Bava Metzia 51a:10בבא מציעא נ״א א:י
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51aנ״א א

משום הכי חזרו

it is due to this reason that they reverted to following the statement of the Rabbis, as the sellers were in any event able to renege at any point, while Rabbi Tarfon extended the period during which the buyers could renege on the transaction.

אלא אי אמרת מוכר נמי כלוקח דמי מאי נפקא להו מינה כי היכי דעבדי ליה רבנן תקנתא ללוקח הכי נמי עבדי ליה רבנן תקנתא למוכר

But if you say that the legal status of a seller is also limited like that of a buyer in terms of the period of time during which he may renege, what difference is there to the merchants? Just as the Sages instituted an ordinance on behalf of a buyer enabling him to renege on the transaction, so too, the Sages instituted an ordinance on behalf of a seller. If the time afforded to the seller is equal to the time afforded to the buyer, the fact that Rabbi Tarfon extended this time would not be a reason for the merchants to revert to following the opinion of the Rabbis, as there is a benefit and a loss for the merchants according to both opinions.

תגרי לוד לא שכיח דטעו

The Gemara answers: With regard to the merchants of Lod, it is rare for them to err, and therefore they preferred limiting the period during which the buyer could renege over extending the period during which they themselves could renege.

אושפזיכניה דרמי בר חמא זבין חמרא וטעה אשכחיה דהוה עציב א"ל אמאי עציבת א"ל זביני חמרא וטעאי א"ל זיל הדר בך אמר ליה הא שהאי לי יותר מכדי שאראה לתגר או לקרובי שדריה לקמיה דרב נחמן א"ל לא שנו אלא לוקח אבל מוכר לעולם חוזר

The Gemara relates: The landlord of Rami bar Ḥama sold a donkey and erred in fixing its price. Rami bar Ḥama encountered him and noticed that he was sad. Rami bar Ḥama said to him: Why are you sad? The landlord said to him: I sold a donkey and I erred in fixing its price. Rami bar Ḥama said to him: Go and renege on the transaction. The landlord said to him: I have waited more than the period of time that it takes for me to show the merchandise to a merchant or to my relative. Rami bar Ḥama sent the landlord before Rav Naḥman for a ruling and Rav Naḥman said to him: The Sages taught this halakha only with regard to a buyer, but a seller may always renege on a transaction.

מאי טעמא לוקח מקחו בידו כל היכא דאזיל מחוי ליה ואמרי ליה אי טעה אי לא טעה מוכר דלא נקט מקחיה בידיה עד דמיתרמי ליה זבינתא כזבינתיה וידע אי טעה ואי לא טעה

The Gemara asks: What is the reason for this? The Gemara explains: A buyer has his merchandise in his possession; therefore, anywhere that he goes he shows it to those familiar with the market price and they tell him whether he erred or whether he did not err. A seller, who does not have his merchandise in his possession, can ascertain the market price only when merchandise like his merchandise happens to come before him, and only then will he know whether he erred or whether he did not err.

ההוא גברא דהוה נקט ורשכי לזבוני קרי שיתא ושויא חמשא ואי הוו יהבי ליה חמשא ופלגא הוה שקיל אתא ההוא גברא ואמר אי יהיבנא ליה חמשא ופלגא הויא מחילה אתן ליה שיתא ואתבעיה לדינא אתא לקמיה דרבא א"ל לא שנו אלא בלוקח מן התגר אבל בלוקח מבעל הבית אין לו עליו אונאה

§ The Gemara relates: There was a certain man who had silk strips [varshekhei] to sell. He announced that he was selling them for six ma’a, and they were worth five ma’a, and if they would give him five and a half ma’a, he would take it and sell the silk. This man, i.e., a potential buyer, came and said to himself: If I give him five and a half ma’a, it is a case of a waiver, and I will not be entitled to recover the difference. I will give him six ma’a and claim from him by law the return of the sum gained by the exploitation. He did so. The case came before Rava, who said to him: The Sages taught this halakha of exploitation only with regard to one who buys merchandise from a merchant, but one who buys merchandise from a regular homeowner does not have a claim of exploitation against him.

