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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Bava Metzia 70



(a) When Rav Anan quoted Shmuel as saying that one may lend the money of Yesomim on interest - Rav Nachman objected on the grounds that Yesomim are not absolved from the prohibition of Ribis.

(b) In fact, he predicted that if this concession was followed through - the Yesomim would soon join their father in the grave.

(c) Rav Nachman ascertained what Shmuel really said - by asking Rav Anan to tell him exactly what happened (the details of the case that must have occured, and which he must have misconstrued).

(d) Rav Anan recalled - how Shmuel, when renting out the cauldron belonging to Mar Ukva's Yesomim to others, would weigh it both before and after the rental, and, in the event that its weight had decreased, he would charge them for 'Zula' (the depreciation, over and above the rental fee).

(a) What caused Rav Anan to think that this was Ribis was - the Kashya 'I Agra Lo Pagra ... ' (like we asked earlier), only here, since he charged them Zula too, it seemed that, unlike in the previous case, where he did not, it really was a loan, and therefore involved Ribis.

(b) Rav Nachman enlightened him however - informed him that, even though the Mekabel had to pay for the depreciation in weight, he did not have to pay for the general drop in price which followed that depreciation. That, the Yesomim accepted on themselves. Consequently, it was not a loan, and Ribis did not apply.

(c) Neither was this leniency restricted to Yesomim - but applied to all and sundry.

(a) Rav Chisda (or Rav Sheishes) is quoted as saying - that one is permitted to enter into Iska with the money belonging to Yesomim 'Karov li'S'char ve'Rachok me'Hefsed' - meaning that the Yesomim will receive half the gains, but that the Mekabel must bear the losses on his own (See also Shitah Mekubetzes quoting the Ritva).

(b) This is permitted - on the grounds that this is only Avak Ribis (de'Rabbanan [because it is effected by means of a business deal, and not directly throught the loan]), and the Chachamim did not decree on the money of Yesomim in such a case.

(c) The Beraisa describes someone who enters into an Iska with a Mekabel ...

1. ... 'Karov li'S'char ve'Rachok me'Hefsed' as - a Rasha.
2. ... 'Karov le'Hefsed ve'Rachok mi'Schar' as - a Chasid.
3. ... 'Karov la'Zeh ve'la'Zeh', or 'Rachok mi'Zeh u'mi'Zeh' as - a regular guy (see also Shitah Mekubetzes quoted earier).
(a) Rabah's objection to Rav Yosef's suggestion to place the money of Yesomim in Beis-Din and to feed it them Zuz by Zuz as the need arises - is how we can allow the money of Yesomim to fritter away like that.

(b) So Rabah suggests finding a man who owns scraps of gold, and entering into an Iska with him Karov li'S'char ve'Rachok le'Hefsed (for the Yesomim), using the scraps of gold as security.

(c) And he insists on scraps of gold (as opposed to minted coins) - to ensure that they are really his own (and not just in his safekeeping, in which ccase the owner might just come and claim them), since one does not generally hand over gold scraps for safekeeping.

(d) The problem with Rabah's suggestion is - there where we do not succeed in finding someone who owns scraps of gold, in which case we are back to square one.

(a) Rav Ashi therefore concludes that we find a man who is both reliable, and whose property is stable - who abides by the rulings of Beis-Din and who would not do things that would result in his being placed in Cherem (see Shitah Mekubetzes).

(b) And the appointment has to take place in front of Beis-Din - because they are empowered to declare the property of the Mekabel Hefker for the benefit of the Yesomim, and to stipulate 'Karov li'S'char ve'Rachok le'Hefsed.




(a) We have already discussed our Mishnah 'Ein Mekablin Tzon Barzel mi'Yisrael ... ' (cited earlier in a Beraisa). The Mishnah 'Ein Moshivin Chenvani le'Mechtzis S'char' that we learned above ought to obviate the need to learn this Mishnah - because if it is considered Ribis when the Mekabel accepts only half the responsibility, how much more so when he accepts it all.

