Bava Metzia 38bבבא מציעא ל״ח ב
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38bל״ח ב

למאי חזו שמן חזי לגלדאי דבש לכתישא דגמלי

for what use are they fit? According to the Rabbis, one sells them in court. Apparently, they must have some value. The Gemara answers: Oil is fit for tanners who would coat the hides with oil even if it had a foul odor. Honey it fit as a salve for a wound on the back of camels.

וחכ"א עושה להם תקנה ומוכרן בב"ד מאי תקנתא עביד להו אמר רב אשי לקנקנים

It is taught in the baraita: And the Rabbis say that the bailee effects a remedy for the spoiled products and sells them in court. The Gemara asks: What remedy does he effect for those products? Rav Ashi said: It is a remedy for the casks. Although the contents of the barrel are irreversibly spoiled, leaving it in the barrels will ruin the barrels.

במאי קא מיפלגי דמר סבר להפסד מרובה חששו להפסד מועט לא חששו ומר סבר אפילו להפסד מועט נמי חששו:

The Gemara asks: Since Rabbi Meir agrees that when there is deterioration at a rate greater than its standard rate of deterioration, the bailee should sell the deposit, with regard to what issue do Rabbi Meir and the Rabbis disagree? The Gemara answers: The dispute is that one Sage, Rabbi Meir, holds: The Sages were concerned for a significant loss, but the Sages were not concerned for an insignificant loss, like damage to the barrels. And one Sage, the Rabbis, holds: The Sages were concerned even for an insignificant loss.

רשב"ג אומר ימכרם בבית דין מפני שהוא כמשיב אבידה לבעלים: אתמר רבי אבא ברבי יעקב א"ר יוחנן הלכה כר"ש ב"ג ורבא אמר רב נחמן הלכה כדברי חכמים

§ The mishna teaches that Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel says: He sells it before the court, due to the fact that in doing so he is like one returning a lost item to the owner. It was stated that Rabbi Abba, son of Rabbi Ya’akov, says that Rabbi Yoḥanan says: The halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel. And Rava says that Rav Naḥman says: The halakha is in accordance with the statement of the Rabbis.

והא אמרה ר' יוחנן חדא זמנא דאמר רבה בר בר חנה א"ר יוחנן כל מקום ששנה רבן שמעון בן גמליאל במשנתינו הלכה כמותו חוץ מערב וצידן וראיה אחרונה

The Gemara asks: But why is it necessary for Rabbi Yoḥanan to issue that ruling specifically in this case? Didn’t Rabbi Yoḥanan already say one other time that in general the halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel? As Rabba bar bar Ḥana says that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: Every place where Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel taught a ruling in our mishna, the halakha is in accordance with his opinion, except for the following three cases: The responsibility of the guarantor (Bava Batra 173b), and the incident that occurred in the city of Tzaidan (Gittin 74a), and the dispute with regard to evidence in the final disagreement (Sanhedrin 31a). By inference, in all other cases, Rabbi Yoḥanan holds that the halakha is in accordance with his opinion.

אמוראי נינהו ואליבא דר' יוחנן

The Gemara answers: Rabbi Abba and Rabba bar bar Ḥana are amora’im and disagree with regard to the opinion of Rabbi Yoḥanan. Rabbi Abba holds that there was no general ruling, and therefore a ruling was necessary in this case. Rabba bar bar Ḥana holds that Rabbi Yoḥanan issued a general ruling.

מדרבן שמעון בן גמליאל נשמע דמורידין קרוב לנכסי שבוי מדרבנן נשמע דאין מורידין קרוב לנכסי שבוי

The Gemara notes: From the statement of Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel, it is learned that the court authorizes a relative, who is the heir apparent, to descend and manage the property of a captive. A bailee who sells rotting produce is like one returning a lost item to the owner; one who manages the property of a captive who is unable to do so himself should have the same status. From the statement of the Rabbis, who say that the bailee may not touch the rotting produce, it is learned that the court does not authorize a relative to descend and manage the property of a captive.

