Bava Metzia 104 (5 Sivan 5784) - Dedicated l'Zecher Nishmas Reb Chaim Aryeh ben Aharon Stern Z'L, by Shmuel Gut of Brooklyn, N.Y..

[104a - 48 lines; 104b - 43 lines]

1)[line 7]לימא ליה "שְׁמָא בעלמא אמרי לך"LEIMA LEI "SHMA B'ALMA AMRI LACH"- the Machkir can say to the Chocher, "I was just using the name of the property" (but it really does not have a wellspring in it or it really does not have fruit trees in it)

2)[line 8]בית כור עפרBEIS KOR AFAR - a Beis Kor of dirt

We can calculate the area of a Beis Kor proportional to the area of the courtyard of the Mishkan, which was termed a Beis Se'asayim (2 Se'ah). Since the courtyard measured 100 by 50 Amos, and a Kor is equal to thirty Se'in, a Beis Kor would be a field that has an area of 75,000 square Amos, approximately 15,595.5, 17,280 or 24,883.2 square meters, depending upon the differing Halachic opinions.

3)[line 9]לתךLESECH- 15 Se'in (see Background to Bava Metzia 102:27:c)

4)[line 10]והוא דמתקרי בית כורV'HU D'MISKERI BEIS KOR- as long as it is called a Beis Kor (even though it is not that big)

5)[line 22]דקאי בגוהD'KAI B'GAVAH- that he is standing in it (the field)

6)[line 24]כדקיימא השתאKED'KAIMA HASHTA- as it stands now, that is, with a well in it (and if the well dries up, he will have another one dug, or else he must deduct from the Chocher's rent)

7)[line 25]והובירהV'HOVIRAH- and he left it fallow

8)[line 27]אם אוביר ולא אעביד אשלם במיטבאIM OVIR V'LO A'AVID, ASHALEM B'MEITVA- "If I let the land lie fallow and I do not work it, I will pay you with my highest quality property." A sharecropper is obligated to pay the field owner a certain percentage of the field's produce. In this case, in the sharecropping agreement the sharecropper stipulates that if he does not work the field, he will compensate the field owner for his share of the produce that the field would have produced, and if he does not pay cash as compensation, he will let the field owner seize the best of his own fields as compensation.

9)[line 28]היה דורש לשון הדיוטHAYAH DORESH LESHON HEDYOT- he would interpret the popular phrases that the common folk used in their documents and verbal agreements so that those phrases corresponded to the Halachah

10)[line 29]רבי מאיר אומר "אם אוביר ולא אעביד אשלם במיטבא"REBBI MEIR OMER "IM OVIR V'LO A'AVID, ASHALEM B'MEITVA"- this Beraisa shows that our Mishnah is actually one of those instances in which Rebbi Meir interpreted a popular phrase to make it correspond to the Halachah


(a)In Vayikra 12:1-8 the Torah discusses the laws of Tum'ah and Taharah of a Yoledes, a woman after childbirth. For a full discussion of these laws, See Background to Kidushin 13:16. Even after both the initial stage of Tum'ah and the subsequent stage of Dam Tohar, the woman may eat Kodshim and enter the Azarah of the Beis ha'Mikdash only after she brings a Korban Yoledes. Her Korban includes a male sheep as an Olah and a Tor (turtledove) or a Ben Yonah (common dove) as a Chatas. If she could not afford a sheep, she brings 2 Torim or 2 Bnei Yonah, one as an Olah and one as a Chatas.

(b)For a detailed description of the Halachos of a Metzora, a person afflicted with the skin disease of Tzara'as, see Background to Bava Metzia 86:29. For a full discussion of the process by which a Metzora becomes Tahor, see Background to Kidushin 35:24. On the eighth day after the Metzora is healed from the Tzara'as, he must bring Korbanos to complete his Taharah. The animal Korbanos are two male sheep and one female sheep. One of the male sheep is offered as an Olah, the other as an Asham. The female sheep is offered as a Chatas. If the Metzora could not afford to buy all of these animals, he is called a poor Metzora. The poor Metzora brings two Torim (turtledoves) or two Bnei Yonah (common doves) as the Olah and the Chatas; however, a sheep must still be used as his Asham. An ordinary Metzora or a poor Metzora brings Nesachim with all of his animal Korbanos (Menachos 91a).

(c)Rebbi Yehudah, who is Doresh Leshon Hedyot, rules that a husband who has the means to afford the normal Korbanos of a Yoledes and a Metzora'as must buy these animals for his wife when she becomes obligated to bring them. Because of the customary phrase describing a husband's obligation with regard to his wife's Korbanos, he may not claim that his wife does not have adequate means and should only be obligated in the Korbanos of a poor Yoledes or Metzora'as.

