Bava Metzia 76bבבא מציעא ע״ו ב
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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76bע״ו ב

הכי השתא בשלמא אי איתמר איפכא התקבל לי גיטי ואשתך אמרה הבא לי גיטי והוא אומר הילך כמו שאמרה ואמר ר"נ אמר רבה בר אבוה אמר רב משיגיע גט לידו מגורשת אלמא דאדיבורא דידה קא סמיך

How can these cases be compared? Granted, if the opposite was stated, i.e., in a case where the woman said: Receive my bill of divorce for me, and the agent said to the husband: Your wife said: Bring me my bill of divorce, and the husband said: Here you are, as she said; and Rav Naḥman says that Rabba bar Avuh says that Rav says: From when the bill of divorce reaches the agent’s possession, she is divorced, it would be understandable. Apparently, the husband relies upon her statement that the agent is an agent of receipt.

אי נמי משהגיע גט לידה מגורשת אלמא דאדיבורא דידיה קא סמיך אלא התם משום דעקר שליח לשליחותי' לגמרי דא"ל שליח לקבלה הוינא להולכה לא הוינא

Alternatively, had Rav Naḥman ruled: From when the bill of divorce reaches her possession, she is divorced, one could conclude that evidently, the husband relies on the agent’s statement, and based on that statement, the agent is designated as an agent for delivery. But there, in the case cited, where Rav Naḥman rules that she is not divorced, it is not because the husband relies on one statement or the other. Rather, it is due to the fact that by means of his statement the agent negates his agency entirely, as he said to the husband: I am an agent for receipt, meaning: I am not to be an agent for delivery. He is essentially saying that he is not prepared to go to the trouble of delivering the bill of divorce to her. Therefore, even if he does ultimately deliver the bill of divorce to her, he is an agent neither for the woman nor for her husband. No conclusion can be drawn with regard to the question of which statement the husband relies upon.

איבעית אימא האי תנא חזרו נמי הטעו קרי ליה דתניא השוכר את האומנין והטעו את בעל הבית או בעל הבית הטעה אותן אין להם זה על זה אלא תרעומת

§ The Gemara had assumed that the term deceived used in the mishna must be referring to an inaccuracy stated by the middleman in his discussion with the laborers. The Gemara now offers an alternative explanation. If you wish, say that when the mishna teaches: They deceived one another, it means that one of the parties reneged on the agreement, as this tanna also calls a circumstance described by the term reneged, meaning that either the employer or the laborers reneged on their agreement, by the term deceived. As it is taught in a baraita in a similar manner: With regard to one who hires artisans or laborers, and they deceived the employer, or the employer deceived them, they have nothing but a grievance against one another, and no monetary claim.

במה דברים אמורים שלא הלכו אבל הלכו חמרים ולא מצאו תבואה פועלין ומצאו שדה כשהיא לחה נותן להן שכרן משלם אבל אינו דומה הבא טעון לבא ריקן עושה מלאכה ליושב ובטל

The baraita continues: In what case is this statement said? When they did not go to the workplace, i.e., the employer reneged immediately. But if donkey drivers went and could not find any produce to carry, or laborers went off to work and found that the field was too moist for tilling, the employer must give them their full wages to which they are entitled. But he does not give them the entire stipulated amount, as a donkey driver who comes back loaded cannot be compared to one who comes back empty, nor can a laborer who performs work be compared to one who sits idle. The employer deducts a sum from the laborers’ wages, paying them the amount they are willing to receive given that they do not actually have to perform the work.

בד"א שלא התחילו במלאכה אבל התחילו במלאכה שמין להן מה שעשו כיצד קבלו קמה לקצור בשני סלעים קצרו חציה והניחו חציה בגד לארוג בשני סלעים ארגו חציו והניחו חציו שמין להן את מה שעשו

In what case is this statement, that if they reneged they have only a grievance, said? When they had not started the work at all. But if they had started the work, the court appraises for them that which they have done, for which they receive some form of compensation. How so? If they received standing grain to reap for a contractual agreement of two sela for the entire field, and they reaped half of it and left half of it, or if they took a garment to weave at two sela, and they weaved half of it and left half of it, in these cases the court appraises for them that which they have done.

היה יפה ששה דינרים נותן להן סלע או יגמרו מלאכתן ויטלו שני סלעים ואם סלע נותן להם סלע

The baraita details this appraisal: If the current wage for the part of the task they had done was now worth six dinars, a sela and a half, as the price for this assignment increased, either he gives them a sela, as originally agreed upon, since they do not forfeit their stipulated wages, or they finish their work and take two sela. And if the current wage for the part of the task they had done was worth a sela, he gives them a sela. This statement will be explained by the Gemara.

