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 118
1) MUST ONE ACCEPT A CHANGE IN WAGES?
(a) (Mishnah (cont.)): If Levi hired Yehudah to work with him
collecting straw, he cannot insist that Yehudah take
straw as wages;
2) WITH WHAT MAY ONE PAY A WORKER?
1. If Yehudah agreed, Levi cannot retract and give his
wages and keep all his straw.
(b) (Gemara) Question: How much of the garden must sink (for
the law of the Mishnah to apply)?
(c) Answer #1 (Rav): The majority.
(d) Answer #2 (Shmuel): Four Tefachim.
1. Rav says the majority, but not four Tefachim, for a
person can plant part of his garden at a lower
(e) (Mishnah): If they gave him time...
2. Shmuel says four Tefachim, for a person cannot plant
part of his garden at a lower level.
3. They must argue here and above (regarding an attic
4. If they only argued above, one might have thought
that only regarding a dwelling Shmuel says that a
person cannot live at two levels, but regarding a
garden he can manage;
5. If they only argued here, one might have thought
that Rav admits regarding a dwelling that a person
cannot live at two levels.
(f) Question: How much time do we give him?
(g) Answer (R. Yochanan): Thirty days.
(h) (Mishnah): Reuven's wall...
(i) Question: Later the Mishnah mentions Shimon's
expenditures, implying that he cleared the rocks away;
1. Inference: Had he not cleared them away, he did not
(j) Answer: That is only when the person wants to acquire;
here, Shimon does not want the rocks.
2. Why doesn't his field acquire for him?
i. (R. Yosi b'Rebbi Chanina): A person's Chatzer
acquires for him without his knowledge.
(a) (Mishnah): If Levi hired Yehudah to work with him
(b) We must teach this and the previous cases.
1. If we only taught regarding the wall - one might
have thought, there Shimon need not take the rocks,
because Reuven does not owe him - but an employer
can pay his worker with anything he wants.
(c) (Mishnah): Levi cannot insist that Yehudah take straw as
2. If we only taught regarding wages - one might have
thought, there Levi cannot retract after Yehudah
agrees, for Levi owes him - but regarding the rocks,
Reuven can retract even after Shimon agrees.
(d) Contradiction (Beraisa): Levi can insist.
(e) Answer #1 (Rav Nachman): If Yehudah worked for Levi, Levi
cannot insist; if Levi asked Yehudah to work for Shimon,
Levi can insist.
(f) Question (Rabah): When Yehudah worked for Levi, Levi
cannot insist, because he must pay him;
1. Also when Levi asked Yehudah to work for Shimon,
Levi must pay him!
(g) Answer #2 (Rav Nachman): Rather, if Yehudah worked for
Levi, Levi cannot insist; if Yehudah worked with Hefker
property, Levi can insist.
i. (Beraisa): Yosef hired David to work for
himself, and set him to work on what is really
Moshe's property - Yosef pays David, and can
demand that Moshe pay him the benefit he
(h) Question (Rava - Beraisa): A worker keeps what he finds -
this is only if the employer said 'Weed with me today';
1. But if he said 'Work for me today', the employer
gets it. (Therefore, even if Yehudah worked with
Hefker, Levi acquired it.)
(i) Answer #3 (Rav Nachman): In both cases, Yehudah worked
1. If Yehudah picked it up, Levi acquired it, he cannot
(j) (Rabah): Tana'im argue whether or not looking at Hefker
2. If Yehudah only watched it, it is still Hefker, Levi
1. .(Mishnah): People guarding Sefichim (produce that
grows by itself) in Shemitah (for the need of
communal sacrifices) are paid from Terumas ha'Liska
(Shekalim taken to buy the sacrifices);
(k) Version #1 - Rejection (Rava): No, all hold that looking
at Hefker acquires it;
2. R. Yosi says, one who wants to watch for free
volunteers his time.
3. Chachamim: According to you, the sacrifice does not
come from the congregation (rather from the
individual who watched it)!
4. Suggestion: Chachamim hold that looking at Hefker
acquires it - the watcher must be paid, or else the
produce is his;
i. R. Yosi holds that looking at Hefker does not
acquire it; it is not acquired until (a
messenger of the congregation) takes it.
ii. Chachamim told R. Yosi, if done as you say, we
hold that the sacrifice would belong to the
1. They argue whether or not we rely on the watcher to
properly give the produce to the congregation
(perhaps he wants to retain ownership so the
sacrifice will be his):
(l) Version #2 - Rejection (Rava): No, all hold that looking
at Hefker does not acquire it;
2. Chachamim says that the watcher must be paid, we are
concerned lest he not give it properly;
3. R. Yosi says that the watcher is not paid, we rely
on him to give it properly.
i. Chachamim told R. Yosi, if done as you say, we
are concerned that the sacrifice would belong
to the watcher.
