(Permission is granted to print and redistribute this material
as long as this header and the footer at the end are included.)


prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

Previous daf

Bava Metzia 31

BAVA METZIA 31 - Dedicated by Josh Daniel of Efrat, Israel, in memory of his brother, Yitzchok Yisroel [ben Refael Noach Yosef] Daniel, for his Yahrzeit (7 Teves).



(a) The Beraisa corroborates Rav Yehudah Amar Rav's three days time limit up to which a donkey or a cow grazing by the wayside are not considered an Aveidah. The Tana rules that if one finds a cloak or a spade ...
1. ... on a main highway or a cow running among the vines - he is obligated to return it.
2. ... beside a wall or a cow grazing among the vines (or grazing grass) - he should leave it there (see Tosfos).
(b) Rava learns from the Pasuk "le'Chol Aveidas Achicha" - that the Din of Hashavas Aveidah extends to Karka (in the form of saving it from getting spoilt).

(c) If Reuven sees a torrent of water flowing in the direction of Shimon's field, the Beraisa obligates him to put up a wall (or close the gate) in order to protect it. When Rav Chananyah tried to support Rava's ruling from here - Rava replied that the Beraisa might well be referring to loose sheaves in the field that need to be protected.

(d) Assuming that Hashavas Aveidah does not apply to Karka, the Tana nevertheless needs to teach us that one is obligated to protect the loose sheaves lying in a field - in a case where the sheaves still need the earth, and which we might have thought are considered Karka.

(a) From our Mishnah, which ...
1. ... exempts a Jew from returning an animal that one finds grazing by the wayside, we can extrapolate - that if it was grazing in a vineyard or running in the street, one would be obligated to return it.
2. ... obligates the return of a donkey with its saddle etc. lopsided and a cow running in the vineyard, we can extrapolate - that if it was running in the street or grazing in a vineyard, one would be exempt from returning it.
(b) When ...
1. ... in an attempt to resolve this contradiction, Abaye quotes the Pasuk in Iyov "Yagid Alav Rei'o" - he means that just as grazing in the street is not considered an Aveidah, neither is grazing in the vineyard; and that just as running in the vineyard is considered an Aveidah, so too, is running in the street.
2. ... Rava refutes Abaye's explanation, because then 'Lisni Kilsa, ve'Kol she'Ken Chamirta', he means - that, in that case, the Tana ought rather to have presented the bigger Chidush (that running even in the street is an Aveidah [and 'Kal va'Chomer', in the vineyard]; and that grazing even in the vineyard is not considered an Aveidah [and 'Kal va'Chomer', in the street]).
(c) Rava therefore resolves the contradiction quite differently. According to him, one is obligated to return a cow that is ...
1. ... running in the street, when it is running towards the town's exit, but not when it is running towards the town-center.
2. ... grazing in the vineyard - when it is destroying the vines, but not in order to save the animal itself from becoming wounded (since the vines will cause it no harm as long as it is not running).
(d) In the latter case, the finder is not obligated to return the cow anyway ...
1. ... because of 'Aveidas Karka' - since the Tana is speaking when the owner of the vineyard is a Nochri.
2. ... to save the animal, which the owner of the vineyard will kill if he finds it grazing there - because we are speaking in a place where it was customary to issue a warning to owners of trespassing animals before killing the animals (and if the owner had already received such a warning, then it is an Aveidah mi'Da'as).
(a) A Torah-scholar asked Rava why our Mishnah obligates the finder to return a lost animal even four or five times, when the Torah writes "Hashev Teshivem", implying twice and no more, to which Rava replied - that "Hashev" implies even a hundred times; "Teshivem" comes to teach us that the finder is permitted to return the Aveidah to the owner's yard or garden (and not necessarily to his house).

(b) If the Chatzer is unguarded, it makes no sense to permit the finder to place it there. So the Pasuk must be speaking about one that is, and it is coming to teach us the Chidush of Rebbi Elazar, who says that everyone (who returns an animal to its rightful owner) requires the knowledge of the owner, with the sole exception of someone who returns a lost article.

(c) By 'everyone', Rebbi Elazar means - a Ganav, a Gazlan or one of the four Shomrim (who are held liable for not informing the owner, since the owner, unaware that the animal has been returned, is unable to give it the necessary attention).

(d) Rava subsequently learns from the double expression of ...

1. ... "Shale'ach Teshalach es ha'Eim ... " - that one may not take the mother bird together with the babies, even if one needs it for the Mitzvah of Taharas Metzora.
2. ... "Ho'che'ach Tochi'ach es Amisecha" - that even a Talmid is obligated to rebuke his master if necessary.
3. ... "Hakem Takim" and "Azov Ta'azov" - that the obligation of loading or unloading another Jew's animal applies even if the owner is not present.
(a) In spite of having taught us ...
1. ... P'rikah (the obligation to unload an animal), the Torah needs to teach us Te'inah (that of loading it) - because it involves neither Tza'ar Ba'alei Chayim (alleviating the animal's suffering, nor an intrinsic loss [like P'rikah does]).
2. ... Te'inah, the Torah nevertheless needs to teach us P'rikah - to teach that, although Te'inah must be performed free of charge, one is permitted to charge for Te'inah (a distinction that the Rabbanan derive from the very fact that the Torah mentions both cases).
(b) Rebbi Shimon argues with the Rabbanan - inasmuch as, in his opinion, Te'inah, like P'rikah, must be performed free of charge.

