שכיר בזמנו נשבע ונוטל If a hired laborer claims his wages at the proper time, on the day his wages are due, and the employer claims to have already paid him, the laborer takes an oath that he did not receive his wages and takes his wages. So too, in the case of rent, if the landlord demands payment, and the renter claims to have paid, the landlord should be able to take an oath and then take the payment.
שכיר הוא דרמו רבנן שבועה עליה משום דבעל הבית טרוד בפועליו אבל הכא שוכר מהימן בשבועה The Gemara explains: Generally, one takes an oath to exempt oneself from paying, not to collect. And it is specifically in the case of a hired laborer that the Sages imposed an oath upon him, due to the fact that the employer is busy with his workers and might mistakenly think he paid a particular worker when in fact he had paid a different one. But here, in the case of rent, where there is no such concern, the renter is deemed credible that he already paid the rent, provided that he takes an oath.
אמר רבא אמר רב נחמן האי מאן דאוגר ליה ביתא לחבריה לעשר שנין וכתב ליה שטרא וא"ל נקיטת חמש שנין מהימן א"ל רב אחא מדפתי לרבינא אלא מעתה אוזפיה מאה זוזי בשטרא וא"ל פרעתיך פלגא ה"נ דמהימן § Rava says that Rav Naḥman says: In the case of one who rented out a house to another for ten years and had written him an undated document attesting to that fact, and later the landlord said to the renter: You have already taken five years of your rental period, he is deemed credible. The burden of proof is not on the landlord, and the renter cannot use the document to demonstrate that he has a right to rent for ten more years. Rav Aḥa of Difti said to Ravina: If that is so, then if one lent a hundred dinars to another, with a promissory note, and later, the borrower said to him: I have already repaid you half the loan, so too should he be deemed credible? This is not the halakha.
א"ל הכי השתא התם שטר לגוביינא קאי אם איתא דפרעיה איבעי ליה למכתבא אגביה א"נ מיכתב עליה תברא אבל הכא אמר ליה האי דכתיבי לך שטרא כי היכי דלא תחזק עליה Ravina said to him: How can these cases be compared? There, in the case of the loan, the promissory note exists to allow the lender to collect the debt, and if it is so that the borrower repaid part of the debt, the lender should have written that fact on the note itself; alternatively, he could have written a receipt to enable the borrower to prove he had paid. But here, in the case of rent, the landlord could say to the renter: The fact that I wrote the document for your rental of the property was only in order to ensure that you would not be able to establish a presumptive ownership of the property and thereby be able to claim it belongs to you. Therefore, the bill cannot be used to prove that the renter has a right to occupy the property.
אמר רב נחמן שואל אדם בטובו לעולם § Rav Naḥman says: A person may borrow another’s utensil in its good working order forever, i.e., if he requests to borrow it as long as it is in good working order, then even after returning it to the owner, he may continue to take it and use it indefinitely and the owner cannot prevent him from doing so.
אמר רב מרי ברה דבת שמואל והוא דקני מיניה Rav Mari, son of the daughter of Shmuel, said: And that is only if he performed an act of acquisition concerning this right with the owner. Otherwise, once he returns the utensil to the owner, he can no longer borrow it again without his consent.
אמר רב מרי בריה דרב אשי ומהדר ליה קתיה Rav Mari, son of Rav Ashi, said: And if the utensil breaks, the borrower may no longer keep it but must return its handle, i.e., the remaining parts, to the owner.
אמר רבא האי מאן דאמר ליה לחבריה אושלן מרא למירפק ביה האי פרדיסא רפיק ביה ההוא פרדיסא פרדיסא רפיק ביה כל פרדיסא דבעי פרדיסי רפיק ואזיל כל פרדיסי דאית ליה ומהדר ליה קתיה Rava says: In the case of one who says to another: Lend me a hoe in order to dig up this orchard, he may use it only to dig up that orchard that he specified. If he said: Lend it to me to dig up an orchard, then he may use it to dig up any one orchard that he desires. If he said: Lend it to me to dig up orchards, then he may use it to dig up all the orchards he has, however numerous they are. And in all these cases, if it breaks, he must return its handle, i.e., the remaining parts, to the owner.