ר' דוסא אומר שמין להן מה שעתיד להעשות היה יפה ששה דינרים נותן להם שקל או יגמרו מלאכתן ויטלו שני סלעים ואם סלע נותן להם סלע

Rabbi Dosa says: The court appraises for them that which must still be done. If the current wage for the part of the task they had not done was worth six dinars, i.e., he can only find laborers who will complete it for six dinars, which is equivalent to one and a half sela, either he gives the first laborers a shekel, which is equivalent to half a sela, or they finish their work and take two sela. And if the current wage for the part of the task they had not done was worth a sela, he gives them a sela.

במה דברים אמורים בדבר שאין אבוד אבל בדבר האבוד שוכר עליהן או מטען כיצד מטען אומר להן סלע קצצתי לכם באו וטלו שתים ועד כמה שוכר עליהן עד ארבעים וחמשים זוז

The baraita continues: In what case is this statement said, i.e., in what circumstance are the laborers paid for the amount they performed and the employer has only a grievance against them? It is said with regard to a matter that does not involve financial loss due to the work stoppage, but with regard to a matter that involves financial loss due to the work stoppage, the employer may hire replacement laborers for a high price at the expense of the first laborers or deceive the first laborers. How does he deceive them? For example, he can say to them: I fixed a sela as wages for you; come and take two. And up to what amount may he hire at their expense? Even up to forty or fifty dinars. He can pay other laborers far more than the first laborers’ wages to ensure that the work is completed.

במה דברים אמורים בזמן שאין שם פועלים לשכור אבל יש שם פועלים לשכור ואמר צא ושכור מאלו אין לו עליהן אלא תרעומת

In what case is this statement said, i.e., in what circumstance may the employer deceive them to such an extent in order to ensure that the work is completed? When there are no other laborers there, in that place, to hire. Since the employer will suffer a heavy loss, he may resort to one of these methods. But if there are laborers there to hire, and the laborers who reneged said to the employer: Go and hire from these, the employer has nothing but a grievance against them.

תני תנא קמיה דרב נותן להם שכרן משלם אמר ליה חביבי אמר אילו אנא הואי לא הוה יהיבנא להן אלא כפועל בטל ואת אמרת נותן להם שכרן משלם והא עלה קתני אינו דומה הבא טעון להבא ריקן עושה מלאכה ליושב ובטל לא סיימוה קמיה

A tanna taught that baraita before Rav: The employer must give them their full wages. Rav said to him: My uncle [ḥavivi], Rabbi Ḥiyya, said: If I were ruling on this case, I would give them only the wages of an idle laborer, but no more, and yet you said that he gives them their full wages? The Gemara asks: But the baraita teaches concerning this very matter: A donkey driver who comes back loaded cannot be compared to one who comes back empty, nor can a laborer who performs work be compared to one who sits idle. Evidently, even the tanna of the baraita agrees that they do not receive their full wages. The Gemara answers: The tanna teaching the baraita before Rav did not conclude it, and he was unaware of this limitation, which is why he commented that they do not deserve their entire wages.

איכא דאמרי סיימוה קמיה והכי קאמר חביבי אמר אי הואי אנא לא הוה יהיבנא ליה כלל ואת אמרת כפועל בטל אלא קשיא הך

There are those who say that the tanna indeed concluded it before him, and this is what Rav is saying: My uncle said: If I were ruling on this case I would not give them anything, and yet you said that he gives them the wages of an idle laborer? The Gemara questions this version: But this is difficult. How can one account for the difference between the ruling of the baraita and that of Rav’s uncle, Rabbi Ḥiyya?

לא קשיא הא דסיירא לארעיה מדאורתא הא דלא סיירא לארעיה מאורתא

The Gemara responds: It is not difficult, as this case, where Rabbi Ḥiyya would rule that the laborers are not paid at all, is referring to one who surveyed his land the night before, observed that it was fit to be tilled, and hired laborers on the basis of this examination. It is their misfortune that something occurred in the meantime to prevent them from carrying out the task. Conversely, that case, where the baraita rules that they are given some payment, is referring to a landowner who did not survey his land the night before. Since he failed to check his own field, he must bear the responsibility.

כי הא דאמר רבא האי מאן דאגר אגירי לרפקא ואתא מטרא ומלייה מיא אי סיירא לארעיה מאורתא

This is like that which Rava said: With regard to one who hires laborers to till, and rain fell and filled his land with water, preventing the laborers from performing the work, if he surveyed his land the night before and did all he could,