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 49
BAVA METZIA 49 - dedicated to the memory of Chana Elka Krieger, Z"L
(Yahrzeit: 27 Teves) "Eshes Chaver" to Hagaon Rav Yisrael
Avraham Abba Krieger (Rabbi in Russia and in Boston, Talmid of
Hagaon Rav Yehoshua Leib Diskin and author of Yad Yisrael on
the Rambam and other Sefarim). Dedicated by their son,
Benayahu Krieger (presently of Yerushalayim).
1) HOW MUCH DOES A SECURITY ACQUIRE?
(a) Suggestion: Tana'im argue as Rav and R. Yochanan argue.
2) KEEPING ONE'S WORD
1. (Beraisa - R. Shimon ben Gamliel): Reuven lent
Shimon; he took a security at the time of the loan.
Shemitah came; even though the security is only
worth half the loan, the loan is not cancelled;
(b) Rejection: No - R. Shimon means, the value of the
security is not cancelled.
i. Rebbi says, if the security is worth all the
loan, the loan is not cancelled; if not, it is
2. Question: What does R. Shimon mean by 'it is not
i. If the value of the security is not cancelled -
that would imply, Rebbi holds that even that is
cancelled - if so, why did he take a security?!
3. Rather, R. Shimon says that the entire loan is not
cancelled; Rebbi says, the value of the loan above
the security is cancelled.
i. R. Shimon holds that a security acquires fully,
Rebbi holds that it only acquires according to
(c) Question: If so, Rebbi holds that even that is cancelled
- why did he take a security?!
(d) Answer: It is a remembrance of the loan.
(a) Rav Kahana received partial payment for flax; the price
(b) Rav: You must give flax according to the money you
received; the agreement to sell the rest is mere words -
one who retracts is not considered unfaithful.
(c) (Rav): One who retracts from an oral agreement is not
(d) (R. Yochanan): He is considered unfaithful.
(e) Question (Beraisa - R. Yosi b'Rebbi Yehudah) Question:
"Hin Tzedek" - why was this written, it already says that
the Eifah (another measure) must be just!
1. Answer (R. Yosi): To teach that your 'Hen' and 'Lav'
(when you say yes or no) should be just.
(f) Answer (Abaye): R. Yosi teaches that one may not say what
he does not intend to fulfill (but if one intended to
fulfill it, he is not obligated to keep his word if
circumstances (e.g. prices) change).
(g) Question (Beraisa - R. Shimon): Even though Chachamim
said that a garment acquires a Dinar and a Dinar does not
acquire a garment - and they do not force the seller to
give it - however, Chachamim said, He who punished the
generations of the flood and the dispersion, the people
of Sodom and Amora and the Miztrim at the sea, He will
punish one who does not honor his word.
(h) Answer: Tana'im argue whether one must keep his word.
1. (Mishnah): There was a case in which R. Yochanan ben
Masya told his son to hire workers; his son promised
to feed them.
(i) Rejection: That case is different, the workers themselves
did not rely on the promise.
2. R. Yochanan: They descend from Avraham, Yitzchak and
Yakov - even if you give them a banquet as Shlomo,
this does not suffice! Before they start working,
tell them that you only promise them bread and
3. If one who retracts is considered unfaithful, how
could he tell his son to retract?
1. Question: Why is this?
(j) Question: Did R. Yochanan really say that one who
retracts from an oral agreement is considered unfaithful?
2. Answer: They knew that the son did not promise on
his own, rather he relied on his father to feed
3. Question: If so, why did he have to retract before
4. Answer: They would assume that the father heard his
son's promise and agreed to fulfill it.
1. Contradiction (Rabah bar bar Chanah citing R.
Yochanan): Reuven promised to give Shimon a gift -
he can retract.
(k) Answer (Rav Papa): R. Yochanan (only permitted retracting
by a large gift, Shimon is not confident of receiving it
- he) admits that it is forbidden to retract from a
promise for a small gift.
2. Objection: This is obvious!
3. Correction: Rather, he is fully permitted to
1. Support: R. Avahu cited R. Yochanan to say that if a
Yisrael (Reuven) told a Levi (Moshe) 'I have a Kor
of Ma'aser for you' Moshe may make it Terumas
Ma'aser on other Ma'aser. (This is like a small
gift, for Reuven only owns the right to give the
Ma'aser to the Levi of his choice.)
(l) Reuven gave Shimon money for sesame; the price went up,
and Shimon retracted and said 'I don't have sesame - take
your money back'. Reuven did not take his money; it was
i. If it is forbidden for Reuven to retract, we
2. Rejection The case is, Moshe had taken the Ma'aser
and redeposited it by Reuven.
ii. But if Reuven may retract - perhaps he
retracted, the Terumas Ma'aser is invalid, and
Moshe will eat Ma'aser that is Tevel!
