1) MUST A BEIS DIN EXPLAIN THE REASONING BEHIND ITS RULING
QUESTION: The Gemara relates that two people came before Rav Papa with a dispute. They were partners in a business venture, and one of them dissolved the partnership (by selling the assets and dividing the proceeds) without the other's knowledge. Rav Papa ruled that the sale of the assets was valid. The same parties later became joint owners in wine. This time, the partner who did not consent to the dissolution of the previous partnership decided to sell the wine without the knowledge of the other partner. They came before Rav Papa who said to the partner who sold the wine, "Who told you that this was the true value of the wine?" That partner complained that Rav Papa always rules against him. Rav Papa replied, "In such a case I certainly must inform him [of my reasoning." He proceeded to explain why the two cases were different.
TOSFOS (69b, DH Ki Hai Gavna) asks that Rav Papa's statement implies that he normally would not explain his rulings even when requested to do so. However, the Gemara in Sanhedrin (31b) states that when a person is summoned to appear before Beis Din, he has the right to request a written explanation of the Beis Din's ruling. Does Rav Papa argue with that statement?
(a) TOSFOS quotes RABEINU TAM who answers that the Gemara in Sanhedrin refers specifically to a case in which the person is forced to appear before that Beis Din. If the person is not forced to appear before the Beis Din, there is no requirement that the Beis Din divulge its reasoning behind its ruling, even when requested to do so.
(b) The RAMBAN agrees with Rabeinu Tam but adds that there is another, and more fundamental, difference between the two Gemaras. When the Gemara in Sanhedrin says that the defendant may demand that the reason behind the judgment be put in writing for him, it does not mean that the Beis Din must write all of the sources on which its conclusion is based. It means that the Beis Din must record the arguments of the two sides, and state its ruling. In contrast, Rav Papa here explained the logical reasoning behind his ruling, which is not the subject of the Gemara in Sanhedrin.
(c) Tosfos quotes others who explain that the Gemara here does not refer to the explanation behind a ruling. The correct translation of Rav Papa's statement, "Ki Hai Gavna Vadai Tzarich l'Oduyei" is, "In such a case one definitely must inform [his partner]." Rav Papa was responding to the defendant, not making a comment to himself that he should reveal the reason behind his ruling. Accordingly, Rav Papa's statement is unrelated to the teaching of the Gemara in Sanhedrin. (See the RITVA who has difficulty with this explanation.) (Y. MONTROSE)
2) "MAFRIZ AL SADEHU V'EINO CHOSHESH"
OPINIONS: The Gemara quotes a Beraisa which discusses the case of a person who rents a field in exchange for providing the owner with ten Kur of wheat per year. The Beraisa explains that the renter is entitled to ask the owner to give him 200 Zuz so that he can take better care of the field, and in return he will give the owner twelve Kur of wheat per year. However, a similar arrangement may not be made when one rents a store or a boat.
What is the nature of the 200 Zuz which the owner gives the renter? Is it considered a loan or an investment?
(a) RASHI (DH Ten Li) explains that the Beraisa means that the owner of the field should lend to the renter 200 Zuz. The renter pays back the loan at the specified time, in addition to the twelve Kur per year.
Why is this arrangement not considered Ribis? After all, the owner of the field gains two Kur per year in return for giving the renter a 200-Zuz loan!
The NESIVOS SHALOM (YD 176:5) explains the words of Rashi based on the ruling of the RAMBAM (Hilchos Malveh v'Loveh 7:9), who has a slightly different understanding of the Gemara. The Rambam, like Rashi, explains that the 200 Zuz must be paid back to the owner, but he says that the renter takes the 200 Zuz in order to drastically increase the productivity of the field (for example, he invests in an improved irrigation system), and he commits to pay the owner two more Kur per year. The Nesivos Shalom understands that the Rambam means that the 200 Zuz in fact is paid back to the owner when the changes are made to the field. When the renter pays 200 Zuz at the end of the year along with the two extra Kur, he is paying for the rental of a field of a much higher quality, and therefore he pays a higher rental fee -- of 200 Zuz plus two extra Kur. He is not paying anything extra in return for the loan itself. The Nesivos Shalom suggests that this may be the basis for Rashi's explanation (although he admits that the words of Rashi do not seem to consistent with this explanation).
(b) The BACH (YD 176) understands that the 200 Zuz is not a loan, but a simple investment. The renter of the field advises the owner that if the field would be improved with a 200-Zuz investment, the owner would be able to charge a higher rental fee. (The renter's motivation in giving such advice presumably is that he believes that he would be able to harvest a much larger crop with an improved field.) The 200 Zuz is an investment which goes from the owner directly to the field; the renter is not obligated to return or guard the money.
However, the Nesivos Shalom points out that according to this explanation, the Beraisa is teaching nothing novel. Why would one have thought that the owner cannot invest in his field and charge a higher rental fee? Perhaps the answer to this question is that the Chidush of the Beraisa is in the Seifa, which says that such an arrangement may not be made in the case of the rental of a store or boat. (Y. MONTROSE)