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Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Bava Metzia 68

BAVA METZIA 68 (16 Shevat) - dedicated by Gitle Bekelnitzky in loving memory of Leah bas Mordechai Dovid and Chasya (Bikelnitzky), mother of her late husband, Simcha Bekelnitzky, for the 41st Yahrzeit



(a) The elders of Masa Mechsaya told Rav Ashi that the duration of a S'tam Mashkanta is one year - which means that, even be'Asra de'Mesalki, the borrower is not allowed to redeem it before that year has elapsed.

(b) They also told him that the acronym of 'Mashkanta' is - 'de'Shachna Gabei', meaning that the creditor is the closest neighbor of that field.

(c) The ramifications of that statement are - that should the debtor subsequently decide to sell it, the Din of Bar Metzra applies to it, and the creditor must be given the first option of purchase.

(a) Rava declared the Tarsha of Rav Papa invalid (as we learned above). He also declared the Sh'taros of Mechuza and the Chakiros of the Narsha'a invalid too. The case of the Sh'taros of Mechuza is - that Reuven would purchase goods from Ba'alei-Batim and give it to merchants to take to market, sell at a profit, when they would split the profits. Only Reuven would assess the profit in advance, and write out a Sh'tar to the effect that the merchant owed him half the principle plus profit.

(b) The problem with that is - that sometimes that profit did not materialize, in which case when Reuven would nevertheless claim it, he would be claiming Ribis.

(c) Mar bar Ameimar told Rav Ashi that his father use to do just that. To eliminate the element of Ribis however - he would accept the merchants' word when they claimed that there was no profit, and subsequently waive his own claim.

(d) Rav Ashi pointed out, that this leniency would not extend to Ameimar's children (or to anybody else for that matter) - because that may have been the way of Ameimar, who was a Chasid; but what would happen if Ameimar were to die, and the Sh'tar would fall into the hands of his heirs. They might not be as gracious as their father, and claim the amount written on the Sh'tar, despite the merchants' protestations.

(e) We cite here the Pasuk "ki'Shegagah ha'Yotzeis Milifnei ha'Shalit"- because no sooner had Rav Ashi made his point than Ameimar died.

(a) The case of the Chakiros of the Narsha'a is - that the creditor would take a field as a Mashkon from the debtor, which he would then rent back to him in the form of Chakiros (to pay a fixed rental annually, whether the field produces or not).

(b) The problem with this is - that he is using the debtor's field (which he has not really acquired) to make easy money from the debtor himself (a clear-cut case of Ribis Ketzutzah); and what's more, he receives his rental, irrespective of whether the field produces fruit or not.

(c) We think that 'nowadays', the problem has been circumvented. This is because they added to the Sh'tar - that the debtor had been Makneh the field to the creditor, who had first eaten the fruit be'Nachyasa before the debtor rented it back, though we would only rely on this Heter because of 'Ne'ilas De'les' (to encourage the creditors to overcome their fear of not retrieving their money, and to lend out money to those who need it).

(d) We nevertheless conclude 've'La'av Milsa Hi' - because even nowadays, it is considered Ribis Ketzutzah (though, according to the Rosh, Rashi really means that it looks like Ribis), seeing as he gets paid even if the field does not produce anything.

(a) 'Iska' is - where Reuven gives goods to a storekeeper to sell at a profit, which they will later share.

(b) It is forbidden - because the storekeeper accepts Acharayus for half the principle, rendering him a borrower on that half, and a Shomer on the other half. This means that he is looking after the owner's half because of the loan of his half, which constitutes Ribis.

(c) Iska will be permitted however, if the owner pays the storekeeper for the trouble of looking after his half, like a worker (which will be explained shortly).

(d) Our Mishnah presents two cases, one of them 'Ein Moshivin Chenvani le'Mechtzis S'char' (which is the case we just described). The other case is - 've'Lo Yiten Ma'os Li'kach Bahen Peiros le'Mechtzis Schar'.

(a) 'Ein Moshivin Tarnegolin le'Mechtzah, ve'Ein Shamin Agalim ve'Sayachin le'Mechtzah'.
1. '(Ein) Moshivin Tarnegolin le'Mechtzah' means - that Reuven pays Shimon (who rears chickens) money for eggs, which he then places underneath chickens to hatch. Here too, they will share the proceeds when the chicks grow into chickens, and Shimon accepts half the Acharayus of the eggs.
2. '(Ein) Shamin Agalim ve'Sayachin le'Mechtzah' means - that Reuven, after assessing the current value of Shimon's calves and fillies, pays him money to raise them, to share the profits when they turn into cows and horses (under the same circumstances as the previous case).
(b) The previous case will be permitted - if Reuven gives Shimon the money and stipulates that they divide the calves and foals when they have reached one third of their growth, without making a prior assessment.

