הַמַּפְקִיד אֵצֶל חֲבֵירוֹ בְּעֵדִים אֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לְהַחְזִיר לוֹ בְּעֵדִים לָא סָלְקָא דַּעְתָּךְ אֶלָּא הַמַּפְקִיד אֵצֶל חֲבֵירוֹ בְּעֵדִים צָרִיךְ לְהַחֲזִיר לוֹ בְּעֵדִים in the case of one who deposits an item with another in the presence of witnesses the recipient need not return it to him in the presence of witnesses? If that were to be so, the craftsman could claim that he had returned it to the owner, even though there are no witnesses. That possibility should not enter your mind. Rather, in the case of one who deposits an item with another in the presence of witnesses, the recipient must return it to him in the presence of witnesses. Therefore, the craftsman could not have claimed that he returned it to the owner.
מֵיתִיבִי אַבָּיֵי רָאָה עַבְדּוֹ בְּיַד אוּמָּן וְטַלִּיתוֹ בְּיַד כּוֹבֵס אָמַר לוֹ מַה טִּיבוֹ אֶצְלְךָ אַתָּה מְכַרְתּוֹ לִי אַתָּה נְתַתּוֹ לִי בְּמַתָּנָה לֹא אָמַר כְּלוּם בְּפָנַי אָמַרְתָּ לוֹ לְמוֹכְרוֹ וְלִיתְּנוֹ לוֹ בְּמַתָּנָה דְּבָרָיו קַיָּימִין Abaye raises an objection to Rabba’s ruling from a baraita (Tosefta 2:6): There is a case where one saw his slave in the possession of a craftsman, or his cloak in the possession of a launderer, and says to him: What is the nature of its presence in your possession? If the craftsman or launderer replied: You sold me the slave or cloak, or: You gave the slave or cloak to me as a gift, he has not said anything, and must return it, since a craftsman does not establish the presumption of ownership. But if the craftsman or launderer replied: You said in my presence to someone else to sell the slave or cloak to him or to give the slave or cloak to him, i.e., to sell or give the slave or cloak to the craftsman or launderer himself, as a gift, then his statement is valid.
מַאי שְׁנָא רֵישָׁא וּמַאי שְׁנָא סֵיפָא Before Abaya raises his objection, he first clarifies the ruling of the baraita. What is different in the first clause that the craftsman is not deemed credible and what is different in the latter clause that he is?
אָמַר רַבָּה סֵיפָא בְּיוֹצֵא מִתַּחַת יְדֵי אַחֵר וְקָאָמַר לֵיהּ אַחֵר בִּפְנֵי אָמַרְתָּ לוֹ לְמוֹכְרוֹ וְלִיתְּנוֹ בְּמַתָּנָה מִיגּוֹ דְּאִי בָּעֵי אָמַר לֵיהּ מִינָּךְ זְבַנְתֵּיהּ כִּי אָמַר לֵיהּ נָמֵי בְּפָנַי אָמַרְתָּ לוֹ לְמוֹכְרוֹ דְּבָרָיו קַיָּימִין וּמְהֵימַן Rabba said: The latter clause is stated with regard to a case where the slave or cloak emerges from the possession of another, and not from the possession of the craftsman, and this other person is saying to the owner: You said in my presence to the craftsman to sell the slave or cloak or to give the slave or cloak to me as gift. This person is deemed credible despite acknowledging that he received it from the craftsman, since if he had wanted to, he could have said to the owner of the item: I purchased the slave or cloak from you. As this third party is not a craftsman, he is able to establish the presumption of ownership through possession and would be deemed credible. Therefore, when he says to him as well: You said to him in my presence to sell the slave or cloak, his statement is valid, and he is also deemed credible.