1. They argue whether or not we are concerned that if
we do not pay the watcher (to publicize that he is
watching for Hekdesh), others will forcibly take the
2. Chachamim hold that it was enacted to pay the
watcher four Zuz in order that others will not
forcibly take the produce;
3. R. Yosi holds that no such enactment was made.
3) DAMAGE TO THE PUBLIC DOMAIN
(m) (Ravin): R. Yochanan holds like this latter version.
i. Chachamim told R. Yosi, if done as you say,
four Zuz of Terumas ha'Liska really belongs to
the watcher (he waived his right to take it),
sacrifices bought with those four Zuz belong to
the watcher, not the congregation!
(a) (Mishnah): One who takes fertilizer to the public domain
may not leave it there (he must immediately take it to
his field or garden).
4) PLANTS GROWING OVER ANOTHER'S PROPERTY
(b) One may not soak mud or form bricks and leave them to dry
in the public domain;
1. One may knead mud to immediately put it in the
building, but not to make bricks.
(c) One who builds in the public domain: one person brings
the rocks, and they must immediately be built into the
1. If someone is hurt, the builder must pay.
(d) (Gemara) Suggestion: Our Mishnah is not like R. Yehudah.
2. R. Shimon ben Gamliel says, one may prepare what he
will need 30 days before he builds, and he is exempt
for resulting damage.
1. (Beraisa - R. Yehudah): When people normally put
dung out, a person may put dung in the public domain
for 30 days so people and animals will trample on it
- Yehoshua made this a condition for inheriting
(e) Rejection: It is even like R. Yehudah, R. Yehudah admits
that he is liable if it damages.
(f) Question (Mishnah - R. Yehudah): (A grocer left his
Chanukah lights burning outside his shop, and this set
fire to a load of flax on a passing camel. The camel
walked around, setting the whole building on fire.) The
grocer is exempt, because he had permission to leave the
1. Suggestion: Because he had permission of Beis Din,
he is exempt!
(g) Answer: No, because it is a Mitzvah he is exempt.
(h) The following Beraisa shows that our Mishnah is not R.
(i) (Beraisa): Everyone that is permitted to ruin the public
domain, if he damages, he is liable; R. Yehudah exempts.
(j) Conclusion: Indeed, our Mishnah is not R. Yehudah.
(k) (Abaye): All the following hold that anyone who acted
with permission, if he damaged, he is exempt: R. Yehudah
(as above), R. Shimon ben Gamliel and R. Shimon.
1. (Mishnah - R. Shimon ben Gamliel): One may prepare
what he will need 30 days before he builds, and he
is exempt for resulting damage.
(l) (Beraisa): A rock quarrier gave over the rocks to one who
smoothes them - the smoother is liable (for any damage
2. (Mishnah): A person may not set up an oven in his
house unless there are four Amos above it; one may
not set up an oven in an upper story unless there
are three Tefachim of plaster below it;
i. For a Kirah (an oven that does not get as hot),
one Tefach suffices.
3. If the oven caused damage, he must pay for it;
4. R. Shimon says, if he kept the proper distance, he
1. The rocks were passed on to a donkey-driver (to
transport them), to one who carries them himself, to
the builder, to the Adrichal (one who straightens
out the rocks in the building) - at any time, the
last one who received them is liable.
(m) Contradiction (Beraisa): The last is liable, all previous
ones are exempt.
2. If a rock fell off the row being built - since its
momentum did not come from the Adrichal, all share
(n) Answer: If they are paid wages (based on how long they
work for), only the last is liable;
1. If they are Kablanim (they are hired to complete the
job), all are responsible.
(a) (Mishnah - R. Meir): Reuven owns a garden, and Shimon
owns an adjacent garden on a mound; plants growing on the
side of the mound are over Reuven's garden. These plants
belong to Shimon;
(b) R. Yehudah says, they belong to Reuven.
1. R. Meir: If Shimon would take his dirt, they would
(c) R. Shimon says, whatever Shimon can reach (from his
property) he takes, the rest belongs to Reuven.
2. R. Yehudah: If Reuven would fill his airspace with
dirt, they would not grow!
3. R. Meir: Since either could stop them from growing,
they belong to the one from whose property they
(d) (Gemara -Rava): All agree that the roots belong to
Shimon; they only argue about the foliage.
1. R. Meir holds that the foliage is treated the same
as the roots;
(e) (Beraisa - R. Meir): If Levi owned a tree in Yehudah's
land, what grows out of the stump or roots belongs to
2. R. Yehudah does not treat the foliage the same as
(f) R. Yehudah says, what grows out of the stump belongs to
Levi, what grows out of the roots belongs to Yehudah.