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Bava Metzia 110

BAVA METZIA 109-110 - anonymously dedicated by an Ohev Torah and Marbitz Torah in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel.



(a) In the case of a Sh'tar Mashkanta (de'Sura') in which it was written years, but not how many, the creditor claimed that they had agreed on three years, and the debtor said two. At that stage - the creditor promptly ate the fruit.

(b) The question is who is now believed. Had the creditor not eaten the fruit - the debtor would definitely have been believed, because he had a Chezkas Karka.

(c) According to Rav Yehudah, the creditor is obligated to pay the debtor for the third year - because of the debtor's Chezkas Karka. According to Rav Kahana, he is not - because having already eaten the fruit, he is Muchzak in them.

(a) In a case in 'ha'Sho'el', where someone rents a bathhouse for twelve gold Dinrim per annum, at one gold Dinar monthly, and it turns out to be a leap-year, Rav Nachman rules - that the hirer is obligated to pay thirteen gold Dinrim, even if he comes to pay at the end of the month.

(b) Despite the fact that Rav Nachman is not sure whether we go after the first Lashon or the last, he rules like that - because he holds 'Karka be'Chezkas Ba'alehah Kaymah' (even though the hirer already lived there - like Rav Yehudah).

(c) To reconcile Rav Kahana (whose opinion is Halachah) with Rav Nachman (whose opinion is Halachah too) - we attribute the former's ruling to the fact that the truth will be revealed when the witnesses on the Sh'tar are called. Consequently, if we were to vindicate the debtor now and then discover that the creditor was right after all, we will have to go to Beis-Din to claim the money back, a waste of Beis-Din's time. In Rav Nachman's case on the other hand, where it is a S'feika de'Dina (whether we go after the first Lashon or the last), the Safek will remain a Safek even after we have ruled (so Beis-Din's time is not at stake).

(a) In another case, where the creditor claims that they agreed on five Dinrim and the debtor says three (which have already passed), when the debtor asked the creditor to produce his Sh'tar, he replied - that he had lost it.

(b) Rav Yehudah believed him - on the basis of a 'Migu', since he could have claimed that he had bought the field and lost the Sh'tar (and seeing as three years had elapsed since he received it, he would be believed).

(c) Rav Papa told Rav Ashi that Rav Z'vid and Rav Avira did not agree with Rav Yehudah. They maintain that we cannot believe the creditor when he claims that he lost the Sh'tar, even with a 'Migu' - since unlike a Sh'tar of sale, which only substantiates the sale, *his* Sh'tar authorizes him to eat the fruit. Consequently, he would not dared to have lost it (in other words, it is a 'Migu be'Makom Eidim'). He must therefore have hidden it deliberately (because it went against him).

(a) Ravina asked Rav Ashi on Rav Yehudah from every case of Mashkanta de'Sura, where theoretically, after three years, the creditor can always hide the Sh'tar and claim that he purchased the field but had lost the Sh'tar. How could Chazal institute something on behalf of Reuven that causes Shimon a loss.

(b) When ...

1. ... Rav Ashi answered that the Rabbanan also instituted that the owner pays the land-tax and digs the irrigation ditch around the field, he meant - that since the owner was paying the tax and digging the irrigation ditch, even if the creditor were to claim that he had purchased the field, he would not be believed.
2. ... Ravina asked Rav Ashi what will happen in a case where for some reason, there is no tax to pay and no ditch that needs digging, he replied - in that case, it would be the debtor's own fault (if the creditor claimed that he had purchased the field, and won it legally) for not making a Mecha'ah (a declaration that the field was not sold, thereby forcing the other party to look after his Sh'tar [as will be explained in Bava Basra]).
(c) If an Aris claims that the owner promised him half the annual produce and the owner claims, a third, Rav Yehudah believes the owner. According to Rav Nachman - we follow the local custom (so if the Minhag is to take half, he takes half).
(a) We try to reconcile the opinions of Rav Yehudah and Rav Nachman - by establishing the former when the Minhag is to take a third, and the former, when it is to take a half.

(b) But Rav Mari B'rah de'bas Shmuel cites Abaye who disagrees, and who holds that, according to Abaye, Rav Yehudah believes the owner even if it is customary for the Aris to take half - because he has a 'Migu'; he could have claimed that the Aris is a hired laborer (who would be entitled to no more than a small wage).

(c) Throughout the Sugya, 'Ne'eman' means - with a Shevu'as Hesses.




(a) We cite a case where the Ba'al-Chov comes to claim a field from his debtor's Yesomim. The two parties are disputing - who initiated the improvements to the field; whether it was the debtor (in which case the Ba'al-Chov would be entitled to claim it), or the Yesomim (in which case he wuld not).

(b) Rebbi Chanina thought that, seeing as the land belongs to the Yesomim, the onus of proof lies with the Ba'al-Chov. That old man however, quoted Rebbi Yochanan as saying - that the onus of proof lies with the Yesomim.

(c) Abaye proves this from a Mishnah in Bava Basra. We learned there that, if a tree is growing near a pit, assuming that the tree was there first, it is not necessary to cut it down. If the pit was there first - then the tree must be cut down, and the owner of the pit is obligated to compensate him.

(a) In a case where a tree is growing within fifty Amos of a town, the Tana rules that if the town was there first, the owner must cut down the tree and does not receive compensation. If the tree was there first - he is still obligated to cut it down, and the residents of the town are obligated to compensate him.

(b) If there is a Safek as to which was there first, the Tana rules in the case of a tree near a pit - that the owner is not obligated to cut down the tree, whereas in the case of a tree near a town - he rules that he is, and what's more, he does not receive compensation ...

