ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Bava Metzia 51
BAVA METZIA 51-55 - Mrs. Estanne Abraham-Fawer has dedicated two weeks of
Dafyomi study material to honor the second Yahrzeit of her father, Reb
Mordechai ben Eliezer Zvi (Weiner, who passed away 18 Teves 5761). May the
merit of supporting and advancing the study of the Talmud be l'Iluy
(a) Rami bar Chana's innkeeper was sad - because he had sold a donkey and
realized that he had been underpaid by a sixth.
(b) He declined to retract, when Rami bar Chama advised him to do so -
because the time that one could show it to a merchant had already elapsed.
(c) So Rami bar Chama sent him to Rav Nachman, who ruled - that the this
time-limit does not pertain to the seller (as we explained earlier).
(d) The seller might discover his mistake - when he buys another article
like the first one (since he will then be able to compare the prices, though
it will make no difference to the Halachah even if he does.
(a) The man asking for silk belts that were worth five Zuzim - was asking
for six, though he was willing to accept five and a half.
(b) Someone purchased them for six Zuzim rather than five and a half -
because he would then be able to reclaim one Zuz of Ona'ah; whereas had he
paid five and a half, it would be a matter of Mechilah, and he would not
(c) When they came before Rav Chisda however, he ruled - that there is no
Ona'ah with regard to the personal effects of a Balabos (which was hard
lines on the wily purchaser).
(d) The reason for this is - because they are precious to him, and it is
thereore as if he specifically stipulated that he was selling them at an
inflated price (in which case there is no Ana'ah - She'iltos).
(a) Following a similar incident where a man purchased rings worth fifty
Zuzim for sixty, Rav Chisda sent him away disappointed, just like he did in
the previous case. Rav Dimi and Rebbi Elazar commented 'Yeyasher'
('Sh'ko'ach', corroborating his ruling).
(b) Rav Chisda reconciles his rulings with the following Mishnah, which
specifically includes what a Balabos sells in the Din of Ona'ah - by
establishing it by Tzadraysa (canvas clothes that are initially meant to be
sold, which do not therefore have the special value that other personal
effects have to their owners).
(c) Our Mishnah includes the seller in the Din of Ona'ah as well as the
purchaser, and a merchant who is cheated as well as a Balabos. Rebbi
Yehudah - precludes the latter from the Din of Ona'ah (and this will be
(d) We already learned above from "ve'Chi Simkeru ... O Kanoh ... Al Tonu"
that both the seller and the buyer are subject to the La'av of "Al Tonu".
Having taught us that ...
1. ... the seller transgresses, the Torah nevertheless needs to teach us
that the buyer transgresses too - even though he is not as conversant with
the prices as the seller.
2. ... the buyer transgresses, the Torah needs to teach us that the seller
transgresses too - because whereas for the buyer, the article is an
investment, for the seller, the sale constitutes a loss, for which, we might
have thought, he is entitled to make up.
(a) We learned in our Mishnah that according to Rebbi Yehudah, there is no
Ona'ah by a merchant. The problem with this statement is - 'Why on earth
(b) Rav Nachman establishes Rebbi Yehudah by a Safsar - a sort of middle-man
who buys goods and sells them immediately (for a small profit), and the
reason that there is no Ona'ah if he is underpaid is - because having just
purchased the article, he obviously knows the price (in fact, he is sold it
cheaply, because a better deal came his way, and he needs the cash, and it
is only after the resale that he decided to retract, to try and recoup his
(c) Rav Ashi disagrees. When he interprets 'Ein lo Ona'ah' to mean 'Eino
be'Toras Ona'ah', he means - that the Din Ona'ah does not apply to a
merchant, and that, because the merchant's livelihood depends on his
profits, Rebbi Yehudah authorizes him to retract even when his looses amount
to less than a sixth.
(d) We would normally rule like Rav Ashi, because he is a later Amora. But
not in this case - because Rav Nachman has the support of a Beraisa.
(a) The Tana rules that a purchaser who has been cheated - has the choice of
either demanding his money back or of claiming just the Ona'ah.
(b) This does not concur with Rebbi Nasan in the Beraisa (quoted on the
previous Amud), who holds 'Kanah u'Machzir Ona'ah'. Neither dos it appear to
concur with Rebbi Yehudah ha'Nasi there - because he gives the choice to
*the seller* who has been cheated, whereas the Tana of our Mishnah only says
that about *the purchaser*.
(c) Rebbi Elazar is at a loss to know who the author of our Mishnah is.
Rabah reconciles Rebbi Nasan in the Beraisa with our Mishnah by adding
'Ratzah' (the choice mentioned in the Mishnah) to his words.
(d) Rava establishes our Mishnah like Rebbi Yehudah ha'Nasi, and the
Beraisa, he says, simply complements the missing section in our Mishnah. Rav
Ashi proves this from our Mishnah - which begins by equating the purchaser
and the seller as regards Ona'ah, and then goes on to discuss only the
purchaser. That is why Rebbi in the Beraisa finishes what the Mishnah began.
(a) According to Rav, if Reuven sells Shimon an object adding 'al-M'nas
she'Ein Lecha Alai Ona'ah', his stipulation is void. According to Shmuel -
(b) We try and connect this Machlokes with the Machlokes Tana'im. Rebbi Meir
in a Beraisa, says that if a man betroths a woman 'al-M'nas she'Ein Lach
Alai She'er, K'sus ve'Ona'ah', his stipulation is void - because he is
'Masneh al Mah she'Kasuv ba'Torah' (his stipulation permits what the Torah
(c) Shmuel accepts the stipulation of 'She'er and K'sus' (food and
clothes) - because they are Mamon, and Mamon is subject to Mechilah.
