transgresses even if he gave
them to a grocer or moneychanger.
3. Rejection: "Itecha" - with you, not with a grocer or
(d) Question: If the grocer or moneychanger refuses to pay
the worker, can he claim from his employer?
(e) (Rav Sheshes): He cannot claim from his employer;
(f) (Rabah): He can claim from his employer.
1. Rabah deduces this from the Mishnah - he does not
transgress if he made an arrangement with a grocer
or moneychanger, but he is obligated to pay;
(g) Question: Does one transgress "Lo Salin" for withholding
wages of a Kablan (one hired to complete a task for a
2. Rav Sheshes explains, it does not apply to speak of
him transgressing, because he is exempt from paying.
1. If we say that a craftsman (immediately) acquires
the improvements he makes on a vessel, then wages
are not due to him, this is merely a loan (the
employer owes him for the improvements on the
(h) Answer (Rav Sheshes): He transgresses.
2. If we say that a craftsman does not acquire
improvements on a vessel, then wages are due (and
the employer transgresses).
(i) Question (Beraisa): He does not transgress.
(j) Answer: That is when he gave the money to a grocer or
(k) Support (Beraisa): Reuven gave his garment to a
craftsman; he finished, and informed Reuven - even if
Reuven does not come for ten days (to take and pay for
it), he does not transgress keeping a worker's wages
1. If the worker returned the garment in mid-day, if
Reuven does not pay by sundown he transgresses.
(l) Rejection #1 (Rav Mari brei d'Rav Kahana): The Beraisa
speaks of one hired to teasel cloth (there is no
improvement, it lasts better if not teaseled).
2. If a craftsman (immediately) acquires improvements
on a vessel, why does he transgress - the craftsman
is holding his wages!
1. Question: If so, why did he hire him?
(m) Rejection #2: Rather, he was hired to stomp on it (to
clean and moisten it), he is paid for each hit (he is not
2. Answer: To soften it.
3. Objection: That is an improvement!
3) WHY THE WORKER SWEARS
(a) (Mishnah): At the time a worker should be paid, he swears
and collects (this is a Rabbinical enactment).
(b) Question: Why did Chachamim enact that he swears and
(c) Answer #1 (Rav Nachman): Mid'Oraisa, the employer should
swear and be exempt; as by every case of one who denies a
1. Chachamim enacted that the worker swears and
collects for the sake of his livelihood.
(d) Answer #2: Rather, an employer is busy overseeing his
workers, presumably he forgot that he did not pay.
2. Question: Is that a proper reason to take money from
3. Answer: The enactment benefits the employer - it
encourages people to work for others.
i. Question: The worker would prefer that employer
swears and is exempt, to encourages him to hire
4. Objection: Also workers must work for others in any
ii. Answer: No - an employer must hire people in
(e) Question #1: If so, the worker should collect without
(f) Answer: The oath is to appease the employer (so he will
not suspect that the worker is lying).
1. Question: Chachamim should have enacted that he must
pay the worker in front of witnesses!
(g) Question #2: If so (the enactment is because an employer
is busy), the same should apply even if they argue about
the (amount of the) wages!
2. Answer: That is too tedious.
3. Question: Chachamim should have enacted that workers
are paid before they work (so they will not be
4. Answer: Everyone prefers that workers are paid after
working (sometimes the employer does not have money
to pay them beforehand; the workers are afraid that
they will lose the money).
1. (Beraisa): The worker says 'You hired me for two',
the employer says 'I hired you for one' - (for the
worker) to take money from another (the employer),
he must bring proof.
(h) Answer: People surely remember the agreed wages.
(i) Question #3: If so, the same should apply after the time
to be paid!
1. (Mishnah): After the time he should be paid, he does
not swear and collect.
(j) Answer: We have a Chazakah that an employer will not
transgress "Lo Salin".
(k) Question: But we said that an employer is busy, he
(l) Answer: That is before the deadline for payment comes -
when it comes, he motivates himself and remembers.