ההוא גברא דהוה נקיט כיפי לזבוני קרי שתין ושוי חמשין ואי הוו יהבי ליה חמשין וחמשא הוה שקיל אתא ההוא גברא ואמר אי יהיבנא ליה חמשין וחמשא הויא מחילה אתן ליה שיתין ואתבעיה לדינא אתא לקמיה דרב חסדא א"ל לא שנו אלא בלוקח מן התגר אבל בלוקח מן בעל הבית אין לו עליו אונאה

The Gemara relates a similar incident: There was a certain man who was holding jewelry to sell. He announced that he was selling it for sixty ma’a, and it was worth fifty ma’a, and if they would give him fifty-five ma’a, he would take it and sell the jewels. This man, i.e., a potential buyer, came and said to himself: If I give him fifty-five ma’a, it is a case of a waiver, and I will not be entitled to recover the difference. I will give him sixty ma’a and claim from him by law the return of the sum gained by the exploitation. He did so. The case came before Rav Ḥisda, who said to him: The Sages taught this halakha of exploitation only with regard to one who buys merchandise from a merchant, but one who buys merchandise from a regular homeowner does not have a claim of exploitation against him.

א"ל רב דימי ישר וכן אמר רבי אלעזר ישר והא אנן תנן כשם שאונאה להדיוט כך אונאה לתגר מאן הדיוט לאו בעל הבית אמר רב חסדא בצדרייתא אבל מאני תשמישתיה דיקירי עליה לא מזבין להו אי לאו בדמי יתירי:

Rav Dimi said to Rav Ḥisda: The ruling is correct. And likewise, Rabbi Elazar said: The ruling is correct. The Gemara asks: But didn’t we learn in the mishna that follows: Just as the halakhot of exploitation apply to a layman [lahedyot], so do the halakhot of exploitation apply to a merchant? Who is the layman to whom the mishna is referring? Is he not a regular homeowner as opposed to a merchant? Rav Ḥisda said: That mishna is referring to simple linen garments [tzadriyyata], which the homeowner crafts expressly for sale. But with regard to vessels and garments designed for the personal use of a homeowner, which are important to him, he sells them only to receive extra money, as people are generally hesitant to part with their belongings. Therefore, when purchasing an item from a homeowner, a buyer must consider the likelihood that his asking price is greater than the item’s actual worth.

מתני׳ אחד הלוקח ואחד המוכר יש להן אונאה כשם שאונאה להדיוט כך אונאה לתגר ורבי יהודה אומר אין אונאה לתגר מי שהוטל עליו ידו על העליונה רצה אומר לו תן לי מעותי או תן לי מה שאניתני:

MISHNA: Both the buyer and the seller are subject to the halakhot of exploitation. Just as the halakhot of exploitation apply to a layman, so do the halakhot of exploitation apply to a merchant. Rabbi Yehuda says: There is no exploitation for a merchant, as he is an expert in the market price of merchandise. The one upon whom the exploitation was imposed has the advantage. If he wishes, he can say to the other: Give me back my money and nullify the transaction, or he can say: Give me back the sum that you gained by exploiting me.

גמ׳ מנהני מילי דת"ר (ויקרא כה, יד) וכי תמכרו ממכר לעמיתך אל תונו אין לי אלא שנתאנה לוקח נתאנה מוכר מנין תלמוד לומר (ויקרא כה, יד) או קנה אל תונו

GEMARA: The Gemara asks: From where are these matters derived, that both the buyer and the seller are subject to the halakha of exploitation? As the Sages taught concerning the verse: “And if you sell to your colleague an item that is sold, or acquire from your colleague’s hand, you shall not exploit his brother” (Leviticus 25:14). I have derived only a case where a buyer was exploited. From where do I derive that the halakha is the same in a case where the seller was exploited? The same verse states: “Or acquire from your colleague’s hand, you shall not exploit his brother.”