(b) The Tana nevertheless sees fit to do so - in order to add 'Aval Mekablin Nechsei Tzon Barzel min ha'Akum'.

(c) The Isur of giving Ribis to and receiving Ribis from pertains neither to ...

1. ... a Nochri, nor to ...
2. ... a Ger Toshav (a Nochri who undertakes to keep all of his seven Mitzvos, on account of which he enjoys various privileges).
(a) The Beraisa states that the babies that are born to an animal of Tzon Barzel that a Jew is Mekabel from a Nochri - are not subject to the Dinim of a Bechor.

(b) When we say that 'they are not subject to the Dinim of Bechor', we mean - that should they subsequently give birth to a Bechor, it does not have Kedushas Bechor and need not be given to the Kohen.

(c) And this would certainly be the case regarding the firstborn of *a mother* that a Jew was Mekabel from a Nochri - since there, the entire animal belongs to the Nochri, and not just half.

(d) According to this Beraisa, the real owner of Tzon Barzel would appear to be - the owner (and not the Mekabel).

(a) Abaye resolve the apparent discrepancy with our Mishnah (which considers the Mekabel to be the real owner) - by establishing the Beraisa when the Mekabel did not accept 'Unsa ve'Zula' (whereas our Mishnah speaks when he did).

(b) The problem with Abaye's answer is - that if the owner accepted Unsa ve'Zula, how can the Tana refer to it as 'Tzon Barzel'?

(c) Rava therefore resolves the discrepancy, by exempting the mother and its offspring from the Bechorah (even if the Mekabel from a Nochri did accept Unsa ve'Zula) - due a special Din by Bechor, exempting a Jew from giving a Bechor to the Kohen whenever a Nochri is a part owner ('Yad Nochri be'Emtza').

(d) What makes the Nochri a part owner in this case - is the fact that, if the Jew has no money with which to pay him, he has the authority to claim the mother; and if the mother is not available, he can take the babies.

(a) The Pasuk in Mishlei, with reference to someone who enriches himself through Ribis, writes "le'Chonen Dalim Yikbetzenu'.
1. The "Chonen Dalim" refers to - Shavur Malka, King of Persia, who would claim the money of those Jews who lent on interest.
2. The "Dalim" refers to - the poor Persians, who were the recipients of his benevolence.
(b) Rav Nachman quoting Rav Huna, does not interpret the Pasuk in Mishlei with regard to one Jew who lends to another - but to a Jew who lends a Nochri on interest.

(c) Rava asked Rav Nachman from the Pasuk "la'Nochri Sashich" - which indicates that one may lend a Nochri on interest.

(d) He declined to learn the Pasuk literally (with regard to giving the Nochri interest) - because he interpreted it as a Mitzvah, and he saw no reason why the Torah should command a Jew to give interest to a Nochri.

(a) Rav Nachman replied - that the Pasuk must indeed be taken literally, that one should actually give a Nochri.

(b) Only the Torah's objective here, is not the Asei itself, but the inference ('Give a Nochri Ribis, but not your fellow-Jew!').

(c) Even though the Torah has already written "u'le'Achicha Lo Sashich", it nevertheless sees fit to add "la'Nochri Sashich" to add an Asei to the La'av (because an Asei that implies a La'av is an Asei).

(a) Our Mishnah explicitly permits lending to and borrowing from a Nochri on interest. To reconcile Rav Huna with our Mishnah ...
1. ... Rav Chiya B'rei de'Rav Huna establishes our Mishnah - by 'K'dei Chayav' (taking as much interest as he needs to live, but no more).
2. ... Ravina establishes it - by a Talmid-Chacham exclusively.
(b) The Rabbanan issued a prohibition to take Ribis from a Nochri ...
1. ... according to Rav Chiya B'rei de'Rav Huna - because one might be tempted to go on to take from Jews.
2. ... according to Ravina - because one might become too friendly with the Nochri, and go on to learn from his ways (which a Talmid-Chacham will not do).
(c) The Rabbanan - did not however, place a prohibition on borrowing *from* a Nochri on interest.
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