BAVA METZIA 38-40 (10 Sivan) - dedicated by Mrs. Rita Grunberger of Queens, N.Y., in loving memory of her husband, Reb Yitzchok Yakov ben Eliyahu Grunberger. Irving Grunberger helped many people quietly in an unassuming manner and is dearly missed by all who knew him. His Yahrzeit is 10 Sivan.


(a)(Beraisa): Regarding all of them, the one working the property is paid like a sharecropper.

(b)Question: To which case does this refer?

1.It cannot refer to property of a captive. The worker can harvest and keep it, surely he is paid for improvements!

(c)Answer #1: Rather, it refers to Retushim property.

(d)Objection: It says that we remove it from him! (It is as if he worked it without permission. Surely he does not receive like a sharecropper)!!

(e)Answer #2: Rather, it refers to Netushim property.

(f)Question: According to whom is he paid like a sharecropper?

1.Chachamim say that we remove it from him!

2.R. Shimon says that it is like property of a captive!

(g)Answer: R. Shimon means, in some ways it is like property of a captive, and in some ways, it is not.

1.We do not remove it from him, It is like property of a captive;

2.It is unlike property of a captive, for there, he can harvest and keep it. Here, he is paid like a sharecropper.

(h)Question: What is the difference between this and the following?

1.(Mishnah): If one spent money on his wife's Nichsei Melug, whether he spent a lot and consumed a little, or vice-versa, there is no compensation (when she gets it back after she is widowed or divorced).

(i)Answer: Property of a captive resembles the following.

1.(Rav Chisda): If his wife was a minor, and he spent money on her property, he is like one who spends on a stranger's property. (If he consumed less than he spent, he is paid like a sharecropper.)

2.Since he is unsure if he will keep the property (perhaps she will do Mi'un), Chachamim enacted (that he is paid like a sharecropper) so that he will work the property properly (and not try to reap a quick profit, causing a long term loss). Also regarding a captive, he is unsure whether the captive will return!

(j)Question: The Beraisa said 'regarding all of them, the overseer is paid like a sharecropper.' What does this come to include?


(a)Answer: It includes Rav Nachman's case.

1.(Rav Nachman citing Shmuel): We appoint a relative over property of a captive; but not over property of someone who willingly went abroad.

2.(Rav Nachman himself): One who flees is like a captive.

3.Question: Why did he flee?

i.If it was to avoid the head-tax, he willingly left!

4.Answer: Rather, he had killed someone, and feared that he would be killed.

(b)(Rav Yehudah): If one was captured before harvesting his standing crop, grapes, dates or olives, Beis Din appoints an overseer to harvest them, then they appoint a relative over the property.

(c)Question: They should appoint an overseer permanently!

(d)Answer: We do not appoint (strangers to be) overseers for adults. (We do so only for children. This is a Mitzvah for which people volunteer.)

(e)(Rav Huna): We do not appoint a minor over property of a captive, nor a relative over property of a minor, nor a relative of a relative of a minor.

1.We do not appoint a minor over property of a captive, lest he cause a loss;

2.We do not appoint a relative of a relative of a minor, such as a maternal brother (of the minor's brother), nor a relative of the minor, lest they make a Chazakah and claim the land for themselves (since no one protests).

(f)(Rava): We learn from Rav Huna that one cannot make a Chazakah in property of minors, even if he remains on the land three years after the minor matures.


1.We are concerned only for relatives such as paternal uncles (who could claim that he inherited it), not maternal uncles.

2.Even paternal uncles are forbidden only for land, but not for houses (since the neighbors know that it belongs to the minor).

3.Even land is permitted if a document of division of the inheritance was written, for this has publicity.

4.Rejection: All these three points are wrong. We never make a relative an overseer on a minor's property.

(g)A case occurred in which Leah and one of her three daughters (Chanah) were captured. One of the remaining daughters died, leaving a child (Reuven).

(h)(Abaye): We cannot appoint the remaining daughter (Dinah) over the property. Perhaps Leah died (and Reuven owns some of the property), and we do not appoint a relative over a minor's property!

1.We cannot appoint the child over the property. Perhaps Leah is alive, and we do not appoint a minor over a captive's property!

2.Therefore, Dinah oversees half the property, and we appoint a stranger to oversee half. (We are concerned lest Leah and Chanah both died. If we would know that Leah died and Chanah is alive, we could appoint Dinah over two thirds.)

(i)(Rava): Once we must appoint a stranger to oversee half, we appoint him over all the property.

(j)Later, they heard that Leah died.

(k)(Abaye): We give a third of the property to Dinah (surely, she inherits at least a third.) We give a third to Reuven. (If Chanah is alive, she owns the last third. If not, Dinah and the child split it.) Dinah oversees a sixth (half of the last third), and we appoint a stranger to oversee the other sixth.

(l)(Rava): Once we must appoint a stranger to oversee a sixth, we appoint him over both sixths.


(a)Ploni came from Bei Chuzai and said that he is the brother of Mari bar Isak, and asked to divide the inheritance of their father. Mari denied knowing him.

(b)Rav Chisda: It is reasonable that Mari would not recognize his brother - "Hem Lo Hikiruhu (Yosef's brothers did not recognize him)" because Yosef left them before he had a beard, and now he had a beard;

1.Ploni must bring witnesses that he is a brother in order to share the inheritance.

(c)Ploni: I have witnesses, but they fear Mari, for he is powerful!

(d)Rav Chisda: Mari must bring (those witnesses, or other) witnesses to testify that Ploni is not his brother.

(e)Mari: Is that the law?! The one who seeks to take money from another, he must bring proof!

(f)Rav Chisda: This is the law for powerful people.

(g)Mari: If you are concerned that they fear me, even if witnesses testify for me, it will not help!

(h)Rav Chisda: Witnesses would not transgress two matters due to fear. (They would withhold testimony, but they would not lie or deny what they know.)

(i)Witnesses testified that Ploni is his brother. Ploni asked for half the vineyards and orchards, even though Mari had improved them.

(j)Rav Chisda: Ploni is correct:

1.(Mishnah): If Reuven died, leaving minor and adult children, and the adults improved the property, the minors share in the improvements.