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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Bava Metzia 12

BAVA METZIA 11-17 - This study material has been produced with the help of the Israeli ministry of religious affairs.


(a) What will be the Din if Levi, after declaring a purse Hefker (to whoever acquired it first - see Tosfos DH 've'Yatza'), lobbed it into Reuven's house, and Shimon caught it before it landed? Who will own the purse?

(b) Rava asked what the Din will be if Levi threw the purse with force through one doorway of Reuven's house, and it passed through the opposite doorway and fell into the street.
Why might this case be different than the previous one?

(c) One of Rava's Talmidim asked him why he did not resolve this She'eilah from Rebbi Aba bar Kahana, who rules that in the case of Matanah, if a deer is running through Reuven's field, he will acquire it despite the fact that it is running too fast for him to catch.
What did Rava reply?

(a) What does the Tana say about a Metzi'ah that one's young child, Eved or Shifchah or wife finds?

(b) What is the source for this as regards one's ...

  1. ... young daughter?
  2. ... Eved or Shifchah?
  3. ... wife?
(c) The Metzi'ah of one's Eved Ivri and Amah Ivriyah belong to the finder. What does the Tana say about the Metzi'ah of one's divorced wife who has not yet received her Kesuvah?
(a) What reason does Shmuel give for the Takanas Chachamim that whatever a son finds belongs to his father?

(b) What do we extrapolate from Shmuel regarding the Torah law of what a Katan finds?

(c) We query this however from a Beraisa. What does the Tana Kama say with regard to one's son collecting Leket after his father in the case where someone hires ...

  1. ... a poor man to work in his field?
  2. ... a part owner of the crops (who is considered a rich man) to do the work?
(d) And what does Rebbi Yossi say?
(a) Shmuel rules there like Rebbi Yossi.
What problem does this create with his previous ruling regarding the Metzi'ah of a Katan?
Why would there be no problem if a Katan would be Koneh min ha'Torah?

(b) How do we reconcile Shmuel's two rulings?

(c) The Tana Kama in the Mishnah in Shevu'os holds that what a Katan finds is subject to theft because of Darkei Shalom.
What does Rebbi Yossi say?

(d) If, as Rav Chisda explains, Rebbi Yossi means 'Gezel Gamur mi'Divreihem', what is the difference between the Tana Kama and Rebbi Yossi?

(a) Based on Rav Chisda's interpretation of Rebbi Yossi (with which we assume, Shmuel concurs), what have we now proved from Shmuel's ruling (like Rebbi Yossi in the Beraisa) that contradicts his previous ruling?

(b) So Abaye compares the case of Rebbi Yossi in the Beraisa to a field through which Nemushos have already passed.
Who are the 'Nemushos'? What do Chazal say about them, and why?

(c) What does Abaye mean with his statement" What does our case of a child collecting after his father have to do with Nemushos?

(d) What objection does Rav Ada bar Masna raise to Abaye's explanation?

6) So how does Rava (who agrees that a Katan cannot acquire an article from Hefker) explain Rebbi Yossi's concession?

Answers to questions



(a) Rebbi Chiya bar Aba Amar Rebbi Yochanan argues with Shmuel.
How does Rebbi Yochanan interpret 'Gadol' and 'Katan' in our Mishnah?

(b) According to him, on what basis is ...

  1. ... a Katan who does not eat at his father's table permitted to keep the Metzi'os that he finds?
  2. ... even a Gadol who eats at his father's table obligated to hand whatever he finds to his father?
(a) What does the Tana of the Beraisa say regarding a worker who is employed to do whatever work his employer asks of him, and who picks up a Metzi'ah?

(b) How does Rebbi Chiya bar Aba Amar Rebbi Yochanan establish our Mishnah, which permits an Eved Ivri to keep the Metzi'os that he picks up, in order to reconcile our Mishnah with the Beraisa?

(c) Rava establishes the case when the Eved Ivri picked up the Metzi'ah in the course of his work.
How does that solve the problem?

(d) How does Rav Papa establish the Beraisa to reconcile it with our Mishnah?

(a) We also learned in our Mishnah that an Amah Ivriyah may also keep what she finds.
Why can the Tana not be referring to an Amah who is a Gedolah?

(b) If on the other hand, she is a Ketanah, what she finds goes to her father (who must compensate the master for any work-loss).
That being the case, in which case does the Tana of our Mishnah say that she may keep her Metzi'os?

(c) But did Resh Lakish not learn from a 'Kal va'Chomer' that an Amah Ivri'ah goes free with the death of her father?

(d) Is our Mishnah, which permits her to keep what she finds (and does not mention anything about her Metzi'os going to her father) a further disproof of Resh Lakish's ruling?

(a) The Tana of our Mishnah also rules that what a divorced woman finds belongs to her.
Why is that not obvious? How do we therefore establish the Mishnah?

(b) And the Chidush is based on a statement by Rebbi Zeira Amar Shmuel. What does he rule with regard to Mezonos in such a case?

(c) Then why does the woman not have to hand what she finds to her husband in exchange for her Mezonos (like she did when she was definitely married)?

(a) What distinction does Rebbi Meir in our Mishnah draw, in a case where someone finds a Sh'tar Chov, between whether the Sh'tar contains Acharayus Nechasim or not? What is 'Acharayus Nechasim'?

(b) What do the Chachamim say?

(c) What is the basis of their Machlokes?

(a) What would we have thought the Din would be if the debtor ...
  1. ... admits that the found Sh'tar with Acharayus is valid?
  2. ... denies that the found Sh'tar without Acharayus is forged?
(b) Then how does our Mishnah speak? Why do both Tana'im agree that a Sh'tar with Acharayus may not be returned?

(c) Why do we then not suspect every Sh'tar that comes before Beis-Din of being a Sh'tar Mukdam (post-dated)?

(d) The Mishnah in Bava Basra permits the debtor to write a Sh'tar Chov even without the lender being present.
Why is the Tana not afraid that he might write it in Nisan, and borrow the money only in Tishri?

Answers to questions

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