ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Bava Metzia 63
BAVA METZIA 61,63,64,65 - Mrs. Estanne Abraham-Fawer has dedicated two weeks
of Dafyomi study material to honor the second Yahrzeit of her father, Reb
Mordechai ben Eliezer Zvi (Weiner, who passed away 18 Teves 5761). May the
merit of supporting and advancing the study of the Talmud be l'Iluy
(a) Rava establishes our Mishnah like Rebbi Oshaya. Based on the fact that,
on a number of occasions, he explained Mishnahs like him Rava remarked -
that when he died, Rebbi Oshaya would come from Gen Eiden to meet him.
(b) Rebbi Oshaya quotes a Beraisa as saying ...
1. ... that if Reuven lent Shimon a Manah, and when he went to Shimon's
granary for his money which he needed in order to purchase wheat, Shimon
offered him wheat on credit, but at the current market price, if Reuven came
for his wheat at market time, and found that it was now worth more than the
Manah he had lent him - he was permitted to take it, provided Shimon had
wheat at the time that he received the money.
(c) If Reuven gave Shimon a Manah for wheat on credit, and when the time
arrived, the price of wheat had risen, Rebbi Oshaya would permit him to take
it even if Shimon did not initially have wheat (provided the price was fixed
at the time when he paid him the money) - because, based on the principle
'Im Ein la'Zeh, Yesh la'Zeh', it does not even resemble Ribis.
2. ... that if in the same case, Reuven came for his wheat in order to sell
it and purchase wine, and Shimon offered to give him wine later (under
exactly the same conditions), or if he then went on to offer him oil instead
of his wine - he was permitted to take it, provided Shimon had wine (or oil)
at the time that the final transaction took place.
(d) What transforms this case from a loan into a sale is - the fact that
they cannot retract without accepting a 'Mi She'Para' (see Haga'hos
(a) Rava extrapolates three Chidushim from Rebbi Oshaya's Beraisa. The first
is 'Ma'amidin Milveh al-Gabei Peiros', meaning - that one is permitted to
transfer a loan of money on to fruit at today's price, even if when the
fruit is handed over, the price has risen, and we do not hold of the S'vara
'Lo ke'Isro ha'Ba le'Yado Hu'.
(b) This precludes the opinion of - the Beraisa cited by Rabah on the
(c) The second Chidush is - the qualifier, permitting it only on condition
that the debtor has fruit at the time of the transfer.
(d) The third Chidush is like Rebbi Yanai, who says 'Mah Li Hein, Mah Li
D'meihen' (that there is no difference whether the purchaser receives the
fruit [that has risen in price], or its value in money). And Rava learns
this - from the fact that Rebbi Oshaya permits transferring the wheat (by
first assessing its price) on to wine.
(a) Rav disagrees with Rebbi Yanai. He permits making an Amanah (giving
money on credit) to receive fruit, but not to receive money (under any
circumstances [because it looks like Ribis)].
(b) Rava just proved Rebbi Yanai's opinion from Rebbi Oshaya's Beraisa.
Initially, Rav Huna Amar Rav explains the Beraisa ('Kulam Im Yesh Lo,
Mutar'), when Reuven made a Kinyan on the wheat - in which case he acquires
it, removing the aspect of loan (and therefore of Ribis) from the
(c) The problem with this answer is - that this would be obvious, and the
Beraisa would not be teaching us anything.
(d) So we conclude that what Rav really meant was (not that he actually made
a Kinyan on the wheat, but) that Reuven designated a corner in his house
where to place it - and the Chidush now is that designation is significant
(even to the point that it can remove the aspect of Ribis).
(a) Shmuel answers the Kashya from the above Beraisa by establishing it like
Rebbi Yehudah in another Beraisa, who permits Reuven, who owes Shimon a
Manah, to 'sell' Shimon his field, which will serve as payment for the loan
should he fail to repay it by a certain date, but revert to Reuven in the
event that he pays, even if *Shimon* eats the fruit - because he holds 'Tzad
Echad be'Ribis, Mutar' (a fifty per-cent chance of the Ribis taking place,
such as here, where it will entail Ribis if the debtor manages to pay and
the field is returned to Reuven.
