ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Bava Metzia 40
(a) According to our Mishnah, a Shomer deducts nine half Kabin per Kur for
wheat and rice. For ...
1. ... barley and millet - he deducts nine Kabin per Kur.
(b) There are a hundred and eighty Kabin in a Kur.
2. ... spelt and flax seeds - three Sa'ah per Kur. Note, that each amount is
double the one that precedes it.
(c) According to the Tana Kama, the above Shiur is both per Kur and per
annum. Rebbi Yochanan ben Nuri argues that the mice do not eat more because
there are more Kurin. Consequently, one only deducts the given amounts per
annum, irrespective of how many Kurin there are (see Tosfos DH 'Ela').
(a) According to Rebbi Yehudah, if the Shomer was looking after many Kurin,
he does not need to deduct so much. The Shiur of 'many Kurin' is - ten.
(b) Rebbi Yehudah's reason is - because one tends to place the crops into
the barns in the summer when they are dry. Consequently, when the Shomer
returns them in the winter, when they have expanded, he automatically
returns more, and the expansion of ten Kurin exceeds what the mice eat from
two or three Kurin (see Maharsha).
(c) The problem with the Tana's Shiur for rice (nine half Kabin per Kur)
is - that we know for a fact that the loss of rice is greater than that.
(a) The Beraisa corroborates the statements of ...
1. ... Rabah bar bar Chanah Amar Rebbi Yochanan, who (in answer to the
Kashya we just asked) establishes the Shiur of rice in our Mishnah - by
peeled rice (because by unpeeled rice, we also have to contend with the
peels which get blown around).
(b) In a case of pure flax-seeds without the stalks - the loss would be less
2. ... Rebbi Yochanan Amar Rebbi Chiya establishes the flax-seeds in our
Mishnah - by flax-seeds still in their stalks, because the stalks tend to
dry and drop off.
(c) The Rabbanan (quoted in a Beraisa) counter Rebbi Yochanan ben Nuri's
argument that the mice do not eat more because there are more Kurin - by
pointing out to him that it is not only the mice that are responsible for
the losses, but that a lot of the produce gets lost and a blown away by the
wind (see also Tosfos DH 've'Chi').
(a) Our Mishnah specifies how much one deducts for the losses of the various
commodities listed in the Mishnah. The reason that the Shomer is responsible
for those losses, and does not just return whatever there is - because the
Tana is speaking when the Shomer mixed the crops together with his own
(b) The Shomer cannot just ...
1. ... separate his own crops from the Pikadon and return the rest - because
we are speaking when he constantly took from his own crops.
(c) Rabah bar bar Chanah gives the Shiur of Midah Merubah (of Rebbi Yehudah)
as ten Kur, which we prove to be correct - from a Beraisa to bear it out.
2. ... assess how much he used and deduct it from the total - because he
does not know how much he used.
(a) A Beraisa expert cited a Beraisa confining our Mishnah (which deducts
the Chesronos) to a case where the owner gave the Shomer the corn in the
barn, and the Shomer returned it in the barn, but not when he returned it
from the house - because the measure that is used in the house is smaller
than that of the barn, in which case he has already deducted the difference
between the two measures [though it is unclear how we then interpret 'Mipnei
(b) Rav Nachman rejected this version of the Beraisa - on the grounds that
the owner would not be so stupid as to hand his crops to the Shomer with a
big measuring-stick, and receive them with a small one.
(c) He therefore amended it to read - that the Din of deducting only applies
if the owner gave the Shomer the corn in the barn-season, and the Shomer
returned it in the barn-season, but not when he returned it in the
rain-season (as we explained in our Mishnah according to Rebbi Yehudah).
(d) Rav Papa asked Abaye why, in that case, jars of produce that are kept
from the summer to the winter do not burst. It happened once that such a jar
did burst - because it was not jammed full, but jars that are choc-a-block
full of produce will not burst, because the crops do not have room to expand
(a) The Tana Kama gives the Shiur of Chesronos for wine as a sixth (which
becomes absorbed in the barrel). Rebbi Yehudah - as a fifth.
(b) Our Mishnah gives the Shiur for the loss of oil as three Lugin per
hundred - one and a half for dregs, and one and a half for absorption.
(c) Consequently ...
1. ... if the oil is purified - one deducts only one and a half Lugin.
(d) Rebbi Yehudah rules that someone who purchases pure oil in the course of
the year - must expect to receive one and a half Lugin per hundred of dregs.
2. ... if the oil is stored in an old barrel - likewise.
(a) If the Tana Kama and Rebbi Yehudah in our Mishnah do not argue, then
(aside from the possibility that they used different kinds of earthenware)
the former gives the Shiur for wine as a sixth - because in the town of the
Tana Kama, it was customary to line the barrel with wax, which absorbs less,
whereas the latter gives the Shiur as a fifth - because in his town it was
customary to line it with pitch, which absorbed more.
(b) When Rav Yehudah became a wine-merchant, he sold wine which he had
bought for six Zuz per barrel at six Kuzim per Zuz. Seeing as each barrel
contained forty-eight Kuzim, after deducting a sixth (eight Lugin [like the
Tana Kama of our Mishnah]) Rav Yehudah was now making four Kuzim profit.