ואיצטריך למכתב לוקח ואיצטריך למכתב מוכר דאי כתב רחמנא מוכר משום דקים ליה בזבינתיה אבל לוקח דלא קים ליה בזבינתיה אימא לא אזהריה רחמנא בלא תונו

The Gemara comments: And it was necessary to write the prohibition against exploitation with regard to a buyer, and it was necessary to write the prohibition against exploitation with regard to a seller. As, had the Merciful One written this prohibition only with regard to a seller, one would conclude that it is prohibited for him because he is certain of the value of his merchandise, but with regard to a buyer, who is not certain of the value of the seller’s merchandise, say that the Merciful One did not render it prohibited for him to engage in exploitation with the verse “You shall not exploit.”

ואי כתב רחמנא לוקח משום דקא קני דאמרי אינשי זבנית קנית אבל מוכר דאבודי קא מוביד דאמרי אינשי זבין אוביד אימא לא אזהריה רחמנא בלא תונו צריכא:

And had the Merciful One written this prohibition only with regard to a buyer, one would conclude that it is prohibited for him because he acquires the item and he benefits from his purchase, as people say: If you purchased an item, you acquired a durable item for yourself. But with regard to a seller, who loses from the sale, as people say: One who sells an item loses, say that the Merciful One did not render it prohibited for him to engage in exploitation with the verse “You shall not exploit.” Therefore, it was necessary for the Torah to write this prohibition with regard to both parties to the transaction.

רבי יהודה אומר אין אונאה לתגר: משום שהוא תגר אין לו אונאה

§ The mishna teaches that Rabbi Yehuda says: There is no exploitation for a merchant. The Gemara expresses surprise at this statement: Due to the fact that he is a merchant, he is not subject to the halakhot of exploitation? Anyone could arrive at a mistaken assessment of the value of merchandise.

אמר רב נחמן אמר רב בתגר ספסר שנו מאי טעמא מידע ידע זבינתיה כמה שויא ואחולי אחיל גביה והאי דזבנא הכי משום דאתרמיא ליה זבינתא אחריתי

Rav Naḥman says that Rav says: It is with regard to a merchant who is a trader, who buys and sells merchandise, that they taught the halakha. What is the reason that he is not subject to the halakhot of exploitation according to Rabbi Yehuda? He knows how much his merchandise is worth, and he waives the sum of the disparity between the value and the price for the buyer. And the reason why he sells the merchandise in that manner, knowing that he is selling it for less than its value, is due to the fact that other merchandise happens to become available to him and he needs the money to purchase that item.

והשתא מיהא קא הדר ביה רב אשי אמר מאי אין לתגר אונאה אינו בתורת אונאה שאפילו פחות מכדי אונאה חוזר תניא כוותיה דרב נחמן רבי יהודה אומר תגר אין לו אונאה מפני שהוא בקי:

The Gemara asks: But now, in any event, he retracts from the transaction, indicating that he did not waive the sum of the disparity. Rav Ashi said: What is the meaning of: There is no exploitation for a merchant? He is not subject to the principles of exploitation at all, as even if the disparity is less than the measure of exploitation, i.e., less than one-sixth, he may renege on the transaction. Since his entire livelihood is based on the slight profit margin that he earns from each transaction, he does not waive even that sum. The Gemara comments: It is taught in a baraita in accordance with the opinion of Rav Naḥman: Rabbi Yehuda says: There is no exploitation for a merchant, because he is expert in these matters.

מי שהוטל עליו ידו על העליונה וכו': מני מתניתין לא רבי נתן ולא רבי יהודה הנשיא

§ The mishna teaches: The one upon whom the exploitation was imposed has the advantage. If he wishes, he can say to the other: Give me back my money and nullify the transaction, or he can say: Give me back the sum that you gained by exploiting me. The Gemara asks: Whose opinion is expressed in the mishna? It is neither the opinion of Rabbi Natan nor the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi.