(b) The Tana Kama - forbids such a transaction, unless it is Reuven who eats
the fruit, because he holds 'Tzad Echad be'Ribis, Asur'
(c) This reconciles the Beraisa with Rav - inasmuch as Rebbi Oshaya's
Beraisa too, is a case of Tzad Echad be'Ribis, since the seller has the
option of giving the purchaser fruit, and not money.
(d) When Rebbi Yehudah supported his opinion with an incident with Bitus ben
Zonin, who, under the same conditions (and under the supervision of Rebbi
Elazar ben Azaryah), 'sold' his field to his creditor, who subsequently ate
the fruit - the Rabbanan retorted that he had erred, and that it was Bitus
ben Zonin, who had eaten the fruit in the interim.
(a) Abaye too, explains the Machlokes between Rebbi Yehudah and the Tana
Kama by 'Tzad Echad be'Ribis', as we just explained. But according to Rava
(who establishes the Beraisa like Rebbi Yanai), Rebbi Yehudah permitted the
above transaction - on the condition that Shimon returns the Ribis together
with the field, should Reuven subsequently pay, because he holds 'Ribis
al-M'nas Le'hachzir, Mutar' (but Tzad Echad be'Ribis is forbidden even
according to Rebbi Yehudah).
(b) Whereas the Chachamim holds 'Ribis al-M'nas Le'hachzir, Asur'.
(a) Rava extrapolates from Rebbi Yanai, who holds 'Mah Li Hein, Mah Li
D'meihen', that, by the same token, we will say 'Mah Li Hein, Mah Li
D'meihen', meaning - that if, after the price of the wheat has been fixed,
the purchaser gives him money for wheat that he will supply him later, this
is permitted even if if he has no wheat, because he has the money with which
to purchase it, and 'What difference does it make whether he has wheat, or
whether he has the money ... '?
(b) This is not what the Mishnah later means when it states 'Yazta
ha'Sha'ar, Poskin' - because the Tana is talking about a more basic sort of
price-fixing (rather than the market-price which is fixed by the merchants
who arrive in town to sell in the markets), as we shall see.
(c) We first refer to the money as 'D'meihen' and the fruit as 'Hein', and
then reverse the order, to call the money 'Hein' and the fruit 'D'meihen' -
because in the latter case, where the purchaser initially gave money for
fruit, the initial money is referred to as 'Hein', and the fruit, the
'Damim' of the money that he gave; whereas in the former, when the seller is
giving the purchaser money instead of the fruit that he purchased, it is
appropriate to call the fruit 'Hein and the Damim, 'D'meihen'.
(a) We learned in the Beraisa of Rebbi Oshaya 'Kulan, Im Yesh Lo Mutar, *Im
Ein Lo Asur*'. There too, the seller initially received money. The S'vara
'Mah Li D'meihen, Mah Li Hein' will not apply there - because, since the
money was given in the form of a loan, it involves an Isur d'Oraysa, in
which case Chazal were more stringent.
(b) The reason that Rabah and Rav Yosef ascribe to the Din of 'Poskin al
Sha'ar she'be'Shuk ... ' is - 'Shekilu Tivusech ve'Shadi a'Chizra' ('Your
favor is taken and thrown into the bushes'), because the purchaser can say
to the seller that, if he had not given him his money, he could have bought
wheat himself at the current price in Hini and Shilli (places near
Pumbedisa, where Rabah and Rav Yosef resided), with exactly the same
(c) Abaye asked Rav Yosef why 'Sa'ah be'Sa'ah' is not permitted for the same
reason, because 'Chiti de'Kadchi be'Akalba'i' - meaning that had he kept his
Sa'ah of wheat in his own storehouse, it would not have got wet from the
rain (or hot from the heat) and would therefore not have spoilt [so here as
well, what favor is he doing him by keeping his Sa'ah for him, when he could
have kept it himself?]).
(d) Rav Yosef answered him - that there, like in the previous case, Chazal
confined their leniency to cases of buying and selling (which is only
de'Rabbanan), but not to loans, which are basically d'Oraysa.
(a) Rav Ada bar Ahavah queries Rabah and Rav Yosef, on the grounds that it
ought nevertheless to be Ribis because the purchaser gains the fees of a
Safsira - a middle man who would go round buying from one person and selling
(b) Rava replied - that he is indeed obligated to add the Safsira's fees to
those of the seller.