(c) ... because - once he is definitely obligated to cut down the tree, we consider the tree to be already cut down, and the onus is on him to prove that his tree was there first in order to receive compensation.

(d) Similarly, in the previous case (of the Ba'al Chov who is claiming the Sh'vach from the Yesomim) - since the Yesomim are anyway obligated to give the Ba'al-Chov the Sh'vach, it is considered as if they had already given it; and now that they come to claim the money, the onus is on them to prove that they initiated the improvements to the field, which is precisely what Rebbi Yochanan ruled.

(a) In the event that the Yesomim succeed in proving that they initiated the improvements, Rav Chanina initially thought that they are entitled to claim land.

(b) We refute this however, on the basis of a statement of Rav Nachman Amar Shmuel. He is speaking about 'Bechor le'Pashut, Ba'al-Chov le'Loke'ach and Ba'al-Chov u'Kesuvas Ishah li'Yesomim' - who are all paying back Sh'vach.

(c) Rav Nachman rules - that all three may compensate the their respective claimants with money, if they so wish (because it is not fair to force the three owners concerned to pay in land as long as they have money).

(d) The case of 'Bechor le'Pashut' is - when the Bechor received a double portion of inherited land which he and the Pashut improved jointly. However, since he is not entitled to a double portion of the Sh'vach (since it was not part of his father's inheritance), he is obligated to return half.

(a) Shmuel appears to hold that the Ba'al-Chov must return the Sh'vach to the purchaser. We reconcile this with his own ruling that the Ba'al-Chov is entitled to claim the Sh'vach - by establishing the latter ruling by Sh'vach sh'Ein Magi'a li'Kesafim (which is still firmly attached to the ground), and the former, by Sh'vach ha'Magi'a li'Kesafim (which is ripe and hardly needs the ground any more)?

(b) 'Sh'vach ha'Magi'a li'Kesafim' cannot be defined as fruit that no longer need the ground at all - because then it would no longer be called Sh'vach, but Peiros, to which the Ba'al-Chov is not entitled.

(c) Shmuel authorized the Ba'al-Chov to claim even 'Sh'vach ha'Magi'a li'Kesafim' - in cases where the debt being claimed by the Ba'al-Chov was equivalent to the field plus the Sh'vach.

(a) We ask a Kashya on Rav Nachman (who permits the Ba'al-Chov to pay the back money), from those who permit a purchaser to pay the Ba'al-Chov money in the first place. The reasoning that renders the ruling plausible according to those who forbid it - is because it is clear that the field belongs totally to the Ba'al-Chov, and the purchaser had it in his possession illegally.

(b) The gist of the Kashya is - that seeing as the purchaser could have forced the Ba'al-Chov to accept money in the first (an indication that the field was not totally his, now that the Ba'al-Chov was obligated to return the Sh'vach, why could he not insist on being paid in land)?

(c) We therefore establish the ruling - where the debtor designated this field as an Apotiki (which means that he specifically declared 'Lo Yehei Lach Pera'on Ela mi'Zu'), in which case everybody will agree that the field belongs totally to the Ba'al-Chov.

(a) Our Mishnah rules that if someone is Mekabel a field for a Shavu'a (a cycle of seven years) for seven hundred Zuz - the Sh'mitah year is included; whereas if he is Mekabel it for seven years - it is not?

(b) If a day-laborer may claim all night, the time for ...

1. ... a night-laborer to claim is - all day.
2. ... a laborer who works only half a day - the remainder of the day and the following night (though the interpretation of this ruling is subject to a Machlokes in the Sugya.
(c) A laborer who is hired for a week, a month, a year or seven years claim - claims for the remainder of the day, if his work terminates in the day, and for the remainder of the night if his work terminates in the night?
(a) The Tana of the Beraisa learn from the Pasuk ...
1. ... "Lo Salin Pe'ulas Sachir Itcha ad Boker" - that a day-worker has the following night until daybreak to claim his wages.
2. ... "be'Yomo Titen Secharo" - that a night-worker has the following day until nightfall to claim.
3. ... "ki'Sechir Shanah be'Shanah" - that a laborer's wages only fall due when his contract ends.
(b) The relevance of the latter ruling to our Sugya is because without it - we might have thought "Lo Salin ... " refers to a night worker, and "be'Yomo Titen Secharo" to a day-worker.

(c) Having written "Lo Salin ... ", the Torah nevertheless needs to add "ad Boker", to teach us - that once the following day (or night has passed, the hirer is no longer subject to that La'av (or Asei).

(d) From the Pasuk "Al Tomar le'Re'acha Lech va'Shov, u'Machar Eten, ve'Yesh Itcha" we learn - that he is nevertheless subject to 'bal Tashheh' (not to delay payment of the hirer's wages).

(a) The Tana of a Beraisa rules that if Reuven hires a laborer to work for him, but then takes him to work on Shimon's property - he has to pay him in full, before claiming from the owner whatever benefit he received from the laborer's work.

(b) And we establish another Beraisa, which states that if Reuven hires a laborer to work for Shimon, neither of them is subject to "Lo Salin" - when he specifically told the laborer that Shimon would pay his wages.

(c) The reasoning behind this latter ruling is - because the one did not hire him (so the laborer is not literally his "Sachir"), and he is not working on behalf of the other (so we cannot apply "Pe'ulas Sachir Itcha").

(d) When Ameimar or Mar Zutra wanted to hire a laborer, he would ask the other one to hire him on his behalf.

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