BAVA METZIA 83 (Tamuz 25) - Dedicated in memory of Faiga bas Rav Moshe Shmuel z'l, mother of Les Wiesel of Queens NY, by Les and Sandy Wiesel.


(a)Even on an incline, he can swear only if witnesses were not present. If witnesses were there, he must bring witnesses!

1.(Beraisa - Isi ben Yehudah): "Ein Ro'eh, he will swear" - if people saw, he must bring witnesses to be exempt.

(b)Answer #2 (R. Chiya bar Aba): (All agree that R. Meir holds that one who trips is negligent.) It is a Rabbinical enactment that he may swear and be exempt. Otherwise, no one would agree to transport a barrel!

(c)Question: What does he swear?

(d)Answer (Rava): He swears that he did not break it intentionally;

(e)R. Yehudah says that a Shomer Chinam swears, but a Shomer Sachar must pay.

(f)R. Elazar says that he heard that both are exempt, but he does not understand why;

1.Granted, a Shomer Chinam can swear that he was not negligent, but a Shomer Sachar pays even if he was not negligent!

2.Even a Shomer Chinam is exempt only if he fell on an incline. If he fell on level ground, this is negligence!

3.Even on an incline, if witnesses were there, he must bring witnesses!

i.(Beraisa - Isi ben Yehudah): "Ein Ro'eh" - if people saw, he must bring witnesses to be exempt.


(a)Reuven was transporting a barrel of wine in the market of Mechuza, and it broke on a beam jutting out into the Reshus ha'Rabim.

1.Rava: Many people are in the market. You must bring witnesses to be exempt.

2.Rav Yosef (Rava's son): This is according to Isi!

3.Rava: Yes, the Halachah follows Isi.

(b)Reuven asked Shimon to buy 400 jugs of wine. He did, and they all soured.

1.Rava: Such an occurrence would be known. Shimon must bring proof that he brought proper wine.

2.Rav Yosef: This is according to Isi!

3.Rava: Yes, the Halachah follows Isi.


(a)R. Chiya bar Yosef enacted that people who carry on shoulder-poles (one burden in front of the person and one in back) must pay half if the load breaks.

(b)Question: What is the reason?

(c)Answer: It is more than one person should carry, but it is not enough that people would hire two workers for it. It is between Ones and negligence.

(d)One who carries on a cross-poles (it straddles the shoulders, one burden on the right, one on the left) must pay fully if the load breaks. (This is a load fit for two people, it was negligence to carry it himself).

(e)Rabah bar bar Chanah hired workers to transport barrels. A barrel broke. He took their shirts to pay for it.

1.Rav: Give them back their shirts.

2.Rabah: Is that the Halachah?

3.Rav: Yes! "L'Ma'an Telech b'Derech Tovim" (you must go beyond the letter of the law).

4.He returned their shirts. They petitioned 'we are poor. We worked all day, and we have nothing to eat!'

5.Rav: Pay their wages.

6.Rabah: Is that the Halachah?

7.Rav: Yes! "V'Orchos Tzadikim Tishmor".



(a)(Mishnah): If Reuven hired workers and told them to start early and finish late, if this is not the local custom, he cannot force them;

(b)Where the custom is to feed them, he must feed them. Where the custom is to supply relish with the bread, he must do so. all is according to the local custom.

(c)A case occurred in which R. Yochanan ben Masya told his son to hire workers. His son promised to feed them.

1.R. Yochanan: They descend from Avraham, Yitzchak and Yakov. Even if you give them a banquet like of King Shlomo, this does not suffice! Before they start working, tell them that you promise them only bread and legumes.

(d)R. Shimon ben Gamliel says, there was no need for this. All is according to the local custom.

(e)(Gemara) Question: The first law is obvious!

(f)Answer: The case is, he pays them more than the usual wage.

1.One might have thought that this is in order that they will start early and finish late. The Mishnah teaches that this is not so. They can say, we get extra so we will work well.


(g)(Reish Lakish): (The standard workday is from sunrise until dark, i.e. when stars are visible.) A worker goes home on his own time (he leaves at dark), and comes to work on his employer's time (he leaves his house at sunrise) - "Tizrach ha'Shemesh... Yetzei Adam l'Fa'alo vela'Avodaso Adei Arev".

(h)Question: We should follow the local custom!

(i)Answer #1: Reish Lakish's law is for a new city.

1.Question: We should follow the custom of the place the residents came from!

2.Answer: They come from different places with different customs.

(j)Answer #2: He teaches about one who said 'I hire you according to Torah law.'


(a)(Rav Yosef): "Tashes Choshech vi'Yehi Lailah" refers to this world, which resembles night. "Kol Chayso Ya'ar" refers to the wicked, who are like beasts of the forest. "Tizrach ha'Shemesh" - the sun will shine for the Tzadikim. "Ye'asefun" - the wicked will be gathered to Gehinom. "V'El Me'onosam Yirbatzun" - every Tzadik will have a place according to his honor;

1."Yetzei Adam l'Fa'alo" - the Tzadikim go to receive their reward. "Vela'Avodaso Adei Arev" refers to one who finished his work before he died.

(b)R. Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon found a king's official who used to seize thieves.

1.R. Elazar: How do you catch them? The verse compares them to beasts! Perhaps you get Tzadikim instead!

2.The official: I must do what the king decrees!

3.R. Elazar: Do the following. At the fourth hour of the day, see who is drinking wine in the store and dozing, and ask about him.

i.If he is a Chacham, he is tired because he rose early to learn;

ii.If he is a worker, he rose early to work;

iii.If he works at night, he is tired from working at night;

iv.If none of these apply, he is a thief. Seize him!

(c)The king heard about this. He appointed R. Elazar to seize thieves.

(d)R. Yehoshua ben Korchah (to R. Elazar): Vinegar, son of wine (your father was a Tzadik, but you are not)! How can you deliver Hash-m's people to be killed?!

(e)R. Elazar: I am only eliminating the thorns from the vineyard!

(f)R. Yehoshua: Let Hash-m remove them Himself!

(g)One day a launderer called R. Elazar 'vinegar, son of wine'. R. Elazar reasoned that anyone so brazen must be evil. He had him seized.

(h)Later, R. Elazar decided that the launderer was not worthy to die. He went to redeem him, but was unable to. He applied to him "Shomer Piv u'Lshono Shomer mi'Tzaros Nafsho". The launderer was hung; R. Elazar cried.

1.Onlookers: Don't feel bad. He and his son had relations with a betrothed Na'arah on Yom Kipur!

2.R. Elazar was comforted. 'Even people I am unsure about deserve to die. All the more so, people I am sure about deserve to die! Worms will not consume my innards after death.'

3.He tested this. They removed fat from his stomach and put it in the hot sun; it did not rot.

4.Question: Fat normally does not rot in the sun!

5.Answer: If there is redness (of flesh) with it, it does. R. Elazar's did not rot, even though there was flesh with it - "Af Besari Yishkon la'Vetach."

(i)A similar case occurred with R. Yishmael b'Rebbi Yosi.

1.Eliyahu: How can you deliver Hash-m's people to be killed?!

2.R. Yishmael: The king commanded. What can I do?

3.Eliyahu: Your father fled to Asya. You can flee to Ludkiya!