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Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Bava Metzia 75



(a) The Tana of our Mishnah forbids borrowing a Kur of wheat to be repaid at the end of the season, if the owner does not have any wheat. He does however permit - Reuven to borrow a Sa'ah of wheat until his son comes home or until he finds the key, because at the end of the day, he does have wheat, and based on the fact that Ribis in cases of buying and selling, is purely mi'de'Rabbanan, Chazal did not decree Sa'ah be'Sa'ah, when the purchaser has the commodity.

(b) Hillel, in the Seifa, permits a woman to lend her friend a loaf of bread - only after converting the loan from wheat into money. Otherwise the price may rise, and she will be paying her friend Ribis.

(c) With reference to the Reisha of our Mishnah, Rav Huna permits someone who has one Sa'ah of wheat to borrow a Sa'ah of wheat; two Sa'ah, two Sa'ah. Rebbi Yitzchak - permits borrowing even many Kurim against the one Sa'ah that he has, seeing as each Sa'ah that he borrows, is borrowed be'Heter. And this in turn is based on the fact that the borrower retains his original Sa'ah. Note, that according to this S'vara, he will only be permitted to borrow it in individual measures that do not exceed the amount that he has (see Tosfos DH 've'Leis').

(d) Rebbi Chiya cites a Beraisa 'Tipas Yayin Ein Lo, Tipas Shemen Ein Lo' (explaining the reasoning behind the prohibition in the Mishnah). This implies - that if he has one drop of wine or oil, he may borrow as much as he wishes against it, proving Rebbi Yitzchak right.

(a) We already cited Hillel, who permits a woman to lend her friend a loaf of bread - only after converting the loan from wheat into money (because of the possibility of Ribis). The Chachamim in a Beraisa - permit it anyway.

(b) The Halachah is like the Chachamim - in spite of Rav Nachman Amar Shmuel, who rules like Hillel.

(a) According to Rav Yehudah Amar Shmuel, a group of people who are fussy with other, are bound to transgress 'Midah, Mishkal and Minyan' - by measuring, weighing and counting on Shabbos and Yom-Tov (even in ways that Chazal forbade [see Tosfos DH 'Mishum']).

(b) The other Rabbinical decree that they will inevitably contravene is that of borrowing and paying back loans on Yom-Tov (see Tosfos DH 'u'Mishum').

(c) And according to Hillel, they will be able to add the sin of - Ribis to their list of achievements (see Tosfos DH 'u'che'Divrei').

(a) At the other end of the scale, Rav Yehudah Amar Shmuel allows Talmidei-Chachamim - to lend each other on interest, because, knowing what a terrible sin Ribis is, it is obvious that the extra amount that they pay the creditor is in the form of a gift, and not as Ribis.

(b) Almost as if to prove his point, Shmuel asked Avuhah bar Ihi - to lend him a hundred peppers for a hundred and twenty.

(c) When Shmuel said 've'Arich', he meant - that it is in order to do this.

(d) We repudiate Rav Yehudah Amar Shmuel's statement, permitting a person to lend his family on interest, to teach them what a terrible thing it is to have to pay interest) - on the grounds that they (or the Balabos himself) will become attracted to Ribis, and will go on to take Ribis from others.




(a) Our Mishnah permits Reuven to say to Shimon 'Weed with me today, and I will weed with you tomorrow', or 'Dig with me and I will dig with you tomorrow'. He is not however, allowed to say - 'Plow with me today and I will weed with you tomorrow (in case the one turns out to be more difficult than the other, in which case, one of them will transgress the La'av of Ribis).

(b) The Tana says 'All the days of G'rid are considered as one and all the days of Revi'ah are considered as one'. The days of ...

1. ... 'G'rid' refers - to the summer, when the earth is *dry* (which is what the word 'G'rid' means).
2. ... 'Revi'ah' refers - to the winter, when the rain waters the earth.
(c) What the Tana means by this statement is - that since both days occur in the same season, and are similar regarding the work involved, we do not contend with the fact that one of them is slightly longer than the other, and consider it Ribis.

(d) Reuven may not however - ask Shimon to plow with him in the summer and he will repay him by plowing with him in the winter.

(a) Raban Gamliel introduces the concept of Ribis Mukdemes and Ribis Me'ucheres, and Rebbi Shimon, that of Ribis Devarim. Ribis ...
1. ... Mukdemes is - a gift that Reuven sends Shimon specifically so that Shimon should lend him money.
2. ... Me'ucheres is - a gift that he sends him specifically because he lent him money.
3. ... Devarim is - when the creditor asks the debtor to find out information on his behalf in exchange for having lent him money.
(b) Rebbi Shimon in a Beraisa learns Ribis Devarim - from the Pasuk in Re'ei "Lo Sashich ... Neshech Kol *Davar* Asher Yishoch".

(c) The Tana Kama lists those who transgress the various La'avin connected with Ribis. To the creditor and the debtor, he adds - the guarantor and the witnesses.

(d) And the Chachamim add - the Sofer to his list.

(a) Our Mishnah lists - five La'ain all in all ("es Kaspecha Lo Siten Lo be'Neshech" [Behar]; "Al Tikach mi'Ito Neshech" [ibid.]; "Lo Sih'yeh Lo ke'Nosheh" and "Lo Sesimun Alav Neshech" [Mishpatim], and "Lifnei Iver Lo Siten Michshol" [Kedoshim].