12)[line 32]כל קרבן וקרבן שהיא חייבתKOL KORBAN V'KORBAN SHE'HI CHAYEVES- any sacrifice in which she is obligated

13)[line 33]שכך כותב לה, "אחריות דאית ליך עלי מן קדמת דנא"SHE'KACH KOSEV LAH, "ACHRAYUS D'IS LICH ALAI MIN KADMAS DENA"- (a) because this is what he wrote for her [in the Kesuvah], "All [of your] liabilities [to bring obligatory Korbanos] that you have from before this time are upon me" (TOSFOS to Nedarim 30b DH Mevi Adam, 1st explanation, MEFARESH to Nazir 24a, ROSH to Nazir ibid., 2nd explanation); (b) According to the Girsa in the Gemara Nedarim ibid. and Nazir ibid., "SHE'KACH KOSEVES LO, "KOL ACHRAYUS D'IS LI ALACH MI'KADMAS DENA" - because this is what she writes to him in the receipt for the payment of her Kesuvah (if he divorces her), "All of your liability for my obligations from before this time (i.e. during the period in which they were married), [is absolved]" (RAN to Nedarim 30b, TOSFOS to Nedarim ibid. DH Mevi Adam, 2nd explanation, TOSFOS to Nazir ibid., ROSH to Nazir ibid., 1st explanation)

14)[line 36]היו מקדשין את נשותיהםHAYU MEKADSHIN ES NESHOSEIHEM- they would betroth their wives (For a detailed description of the process of Kidushin, betrothal, see Background to Kidushin 2:1)

15)[line 36]לחופהCHUPAH- the wedding canopy (For a detailed description of the Halachic ramification of the Chupah, see Background to Kidushin 3:6)

16)[line 37]וחוטפיםCHOTFIM- seize, abduct

17)[line 38]ממזריםMAMZERIM- illegitimate (see Background to Bava Kama 38:24)

18)[line 39]כתובת אמכםKESUVAS IMCHEM- the marriage documents of your mothers (see Background to Bava Metzia 67:4)

19)[line 40]לכשתכנסי לחופה הוי לי לאינתוLECHESHE'TIKANSI LA'CHUPAH HEVI LI L'INTU- when you shall go into the wedding canopy, you will be my wife (the stage of betrothal, see Background to Kidushin 2:1, especially 2:1:II:b). This was a condition making the Erusin invalid if, for some reason, the Chupah-stage (Nisu'in) of the marriage did not take place.

20)[line 44]לא ימשכננו יותר מחובוLO YEMASHKENENU YOSER ME'CHOVO- he may not take a Mashkon (pledge, security) valued at more than his debt. A creditor may not tell an agent of Beis Din to take an object from the debtor as a pledge for the debt when that object is worth more than the value of the loan, for the reason that the Gemara explains (see next entry).

21)[line 45]תשלומתא דאית לך עלי כל קבל דיכיTASHLUMTA D'IS LACH ALAI KOL KEVEL DEICHI- the payment that I owe to you is the value of this [object that you initially took as a Mashkon and which you are now returning to me to use before I repay the debt]. The creditor acquires the Mashkon when he takes it initially, and thus the debtor is effectively borrowing the object from the creditor. By committing himself to pay back the value of the object, the debtor will end up paying more than his original debt was worth.

22)[line 46]הא אי לא כתב ליה הכי, לא קניא?!HA IY LO CHASAV LEI HACHI, LO KANYA?!- but if he did not write this [in a Shtar], the creditor would not be entitled to receive [the object back, such as in a case where the debtor died and the creditor wants to take the object from the heirs]?!

23)[line 47]משכנו, והשיב לו המשכוןMISHKENO, V'HESHIV LO HA'MASHKON- if a creditor took an object as pledge for a debt, and then he returned that Mashkon to the debtor (see above, entry #21)

24)[last line]שומטו מעל גבי בניוSHOMTO ME'AL GABEI VANAV- he may confiscate it from the possession of the sons (of the debtor who died, even though, normally, a creditor may not collect the Metaltelin (mobile property) of heirs for a debt owed to him by their father)


25)[line 1]אהני כתיבה לגירעוןAHANI KESIVAH L'GEIRA'ON- the writing [of the Shtar] is effective for reduction (it allows the creditor to collect the value of any depreciation of the object of the pledge that occurs to the object while the debtor was using it)

26)[line 2]מקום שנהגו לעשות כתובה מלוה, גובה מלוהMAKOM SHE'NAHAGU LA'ASOS KESUVAH MILVEH, GOVEH MILVEH- in a place where the custom is to make the [woman's dowry written in the] Kesuvah as a loan, the husband collects it as a loan (i.e. he collects the full amount that is written in the Kesuvah from the father of the bride).