וממאי דלמא עד כאן לא קאמר רבן שמעון בן גמליאל הכא אלא משום דקא כליא קרנא אבל התם הכי נמי דאין מורידין ועד כאן לא קאמרי רבנן הכא אלא אי כרב כהנא אי כרב נחמן בר יצחק אבל התם הכי נמי דמורידין

The Gemara rejects this parallel: And from where do you draw that conclusion? Perhaps Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel states his opinion here only due to the fact that the principal, i.e., the rotting produce, is destroyed. But there, indeed, the court does not authorize a relative to descend and manage the property of a captive, because if the land lies fallow, the land will remain intact, even if the captive will not profit. And perhaps the Rabbis state their opinion only here based either on the reason of Rav Kahana, that a person prefers his own produce, or on the reason of Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak, that there is concern that perhaps the owner designated the produce as teruma or tithe. But there, with regard to the captive’s property, those reasons do not apply, and indeed the court authorizes the relative to manage it.

למימרא דתרי טעמי נינהו והאמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל הלכה כרבן שמעון ב"ג ואמר שמואל מורידין קרוב לנכסי שבוי לאו משום דחד טעמא הוא לא תרי טעמי נינהו

The Gemara asks: Is this to say that they are two independent reasons for these two halakhot? But doesn’t Rav Yehuda say that Shmuel says: The halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel, and Shmuel says: The court authorizes a relative to descend and manage the property of a captive? Is it not due to the fact that there is one common reason for both halakhot? The Gemara rejects that reasoning: No, they are based upon two unrelated reasons, and Shmuel ruled the halakha in each case independently.

הכי נמי מסתברא דאמר רבא אמר רב נחמן הלכה כדברי חכמים ואמר רב נחמן מורידין קרוב לנכסי שבוי אלא ש"מ תרי טעמי נינהו שמע מינה

The Gemara comments: So too, it is reasonable to say that the two halakhot are unrelated, as Rava says that Rav Naḥman says: The halakha is in accordance with the opinion of the Rabbis, and Rav Naḥman says: The court authorizes a relative to descend and manage the property of a captive. Rather, learn from it that they are based upon two unrelated reasons. The Gemara affirms: Learn from it that they are unrelated.

אתמר שבוי שנשבה רב אמר אין מורידין קרוב לנכסיו שמואל אמר מורידין קרוב לנכסיו

The Gemara notes that it was stated that there is an amoraic dispute with regard to one who was taken captive. Rav says: The court does not authorize a relative to descend and manage the property of a captive. Shmuel says: The court authorizes a relative to descend and manage the property of a captive.

בששמעו בו שמת כ"ע לא פליגי דמורידין

The Gemara limits the scope of the dispute: In a case where they heard that the captive died, everyone agrees that the court authorizes a relative to descend and manage the property of a captive. The relative is the prospective heir and will tend to the land as if it were his own. If the captive returns, he will compensate the relative for his expenditures.

כי פליגי בשלא שמעו בו שמת רב אמר אין מורידין דלמא מפסיד להו ושמואל אמר מורידין כיון דאמר מר שיימינן להו כאריס לא מפסיד להו

When they disagree, it is in a case where they did not hear that the captive died and presumably he will return. Rav says: The court does not authorize a relative to descend and manage the property of a captive, lest he devalue the property. Since presumably the owner of the property is alive, the relative assumes that he will eventually be required to return the property to the owner. Therefore, he does not tend to the land as if it were his own but will farm the land to increase its short-term yield, at the expense of its long-term condition. And Shmuel says: The court authorizes a relative to descend and manage the property of a captive. Since the Master said: In any case where one works a field that is not his, we appraise his work as if he were a sharecropper, the relative will not devalue the property. It is in his best interest to tend to the land to ensure that he will receive his payment.

מיתיבי ר"א אומר ממשמע שנאמר (שמות כב, כג) וחרה אפי והרגתי אתכם יודע אני שנשותיהם אלמנות ובניהם יתומים אלא מה ת"ל והיו נשיכם וגו'

The Gemara raises an objection from a baraita. Rabbi Eliezer says: By inference, from that which is stated: “My wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you” (Exodus 22:23), I know that their wives shall be widows and their children orphans. Rather, what is the meaning when the verse states: “And your wives shall be widows and your children orphans” (Exodus 22:23)? Why is this clause in the verse necessary?

