(Permission is granted to print and redistribute this material
as long as this header and the footer at the end are included.)


brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof

Ask A Question on the daf

Previous daf

Bava Metzia 12

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

1) [line 1] CHATZER ISRABA'I MISHUM YAD V'LO GAR'AH MI'SHELICHUS - a Chatzer is like the "hand" of its owner and can acquire its contents for the Chatzer's owner just like the owner's hand can acquire its contents for him. (a) *It therefore stands to reason* that a Chatzer should also be capable of acquiring for its owner whatever a Shali'ach can acquire for his dispatcher: if it is like part of his body, it should certainly be no less than his Shali'ach. [This will allow the Chatzer to acquire objects for its owner, acting as his Shali'ach, even if the owner is not alongside the Chatzer.] (RASHI, later version); (b) A Chatzer is *also* capable of acquiring for its owner whatever a Shali'ach can acquire for his dispatcher, since it is logically viable to compare a Chatzer to a person's Shali'ach even if the Torah had *not* taught explicitly that there is such a thing as Kinyan Chatzer. (RASHI, earlier version. See MAHARSHA to 11a, RABEINU PERETZ here and Insights to the Daf here.)

(a) When a person buys or sells an object, or marries or divorces a woman, he must make a Ma'aseh Kinyan (a formal Halachically-binding act denoting the change in status). This act may be performed by the Shali'ach (agent) of the person who makes the Kinyan instead of the person himself.
(b) When the acquisition of a certain object is unquestionably beneficial for a person, someone may acquire it for the person as if he were his Shali'ach even though he was not actually appointed a Shali'ach to do so. This act is called Zachin l'Adam she'Lo b'Fanav. The Rishonim argue as to how "Zachin" works. Some state that there is an "Anan Sahadei" (lit. "we are witnesses," - i.e. it is as clear to us as if he stated it himself) that the person would have made him a Shali'ach in this case (RASHI to Gitin 9b DH Yachzor, TOSFOS to Kesuvos 11a DH Matbilin). Other Rishonim claim that "Zachin" does not work through a vehicle of Shelichus at all, since it also works for minors who Halachically cannot appoint Shelichim. Rather, the Torah created a new law called "Zachin..." that allows one person to acquire an object for another person in such cases (RASHBA and RITVA to Kidushin 23b -- see Insights there; RAN to Kidushin 42a; this may be an argument among the Tana'im in Bava Basra 15 6b).
(c) The Rishonim write that if the recipient expresses (afterwards, when he finds out about the Zechiyah) that he does not wish to accept the object, he does not obtain ownership (although in rare instances the Rishonim suggest that "Zachin" would work even if the recipient refuses the acquisition when he hears about it -- see RASHBA to Kidushin 23b).

3) [line 8] ZARAK ARNEKI B'FESACH ZEH, V'YATZA B'FESACH ACHER - if a person who wanted to give his wallet away (see Insights) threw the wallet through one door of a friend's Chatzer such that it flew over the entire Chatzer and exited through the door on the opposite side, without landing in the Chatzer.

4) [line 9] AVIR SHE'EIN SOFO LANU'ACH K'MUNACH DAMI? - Is the airspace of a Chatzer capable of acquiring for its owner (through Kinyan Chatzer, see Background to Bava Metzia 9:10) what passes through it *without* eventually landing in it, just like the ground of a Chatzer is capable of acquiring what rests on it for its owner?

5) [line 17] MISGALGEL - rolling

6) [line 19] METZI'AS... BITO - the object found by one's daughter (who is a minor) (SHEVACH NE'URIM)
The Torah gives to the father the earnings, findings, money of Kidushin, etc., of his daughter until she has reached the age of Bagrus (see entry #16 below). "Shevach" means income or produce, and "Ne'urim" refers to the first six months after the girl develops signs of adulthood (see Background to Kidushin 4:11, Bava Kama 70:18), after which she reaches the age of Bagrus. According to RASHI to Bava Kama 87a, the fact that the father receives the daughter's earnings up to the age of Bagrus is learned from the verse regarding the annulment of a daughter's Nedarim, "bi'Ne'ureha Beis Aviha" (Bamidbar 30:17).