אמר רב פפא האי מאן דאמר ליה לחבריה אושלן האי גרגותא ונפלה לא בני לה גרגותא ונפלה בני לה בי גרגותא כרי ואזיל כמה גרגותי בארעיה עד דמתרמי ליה וצריך למיקני מיניה: Rav Pappa says: In the case of one who says to another: Lend me this well for me to use to irrigate my fields, and then its walls fell down, the borrower may not rebuild it and then use it, as he had specified that he was borrowing that particular well. If he said: Lend me a well, and then its walls fell down, the borrower may rebuild that well and use it, but may not take a different well. If he said: Lend me a place in your land for a well, he may continually dig many different wells in the lender’s land until he happens upon a water source that is suitable for his needs. But in order to have this indefinite right, he needs to perform an act of acquisition concerning this right with the owner.
מתני׳ המשכיר בית לחבירו ונפל חייב להעמיד לו בית היה קטן לא יעשנו גדול גדול לא יעשנו קטן אחד לא יעשנו שנים שנים לא יעשנו אחד לא יפחות מן החלונות ולא יוסיף עליהם אלא מדעת שניהם: MISHNA: In the case of one who rented out a house to another, and then the house fell, the landlord is obligated to provide the renter with another house. If the original house was small, the landlord may not construct a large house as a replacement, and if the original was large, he may not construct a small house as a replacement. If the original had one room, he may not construct the replacement with two rooms, and if the original had two rooms, he may not construct the replacement with one. He may not reduce the number of windows, nor add to them, except with the agreement of both of them.
גמ׳ היכי דמי אי דאמר ליה בית זה נפל אזל ליה אי דאמר ליה בית סתם אחד אמאי לא יעשנו שנים קטן אמאי לא יעשנו גדול GEMARA: What are the circumstances of the mishna’s case? If it is a case where the landlord said to the renter: I am renting this house to you, once it has fallen, it has gone and the rental agreement does not obligate the landlord to provide another one. If it is a case where the landlord said to him: I am renting a house to you, without specification, then even if the original house had one room, why may the landlord not construct its replacement with two rooms, and if the original was small, why may the landlord not construct a large house as a replacement?
אמר ריש לקיש דאמר ליה בית שאני משכיר לך מדת ארכו כך וכך Reish Lakish said: The case is where he said to him: The house that I am renting to you, the measurement of its length is such and such, and its width is such and such. Since he did not specify a specific house, he is obligated to provide a replacement, but it must be of a similar size and structure.
אי הכי מאי למימרא The Gemara asks: If that is so, what is the purpose of stating this ruling; it is obvious?
אלא כי אתא רבין אמר ריש לקיש דאמר ליה בית כזה אני משכיר לך ואכתי מאי למימרא לא צריכא דקאי אגודא דנהרא מהו דתימא מאי כזה דקאי אגודא דנהרא קמ"ל: Rather, when Ravin came, he said that Reish Lakish said: The case is where he said: I am renting to you a house like this. The Gemara persists: But still, what is the purpose of stating this ruling; it is obvious. The Gemara answers: No, the ruling is necessary where the house the landlord spoke of was standing on the bank of a river. Lest you say that what the landlord meant by saying: A house like this, was that he would provide the renter with a house that stands on the bank of a river, therefore, the mishna teaches us that if he uses such an expression, it is taken to refer to the dimensions and structure of the house.
הדרן עלך השואל
מתני׳ המקבל שדה מחבירו מקום שנהגו לקצור יקצור לעקור יעקור לחרוש אחריו יחרוש הכל כמנהג המדינה כשם שחולקין בתבואה כך חולקין בתבן ובקש כשם שחולקין ביין כך חולקין MISHNA: With regard to one who receives a field from another to cultivate, either as a tenant farmer, who, in exchange for the right to farm the land, gives a set amount of the produce to the owner, or as a sharecropper, who cultivates the land and receives a set proportion of the produce, the halakha is as follows: In a location where those cultivating the land were accustomed to cut the produce, this one must cut it as well. In a location where they were accustomed to uproot the produce, not to cut it with a sickle or a scythe, this one must uproot it as well. If they were accustomed to plow the land after harvesting the produce, this one must plow as well. All farming of the land shall be conducted in accordance with regional custom. Just as the halakha is that the owner of the field and the one cultivating it divide the produce, so too the halakha is that they divide the stubble and the straw. Just as the halakha is that the owner of the field and the one cultivating it divide the wine, so too the halakha is that they divide