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Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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Bava Kama 98


(a) Question (Rava): Reuven lent Shimon in a coinage, and they increased the (weight of) the coins - what is the law?
(b) Answer (Rav Chisda): He must return coins that are accepted now.
(c) Question (Rava): Even if the new coins are much bigger?
(d) Answer (Rav Chisda): Yes.
(e) Question: But these coins can buy more food (this is usury)!
(f) Answer #1 (Rav Ashi): If they buy more because they are bigger, he only returns coins with the same purchasing power; if the price of food has declined, he returns the same monetary amount, even though it can buy more.
(g) Question: But the new coins have more weight (they are worth more to be melted down)!
(h) Answer #2: A case occurred; Rav Papa and Rav Huna brei d'Rav Yehoshua checked with a moneychanger, and found that 8 new coins equal 10 old coins (which were lent);
1. [Version #1 (Rashi): They ruled that 8 new coins must be returned. (Had they added less to the coins, the same number lent would be returned.)]
2. [Version #1 (R. Chananel, brought in Tosfos): They ruled that 10 new coins must be returned. (Had they added more to the coins, only the same weight of metal lent would be returned.)
(a) (Rabah): Reuven threw Shimon's coin into the sea - he is exempt.
(b) Question: Why is this?
(c) Answer: The coin is there, it can be retrieved.
1. This is only if the water is clear, so the coin can be seen; if the water is cloudy, he is liable.
2. This is only if he knocked Shimon's hand - but if he took the coin and threw it, he stole it, and he must return the coin to Shimon.
(d) Question (Rava - Mishnah): One may not redeem (Ma'aser Sheni) on coins not in his jurisdiction;
1. If he had coins in a far away place (with no safe way to get there), or if his coins fell into the sea, they may not be used.
(e) Answer (Rabah): Regarding redemption of Ma'aser, the coins must be available to him - "You will bind the money in your hand". (But normally, money on the sea floor is not considered lost.)
(f) (Rabah): Reuven rubbed out the writing or picture on Shimon's coin - he is exempt.
(g) Question: Why is this?
(h) Answer: He did not do (take away) anything!
1. This is only if he pounded it with a hammer - but if he filed it smooth, he removed some of the metal, he is liable.
(i) Question (Rava - Beraisa): A master hit his slave on his eye, blinding the eye; or, on his ear, deafening the ear - the slave goes free (even though nothing is missing)!
1. If he hit him near the eye or ear, and he cannot see or hear, he does not go free.
(j) Answer: Rabah holds that one who deafens his father is killed, because certainly he made a wound, a drop of blood fell in his ear (there is a loss).
(k) (Rabah): Reuven made a groove in the ear of Shimon's cow (disqualifying it from being a sacrifice) - he is exempt.
(l) Question: Why is this?
(m) Answer: The cow is fine; not all cows are reserved to be sacrificed.
(a) Question (Rava - Beraisa): Reuven did work with Shimon's red heifer, or with his water standing to be sanctified with ashes of a red heifer (which disqualifies them) - Beis Din cannot make him pay, but Hash-m holds him accountable.
1. He is only exempt for work, for this is not noticeable - but a notch in the ear is noticeable, Beis Din makes him pay!
(b) Answer: No - Beis Din does not makes him pay even for a notch in the ear, which is noticeable;
1. The Beraisa taught that even for work, which is not noticeable, he is liable at the hands of Heaven.
(c) (Rabah): Reuven burned Shimon's loan contract - he is exempt;
1. He can say, I just burned a piece of paper!
2. Question (Rami bar Chama): What is the case?

3. If witnesses know what was in the document - they can write another document!
4. If no witnesses know what was in the document - how could we possibly obligate Reuven to pay?
5. Answer (Rava): Reuven believes Shimon to say what was written.
(d) (Rav Dimi bar Chanina): R. Shimon and Chachamim argue regarding Rabah's law.
1. R. Shimon holds that something (whose loss) causes a loss of money, it is considered to have value (even if it has no intrinsic value) - he obligates for burning documents;
2. Chachamim say, (anything without intrinsic value) is not considered to have value, they exempt.
(e) Question (Rav Huna brei d'Rav Yehoshua): R. Shimon only said (it is considered to have value) by something which was originally money, as Rabah's case!