27)[line 3]לכפול, גובה מחצהLICHPOL, GOVEH MECHETZAH- [in a place where the custom is] to double the amount [of the woman's dowry in the Kesuvah, as a way of giving honor to the bride and her family], the husband collects (from the father of the bride) half of the amount written.

28)[line 4]נהרבלאי גבו תילתאNAHARBELA'EI GAVU TILSA- the people in Naharbela would collect a third

29)[line 4]מרימר מגבי נמי שבחאMEREIMAR MAGVI NAMI SHIVCHA- Mereimar would collect whatever was written (even if the amount that was written was double the intended amount)

30)[line 13]תמני מאהTAMNEI ME'AH- eight hundred

31)[line 27]ואסמכתא לא קניאASMACHTA LO KANYA

(a)Asmachta refers to "reliance" upon a particular eventuality or a conditional [monetary] obligation which the parties involved undertake without full commitment. The reason that the parties involved do not commit themselves fully is because their obligation is contingent upon the fulfillment of a condition that each party anticipates will not be fulfilled. An example of this is when gamblers place wagers, where neither of them expects to lose the wager.

(b)The Tana'im (Bava Basra 168a) argue as to whether such a commitment is binding or not.

32)[line 29]לא קא גזיםLO KA GAZIM- he is not exaggerating

33)[line 29]כיון דקאמר מילתא יתירתא, גוזמא בעלמא הואKEIVAN D'AMAR MILSA YESIERTA, GUZMA B'ALMU HU- since he said much more (than the field is worth), it is an exaggeration (and he did not mean it)

34)[line 31]לשומשמיSHUMSHEMEI- sesame

35)[line 33]מנכי ליה כחשא דארעאMENAKI LEI KACHASHA D'AR'A- he (the field owner) must deduct from his own share (that the sharecropper gives him) the amount that he saved by not having his land weakened

36)[line 34]כחשא ארעא ולא לכחוש מרהKACHASHA AR'A V'LO LI'KECHOSH MARAH- [the field owner may claim that he prefers] the weakening of his land, and not the weakening of its owner (i.e. he prefers that his land would have been weakened than to have to pay for it not to be weakened (and not have as much money to buy food)

37)[line 36]יהיב ליה שבחא דביני ביניYAHIV LEI SHIVCHA D'VENEI VEINEI- the field owner must give all of the extra profit to the sharecropper (i.e., the owner receives only the value that his percentage of sesame would have yielded)

37)[line 37]האי עיסקא, פלגא מלוה ופלגא פקדוןHAI ISKA, PALGA MILVEH U'FALGA PIKADON (ISKA) - this investment arrangement of "Iska" is considered to be half a loan and half a deposit

(a)When two people embark upon an Iska (a business deal) in which one of them provides merchandise and the other deals with the sales aspect, half of the merchandise is considered to be on loan to the salesman while the other half is considered to be a deposit (Pikadon). The half that is on loan is looked at as the salesman's personal assets, to deal with as he wishes (although he must pay back the loan eventually). The other half, which is being held as a deposit, still belongs to the supplier of the merchandise. Thus, half of the returns on the merchandise rightfully belong to the salesman and half to the supplier.

(b)In such a situation, it is prohibited for the salesman to divide the returns of the investment equally with his supplier. If the salesman takes only half of the profits, he has troubled himself to find buyers for the supplier's half of the merchandise without compensation other than the loan that the supplier lent to him. This would be considered to be Ribis, usury.

(c)In order to permit such a business arrangement, the salesman must be compensated for his efforts on behalf of the supplier. Thus, the agreement must specify that the seller's share in the returns will be larger than his share in the merchandise.

38)[line 38]עבוד רבנן מילתא דניחא ליה ללוה וניחא ליה למלוהAVUD RABANAN MILSA D'NICHA LEI LA'LOVEH V'NICHA LEI LA'MALVEH- the Rabanan made an enactment that would be beneficial to the borrower and beneficial to the lender

39)[line 40]לאיעסוקי ביהL'I'ASUKEI BEI- to do business [and to profit] with it

40)[line 41]ואם מת, נעשה מטלטלין אצל בניוV'IM MES, NA'ASEH METALTELIN ETZEL BANAV- if the borrower dies, the half of the investment money which is a loan is considered Metaltelin (mobile property) in the hands of the sons (and thus the investor may not collect it from them, because of the rule "Metalteli d'Yasmi Lo Meshta'abdei")

41)[last line]חדא עיסקא ותרי שטרי, פסידא דמלוהCHADA ISKA U'SREI SHETAREI, PESEIDA D'MALVEH- when two documents were written for a single investment (Iska), it is to the lender's detriment. (Since, in a case of Iska, the lender must accept upon himself to absorb a larger share of the loss than of the gain, when the Iska is divided into two amounts and written into two documents, if there is a loss on the investment amount written in one document and a gain in the other, his share of the loss is more than his share of the gain.)