Bava Metzia 112aבבא מציעא קי״ב א
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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112aקי״ב א

ואידך ההוא מיבעי ליה לכדתניא (דברים כד, טו) ואליו הוא נושא את נפשו מפני מה עלה זה בכבש ונתלה באילן ומסר את עצמו למיתה לא על שכרו

The Gemara asks: And what does the other Sage, the second tanna, derive from this verse? The Gemara responds: That verse is necessary for that which is taught in a baraita: The expression “for he sets his soul upon it” explains why one must be so precise when paying a laborer his wages: For what reason did this laborer ascend on a tall ramp or suspend himself from a tree and risk death to himself? Was it not for his wages? How, then, can his employer delay his payment?

דבר אחר ואליו הוא נושא את נפשו כל הכובש שכר שכיר כאילו נוטל נפשו ממנו רב הונא ורב חסדא חד אמר נפשו של גזלן וחד אמר נפשו של נגזל

Alternatively, the words “for he sets his soul upon it” teach that concerning one who withholds the wages of a hired laborer, it is as though he takes his soul from him. Rav Huna and Rav Ḥisda disagreed over the meaning of this statement. One says it is referring to the soul of the robber, meaning that one who steals from a hired laborer by delaying payment of his wages causes Heaven to remove his own soul, and one says that he takes the soul of the robbery victim, meaning that one who steals from a hired worker causes the death of the worker.

מאן דאמר נפשו של גזלן דכתיב (משלי כב, כב) אל תגזל דל כי דל הוא ואל תדכא עני בשער וכתיב (משלי כב, כג) כי ה' יריב ריבם וקבע את קבעיהם נפש ומ"ד נפשו של נגזל דכתיב (משלי א, יט) כן ארחות כל בוצע בצע את נפש בעליו יקח

The Gemara cites proof for these two opinions. The one who says it is referring to the soul of the robber bases his opinion on a verse, as it is written: “Do not rob from the weak because he is weak, nor crush the poor in the gate” (Proverbs 22:22), and it is written immediately afterward: “For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those who spoil them” (Proverbs 22:23). This indicates that God will take the soul of one who steals from a poor person. And the one who says it is referring to the soul of the robbery victim bases his opinion on a verse, as it is written: “So are the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain; it takes away the life of its owners” (Proverbs 1:19). A robber is considered as if he removed the very soul of his victim.

ואידך נמי הכתיב את נפש בעליו יקח בעליו דהשתא ואידך נמי הכתיב וקבע את קבעיהם נפש מה טעם קאמר מה טעם קבע את קבעיהם משום דנטלו נפש:

The Gemara asks: And according to the other Sage too, isn’t it written: “It takes away the life of its owners”? How does he interpret this verse? The Gemara answers: This is referring to its current owner, i.e., the robber, who took the money and now owns it. The Gemara asks: And according to the other Sage too, isn’t it written: “And spoil the soul of those who spoil them”? How does he interpret this verse? The Gemara answers: This verse employs the style know as: What is the reason, as follows: What is the reason that God will spoil those who spoil them? Because they took someone’s soul, for which He will exact retribution.

אימתי בזמן שתבעו לא תבעו אינו עובר עליו: ת"ר לא תלין פעולת שכיר יכול אפילו לא תבעו ת"ל אתך לדעתך

§ The mishna teaches: When does he transgress these prohibitions? He transgresses them when the one owed the money claimed the payment from him. If he did not claim his payment from him, the other does not transgress the prohibitions. The Sages taught: With regard to the verse: “The wages of a hired laborer shall not remain with you all night until the morning” (Leviticus 19:13), one might have thought that he should be liable even if the laborer did not claim his wages from him. The verse states “with you,” meaning the prohibition is not transgressed unless it is with your knowledge and consent that you have not paid him. But if he did not even request his wages yet, the prohibition has not been violated.

יכול אפי' אין לו ת"ל אתך שיש אתך יכול אפי' המחהו אצל חנוני ואצל שולחני ת"ל אתך ולא שהמחהו אצל חנוני ואצל שולחני:

Furthermore, one might have thought that the employer is liable even if he does not have the money to pay him. Therefore, the verse states “with you,” indicating that there is money with you. One might have thought that even if the employer transferred his payment to a storekeeper or to a money changer, he still violates the prohibition of delaying payment of wages. Therefore, the verse states “with you,” indicating that it applies only if the payment is your obligation, but not if he transferred it to a storekeeper or to a money changer, as then the payment of the laborer’s wages is no longer his responsibility.

