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Bava Metzia 109

BAVA METZIA 109-110 - anonymously dedicated by an Ohev Torah and Marbitz Torah in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel.



(a) The Tana of our Mishnah forbids someone who is Mekabel a field for less than seven years, to plant flax - because flax weakens the land more than other plants, and it takes seven years for the field to regain its strength.

(b) The Tana can only be speaking about Chakirus and not Kablanus - because by Kablanus, the Mekabel may plant whatever he wishes, since the owner shares in whatever grows.

(c) The Tana also forbids him to take 'be'Koros ha'Shikmah' - referring to the beams that one makes from the branches of a Shikmah (a non-fruit-bearing tree), which the Tana forbids, because once these branches have been cut off, it takes seven years for them to re-grow. Consequently, it is clear that the Koros ha'Shikmah were not included in the contract.

(d) If he received the field for seven years however - he may plant flax and he take the Koros ha'Shikmah.

(a) According to Abaye, even though, in the Reisha, the Mekabel cannot cut off the branches for beams, he does receive 'Sh'vach Shikmah', meaning - that should the tree grow fresh branches, the Mekabel will be entitled to claim the improvement from the owner?

(b) According to Rava however - he does not even take the Sh'vach Shikmah either.

(c) The Tana of a Beraisa states with regard to a Mekabel who leaves the field - 'Shamin Lo', which, according to Rava refers (not to the Sh'vach Shikmah, but) to - vegetables and beets.

(d) We need to assess the vegetables and beets - because the Tana is speaking when market day has not yet arrived, in which case there is no point in taking the actual vegetables.

(a) We learned in another Beraisa 'ha'Lokei'ach Sadeh me'Chaveiro ve'Higi'a Shevi'is, Shamin Lo'. We amend the Beraisa from 'Shevi'is' to 'Yovel' - because Shevi'is does not negate any transaction.

(b) We also amend 'ha'Lokei'ach' to 'ha'Mekabel', because even Yovel only negates a sale but not Kablanus. The reason for this is because the Torah writes "ve'ha'Aretz Lo Simacher li'Tzemisus", implying that Yovel only negates a permanent transaction, but not a temporary one.

(c) The assessment there cannot refer to vegetables and beets - because they are Hefker in the Yovel year.

(d) Abaye now reconciles the Beraisa with Rava (in whose opinion we do not normally assess the Sh'vach ha'Shikmah) - based on the Pasuk in Behar "ve'Yatz'a Mimkar Bayis", which teaches us that it is only the actual house (or field) that goes back to the owner in Yovel, but not the improvements.

(e) Neither can we learn the regular Din of Kablanus from there - because the obligation to return the land in the Yovel in the first place, is a 'Gezeiras ha'Kasuv' (so we cannot learn anything from the exceptions either).

(a) Date-palms grew in the field that Rav Papa had been Mekabel in order to plant Aspasta.

(b) When he claimed the Sh'vach, Rav Shisha B'rei de'Rav Idi asked him - whether he would also claim from the Sh'vach if a date-palm that had been there previously, grew in size.

(c) When Rav Papa replied 'Hasam La'av Ada'ata de'Hachi Nachis ... ', he meant - that he initially took over the field for whatever would grow in it, but not for side improvements.

(d) This does not mean that he holds like Abaye regarding the Din of Sh'vach Shikmah - because even Rava only denies the Mekabel the right to the Sh'vach Shikmah because it causes him no loss, whereas in this case, the date-palm grew in the space where he could have planted other things, causing him a loss.

(a) When Rav Shisha ruled that the owner should pay him for the Aspasta that he could have planted where the trees grew - he replied that he had intended to plant the finest crocuses (which were far more valuable than Aspasta) there.

(b) To which Rav Shisha B'rei de'Rav Idi replied - that he had now demonstrated that he was only interested in short-term gains, and not in more lasting ones (since he did not reply that he intended to plant date-palms). Consequently, he should take his crocuses and go ...

(c) ... by which he meant - that when he leaves, he should claim from the owner, the value of the date-palms to be used for firewood (instead of the value of the palms as fruit-trees).

