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 39
1) THE LAW OF THE OVERSEER
(a) (Beraisa): By all of them, the one working the property
is paid as a sharecropper.
2) APPOINTING RELATIVES
(b) Question: To which case does this refer?
1. If to property of a captive - the worker can harvest
and keep it, surely he is paid for improvements!
(c) Answer #1: Rather, to Retushim property.
(d) Objection: But it says, we remove it from him (we
consider that he worked it without permission, surely he
does not receive as a sharecropper)!!
(e) Answer #2: Rather, to Netushim property.
(f) Question: According to whom is he paid as a sharecropper?
1. If according to Chachamim - they say, we remove it
(g) Answer: R. Shimon means, in some ways it is like property
of a captive, in some ways, not.
2. If according to R. Shimon - he says, it is like
property of a captive!
1. It is like property of a captive in that we do not
remove it from him;
(h) Question: What is the difference between this and the
2. It is unlike property of a captive, for there, he
can harvest and keep it; here, he is paid as a
1. (Mishnah): One who spent money on his wife's Melug
property - whether he spent a lot and consumed a
little, or vice-versa, there is no compensation
(when she gets it back after he divorces her);
(i) Answer: Property of a captive resembles the following.
1. (Rav Chisda): If his wife was a minor, and he spent
money on it - his law is as one who spends on a
stranger's property (if he consumed less than he
spent, he is paid as a sharecropper).
(j) Question (Beraisa): By all of them, the overseer is paid
as a sharecropper - what does this come to include?
2. Because he is unsure if he will keep the property
(perhaps she will do Mi'un), Chachamim enacted (to
be paid as a sharecropper) so he will work the
property properly (and not try to reap a quick
profit, causing a long term loss) - also by a
captive, he is unsure whether the captive will
(a) Answer: It includes Rav Nachman's case.
1. (Rav Nachman citing Shmuel): We appoint a relative
over property of a captive; but not over property of
someone who willingly went abroad.
(b) (Rav Yehudah): Reuven was captured before harvesting his
standing crop, grapes, dates or olives - Beis Din
appoints an overseer to harvest them, then they appoint a
relative over the property.
2. (Rav Nachman himself): One who flees is as a
3. Question: Why did he flee?
i. If to avoid the head-tax - he willingly left!
4. Answer: Rather, he had killed someone, and feared
that he would be killed.
(c) Question: Why not appoint the overseer to stay?
(d) Answer: We do not appoint (strangers to be) overseers for
adults (only for children, this is a Mitzvah for which
(e) (Rav Huna): We do not appoint a minor over property of a
captive, nor a relative over property of a minor, nor a
relative of a relative of a minor.
1. We do not appoint a minor over property of a
captive, lest he cause a loss;
(f) (Rava): We learn from Rav Huna that one cannot make a
Chazakah in property of minors (we are only concerned
that relatives will say they inherited it - but strangers
can oversee the land), even if he remains on the land
three years after the minor matures.
2. We do not appoint a relative of a relative of a
minor, such as a maternal brother (of the minor's
brother), nor a relative of the minor, lest they
make a Chazakah and claim the land for themselves
(since no one protests).
3) TESTIMONY AGAINST POWERFUL PEOPLE
1. We are only concerned for relative's such as
paternal uncles (who could claim that he inherited
it), not maternal uncles.
(g) Leah had three daughters; she and one of them (Chanah)
were captured. One of the remaining daughters died,
leaving a child.
2. Even paternal uncles are only forbidden by land -
but not by houses (for the neighbors know that it
belongs to the minor).
3. Even land is permitted if a document of division of
the inheritance was written, for this has publicity.
4. Rejection: All these three points are wrong - in any
case, we do not make a relative an overseer on a
(h) (Abaye): We cannot put the property by the remaining
daughter (Dinah) - perhaps Leah died, (and the child owns
some of the property), and we do not appoint a relative
over a minor's property!
1. We cannot put the property by the child - perhaps
Leah is alive, and we do not appoint a minor over a
(i) (Rava): Once we must appoint a stranger to oversee half,
we appoint him over all the property.
2. Therefore, Dinah oversees half the property, and we
appoint a stranger to oversee half.
(j) Later, they heard that Leah died.
(k) (Abaye): We give a third of the property to Dinah (which
surely, she inherits), a third to the child. The last
third (belongs to Chanah, if she is alive; if not, Dinah
and the child split it) - Dinah oversees a sixth (half of
it), we appoint a stranger to oversee the other sixth.
(l) (Rava): Once we must appoint a stranger to oversee a
sixth, we appoint him over both sixths.
(a) Ploni came from Bei Chuzai saying that he is the brother
of Mari bar Isak, and asked to divide the inheritance of
their father; Mari denied knowing him.
(b) Rav Chisda: It is reasonable that Mari would not
recognize his brother - "Hem Lo Hikiruhu (Yosef's
brothers did not recognize him)" because Yosef left them
before he had a beard, and now he had a beard;
1. Ploni must bring witnesses that he is a brother in
order to share the inheritance.
(c) Ploni: I have witnesses, but they fear Mari, he is
(d) Rav Chisda: Mari must bring witnesses that Ploni is not
(e) Mari: Is that the law?! The one who seeks to take money
from another, he must bring proof!
(f) Rav Chisda: This is the law for powerful people.
(g) Mari: If you are concerned that they fear me - even if
witnesses testify for me, it will not help!
(h) Rav Chisda: Out of fear, witnesses may be quiet - but
they would not lie or deny what they know.