(c) If, instead of calves and fillies, Reuven paid Shimon to raise baby donkeys - he would stipulate that they would divide the proceeds when they reach the stage that they are able to carry.




(a) We learned in the Reisha of our Mishnah that the owner of the goods is obligated to pay the storekeeper like a worker. The Beraisa interprets this to mean like a Po'el Bateil. Abaye explains Po'el Bateil to mean - how much a person who normally worked much harder than this, would be willing to accept to be idle from his work, and to do this work instead.

(b) Having taught us this in the case of ...

1. ... 'Ein Moshivin Chenvani ... ', the Tana nevertheless found it necessary to add the case of 've'Lo Yiten Ma'os Li'kach Bahen Peiros' - because it involves harder work, and we might have thought that paying him like a Po'el Bateil will not suffice to counter the Ribis.
2. ... 've'Lo Yiten Ma'os Li'kach Bahen Peiros', the Tana needed to add the case of 'Ein Moshivin Chenvani ... ' - because we might otherwise have thought that since it entails less work, a token payment such as dipping his food into fish-juice or eating one dried fig with him would suffice.
(c) The Beraisa cites three opinions with regard to how to pay in the case of 'le'Mechtzis S'char. Rebbi Meir says whether a lot or a little; Rebbi Yehudah says even if he only dipped his food into fish-juice or ate a fig with him it will suffice. The more lenient of the two is - Rebbi Yehudah, who does not require a fixed wage (like Rebbi Meir does), only that the storekeeper or the Mekabel derives some benefit from the owner.

(d) The third opinion - that of Rebbi Shimon (bar Yochai), who says that he must 'give him his full wage', is the author of our Mishnah.

(a) The Tana Kama of a Beraisa forbids Shuma (assessing) for Mechtzis S'char any animal that needs to be fed but does not work (to pay for its food and care) - such as a cow which can be used for plowing and a donkey, for carrying loads.

(b) Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Yehudah permits Shuma by ...

1. ... goats - because they produce milk.
2. ... sheep - because they provide the Mekabel with wool in the shearing season, as well as the Shotfos and Mortos (what the water washes off whenever they cross a river, and what gets caught on the brambles as they walk past bushes).
3. ... chickens - because they produce eggs daily.
(c) We ask how the Tana Kama can possibly argue with the fact that the wool and the milk (should the owner be willing to forego his half) are sufficient to dispel the Ribis, and we answer - that the Tana Kama is referring (not to the regular shearings and milk, but) to the whey (of the milk) and the Shotfos and Mortos.


1. The Tana Kama - concurs with Rebbi Shimon (who requires the Mekabel to receive full wages), whereas ...
2. ... Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Yehudah - concurs with his father, who considers a minimal benefit sufficient.
(a) The Tana - permits a woman to rent her chicken to her friend for two chicks (out of the revenue)?

(b) In the same Beraisa, Rebbi Shimon forbids a woman to enter into an agreement whereby she places her friend's eggs under her chickens, to divide the chicks that are hatched. Despite the fact that the owner of the eggs is not paying for the trouble and the chicken-fodder, Rebbi Yehudah permits it - because there is the odd egg that cannot hatch, which the Mekabel takes.

(c) Rebbi Shimon and Rebbi Yehudah - follow their own respective opinions discussed above.

(a) The Tana Kama requires the owner to pay the Mekabel S'char Katef where it is the Minhag to do so. S'char Katef is - paying the Mekabel for the trouble of having to carry the calf or the filly in and out on his shoulders.

(b) Raban Shimon ben Gamliel absolves him from paying S'char Katef for a calf or a filly (even where it is customary to do so when the mother is not present), if he is dealing with its mother, too - because then, the young animal usually follows its mother on its own.

(c) Raban Shimon ben Gamliel will explain that the trouble (for the occasions when it does not follow its mother) and food (failing which constitutes Ribis) - are paid for by the droppings left by the animal, which the Mekabel takes (see also Tosfos DH 've'Raban Shimon ben Gamliel'), because Raban Shimon ben Gamliel too, holds like Rebbi Yehudah.

(d) The Tana Kama will counter this - by pointing out that the owner tends to consider the droppings Hefker (in which case it cannot be considered a payment from him to the Mekabel).

10) Rav Nachman (in what seems to be a ruling) declared - 'Halachah ke'Rebbi Yehudah, ve'Halachah ke'Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Yehudah, ve'Halachah ke'Raban Shimon ben Gamliel'.

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