7) [line 19] METZI'AS AVDO V'SHIFCHASO HA'KENA'ANIM - the object found by one's Kena'ani slave or maidservant (EVED KENA'ANI - a Nochri slave)
(a) A Jew may acquire a Nochri slave or maidservant (Eved Kena'ani or Shifchah Kena'anis) by purchasing them from their Jewish or Nochri master and making a Kinyan on the slave with either Kesef (paying money) or Shtar (receiving a contract) Chazakah (having the slave work for him) or Chalipin -- the same Kinyanim that are used in the purchase of real-estate (Mishnah and Beraisa in our Sugya; see Background to Kidushin 13:10:c). In addition, an Eved Kena'ani can be acquired through Kinyan Meshichah, like moveable objects (see Background to Bava Metzia 44:5c). A Nochri can also be acquired as a slave by being captured (Gitin 38a). These Halachos, and the Halachos mentioned below, apply whether the slave is from the Kena'ani nation or from another nation. Nevertheless, the generic term used by the Mishnah and Gemara to refer to Nochri slaves is Eved "Kena'ani," since the Torah openly describes Kena'an as a slave (see Rashi to Kidushin 22b DH Sadeh).
(b) A Nochri slave must undergo a process of involuntary conversion, in which he is circumcised (in the case of a male slave) and immersed in a Mikvah, after which he becomes obligated in Mitzvos. Regardless of sex, a Nochri slave is only obligated to keep those Mitzvos in which a Jewish woman is obligated. The slave is not permitted to marry an ordinary Jew. When the slave is freed, he automatically becomes a full-fledged Jew and is obligated to keep all of the Mitzvos, like a normal convert. However, before he is freed, his exemption from certain Mitzvos and prohibition to marry a Jewish woman came about as a direct consequence of the slavery. The Rishonim refer to this as a "Kinyan Isur," a "prohibitive" Kinyan (see Rishonim to Gitin 38a, Kidushin 16a). Another Halachic consideration of the slavery is that if the slave belongs to a Kohen, he is permitted to eat Terumah as long as he is owned by the Kohen (Yevamos 66a, based on Vayikra 22:11).
(c) A slave does not independently own property. Rather, any object that the slave acquires automatically becomes the possession of his master. There is an argument among the Tana'im as to whether the slave can own something if it is specifically stipulated, at the time that it is given to him, that it should not become the master's (Kidushin 23a).

8) [line 20] METZI'AS ISHTO - the object found by one's wife
(a) The Mishnah (Kesuvos 46b) states that a husband is entitled to any object that his wife finds. Our Gemara (Daf 12b) explains that this is "Mishum Eivah" - so that the husband will not feel enmity (or not bear a grudge) towards his wife. The RITVA explains that the Chachamim gave the husband the rights to Metzi'as Ishto so
that she not misappropriate funds from her husband, claiming that she found the money or object (as it states in the Yerushalmi).
(b) When a husband divorces his wife, the above reasons do not exist. As such, she gets to keep the objects that she finds even if she has not received her Kesuvah, and even if she has not become fully divorced (see 12b and below, entry #27).

9) [line 22] METZI'AS AVDO V'SHIFCHASO HA'IVRIM - the object found by one's Jewish slave or maidservant (EVED IVRI - a Jewish slave / AMAH HA'IVRIYAH - a Jewish maidservant)

(a) There are two ways that a Jewish man can be bought as a slave by another Jew. Either he may sell himself because he is destitute, or he may be sold by Beis Din to pay back a theft. During his term as a slave, his master must support his family (Kidushin 22b). The master may not make his Eved Ivri do disgraceful work for him, nor may he treat him as one normally treats a slave. For example, if the master only has only one pillow, he must give it to his Eved Ivri rather than keep it for himself (Kidushin 20a).
(b) If the slave was married before he was sold, the master has the right to give him a Nochri maidservant to bear him children who will become the slaves of the master (Shemos 21:4). (One who is not an Eved Ivri is forbidden to have relations with a Nochriyah.)
(c) An Eved Ivri is obligated to work for his master for only six years (Shemos 21:2) or until the Yovel year (see Background to Bava Kama 28:5), whichever comes first (Kidushin 14b, 16a). At any time during his term, he may go free if he or someone else pays his master the money remaining from the sum that the master paid for him, prorated to the amount of time that he worked. If at the termination of six years he expresses his desire to continue life as a slave, the master takes the slave to Beis Din, and stands the slave near a doorpost and pierces his right ear and the door with an awl. This is known as Retzi'ah, and an Eved Ivri upon whom this is performed is known as an "Eved Nirtza." A Nirtza slave must continue to serve his master until the Yovel year (ibid. 21:6) or until his master dies. Whenever an Eved Ivri goes free, under most circumstances his master must give him monetary gifts valued at 15, 30 or 50 Sela'im, according to the various opinions (Kidushin 17a). This is known as Ha'anakah (Devarim 15:14).