אי רבי נתן מתניתין קתני רצה וברייתא לא קתני רצה אי רבי יהודה הנשיא מתניתין קתני לוקח ברייתא קתני מוכר

The Gemara explains: If it is the opinion of Rabbi Natan, in the mishna the tanna teaches: If he wishes, he can say: Give me back my money and nullify the transaction, or he can say: Give me back the sum that you gained by exploiting me. And in the baraita (50b) Rabbi Natan does not teach: If he wishes, indicating that the transaction takes effect regardless of his wishes. And if it is the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, in the mishna the tanna teaches the halakha with regard to the buyer, and in the baraita Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi teaches: In a case where the seller was exploited, the seller is at an advantage, apparently to the exclusion of the buyer.

(סימן ז"ב ר"ש)

The Gemara presents a mnemonic device for the Sages who discussed this difficulty: Zayin, referring to Rabbi Elazar; beit, referring to Rabba; reish, referring to Rava; shin, referring to Rav Ashi.

אמר רבי אלעזר אונאה זו איני יודע מי שנאה רבה אמר לעולם רבי נתן היא ותני נמי בברייתא רצה רבא אמר לעולם ר' יהודה הנשיא היא ומאי דשייר במתניתין קא מפרש בברייתא אמר רב אשי דיקא נמי דקתני אחד הלוקח ואחד המוכר ומפרש ליה ללוקח שמע מינה שיוריה שייריה למוכר שמע מינה

Rabbi Elazar says: Concerning this halakha of exploitation in the mishna, I do not know who taught it, as it does not correspond to the opinion of any of the Sages. Rabba said: Actually, the mishna is the opinion of Rabbi Natan, and emend and teach that Rabbi Natan stated in the baraita as well: If he wishes. Rava said: Actually, the mishna is the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, and the ruling that Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi omits in the mishna he explicates in the baraita. The mishna and the baraita are complementary. Rav Ashi said: The language of the mishna is also precise, as the tanna teaches: Both the buyer and the seller, and then he proceeds to elucidate the halakha of the buyer. Learn from it that the tanna indeed omitted the halakha of the seller, but he did not exclude the seller from the halakha. The Gemara affirms: Learn from it that this is the case.

איתמר האומר לחבירו על מנת שאין לך עלי אונאה רב אמר יש לו עליו אונאה ושמואל אמר אין לו עליו אונאה לימא רב דאמר כרבי מאיר ושמואל דאמר כרבי יהודה

§ It was stated that there is a dispute among amora’im. With regard to one who says to another: I will be party to this sale on the condition that you have no claim of exploitation against me, even if you are exploited, Rav says: The exploited party has a claim of exploitation against him, and Shmuel says: He does not have a claim of exploitation against him. The Gemara suggests: Let us say that Rav stated his opinion in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Meir, and Shmuel stated his opinion in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda.

דתניא האומר לאשה הרי את מקודשת לי על מנת שאין לך עלי שאר כסות ועונה הרי זו מקודשת ותנאו בטל דברי ר"מ רבי יהודה אומר בדבר שבממון תנאו קיים

This is as it is taught in a baraita: With regard to one who says to a woman: You are hereby betrothed to me on the condition that you do not have a claim against me for food, clothing, and conjugal rights that a husband is obligated to provide his wife by Torah law, she is betrothed to him and his condition is void; this is the statement of Rabbi Meir, who maintains that a person cannot stipulate a condition that negates obligations by Torah law. And Rabbi Yehuda says: In monetary matters, as opposed to personal obligations, one’s condition is in effect.

אמר לך רב אנא דאמרי אפי' לר' יהודה עד כאן לא קאמר ר' יהודה התם אלא דידעה וקא מחלה

The Gemara refutes this parallel. Rav could have said to you: I stated my opinion even in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda, as Rabbi Yehuda states his opinion that a stipulation is valid in monetary matters only there, where a woman knows that she is entitled to food and clothing but waives her rights to them.