(c) A merchant is permitted to earn - up to a sixth for a livelihood.
(d) Rav Yehudah did not allow a profit of another two Kuzim to make up the
sixth - because he also gained the barrel and the dregs, which was included
in the six Zuz that he paid the producer.
(a) We account for the fact that the four Kuzim plus the barrel and the
dregs add up to more than a sixth, which is in excess of the maximum profit
permitted - by deducting the trouble to sell the wine plus the 'D'mei
Barzenaysa' (the cost of fitting a tap).
(b) 'Barzenaysa' refers to the cost of fitting a tap to the barrel. Others
have the text 'Karzenaysa'. 'Karzenaysa' means - to the cost of hiring a
salesman to announce his wine and to sell it.
(a) We learned in our Mishnah that if the wine is placed in old barrels, the
Shomer does not contend with absorption. To answer the Kashya 've'Ha I
Efshar de'Lo Bala?', Rav Nachman establishes the Mishnah by barrels that
have been lined with pitch. True, we did learn earlier that the pitch itself
absorbs - but that is only in the case of new barrels, but not by old ones
(which become saturated quicker than the barrels themselves (see Tosfos).
(b) Abaye dismisses the Kashya. According to him, once the barrels become
saturated, they will no longer absorb.
(c) Rebbi Yehudah permits a seller of pure oil to give the purchaser one a
half Lugin of dregs per hundred Lugin. The Chachamim forbid it. Abaye
explains - that according to Rebbi Yehudah, a seller is permitted to mix the
dregs in the barrel of oil when selling purified oil (Ss'tam, without the
purchaser having specified that he wants pure oil). Consequently, the seller
has a 'Migu' (since he could have mixed the dregs ... ); whereas the
Rabbanan forbid mixing them.
(d) The purchaser cannot argue that ...
1. ... had he received the dregs mixed with the oil, he could at least have
sold them, whereas as a separate entity, they are useless to him - because
the Mishnah is speaking (not about a a store-keeper buying oil, but) about a
private person buying oil, who would prefer to receive the oil in a pure
2. ... the fact that the seller did not mix them indicates that he was
Mochel them - because Rebbi Yehudah does not hold of Mechilah, as we shall
(a) In the Mishnah in Bava Basra, the Tana Kama holds that someone who buys
a yoke has not automatically bought the oxen, and vice-versa. Rebbi Yehudah
says - that the price that the buyer pays will indicate whether the one
includes the other or not (if for example, he paid two hundred Zuz for the
yoke, since this is an exorbitant price to pay for a yoke, he must have
meant to include the oxen in the price.
(b) The basis of their Machlokes is - whether a person is Mochel the extra
money (the Chachamim) or not (Rebbi Yehudah).
(c) Rav Papa disagrees with Abaye's interpretation of Rebbi Yehudah and
Rabbanan in our Mishnah. According to him - it is the Rabbanan who permit
the seller to mix the dregs. Should he fail to do so, the purchaser can
claim that he must have been Mochel, and decline to accept them separately;
whereas Rebbi Yehudah forbids the seller to mix the dregs. Consequently,
were one to forbid him to mix them, what sort of businessman would he then
be, if he merely sold what he bought (since the dregs constitute part of an
oil-merchant's profit ['Z'von ve'Zavin Tagra Ikri'?].
(a) The Beraisa equates a buyer with a depositor with regard to Piktim - the
waste pits that float to the top of the oil (also known as 'Shemen Achur').
(b) He cannot mean that a depositor, like a buyer, does not need to accept
them - because what is the buyer supposed to do with the seller's pits?
(c) What he means is - just as a depositor must accept the Piktim, so too,
must a purchaser.
(a) Rebbi Yehudah says in a Beraisa, that the seller is obligated to retain
the Piktim - because the purchaser is already obligated to accept the dregs.
(b) We reconcile this with the previous Beraisa, which obligates the
purchaser to accept the Piktim - by establishing the latter when he pays in
Tishri (when the oil is cheaper because it is as yet unpurified) and
receives it in Nisan, and the former, when he also pays in Nisan (when the
oil costs more because it has already been purified).
(a) In a case where someone deposited a barrel by his friend without
designating a fixed location for it, and the barrel broke whilst he was
moving it, the Tana of our Mishnah makes a distinction - whether it broke
whilst he was moving it for his own benefit (in which case he will be
liable), or for the benefit of the article (in which case he will be Patur).
(b) If it broke ...
1. ... after he replaced it - he is Patur.
(c) We establish the Reisha of the Mishnah, which exempts the Shomer from
paying once he has replaced the article, like Rebbi Yishmael, who says in a
Beraisa that, if someone stole a lamb from someone's flock or a Sela from
someone's purse - and returned it (even without informing the owner), he is
Patur, because he holds 'Lo Ba'inan Da'as Ba'alim'.
2. ... either before or after he replaced it, if the owner designated a
specific location - he is always liable if he was moving it for his own
benefit, but Patur if he was moving it for the benefit of the Pikadon.
(d) According to Rebbi Akiva - he will be liable, because he holds 'Ba'inan
(e) The Tana of our Mishnah refers specifically to where the owner did not
designate a location for the barrel (not to preclude where he did, but) -
because that would be obvious, seeing as he returned it to its designated