(b) If the Creditor transgresses all five La'avin, the two La'avin which the debtor too transgress, are "Lo Sashich" and "Lifnei Iver"?

(c) The creditor transgresses "Lo Sashich" - at the time that he lends the debtor the money on interest.

(d) The guarantor and the witnesses transgress - "Lo Sesimun Alav Neshech" (see also Tosfos DH 'Areiv').

(a) When Rebbi Shimon says that those who lend on interest lose more than they gain, he is referring to what we learned earlier - that those who lend on interest lose all their property.

(b) He also quotes them as saying - that Moshe was 'a Chacham' and that his Torah is 'true' (meant sarcastically), and that, had he known how much there is to be gained by lending one's money on interest, he would never have forbidden it.

(a) Rav Dimi learns from the Pasuk "Lo Sih'yeh Lo ke'Nosheh" - that a creditor who knows that his debtor has no money with which to pay, may not walk in front of him (because his very presence places pressure on the debtor, and causes him to feel embarrassed).

(b) Rebbi Ami and Rebbi Asi learn from the Pasuk "Hirkavta Enosh le'Rosheinu, Ba'nu ba'Eish u'va'Mayim" - that based on the fact that "le'Rosheinu" is from the root 'Rashya' (which means creditor), a debtor who goes through that experience feels as if he has gone through fire and water.

(c) Rav Yehudah Amar Shmuel says that someone who lends money without witnesses in attendance - transgresses the La'av "Lifnei Iver Lo Siten Michshol" (because this encourages the debtor to deny having borrowed the money).

(d) Resh Lakish learns in this regard from the Pasuk in Tehilim "Te'alamnah Sifsei Sheker ha'Dovros al Tzadik Asak" - that he also brings a curse upon himself (because, when he claims his debt, and the debtor refuses, people will accuse him of being a scoundrel for claiming money from a man who owes him nothing, and curse him for it.

(a) The people attributed to Ravina the characteristic - of fulfilling whatever the Rabbanan ordained.

(b) Rav Ashi put him to the test one Erev Shabbos late afternoon - by asking him for a loan of ten Zuz with which to purchase a small plot of land that had suddenly become available.

(c) Ravina responded - by asking Rav Ashi to bring two witnesses.

(d) And when Rav Ashi asked him whether it was really necessary to look for witnesses even though *he*, Rav Ashi, was the other party, he replied - that, if anything, the fact that Rav Ashi was a Talmid-Chacham who was immersed in his learning (and who was therefore more likely to forget than others) increased the need to do so.

(a) A creditor who lends money without witnesses in attendance is one of the three people who cry out to Hashem in vain when they are in trouble. The second one is someone who acquires a master for himself, and the third - someone whose wife rules over him (see Hagahos Ya'avetz).

(b) One interpretation of 'Koneh Adon le'Atzmo' is someone who (in order to avoid becoming known as a rich man) claims that his money really belongs to P'loni Nochri. He might later need to cry out to Hashem, when the Nochri takes hid statement seriously, and claims that his property belongs to him.

(c) An alternative explanation (also to do with finances) is - someone who writes his property out to his children in his lifetime (they too, might go on to claim that the property is theirs).

(d) The third explanation of 'Koneh Adon le'Atzmo' is - someone who remains in his town of residence, despite major problems which are local, and which could be alleviated by moving (see Agados Maharsha).

***** Hadran Alach Eizehu Neshech *****

***** Perek ha'Socher es ha'Umnin *****


(a) The Mishnah states that workers who tricked each other - have nothing against each other than complaints (i.e. but no monetary claim).

(b) The Tana also rules that if someone hired a wagon-driver or a potter to bring Chupah-poles for a wedding or flutes for a funeral dirge, and the man left him in the lurch, 'Socher Aleihen O Mata'an'. 'Socher Aleihen' means - that he has the authority to hire other workers to finish the job, at whatever price, and the first workers are obligated to pay the difference.

(c) We apply the ruling 'Socher Aleihen O Mata'an' - whenever the workers retract, leaving the job half done, and unless it is completed immediately, it will result in a loss.

(d) The third example of loss that the Tana adds to the wagon-driver and the potter is - workers that one hired to fetch one's flax from where they are soaking, since this too, involves a loss (because the soaked flax gets spoiled unless it is washed immediately).

(a) The Tana rules that a contractor who retracts from a contract has the under hand. The two connotations ... 1. ... of this ruling are - a. that if the hirer can only find workers who will complete the job at a higher price, then he is entitled to withhold the difference from the first set of workers, in order to pay the second set; and b. that if the price of workers drops, he only needs to pay the first workers half of what he promised them (and not the difference between what he now pays the second workers and what he originally promised them [in other words, he gains on the deal, and not they]).

(b) The connotations of the ruling that if the hirer retracts, then *he* has the under hand are - that he must pay them what he promised (according to the work that they performed, but if the price of workers dropped, then he must pay them the difference (so that they are the ones to gain, and not he).

(c) The Mishnah concludes with two principles. One of them is 'Kol ha'Meshaneh, Yado al ha'Tachtonah', the other 'Kol ha'Chozer Bo, Yado al ha'Tachtonah'.

(d) 'Kol ha'Meshaneh, Yado al ha'Tachtonah' refers, for example, to - someone who gave a coat to a dyer to dye red and he dyed it black.

(e) 'Yado al ha'Tachtonah' in this context means - that the dyer receives whichever is less of the expenses and the improvement.

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