1. (Rabah): Reuven stole Shimon's Chametz before Pesach; Levi burned it during Pesach - he is exempt, for all are commanded to burn Chametz on Pesach;
2. If he burned it after Pesach - R. Shimon, who holds that something (whose loss) causes a loss of money, it is considered to have value, obligates him;
i. Chachamim, who say that it is not considered to have value, exempt him.
3. We never find that R. Shimon obligates for something which never had intrinsic value!
(f) (Ameimar): According to the opinion that obligates for Garmi ((Tosfos - direct) causation), he must pay the full value of the document;
1. According to the opinion that exempts for Garmi, he pays the value of the paper.
(a) (Mishnah): Reuven stole Shimon's Chametz, and Pesach passed - he can return the Chametz and say, behold, here is your Chametz.
(b) Question: Who is the Tana of our Mishnah, that one may say 'behold, here is your object' even if it is forbidden to benefit from it?
(c) Answer (Rav Chisda): It is R. Yakov.
1. (Gemara - Beraisa): Reuven's ox killed - before the final verdict, if he sold it, it is sold; if he made it Hekdesh, it is Hekdesh; if he slaughtered it, the meat is permitted;
i. If Shimon had been appointed to watch it, and he returned it to Reuven's house, it is considered returned;
2. After the verdict (if Reuven did these things) - it is not sold, it is not Hekdesh, the meat is forbidden;
i. If Shimon returned it, it is not considered returned.
ii. R. Yakov says, it is considered returned.
i. Suggestion: R. Yakov holds, one may say 'behold, here is your object' even if it is forbidden to benefit from it; Chachamim (the first Tana) say, he may not say this.
(d) Rejection (Rabah): No, all agree, one may say 'behold, here is your object', even if it is forbidden to benefit from it;
3. [Version #1 (Rashi): If that was the argument, Chachamim should hold that one may not return Chametz after Pesach (but Chachamim do not say this).]
4. [Version #2 (Tosfos): If that was the argument, the argument (here) should have been taught regarding Chametz on Pesach (so we could not think they argue on something else).]
5. Rather, they argue whether Beis Din can sentence an ox that is not there.
i. Chachamim say they may not sentence an ox in its absence - Reuven can say, you made me lose my ox (by giving it over to Beis Din) - had you returned it to me, I would have hid it, it would not have been sentenced;
ii. R. Yakov says, an ox may be sentenced in its absence - in any case, it would have been sentenced.
(e) (Rabah bar Shmuel - Beraisa) Question: "He will return the stolen object" - why must it say "that he stole"?
(n) Answer: To teach that he returns similar to what he stole;
1. If he stole a coin and it was disqualified, fruit and they rotted, wine and it soured, Terumah and it became Tamei, Chametz and Pesach came, an animal and a person slept with it or it was disqualified from being a sacrifice, or if (it killed but) was not yet sentenced to be stoned, he can say 'behold, here is your object'.
2. This Tana holds that after it was sentenced to be stoned, he cannot return the animal - this is as Chachamim - yet he holds, one may return Chametz after Pesach! (This supports Rabah, who says that all agree that stolen objects that became forbidden may be returned.)
(a) (Mishnah): Reuven gave (something) to a craftsman to fix; the craftsman ruined it - he is liable;
1. If he gave a chest, box or tower to a carpenter, who ruined it - he is liable;
2. A builder was hired to dissemble a wall - if he broke or damaged the rocks, he is liable;
i. If he was dissembling from one side, and it fell from the other side, he is exempt;
ii. If it fell because of the blow, he is liable.
(b) (Gemara - Rav Asi): The Mishnah is only when he gave a chest, box or tower to a carpenter to insert a nail, and in doing so, he broke it;
1. But if he gave him wood to make a chest, box or tower, and then he broke it, he is exempt, because a craftsman acquires ownership in a vessel which he improves.
(c) Question (Mishnah): Reuven gave (something) to a craftsman, and he ruined it - he is liable.
1. Suggestion: He gave him wood.
(d) Answer: No, he gave him a chest, box or tower.
(e) Question: But the next clause is when he gave a chest, box or tower - implying that in the first clause, he gave wood!
(f) Answer: The second clause explains the first clause: he is liable when he gave a chest, box or tower.
1. Support: We must say that the second clause explains the first clause;
2. If the first clause is when he gave him wood - we would learn that a craftsman does not acquire ownership in a vessel that he improves - there would be no need for the second clause to teach that he is liable for breaking a vessel!
3. Rejection: We can say that the second clause is needed to reveal that the first clause is when he gave wood, not when he gave a vessel.
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