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Bava Metzia 52

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 Nishmaso.



(a) Our Mishnah gives the Shiur of a deficient Sela as *not* constituting Ona'ah - because our Tana begins with a whole coin, working his way down the scale to inform us (exclusively) up to how much a slightly deficient coin is not considered Ona'ah; whereas the Tana of the Beraisa begins with a fully deficient coin, and works its way up the scale to inform us (inclusively) up to which point a badly deficient is Ona'ah. In fact, the deficient coin in question is Ona'ah.

(b) The apparent discrepancy between our Mishnah and the Mishnah which discusses the Shiur of Ona'ah by an object is - that the Tana'im in our Mishnah argue over the Shiur Ona'ah of a coin, whereas in the Mishnah regarding an object, the Shiur is given S'tam as a sixth without a Machlokes.

(c) Rabah establishes the author of the latter as Rebbi Shimon. Abaye reconciles the two Mishnahs, even if the author of that Mishnah is Rebbi Meir or Rebbi Yehudah - by differentiating between a deficient *coin*, which cannot be spent so readily, and which one is therefore not so easily Mochel, and a Talis, which is useful, and for which one is sometimes prepared to pay more (even though for food one would not do so [see Tosfos DH 'Ashik le'Gabach']).

(d) The adage 'Ashik le'Gabach, ve'Shavi li'K'reisach' means - 'Pay more for your back (clothes), but only the value for your stomach (food)'.

(a) One assesses a slightly deficient coin that is not subject to Ona'ah - at its full value (as if it was whole).

(b) One may no longer retain a deficient Sela - once it weighs less than a Shekel (i.e. less than half its weight and half its size).

(c) The reason for the difference between a deficient Sela that is the size of a Shekel and one that is less is - because as long as it is the equivalent of a Shekel, people will recognize it as a deficient Sela (since it is too thick to be mistaken for a Shekel; whereas once it reaches less than that, they will take it to be a Shekel (which is not its legal tender).

(a) The Beraisa permits retaining a Dinar until it reaches a quarter. Abaye interprets this as a quarter of a Shekel (and not of a Dinar) - because there is no reason to differentiate between the Shiur of a deficient Sela and that of a deficient Dinar. Note, that the half-Dinar is sometimes known as a Sela Medinah.

(b) Rava extrapolates this from the word 'Rova' - which implies a quarter of a Shekel (see Tosfos DH 've'Lo'), whereas Revi'a would have meant a quarter of a Dinar, since that is the coin in question.

(c) The Tana finds it necessary to present the deficient Dinar as a fraction of a Shekel - to teach us that a worn-down Shekel can become a Dinar.

(d) This concurs with a statement of Rebbi Ami ...

1. ... who permits one to retain a Dinar that comes from a Shekel.
2. ... but not one that comes from a Sela.
(a) With a coin that has reached the stage of 'Kedei Ona'ah' - one can do nothing other than make a hole in it and use it as a necklace for one's son or daughter.

(b) One may not however, sell it to a merchant, to a Charam or to a Harag - because they are likely to cheat others with it, presenting it to them at its full value (the latter two because even if people are aware of the fact that they are being cheated, they will be too scared to refuse.

(c) A Harag is a murderer. 'A Charam' is - an Anas (someone who uses strong-arm tactics to force people to enter into a transaction with him.

(a) The Beraisa adds 'Pachos mi'Ch'dei Isar, Asur'. This cannot mean that if a Sela depreciated to more than an Isar less than a Shekel, or a Dinar to more than an Isar less than half a Dinar - because we just learned that the moment the Sela depreciates to less than a Shekel, or the Dinar to less than half a Dinar (even by the smallest fraction), the owner may no longer retain it.

(b) So Abaye establishes the Beraisa when it depreciated to an Isar more than K'dei Ona'ah (according to the respective opinions of Rebbi Meir and Rebbi Yehudah), and the Beraisa is coming to teach us - that he is not permitted to spend it at its full value (see Tosfos DH 'Amar Abaye').

(c) The problem Rava has with this explanation is - that this too is forbidden the moment it reaches even a fraction over Yoser mi'Ch'dei Ona'ah.

(d) So Rava explains - that the Beraisa is coming to teach us that if the Sela deteriorated by an Isar per Dinar it is forbidden (a S'tam Beraisa like Rebbi Meir).

(a) Another Beraisa states that if one designated a depreciated Sela to use as a weight it becomes subject to Tum'ah - because whereas money is not subject to Tum'ah, Keilim are.

(b) As long as it depreciated up to two Dinrim and no more, the owner is permitted to keep it, as we learned earlier. Should it depreciate further - he must cut it in half (to prevent it from being mistaken for a Shekel coin).

(c) According to Rav Huna, should it depreciate less than that, he also cuts it in half. Rebbi Ami maintains - that he may keep it.




(a) We learned in the Beraisa on the previous Amud, 'Yeser al Kein Mochrah be'Shavyah' which Rav Huna interprets to mean - that if it has not yet depreciated to the amount of K'dei Ona'ah (according to the respective opinions of the Tana'im in our Mishnah), he may sell it according to its current value (but not at its full price).