(a) A destitute father, under certain circumstances, may sell his daughter into servitude to a Jewish master as long as she is a minor. The sale is for a period of six years or until she becomes a Gedolah (when two pubic hairs grow after she enters her 12th year) or until the Yovel year (the year after seven Shemitah cycles), whichever comes first. During this period she is known as an "Amah ha'Ivriyah."
(b) The Torah gives to the master of a Jewish maidservant the option of being Mekadesh her through a procedure called "Yi'ud." The Kidushin takes effect through the money that he initially gave to her father when he purchased her, as described in Kidushin 19a.
(c) The Rabanan maintain that a father may not sell his daughter to a relative whom she is prohibited to marry, because there must be at least the opportunity for the buyer to perform Yi'ud with her (Kidushin 44b).

10) [line 23] KESUVAH - the Jewish marriage contract
(a) When a man marries a woman who was a Besulah (virgin) at the time of her Kidushin, he must write her a Kesuvah document in which he promises that she will receive 200 Zuz (the value of 960 grams of silver) from him or his estate if he divorces her or dies. The Tana'im argue whether this obligation is mid'Oraisa or mid'Rabanan (Kesuvos 10a). (See Insights to Kesuvos 10:1.)
(b) When a man marries a widow or a divorcee who had once been married in the past (i.e. she was a Nesu'ah and was not just an Arusah) he must write her a Kesuvah document in which he promises that she will receive 100 Zuz from him or his estate if he divorces her or dies. Even if the woman is still a virgin, the woman is classified as a "Be'ulah" with regard to the amount of her Kesuvah because she was once married and she is not given the Kesuvah of a Besulah (Kesuvos 11a). The obligation to write a Kesuvah for a widow or divorcee is only mid'Rabanan (Kesuvos 10b -- The Gemara there explains that the term for "widow," "Almanah," alludes to her Kesuvah of a "Manah," or 100 Zuz).

11) [line 25] MERITZAH ETZEL AVIV V'EINO ME'ACHER B'YADO - he quickly brings it to his father and does not let it linger in his hands (this shows that he originally picked it up for the sake of his father)

12) [line 26] L'MEIMRA D'SAVAR SHMUEL KATAN LEIS LEI ZECHIYAH L'NAFSHEI MID'ORAISA - Does this mean that Shmuel rules that a minor cannot be Zocheh (acquire things such that he gains possession of them) for himself mid'Oraisa? (The TOSFOS HA'ROSH states that at this point, the Gemara assumes that a Katan has no Zechiyah l'Atzmo even mid'Rabanan; the reason that the Gemara uses the term "mid'Oraisa" is due to the question from the Beraisa that deals with the subject of Leket (see next entry) where it appears that he has Zechiyah even mid'Oraisa.)

13) [line 28] YELAKET BENO ACHARAV - [while the father is working for a landowner reaping grain,] his son is permitted to walk after him and pick Leket stalks (that the father drops while reaping) (LEKET)
"Leket" refers to individual (one or two) stalks of grain that inadvertently slip out of the reaper's hand while he harvests them (by cutting them underneath with a sickle) or while he uproots them (if he is not using a sickle) (SEFER HA'CHINUCH #218; see Pe'ah 4:10 and Chidushei Anshei Shem). Such stalks may not be retrieved by the owner but must be left for the poor, as described in Vayikra (19:9-10), "v'Leket Ketzircha Lo Selaket... le'Ani vela'Ger Ta'azov Osam." - "Do not pick up the individual stalks that have fallen from the harvest... you shall leave them (the gifts of Pe'ah, Leket, Olelos and Peret) for the poor and the stranger." If three stalks fall together, they are not considered Leket and may be retrieved by the owner.

14) [line 29] L'MECHETZEH LI'SHELISH ULI'REVI'A - for one half, one third or one quarter (ARIS)
An Aris is a sharecropper, a hired field laborer, who receives a percentage (1/2, 1/3 or 1/4) of the produce of the field. The Beraisa is discussing the case of a father who is an Aris whose son is permitted to walk after him and pick Leket stalks (that the father drops while reaping).

15a) [line 40] CHERESH - a deaf mute

b) [line 40] SHOTEH - (lit. a fool) a person who is mad or deranged
(a) A person is classified as a Shoteh if he regularly, because of madness, destroys or loses that which is given to him, sleeps in a cemetery, goes out alone at night or tears his clothes (Chagigah 3b). According to the RAMBAM (Hilchos Edus 9:9), a person is a Shoteh if he regularly exhibits any form of irrational behavior.
(b) A Shoteh is exempt from performing Mitzvos, is not punished for his transgressions and is not liable for the damages that he causes. His purchases and sales are meaningless and are not binding.