המחהו אצל חנוני ואצל שולחני אינו עובר: איבעיא להו חוזר או אינו חוזר רב ששת אמר אינו חוזר ורבה אמר חוזר

§ The mishna teaches: If the one who owes the money transferred his payment by leaving instructions with a storekeeper or with a money changer to pay him, he does not transgress the prohibitions. A dilemma was raised before the Sages: If the storekeeper or money changer neglected to pay the wages, may the laborer return to the employer and claim his money from him, or may he not return, as the storekeeper or money changer is now his exclusive address for complaints? Rav Sheshet says he may not return, and Rabba says he may return.

אמר רבה מנא אמינא לה מדקתני אינו עובר עליו מעבר הוא דלא עבר הא מיהדר הדר ורב ששת אמר מאי אינו עובר אינו בתורת לעבור:

Rabba said: From where do I state my opinion? From the fact that the mishna teaches: He does not transgress the prohibition, from which it may be inferred: He does not transgress the prohibition, but the laborer may still return to him to collect his wages. And Rav Sheshet said: What is the meaning of the ruling that he does not transgress the prohibition? It means that he is not included in the category of transgressing, as his transfer of the payment exempts him from all responsibility.

בעו מיניה מרב ששת קבלנות עובר עליו משום בל תלין או אין עובר משום בל תלין

The Sages inquired of Rav Sheshet: If the laborer worked as a contractor, who is paid for a completed job rather than by the hour, does the employer violate the prohibition of delaying payment of wages or does he not violate the prohibition of delaying payment of wages?

אומן קונה בשבח כלי והלואה היא או אין אומן קונה בשבח כלי ושכירות היא

The resolution to this inquiry depends on how a craftsman’s wages are classified. Does a craftsman, who is a type of contractor, acquire ownership rights through enhancement of the vessel? This would mean that the craftsman is considered to have acquired the vessel through his work, which enhances its value, and it remains in his possession until he returns it to the owners, who are then considered to have purchased the enhanced item from him. And accordingly, his payment is akin to a loan in that it will not be subject to the prohibition of delaying the payment of wages. Or perhaps a craftsman does not acquire ownership rights through enhancement of the vessel,and the obligation of the owner to pay him is similar to the obligation to pay wages to any laborer, in which case the money is classified as a wage, and is subject to the prohibition of delaying wages.

אמר להו רב ששת עובר והתניא אינו עובר התם שהמחהו אצל חנוני ואצל שולחני

Rav Sheshet said to them: He does violate the prohibition. They asked Rav Sheshet: But isn’t it taught in a baraita that a contractor does not violate the prohibition? Rav Sheshet replied: There it is referring to a case where he transferred the wages to a storekeeper or to a money changer.

נימא מסייעא ליה הנותן טליתו לאומן גמרה והודיעו אפי' מכאן ועד עשרה ימים אינו עובר משום בל תלין נתנה לו בחצי היום מששקעה עליו חמה עובר משום בל תלין

The Gemara suggests: Let us say that the following baraita supports the opinion of Rav Sheshet: With regard to one who gave his garment to a craftsman, and the craftsman concluded the work and notified the owner that the work was complete, even if the owner delays paying the craftsman from now until ten days henceforth, he does not violate the prohibition of delaying the payment of wages. If the craftsman gave the garment to him at midday, then once the sun has set and the owner has not paid him, the owner does violate the prohibition of delaying the payment of wages.

ואי אמרת אומן קונה בשבח כלי אמאי עובר

The Gemara concludes: And if it enters your mind to say that a craftsman acquires ownership rights through the enhancement of the vessel, why does the owner violate the prohibition of delaying the payment of wages? It is as if the craftsman acquired the garment, and the payment is considered to be a purchase of the garment by the owner, rather than a wage.

אמר רב מרי בריה דרב כהנא בגרדא דסרבלא למאי יהבה ניהליה לרכוכי היינו שבחיה

Rav Mari, son of Rav Kahana, said: There is no proof from here, as the baraita is stating the halakha with regard to the laundering of a thick garment, where there is no enhancement of the garment. Therefore, the craftsman does not acquire it. The Gemara asks: Ultimately, to what end did the owner of the garment give it to the craftsman? He gave it to him in order to soften it. Once he has softened it, that is its enhancement, and the craftsman has therefore acquired it.

לא צריכא דקא אגריה מיניה לבטושי בטשא ובטשא במעתא:

The Gemara responds: No, it is necessary to teach this halakha in a case where the owner hired the craftsman for treading, i.e., to forcefully tread on the garment in water until it softens, with the owner paying the craftsman a ma’a coin for each tread. Accordingly, this is considered hired labor, where the craftsman is paid based on the amount of times he performed an action, and not contractual labor, where he is paid based on the outcome, in this case, a softened garment, and the prohibition of delaying payment of wages does apply to this case.