מלמד שנשותיהם מבקשות לינשא ואין מניחין אותן ובניהן רוצים לירד לנכסי אביהן ואין מניחין אותן אמר רבא לירד ולמכור תנן

The verse teaches an additional punishment, that the men will be killed with no witnesses. Their wives will seek to marry, and the courts will not allow them to do so without witnesses to their husbands’ deaths. And their children will wish to descend to their father’s property, to inherit it, and the courts will not allow them to do so. Apparently, the court does not authorize a relative to descend and manage the property of a captive. Rava said: We learned in the baraita that the courts do not allow them to descend and to sell the land, but the court does authorize a relative to descend and manage the land.

הוה עובדא בנהרדעא ופשטה רב ששת מהא מתני' א"ל רב עמרם דלמא לירד ולמכור תנן א"ל דלמא מפומבדיתא את דמעיילין פילא בקופא דמחטא והא דומיא דנשותיהם [ובניהם] קתני מה התם כלל לא אף הכא נמי כלל לא

The Gemara relates: There was a similar incident in Neharde’a, and Rav Sheshet resolved the matter from this baraita and ruled that the court does not authorize a relative to descend to the property of a captive. Rav Amram said to him: Perhaps we learned in the baraita that the courts do not allow a relative to descend and to sell the land? Rav Sheshet said mockingly to him, employing a similar style: Perhaps you are from Pumbedita, where people pass an elephant through the eye of a needle, i.e., they engage in specious reasoning. But doesn’t the juxtaposition between their wives and their children in the verse teach that the meaning is similar in both cases? Just as there, with regard to the wives, it means that they may not remarry at all, so too here, with regard to the sons, it means that they may not descend to the property at all.

ומורידין קרוב לנכסי שבוי תנאי היא דתניא היורד לנכסי שבוי אין מוציאין אותו מידו ולא עוד אלא אפי' שמע שממשמשין ובאין וקדם ותלש ואכל הרי זה זריז ונשכר ואלו הן נכסי שבויין הרי שהיה אביו או אחיו או אחד מן המורישין הלכו להם למדינת הים ושמעו בהן שמת

The Gemara comments: And the matter of whether the court authorizes a relative to descend and manage the property of a captive is a dispute between tanna’im, as it is taught in a baraita: In the case of one who descends to the property of a captive and works his field, the court does not confiscate it from his possession. And furthermore, even if he heard that the owners are approaching and arriving, and the one who descended to the field preceded their arrival and uprooted and consumed produce that grew that year, that person is deemed diligent and he profits, as he received a return on the work that he invested. And these are the cases where there is captives’ property: Cases where one’s father, or brother, or one of those relatives who bequeaths him an inheritance went to a country overseas, and those in his locale heard that the relative died.

היורד לנכסי נטושים מוציאין אותו מידו ואלו הן נכסי נטושים הרי שהיה אביו או אחיו או אחד מן המורישין הלכו להם למדינת הים ולא שמעו בהם שמת ואמר רבן שמעון בן גמליאל שמעתי שהנטושים כשבויין

In the case of one who descends to abandoned property, the court removes it from the possession of the one managing it. And these are the cases where there is abandoned property: Cases where one’s father, or brother, or one of those relatives who bequeaths him an inheritance went to a country overseas, and those in his locale did not hear that the relative died. And Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel said: I heard that the legal status of abandoned property is like that of the property of captives, and it is not confiscated from the possession of the one managing it. The dispute between the first tanna and Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel parallels the dispute between Rav and Shmuel.

היורד לנכסי רטושים מוציאין אותו מידו ואלו הן נכסי רטושים הרי שהיה אביו או אחיו או אחד מן המורישין כאן ואינו יודע להיכן הלכו

With regard to one who descends to forsaken property, the court removes it from his possession. And these are the cases where there is forsaken property: Cases where one’s father, or brother, or one of those relatives who bequeaths him an inheritance was here, and the relative does not know where they went. Everyone agrees that in these instances the court does not authorize a relative to descend to the property.

מאי שנא הנך דקרו להו נטושים ומאי שנא הני דקרו להו רטושים

The Gemara asks: What is different about one property, that it is called abandoned property? And what is different about the other property, that it is called forsaken property?