קָתָנֵי מִיהַת רֵישָׁא רָאָה הֵיכִי דָמֵי אִי דְּאִיכָּא עֵדִים לְמָה לִי רָאָה נַיְתֵי עֵדִים וְנִשְׁקוֹל אֶלָּא לָאו דְּלֵיכָּא עֵדִים וְכִי רָאָה מִיהָא תָּפֵיס לֵיהּ After having clarified the ruling of the baraita, Abaye presents his objection: In any event, the first clause of the baraita teaches that the case where a craftsman is not deemed credible is where the owner saw the slave or cloak in the possession of the craftsman. What are the circumstances? If it is referring to where there are witnesses to the fact that the owner gave the slave or cloak to the craftsman for training or cleaning, respectively, why do I need for the owner to have seen them in the craftsman’s possession? Let the owner simply bring witnesses and take back his slave or cloak. Rather, is it not referring to a case where there are no witnesses, and nevertheless, when the owner saw the slave or cloak in the craftsman’s possession, he may seize the slave or cloak in any case? This contradicts Rabba’s statement that the decisive factor is whether the transfer took place in the presence of witnesses.
לָא לְעוֹלָם דְּאִיכָּא עֵדִים וְהוּא דְּרָאָה Rabba answers this objection: No, that is not the case of the baraita. Actually, it is referring to a case where there are witnesses, and nevertheless, that is the halakha, that he may seize the slave or cloak only where he saw it currently in the possession of the craftsman. But if there are no witnesses that it is currently in his possession, he would be deemed credible if he were to claim that he purchased the slave or cloak from the owner, as he could have claimed that he returned the slave or cloak.
וְהָא אַתְּ הוּא דְּאָמְרַתְּ הַמַּפְקִיד אֵצֶל חֲבֵירוֹ בְּעֵדִים צָרִיךְ לְפוֹרְעוֹ בְּעֵדִים אֲמַר לֵיהּ הֲדַרִי בִּי Abaye asked him: But you are the one who said: In the case of one who deposits an item with another in the presence of witnesses, the recipient must return it to him in the presence of witnesses. Therefore, if it was given to the craftsman in the presence of witnesses, he would not have the ability to make a more advantageous claim [miggo] that he returned it. Rabba said to Abaye: I retracted that opinion and hold that he may return it even when not in the presence of witnesses.
מֵתִיב רָבָא לְסַיּוֹעֵי לְרַבָּה הַנּוֹתֵן טַלִּיתוֹ לְאוּמָּן אוּמָּן אוֹמֵר שְׁתַּיִם קָצַצְתָּ לִי וְהַלָּה אוֹמֵר לֹא קָצַצְתִּי לְךָ אֶלָּא אַחַת כׇּל זְמַן שֶׁהַטַּלִּית בְּיַד אוּמָּן עַל בַּעַל הַבַּיִת לְהָבִיא רְאָיָה נְתָנָהּ לוֹ בִּזְמַנּוֹ נִשְׁבָּע וְנוֹטֵל עָבַר זְמַנּוֹ הַמּוֹצִיא מֵחֲבֵירוֹ עָלָיו הָרְאָיָה Rava raises an objection from a baraita to support the opinion of Rabba: With regard to one who gives his cloak to a craftsman, and then the craftsman says: You fixed two dinars as my payment, and that one, the owner, says: I fixed only one dinar as your payment, then, so long as it is so that the cloak is in the possession of the craftsman, it is incumbent upon the owner to bring proof that the fee was one dinar. If the craftsman gave the cloak back to him, then there are two scenarios: If the claim is lodged in its proper time, i.e., on the day of the cloak’s return, then the craftsman takes an oath and receives the two dinars. But if its proper time passed, then the burden of proof rests upon the claimant, and the craftsman would need to bring proof that the fee was two dinars.
הֵיכִי דָמֵי אִי דְּאִיכָּא עֵדִים לִיחְזֵי עֵדִים מַאי קָאָמְרִי Rava continues with an analysis of this baraita: What are the circumstances of the case discussed in this baraita? If it is a case where there are witnesses who saw the transfer of the item, let us see what the witnesses say about the fee, as they presumably heard the details of the arrangement.