3. Objection: But the teaching continues, if Reuven
gave it to a different Levi, Moshe only has
complaints against Reuven - if Moshe took it, it is
i. Rather, as we said before, it is forbidden for
Reuven to retract.
(m) Rava: Once he told you to take your money (and you left
it by him) - he is not a paid watchman, he is exempt -
further, he is not even a free watchman (he would be
exempt even for negligence)!
(n) Rabanan: Shimon must accept the curse, 'He who
(o) Rava: Indeed, if he will not give the sesame, he must
(p) Rav Papi citing Rav Tavos: I was the seller in that story
- but it was not as reported, I would not retract my word
for all the money in the world!
1. Rather, Reuven came to me just before Shabbos,
asking to buy sesame; I refused. He asked to deposit
his money buy me, for Shabbos was coming; I said,
'You can put it anywhere in my house that you want';
he put it in the house, and it was stolen.
3) WHO CAN REVOKE THE SALE?
2. Rava ruled - not only I was not a paid watchman, I
was not even a free watchman!
(q) Question (Ravina): But Rabanan said that you must accept
(r) Answer (Rav Tavos): They said no such thing.
(a) (Mishnah): R. Shimon says, whoever is holding the money
has the upper hand.
(b) (Beraisa - R. Shimon): This is when the seller has the
money and the produce - but if the seller has the money
and the buyer has the produce, the seller cannot retract
because the buyer's money is in his hand.
(c) Question: What does this mean? The money is in the
(d) Answer: It means, because the value of the money (the
produce) is in the buyer's hand.
(e) Objection: Obviously, he cannot retract!
(f) Answer (Rava): The case is, the seller was renting the
1. Chachamim enacted that Meshichah acquires (and not
money), lest someone will sell something in his
house, a fire will erupt, and he will not strive to
(g) Reuven gave money for wine; he heard that a powerful
official of the king was marrying off a child (and he
would surely take people's wine for this) - Reuven
2. Here, the produce is in the buyer's attic - if there
is a fire, the buyer will strive to save it (so
there is no need for the enactment)!
(h) Rav Chisda: Just as Meshichah was enacted for sellers
(that they can retract until Meshichah is done), also
(a) (Mishnah): (The threshold of) Ona'ah (the amount one must
overpay to be able to force the seller to return the
overcharge) is four Ma'os (one Ma'ah is a sixth of a
Dinar) out of 24 Ma'os (a Sela), a sixth of the purchase;
(b) (The buyer) can demand (return of the overcharge) until
the time needed to show what he bought to a merchant or
relative (who would tell him that he overpaid; if he
delayed longer than this, he pardoned the Ona'ah).
(c) R. Tarfon ruled in Lud that (the threshold of) Ona'ah is
eight Ma'os, a third of the purchase; the merchants
1. He told them that the Ona'ah can be claimed the
entire day - they reverted to conduct as Chachamim
(regarding both the threshold of Ona'ah and the time
to claim it).
(d) (Gemara - Rav): The Mishnah refers to a sixth of the
value of the item sold;
(e) (Shmuel): It also refers to a sixth of the money paid.
1. If the value was six, and it was sold for five or
seven, all agree that (the law of) Ona'ah applies
(the overcharge or undercharge must be returned).
(f) Question (against Rav - Mishnah): Ona'ah is four Ma'os
out of 24 (a Sela), a sixth of the purchase;
2. They argue when he paid 6 and it was worth 5 or 7.
i. Shmuel says, since the overcharge or
undercharge is a sixth of the price, Ona'ah
ii. Rav says, we always judge by the value of the
item: if he paid 6 and it was worth 5, (the
overcharge is more than a sixth), the sale is
void; if he paid 6 and it was worth 7 (he
underpaid less than a sixth), the undercharge
iii. Shmuel says, we only say that the sale is void
or the Ona'ah is pardoned when it is not a
sixth from either perspective.
1. Suggestion: He paid 24 for something worth 20 -
Ona'ah also applies to an overcharge that is a sixth
of the price!
(g) Answer #1: No - he paid 20 for something worth 24.
(h) Objection: If so, the seller was underpaid - but the
Mishnah continues, 'He told them that the Ona'ah can be
claimed the entire day';
1. (Rav Nachman): This only refers to the buyer - but
the seller can always claim the Ona'ah.
(i) Answer #2: Rather, he paid 32 (Girsa of Rach; 28), it was
(j) Support (for Shmuel - Beraisa): Whoever was deceived has
the upper hand:
1. If the seller charged six for something worth five,
the buyer has the upper hand - he can demand all his
money back (voiding the sale), or the overcharge
(and the sale stands).
2. If he charged five for something worth six, the
seller has the upper hand - he can demand the item
back, or the undercharge.