16) [line 41] MIPNEI DARCHEI SHALOM - to maintain social justice
(a) According to the Torah, a person who does not have intelligence cannot affect a Kinyan (a formal Halachically-binding act denoting his acquisition of an object). Therefore, a Cheresh (deaf mute), a Shoteh (see previous entry) and a Katan (minor), who have no intelligence with regard to Halachic matters, cannot effect Kinyanim.
(b) Nevertheless, Chazal instituted a Kinyan mid'Rabanan for a Cheresh, Shoteh and Katan because of Darchei Shalom, i.e. to maintain social justice (Gitin 59b).

17) [line 42] GEZEL GAMUR MI'DIVREIHEM - [robbing a Cheresh, a Shoteh and a Katan is considered actual robbery, mid'Rabanan

*18a*) [line 43] ELA AMAR ABAYEI... - that is, Shmuel rules that he is not Zocheh mid'Oraisa; the reason that Rebbi Yosi rules that robbing a Cheresh, Shoteh or Katan is considered actual robbery, mid'Rabanan, is because it is Hefker.

b) [line 44] ASA'UHA K'MI SHE'HALCHU BAH HA'NEMUSHOS - the Rabanan ruled that the field has the status similar to a field that was gleaned by the *Nemushos*, (a) old people who *walk slowly*, leaning on canes (who see every last stalk); (b) people who come after the field has been gleaned at least once, who *take away* every last stalk (Bava Metzia 21b)

19) [line 45] MASCHEI DA'ATAIHU - they "remove their minds," i.e. give up hope [of ever being able to pick Leket from that field]

20) [line 47] L'HARBITZ ARI B'SOCH SADEHU - to have a lion crouch in his field [to prevent the poor from picking Leket]? (Allowing the son of the reaper to pick Leket makes the poor give up hope of getting anything from that field.)


In many instances of Halachah, we consider a person to have gained possession of an item even though in reality he has not. This enactment is generally for the betterment of the person involved.

22) [line 2] D'CHI AGRU L'DIDHU - when other people hire them
23) [line 14] NOKEV MARGALIYOS - [a jeweler] who pierces gems
24) [line 15] RAVA AMAR, B'MAGBI'AH METZI'AH IM MELACHTO ASKINAN - when he found an object while he was working, in which case it belongs to him, since he did not waste any of his master's time

25) [line 18] D'AKFI AGMA B'CHAVREI - the river overflowed [and subsequently receded,] with fish [being left on the banks] (this explains the instance when the employer of the worker gets to keep the objects that are found by his worker -- TOSFOS DH she'Sachro)

26) [line 19] IY D'AISI SHTEI SA'AROS - if two pubic hairs grew (SIMANIM)
(a) Simanim are the physical signs of maturity that confer the status of adulthood to a Jewish boy or girl with regard to their obligation in Mitzvos.
(b) From the time a child grows two pubic hairs, he is no longer considered to be a minor, and he is obligated in Mitzvos like a full-grown adult. The pubic hairs must fit certain criteria of length and location, and the child must also have reached a certain minimum age. The minimum age for a boy is 12 years, and for a girl is 11 years. If the hairs grew before the age of 12 for a boy and 11 for a girl, they are assumed to be the result of a mole and not pubic hair (Nidah 46a). If they grow between the ages of 12 and 13 for a boy, and between the ages of 11 and 12 for a girl, the Amora'im argue as to whether they confer the status of adulthood or not ("Toch Zeman k'Lifnei ha'Zeman" and "Toch Zeman k'Le'achar ha'Zeman" -- ibid. 45b).
(c) See above, entry #9:II:a.

27) [line 28] MEGURESHES V'EINAH MEGUREHSES - (lit. she is divorced and she is not divorced) her divorce is doubtful, necessitating another Get (e.g. if the husband threw his wife a Get (in a place where she is able to acquire the Get) that landed in between them, and it was doubtful whether it was closer to her or to him)

28) [line 32] KI HEICHA D'LO SEHEVEI LAH EIVAH - so that the husband will not feel enmity (or not bear a grudge) towards his wife (see above, entry #8)

29) [line 34] SHETAREI CHOV - documents of debt

Achrayus Nechasim in this context means that people will trust a borrower who owns land since they can expect to extract payment from the land should the debtor not have the money to pay back his loan (RASHI to Kidushin 26a). Similarly, the borrower in our Gemara owns land from which the lender can extract payment.

31a) [line 43] MESHA'ABDEI - property with a lien on it, which has in turn been sold
b) [line 43] BENEI CHOREI - (lit. properties that are free) fields that do not have a lien on them

32) [line 46] V'ASI L'MITRAF LEKUCHOS SHE'LO KA'DIN - and he will illegitimately appropriate land from buyers who purchased the land in between the date that the document was written and the date on which the loan took place

33) [line 48] LO REI'EI - have nothing tainting their authenticity

Next daf


For further information on
subscriptions, archives and sponsorships,
contact Kollel Iyun Hadaf,