(d) It seems that Rav holds like Rebbi Meir, and Shmuel, like Rebbi Yehudah.
However, we establish ...
1. ... Rav even like Rebbi Yehudah, who will agree in Rav's case - because
(unlike in the case of Kidushin, where the woman has been told in no
uncertain terms that she will not receive her due), the purchaser does not
know for sure that there will be Ona'ah, and is not therefore Mochel with a
2. ... Shmuel even like Rebbi Meir, who will agree in Shmuel's case -
because Rebbi Meir only forbids stipulating against the Torah when the
condition definitely goes against the Torah, but not in our case, where
there may not be any Ona'ah.
(a) Rav Anan qualifies Shmuel's ruling by making a distinction between
'al-M'nas she'Ein Lecha Alai Ona'ah', which is valid - and 'al-M'nas she'Ein
Bo Ona'ah, which is not ...
(b) ... because he is not stipulating, but making a claim which is simply
untrue (see Rashash).
(c) Consequently, the sale is void - because it is a case of Bitul Mekach.
(a) We learned in a Beraisa 'ha'Nosei ve'ha'Nosen ba'Amanah, ve'ha'Omer
la'Chavero al-M'nas she'Ein Lecha Alai Ona'ah, Ein Lo Alav Ona'ah'.
'ha'Nosei ve'ha'Nosen ba'Amanah' refers to a case -where Reuven gives Shimon
an object to sell on his behalf for whatever price he can obtain for it, the
money to be returned after a certain date, until when it is a loan (and he
pays him for his time and trouble).
(b) The Tana teaches us - that this transaction is not subject to Ona'ah
(i.e. Reuven cannot demand extra money because he thinks that Shimon sold it
for too low a price, and Shimon cannot demand a cut in the profits because
he thinks that he sold it for a higher price than it is really worth).
(c) The second case in the Beraisa poses a Kashya on Rav when it says
've'ha'Omer la'Chavero al-M'nas she'Ein Lecha Alai Ona'ah, Ein Lo Alav
Ona'ah' - since we concluded earlier that according to Rav, there is Ona'ah
(even according to Rebbi Yehudah, in which case the Beraisa has no author).
(d) Abaye answers the Kashya by reverting to the original proposition that
Rav holds like Rebbi Meir, and Shmuel, like Rebbi Yehudah (in which case the
author of the Beraisa will be Rebbi Yehudah, who always validates a monetary
condition, even if the stipulator does not know for certain that there is
(a) Rava abides by the alternative explanation (that Rav and Shmuel are not
subject to the opinions of Rebbi Meir and Rebbi Yehudah). He nevertheless
reconciles the Beraisa with Rav - who holds that even Rebbi Yehudah only
accepts a financial stipulation, when the stipulator actually specifies the
details (because then the second party, knowing that he is paying more (or
less) than the article is worth and is genuinely Mochel, but not by S'tam
[where he is not Mochel, because he doesn't know that he is overpaying)]),
as we learned in another Beraisa (and Rav's ruling refers to a case of
(b) This distinction applies - to the seller as well as to the purchaser.
(a) If Reuven gives Shimon two sets of wine ba'Amanah, one a good quality
wine and one of poor quality, the Tana of the Beraisa forbids him to
stipulate - that Shimon sells the bad quality wine ba'Amanah (in the shop,
bit by bit) and the good quality wine whole (to one purchaser [in order to
save himself from having to pay for Shimon's work in selling the other
barrel]), because that would constitute Ribis.
(b) He may stipulate - that either he sells both sets of wine ba'Amanah, or
that he sells them whole.
(c) And he is obligated to deduct ...
1. ... 'S'char Kataf' - for the transportation from his house to Shimon's
(d) And he is also obligated to pay him - the hotel fee, should that need
2. ... 'S'char Gamal' - which is the fee for hiring a camel for that
purpose, should that be necessary?
(a) There will be no problem regarding Ribis if Shimon does not receive part
of the profits - since Reuven already pays him for his work (as we explained
(b) Tzadru'i (people who sold canvas clothes), for example, would get paid -
on a scale of four Zuz per hundred, for their services.
(a) Our Mishnah now discusses the Shiur of Ona'ah regarding coins. There are
four Dinrim in a Sela, six Ma'ah in a Dinar - and two Pundiyonim in a Ma'ah.
(b) There are ...
1. ... two Isrin in a Pundiyon?
(c) According to Rebbi Meir, a deficient Sela is not considered Ona'ah up to
four Isrin (one Isar per Dinar) - which is one twenty-fourth.
2. ... and twenty-four in a Sela.
(d) It is not considered Ona'ah according to ...
1. ... Rebbi Yehudah - up to four Pundiyonos, a Pundiyon per Dinar (which
is one twelfth.
2. ... Rebbi Shimon - up to eight Pundiyonos, two Pundiyon per Dinar (which
is equivalent to one sixth).
(a) In town, the seller is permitted to retract up to the time it takes to
show the coin to a banker. The Shiur in the village is - until Erev Shabbos
(when he will have discovered the real value of the coin when purchasing
his Shabbos needs in the market).
(b) The Tana says - that the purchaser should accept a deficient coin which
the seller returns and which he recognizes - even after twelve months.
(c) He permits the owner to use the deficient coin to redeem Ma'aser Sheini.
(d) And when he permits its use on the grounds 've'Eino Choshesh, *she'Eino
Ela Nefesh Ra'ah'* (though the connection will be explained later), he
means - that someone who refuses to accept a coin on the grounds that it is
slightly deficient is 'a bad soul' (unduly fussy).