(a) When Rav Bibi bar Abaye was Mekabel a field - he built a raised border around the field.

(b) When, upon leaving, he claimed from the Sh'vach of the sorb-trees that grew there - Rav Papi forbade to take it.

(c) This case differs from that of Rav Papa, whose claim of the Sh'vach of the tree that grew in the field of Kablanus was justified - inasmuch as unlike there, where the tree caused him a loss, here, the tree grew on the raised border that he had built around the field, and it was not customary to plant anything on that raised border.

(d) Rav Papi chided him that it is not because he came from Mula'i, that he should make such 'cut-off' claims. 'Mula'i' means - the family of Eli (who were 'cut-off', and destined to die before the age of twenty).

(a) When Rav Yosef Shasla (planter of vineyards) died leaving five sons-in-law, he was afraid - that working together, they would cause him a loss.

(b) So he tried to force them to leave by issuing them with an ultimatum based on a statement of Rav Yehudah (or Rav Huna or Rav Nachman), who said - that when a Shasla dies, one may send his Yesomim away without paying them Sh'vach.

(c) The ultimatum that he offered them was - that either they accept Sh'vach and leave, or he will send them away without Sh'vach.

(d) His ruling however - was not justified, because we do not rule like Rav Yehudah.

(a) When that Shasla stipulated that, if he suffered a loss (in spite of the overall gains) he would leave, and a loss subsequently occurred, Rav Yehudah interpreted his words to mean that he would leave without taking any of the Sh'vach. According to Rav Kahana however - that is not what he meant, and he was entitled to take the Sh'vach.

(b) Rav Kahana conceded however, that if he specifically said so, then he would go out without Sh'vach. Rava disagreed with him however, on the grounds - that it was an Asmachta, and, as we learned in 'Eizehu Neshech', 'Asmachta Lo Kanya'.

(c) There is no Kashya on Rava from the Mishnah earlier, 'Im Ovir ve'Lo A'avid, Ashalem be'Meitva' - because there he only has to pay the loss that he caused the owner, whereas here, he is losing all the Sh'vach (in fact, the Din here will be like the Din there; he will lose whatever loss he caused the owner, but receives the remainder of the Sh'vach).

(d) Runya, the Shasla of Ravina, caused Ravina a loss. Rava ...

1. ... ruled initially, when he complained that Ravina had terminated his contract - that Ravina had acted correctly.
2. ... replied, when Runya pointed out that he had received no warning - that due a ruling of Rava (which we will now discuss), no warning was necessary.



(a) Rava ruled - that a children's Rebbe, a Shochet, a Mohel (or a blood-letter) and the town barber (or the Sofer, as some commentaries explain) - must consider themselves warned in advance.

(b) He categorizes the mistake of a children's Rebbe as 'an error that cannot be rectified' - because of the principle 'Shabeshta, Keyvan de'Al Al' (once an error creeps into one's learning, it is difficult to erase).

(a) When that Shasla who had decided to go to Eretz Yisrael asked for the Sh'vach, Rava objected to Rav Papa bar Shmuel's instructions to the owner ...
1. ... to comply with his request on the grounds - that the land had as much hand in producing the Sh'vach as the Shasla (so why should the latter take all the Sh'vach).
2. ... to give him half the Sh'vach - because that was fine up to the time that he retracted, but from then on, the owner would have to pay Aris a third to look after the fruit, so why should the Shasla get paid in full (and the owner lose)?
(b) When Rav Ashi initially thought that a quarter means a quarter that is a sixth - he meant that after the Aris had taken his third (two Dinrim out of six Dinrim, for example), the Shasla would take a quarter of what was left (one Dinar), which is a sixth of the total Sh'vach.

(c) He cannot have meant literally a quarter, because of a statement of Rav Minyumi B'rei de'Rav Nechumi, who said - that when a Shasla wishes to withdraw, he receives his portion of the Sh'vach and leaves, in a way that the owner should not lose.