(b) The same Tana continues 'Ad Kamah Tipaches vi'Yehei Rashai le'Kaymah? be'Sela ad Shekel'. According to Rav Huna, it would indeed become forbidden to retain before it reached the Shiur of a Shekel - had it depreciated bit by bit. But the Beraisa is speaking when it fell into the fire and depreciated all at once.

(c) Another Beraisa forbids using a forbidden coin as a weight or throwing it on to the pile of broken silver vessels - or using it to make a necklace for his son or daughter.

(d) Besides grinding it down or cutting it up - he can also melt it down or throw it into the Salt Sea.

8) Rebbi Elazar (who, according to some, is quoted by Rav Huna) reconciles the latter Beraisa with the Beraisa that we learned earlier, permitting the use of such a coin as a necklace for one's son or daughter - by establishing the current Beraisa when he bored the hole at the side, making it possible to file down the hole and re-use it as a coin, whereas the earlier Beraisa speaks when he bored the hole in the middle.


(a) The problem with the earlier Mishnah, which gives the purchaser time to show the article to a merchant to retract - is that the Tana does not seem to allow him the extended time of Erev Shabbos for villagers, like it does in the current Mishnah.

(b) Abaye establishes that Mishnah by a Tallis in a town. A Tallis in a village - will have the same Din as that of a coin, as recorded in the current Mishnah.

(c) Rava learns the earlier Mishnah as we learned it until now. He does not differentiate by a Tallis between a town and a village - because, he says, every merchant and many other people know the price of a Tallis (so nobody ever needs to wait for Friday to find out the price), whereas when it comes to coins, outside the market, it is only bankers who have that expertise.

(a) We learned in our Mishnah that if the purchaser recognized the coin then he should accept it even after twelve months. The problem with this statement is - that we just ruled that one either has the time it takes to show a banker or until Erev Shabbos to retract, but no longer.

(b) Rav Chisda therefore explains that our Mishnah comes to teach Midas Chasidus (that it is a good thing to return it, but not that he is obligated to do so). The problem with this from the Seifa 'Ein Lo Alav Ela Tar'umos' now is - who has the complaints? The Chasid! It is better not to practice Midas Chasidus and not to have complaints (which will only cause him to give his fellow Jew a bad name). The one whose coin the Chasid accepted! Why in earth should he want to complain.

(c) What the Tana therefore means is - that the latter would have complaints if he were dealing with someone who was not a Chasid, and who refused to accept the coins after the allotted time period had elapsed.

(a) Rav Papa extrapolates from our Mishnah, which talks about a Nefesh Ra'ah - that this is the title that a person who is fussy not to accept a slightly imperfect coin (provided it can be used as currency) earns for himself.

(b) This corroborates Chizkiyah, who says 'Ba le'Portah Partah be'Shavyah. Ba le'Chalelah, Mechalelah be'Yafah'. 'Ba le'Portah Partah be'Shavya' means - that if someone wishes to transfer a deficient Sela of Ma'aser Sheini into P'rutos in Yerushalayim, in order to purchase his day to day needs, he must asses it according to its current value (and not as if it was a perfect coin).

(c) This cannot be an intrinsic Chidush - because we already know it from the Beraisa that we cited on top of the Amud.

(d) Chizkiyah is coming to each us - that in spite of that, should he come to redeem Ma'aser Sheini with an imperfect Sela of Chulin, he assesses it according to its full value.

(a) When we ask 'Lemeimra de'Savar Chizkiyah de'Mezalzelin be'Ma'aser Sheini', we mean - that ir seems from here that we redeem Ma'aser for the exact cost of the Ma'aser (even a little less in this case, since we are redeeming it on the full value of a deficient coin).

(b) Chizkiyah says - that one redeems Ma'aser Sheini that is worth less than a P'rutah on an old coin that he has already used to redeem other Ma'aser of his.

(c) And he concludes 'le'Fi she'I Efshar le'Adam le'Tzamtzem Ma'osav' - by which he means that the owner can safely rely that some of the coin remains free to redeem with because a person would not finish the coin completely, for fear that he will pay too little and the Ma'aser will remain unredeemed. But this clashes with what he said earlier, that the owner even redeems for less than the price.

(d) To reconcile the two statements of Chizkiyah, we now explain 'Mechalehah be'Yafah' to mean - that just as in his first statement, he requires the Sela of Ma'aser to be assessed according to its current value, so too in the case of someone who wishes to redeem Ma'aser Sheini with a Sela that is Chulin, he redeems it for its current value.

13) And when we say 'T'rei Zilzulei Lo Mezalzelinan', we mean - that although we have already been Mezalzel the Ma'aser once, by accepting a deficient coin as a coin (and not considering it as an Asimon), we are not Mezalzel it a second time, by considering the coin to be a perfect one. Note, having just concluded that Chizkiyah anyway holds 'Lo Mezalzelinan', it is unclear why we need to say this. Rabbi Kornfeld Sh'lita explained that we need to say it, to explain Chizkiyah's Chidush, which would otherwise be obvious. Nevertheless, the Lashon appears misleading.

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