(c) According to him, the Torah needs to teach us loading - because otherwise, due to the fact that both "Hakem Takim" and "Azov Ta'azov" imply both P'rikah and Te'inah, we would have interpreted whichever Pasuk the Torah would have written as P'rikah.

(d) And in spite of having taught us the Din of ...

1. ... P'rikah and Te'inah, the Torah finds it necessary to teach us also that of Hashavas Aveidah - since neither the owner nor the lost article suffer (unlike the former two, where both the owner and the lost article are suffering.
2. ... Hashavas Aveidah, the Torah nevertheless finds it necessary to teach us add that of P'rikah and Te'inah - since (unlike by Aveidah), the owner is present (and we might have thought that if the owner really wants his article back, let him hire men to help him).



(a) We learn from the double expression ...
1. ... "Mos Yumas" (in Mas'ei - in connection with a murderer) and "Hekeh Sakeh" (in Re'ei, in connection with an Ir ha'Nidachas) - that if the Sanhedrin is unable to kill the sinners in the prescribed manner (by the sword) then they must kill them in whichever way possible.
2. ... Hashev Tashiv" (in Ki-Seitzei) and "Chavol Sachbol" (in Mishpatim, both in connection with taking a security for a loan) - that the Mitzvah of returning a security regularly applies even to one which the creditor took without Beis-Din's permission.
(b) We know that the Pasuk is speaking primarily about a security that is claimed by the Sheli'ach Beis-Din - because the Torah warns the person demanding it not to enter the debtor's house without his consent, something which a creditor would not have the Chutzpah to do.

(c) We need two Pesukim - one for returning a day garment (each morning), and one for a night garment (each evening).

(a) From the double expression ...
1. ... "Paso'ach Tiftach es Yadcha" we learn - that the Mitzvah of Tzedakah is not confined to the poor of one's own town, but extends even to those from other towns.
2. ... "Nason Titen Lo" - that it is not confined to providing him with all his needs (and that someone who is unable to do that, should give whatever he can).
3. ... "Ha'anek Ta'anik Lo" - that the master of an Eved Ivri must provide him with 'Ha'anakah' when he goes free, even if his house was not blessed on account of him (despite the Pasuk "Asher Yevarech'cha Hashem Elokecha").
(b) Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah disagrees with the Rabbanan. In his opinion - if the house was not blessed on account of the Eved Ivri, the master is not obligated to give him Ha'anakah when he leaves.

(c) According to him, the Torah uses the double expression "Ha'anek Ta'anik" - because 'Dibrah Torah ki'Leshon B'nei Adam' (the Torah sometimes speaks in the vernacular).

(a) The Pasuk "Ha'avet Ta'avitenu" means - that it is a Mitzvah to lend a fellow-Jew money.

(b) "Ha'avet", we explain, comes to teach us the obligation to lend someone who 'Ein Lo ve'Eino Rotzeh Le'hisparnes', and "Ha'avitenu", 'Yesh Lo ve'Eino Rotzeh Le'hisparnes'.

1. 'Ein Lo ve'Eino Rotzeh Le'hisparnes' means - that he doesn't possess money of his own, and doesn't want to be sustained from Tzedakah.
2. 'Yesh Lo ve'Eino Rotzeh Le'hisparnes' - means that he has money but he doesn't want to use it.
(c) According to Rebbi Shimon, who holds that there is no obligation to lend someone who has money and doesn't want to spend it, why does the Torah write "Ta'avitenu" - because 'Dibrah Torah ki'Leshon B'nei Adam'.

(d) Our Mishnah obligates the owner to reimburse the finder's work-losses like a Po'el Batel, which, seeing as he is not really Batel, Abaye defines as - being Batel from his regular work.

(a) Rav Safra, who entered into a limited business partnership with Isar - divided the goods without a Beis-Din.

(b) To prove that his division had been made honestly, Rabah bar Rav Huna gave him the two options (besides that of bringing the three men in front of whom he had divided it to Beis-Din) - of bringing either two of those three men or two other witnesses who had seen him dividing the goods in the presence of the three men.

(c) When Rav Safra asked him for his source - he quoted our Mishnah 'Im Yesh Sham Beis-Din, Yasneh bi'F'neihem ... '.

(d) Rav Safra queried Rabah bar Rav Huna's source - on the grounds that whereas our Mishnah is speaking about one person extracting money from another (which is why a Beis-Din is required, he maintained), *he* had merely taken what was undisputedly his own.

(a) Rav Safra tried to prove from the Mishnah 'Almanah Mocheres she'Lo bi'F'nei Beis-Din' - that someone who takes what is undisputedly his does not require a Beis-Din.

(b) Abaye refuted his proof however, on the basis of a statement by Rav Yosef bar Minyumi Amar Rav Nachman, who explained the Lashon of she'Lo bi'F'nei Beis-Din' to mean - that she does not require a Beis-Din of experts. She does however, require a Beis-Din of ordinary people (corroborating Rabah Rav Huna's ruling).

Next daf


For further information on
subscriptions, archives and sponsorships,
contact Kollel Iyun Hadaf,