(d) This bears out Rav Ashi's explanation - because if a quarter meant a quarter of the total (one and a half Dinrim), then the owner would lose half a Dinar.

(a) Rav Acha B'rei de'Rav Yosef disagrees. He reconciles the Shasla taking literally a quarter, with the owner receiving his full half - by the Shasla telling the owner that he should hire an Aris for his own half, but that he (the Shasla) has a right to do as he wishes with his. Consequently, he tells the owner to take three quarters (four and a half Dinrim) of the Sh'vach, of which he must give one and a half to the Aris. He then sells him his own share for one and a half Dinrim, of which he must then give another half a Dinar to the Aris (See Maharsha). In this way, the owner receives his full half (free of charge), the Aris a third, and the Shasla a quarter of the total.

(b) When Rav Ashi replied 'Ki Matis li'Shechitas Kodshim Ta ve'Akshi Li', he meant - that Rav Acha B'rei de'Rav Yosef was sharp, and that he had to admit that he was right (though according to the Rif and many other commentaries, he was merely pushing him off, see Maharsha).

(c) We know that he was not rejecting his Kashya - because first of all, it was sound, and second of all, the Lashon 'Savar Rav Ashi' with which we introduced Rav Ashi's opinion, indicates that this was not the final conclusion.

(d) The Shasla receives from ...

1. ... a vine in a vineyard that has become too old to produce any more fruit - half, like a regular Shasla, because, seeing as it is a common occurrence, he goes down to the field with that in mind.
2. ... a vineyard that was swamped by a river that overflowed its banks (either uprooting the trees, or softening the soil, preventing it from producing more fruit for a long time to come) - receives only a quarter, like a Shasla who withdraws.
(a) In the case where a debtor gave his creditor an orchard for ten years, the trees were actually destined to stop producing fruit in five years time. Either it was a Mashkanta de'Sura, where the creditor eats the fruit for five years, after which time the field is returned to the debtor, and the debt declared closed, or it was a Mashkanta de'Nachyasa (from which one deducts from the debt as he eats, until the debt is paid in full.

(b) Abaye considered the trees Peiros - Rava considered it Keren. Consequently, they sold it, and with the proceeds, they were to purchase a plot of land, from which the creditor would eat the Peiros.

(c) The Beraisa discusses a case of 'Yavesh ha'Ilan O Niktzatz, Sheneihem Asurin Bo'. The Tana concludes 'Yimachru le'Eitzim, ve'Yilakach Bahem Karka, ve'Hu Ochel Peiros'?

(d) When we presume 'Yavesh Dumya de'Niktzatz', we mean - that just as the latter is performed in its time (since one does not normally cut down a fruit-tree whilst it still produces fruit, as we learned above), so is the former. Now according to Abaye, the trees are considered Peiros, so why do they need to be sold? Why can the creditor simply not take the wood?

(a) To answer the above Kashya - Abaye switches 'Yavesh Dumya de'Niktzatz' to 'Niktzatz Dumya de'Yavesh' which means that just as Yavesh happens prematurely (since one would normally cut it down as soon as it stops producing fruit, before it dries up), so too, does Niktzatz speak prematurely. And Abaye concedes that whatever is unforeseen, is not considered Peiros.

(b) The Beraisa rules that if a woman inherited old vines or olive-trees - they should be sold as firewood and land bought with the proceeds, for the husband to benefit from the Peiros.

(c) Since the trees were already old, it is clearly not a case of unforeseen benefits, yet the husband does not take them as they are - a proof for Rava (that old trees under all circumstances, are considered Keren (principle) and not Peiros.

(d) To reconcile Abaye with the Beraisa, we initially amend the Beraisa to read (not 'Zekeinim', but) 've'Hizkinu', that they aged prematurely, in which case Abaye agrees that they are not considered Peiros (as we already explained). Alternatively, we answer that the woman inherited the trees in someone else's field. Consequently - even if the trees are Peiros, the husband cannot take them, since he can only take Peiros, if he leaves some Keren, and whereas in our case, the land is the Keren, in that case, it is not.

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