(c) According to Rav Ashi, that is not necessary - seeing as there are many
sellers who travel with their corn from place to place, thereby
circumventing the Safsira's fees.
(a) The Mishnah later permits buying wheat on credit, based on Tar'a Charifa
(an early price-fixing immediately following the harvesting of the crops)
when the early harvesters sell crops in small quantities at a cheap price -
provided they have crops already available.
(b) Rabah and Rav Yosef add to the Mishnah's condition - that the purchaser
must appear in person at the granary whilst the owner is threshing or
winnowing his corn.
(c) The reason for this cannot be in order to acquire it - since appearing
at the barn would not acquire it anyway without a Meshichah.
(a) The reason that the purchaser needs to be present at the granary whilst
the owner is working there is for the latter to accept a 'Mi she'Para'.
Despite the fact that in most other cases, the 'Mi she'Para' takes effect,
irrespective of the purchaser's presence at the granary, this case is
different - inasmuch as, at this early stage of harvesting, purchasers tend
to make an interim purchase from two or three merchants until deciding which
one was the most lucrative. Consequently, as long as he did not actually
turn up at the barn. the seller would assume that he probably found a better
deal somewhere else.
(b) If the seller doesn't own a granary - then in the case of Tar'a Charifa,
he is forbidden to make an advance sale (although this is not the case by a
(c) Rav Ashi qualifying Rabah and Rav Yosef's stringency in this regard,
explains that - seeing as their reason is based on the owner's reliance on
the purchaser's decision, it will suffice for the seller to meet the
purchaser in the street and to inform him that he relies on him.
(a) Rav Nachman defines Ribis that is connected with buying and selling - as
'Agar Natar Lei' (whatever the seller gives the purchaser (e.g. a price
reduction) to reward him for his advance payment.
(b) Rav Nachman also permits giving four Zuz to a wax-merchant in order to
receive five-Zuzim-worth after the price goes up, provided the merchant
already has wax available at the time, but not if he doesn't. If he has
wax - then it doesn't matter if he is out of town when he takes the order,
or if he mislaid the key to his wax-store. Both of these cases still fall
under the category of 'Yesh Lo', (as we will see later).
(c) This is not the distinction between 'Yesh Lo' and 'Ein Lo' that our
Mishnah has already taught us - because Rav Nachman is speaking when the wax
merchant has already paid for stocks of wax which only need to be
collected, and his Chidush is that it is not called 'Yesh Lo' until he
actually collects it.
(a) If Reuven borrows a sum of coins from Shimon and discovers more than
they agreed upon, Rav Nachman states - that if the discrepancy is a small
one, that one might expect someone counting out coins to make, then he is
obligated to return them; but if it amounts to more than one would
conceivably expect a person to err over, then he may assume that Shimon gave
him the excess coins as a gift.
(b) When Rav Acha B'rei de'Rav Yosef says 'be'Isuraysa ve'Chumshaysa', he is
elaborating on Rav Nachman's statement, and teaching us - that if the
discrepancy amounts to a multiple of ten or of five (which is the way most
people tend to count), then the borrower must assume the lender to have made
a mistake, and is obligated to return the difference.
(c) We will assume a discrepancy of ...
1. ... fifty-five coins say, in a large batch of coins - to be a double
error, one of fifty (assuming that he counted the coins in groups of fifty),
and one of five.
2. ... twenty-five coins - to be an error of five groups of five.
3. ... two or three coins - to be a gift.
(a) When Rav Acha B'rei de'Rava asked Rav Ashi what the Din will be in the
latter case, if the lender was ...
1. ... a tough guy who does not normally tend to give away gifts, he replied
that in that case, he had probably stolen from him in the course of a
previous transaction and was now coming to pay back what he stole.
(b) In the first of these two cases, one fulfills the Mitzvah of returning a
stolen object, even without informing the Nigzal - because we learned in a
Beraisa that someone who stole from his friend, fulfills the Mitzvah of
'Hashavas Gezeilah' by adding what he stole to another sum of money that he
gives or lends him.
2. ... if the same tough guy had never had any previous dealings with the
borrower - then it must have been a third person who stole from him, and
gave him the money to return in this way.