POINT BY POINT SUMMARY
Prepared by Rabbi P. Feldman
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
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Previous daf Bava Metzia 16
BAVA METZIA 11-17 - This study material has been produced with the help of
the Israeli ministry of religious affairs.
1) A THIEF THAT LATER BOUGHT THE FIELD
(a) Question (Shmuel): What if after buying from the thief,
the thief bought it from the owner?
2) HOW DOES THE BUYER ACQUIRE?
(b) Answer (Rav): One who sells, he sells all rights he will
obtain in the matter (the buyer keeps it).
(c) Question: Why is this?
(d) Answer #1 (Mar Zutra): The thief does not want to be
called a thief.
(e) Answer #2 (Rav Ashi): A person wants to conduct his
(f) Question: What is the difference between the answers?
(g) Answer #1: If the buyer died.
1. There is no concern of being called a thief - but
(Rav Ashi would say), he wants to conduct his
dealings faithfully with the heirs.
(h) Rejection: If he does not justify himself, the heirs will
call him a thief!
(i) Answer #2: The thief died.
1. He is not concerned about being called a thief after
his death - but he wants that his dealings were
(j) Rejection: He does not want that people will call his
children 'children of a thief'!
(k) Answer #3: He never sold the stolen field, rather he gave
it as a gift.
1. There is no concern of being called a thief - but he
wants to conduct his dealings faithfully
(l) (Reuven stole Levi's field and sold it to Shimon.)
Obviously, if Reuven sold or gave it to Yehudah and then
bought it from Levi, he did not buy it so Shimon should
keep it (therefore, Shimon gets his money back, but not
1. If Reuven inherited it - he did not do anything to
show that he wants Shimon to keep it.
(m) Question: Until how long will we assume that Reuven acted
in order to conduct his dealings faithfully?
2. If Reuven collected the field as payment of a debt -
if Levi had other fields and Reuven requested
specifically this one, this shows that he wanted
Shimon to keep it;
i. If this was Levi's only field, we have no such
3. (Rav Acha or Ravina): If Levi gave it to Reuven as a
gift - this is as an inheritance (Reuven did
4. (The other of Rav Acha and Ravina): If Levi gave it
to Reuven as a gift - we assume that he requested
this (to conduct his dealings faithfully).
(n) Answer #1 (Rav Huna): Until Shimon brings him to trial.
(o) Answer #2 (Chiya bar Rav): Until Shimon receives an
(p) Answer #3 (Rav Papa): Until the days of announcing (that
Beis Din is selling Reuven's property).
(a) Question (Rami bar Chama): (When we say that Reuven
bought it for Shimon to keep) - how did Shimon acquire
1. The document he received is worthless (Reuven did
not own it at the time)!
(b) Answer (Rava): The case is, Shimon trusted Reuven to give
him the field; with the pleasure that Shimon relies on
him, Reuven transfers the field.
(c) Question (Rav Sheshes - Beraisa): Levi sold to Yehudah
'What I will inherit from my father' or 'what will be
caught in my trap' -this is void;
1. If he said 'What I will inherit from my father
today' or 'what will be caught in my trap today'
-this is valid.
(d) Answer (Rava): By the stolen field, the buyer relied on
the seller, he has Gemiras Da'as (the resolve needed for
an acquisition); by inheritance, the buyer is not
confident of receiving anything.
We learn that one cannot sell something wich is not yet in his
1. By the stolen field, the buyer relies on the seller
to get the field for him so he will not be called a
thief - this does not apply by inheritance.
(e) [Version #1 (Rashi) R. Aba bar Zavda: This question is
too difficult, we cannot answer it.
(f) Rava: We can answer it (as above).]
(g) [Version #2 (Ga'onim) R. Aba bar Zavda: This is a simple
(h) Rava: It is very difficult!
1. By the stolen field, the buyer relied on the seller,
by inheritance, he lacks resolve.]
(i) A case occurred in Pumbadisa. Rav Yosef said as R. Aba
bar Zavda, Abaye said as Rava.
(j) Question: In the Beraisa of inheritance and the trap -
what difference does it make when he says 'today'?
(k) Answer (R. Yochanan): The case when he says 'today' is
that his father is about to die; he sells his inheritance
in order to be able to honor his father with a proper
1. By the trap, Chachamim enacted than the sale is
valid to help the trapper support himself.
(l) (Rav Huna citing Rav): Reuven told Shimon 'The field I
will buy - when I buy it, it is acquired to you from now'
- Shimon acquires it.
3) ONE WHO FINDS A DOCUMENT
(m) Rava: Presumably, this is when Reuven did not specify a
particular field - if he did, Shimon would lack resolve,
perhaps the seller will not want to sell it;
1. But I swear, Rav said this even by a specific field!
2. Rav rules in accordance with R. Meir, who says that
a person can acquire something that is not yet in
i. (Beraisa): Levi told Leah that she should be
Mekudeshes to him (when this will be possible,
i.e.): after he or she converts, or after he or
she is freed, or when her husband or sister (if
Levi is married to her sister) will die; or,
after Leah does Chalitzah - even after this,
she is not Mekudeshes;
3. (Some cases of) a woman are like a field (e.g. her
husband's death is beyond their control), yet R.
Meir says that it takes effect!
ii. R. Meir says, she is Mekudeshes.
(a) (Shmuel): One who finds a Hakna'ah document (that Shimon
owes Reuven) should return it to Reuven.
1. We are not concerned that the loan was never given -
Shimon obligated himself in any case!
(b) Rav Nachman: My father was a scribe in Shmuel's Beis Din;
as a boy, I recall announcements that Hakna'ah documents
found in the market should be returned to the lender.
2. We are not concerned that it was paid, for then
Shimon would have torn it up.
(c) Support (Rav Anan - Mishnah): All documents of actions of
Beis Din should be returned.
1. This shows that we are not concerned that they were
(d) Rejection #1 (R. Zeira): The Mishnah speaks of Chaltasa
documents (saying that a lender collected a field as
payment), or Adrachta - payment does not apply to such
(e) Objection (Rava): Payment applies to them!
1. (Chachamim of Nehardai): If Beis Din allowed a
lender to collect a field as payment, the borrower
can recover his field if he pays the debt within 1
(f) Rejection #2 (Rava): By such documents, we are not
concerned for payment - if the borrower later paid, he
caused his own loss by not tearing the document, or
demanding a document of (re)sale of his field from the
2. (Ameimar): I am from Nehardai - I hold, he can
always redeem his field!
1. Letter of the law, the lender need not return the
field - Chachamim obligated him to return it on
account of "You will do what is straight and good in
the eyes of Hash-m";
i. This is as a new sale, it is fitting that a new
document be written.
2. But by loan documents, perhaps the borrower is not
i. Perhaps the lender promised to return the
document at his next opportunity, or was
holding it until the borrower paid the scribe's