פסידא דפועלים לא סיירא לארעיה מאורתא פסידא דבעל הבית ויהיב להו כפועל בטל this is the laborers’ loss, as it is a consequence of their misfortune. But if he did not survey his land the night before, it is the employer’s loss, and he gives them the wages of an idle laborer.
ואמר רבא האי מאן דאוגיר אגורי לדוולא ואתא מטרא פסידא דפועלים אתא נהרא פסידא דבעל הבית ויהיב להו כפועל בטל And Rava further said: With regard to this one who hires laborers to draw water from a river or a trench to irrigate his field, and rain fell, so that he no longer needs laborers, this is the laborers’ loss. The employer does not need to pay them, as he could not have known ahead of time that this would happen. But if the river comes up and irrigates the field, this is the employer’s loss, as he should have taken this possibility into consideration. And therefore he gives them the wages of an idle laborer.
ואמר רבא האי מאן דאוגיר אגורי לדוולא ופסק נהרא בפלגא דיומא אי לא עביד דפסיק פסידא דפועלים עביד דפסיק אי בני מתא פסידא דפועלים לאו בני מתא פסידא דבעל הבית And Rava says: With regard to this one who hires laborers to draw water from a river or a trench to irrigate his field, and the flow of the part of the river used to irrigate the field stopped midday, the halakha depends on the circumstance. If it is not prone to stopping, this is the laborers’ loss, a consequence of their misfortune. If it is prone to stopping, then one acts in accordance with this consideration: If the workers are residents of that city and know that this might happen, it is the laborers’ loss; if the laborers are not residents of that city and are not aware that this is a likely occurrence, it is the employer’s loss.
ואמר רבא האי מאן דאגר אגורי לעבידתא ושלים עבידתא בפלגא דיומא אי אית ליה עבידתא דניחא מינה יהיב להו א"נ דכותה מפקד להו דקשה מינה לא מפקד להו ונותן להם שכרן משלם And Rava says: With regard to this one who hires laborers to perform a specific task and the task is completed by midday, if he has another task that is easier than the first one, he may give it to them. Alternatively, if he has other work that is similar to the first one in difficulty, he may assign it to them. But if he has other work that is more difficult than it, he may not assign it to them, and he gives them their full wages.
אמאי וליתיב להו כפועל בטל כי קאמר רבא באכלושי דמחוזא דאי לא עבדי חלשי The Gemara asks: Why must he pay them their full wages? Let him pay them for the additional time at most as an idle laborer. The Gemara answers: When Rava said his ruling in this case, he was referring to workers [be’akhlushei] of Meḥoza, who become weak if they do not work. These laborers were accustomed to steady, strenuous work, and therefore sitting idle was difficult, not enjoyable, for them.
אמר מר שמין להם את מה שעשו כיצד היה יפה ששה דינרים נותן להם סלע קא סברי רבנן יד פועל על העליונה § The Master said in the baraita: The court appraises for them that which they have done. How so? If the current wage for the part of the task they have done was now worth six dinars, a sela and a half, as the price for this assignment increased, there are two possibilities: One is that he gives them a sela, as originally agreed upon, since they do not forfeit their stipulated wages. The Gemara explains: The Rabbis hold that the laborer is at an advantage, and therefore even if the laborer reneges on the assignment, he does not lose everything.
או יגמרו מלאכתן ויטלו שני סלעים פשיטא לא צריכא דאייקר עבידתא ואימרו פועלים ואזל בעל הבית ופייסינהו מהו דתימא מצו אמרי ליה כי מפייסינן אדעתא דטפת לן אאגרא קמ"ל דאמר להו אדעתא דטרחנא לכו באכילה ושתיה The baraita states the second possibility: Or they finish their work and take two sela. The Gemara asks: Isn’t it obvious that this is the case? That is the sum they agreed on at the outset. The Gemara responds: No, it is necessary to state this halakha in a case where the price of labor increased during the day and the laborers rebelled and did not want to work anymore, and the employer went and appeased them and they agreed to finish their task. Lest you say that they can say to him: When we were appeased, it was with the intent that you would increase our wage, the baraita teaches us that the employer can say to them: I appeased you with the intent that I would trouble myself for you by providing you with superior food and drink, not that I would increase your wages.
סלע נותן להם סלע פשיטא לא צריכא דזל עבידתא מעיקרא ואגרינהו בטפי זוזא ולסוף אייקר עבידתא וקם בטפי זוזא The baraita further teaches that if they performed work worth a sela, he gives them a sela. The Gemara asks: Isn’t that obvious? The Gemara explains: No, it is necessary in a case where the price of labor was inexpensive at the outset and he hired them for one dinar more than accepted, and ultimately the price of labor increased and the going wage now stands at that rate of one more dinar.
מהו דתימא אמרי ליה טפי זוזא אמרת לן טפי זוזא הב לן קמ"ל דאמר להו כי אמרי לכו טפי זוזא דלא הוה קים לכו השתא קים לכו The Gemara elaborates: Lest you say that they can say to him: You offered us a dinar above the going rate, so now too, give us one more dinar than the current rate, to counter this, the baraita teaches us that he can say to them: When I said to you that I would add one more dinar, the reason was that it was not clear with regard to you that you would be willing to work for the lower wage, so I increased it. Now it is clear with regard to you, i.e., you agreed to a wage that was acceptable to you, and I do not intend to increase it further.
רבי דוסא אומר שמין להן את מה שעתיד להיעשות היה יפה ששה דינרים נותן להם שקל קסבר יד פועל על התחתונה The baraita further teaches that 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 find laborers who will complete it only for six dinars, which is equivalent to one and a half sela, there are two possibilities: One is that he gives the first laborers a shekel, which is equivalent to half a sela. The Gemara explains that Rabbi Dosa holds that the laborer is at a disadvantage, in accordance with the principle that whoever reneges is at a disadvantage.
או יגמרו מלאכתן ויטלו שני סלעים פשיטא לא צריכא דזל עבידתא ואימר בעל הבית ואזול פועלים ופייסוהו מהו דתימא מצי אמר להו אדעתא דבצריתו לי מאגריי קמ"ל דאמרי ליה אדעתא דעבידנן לך עבידתא שפירתא § The baraita states the second possibility: Or they finish their work and take two sela. The Gemara asks: Isn’t this obvious? The Gemara explains: No, it is necessary in a case where the price of labor decreased midday and the employer rebelled, seeking to cancel the agreement, and the laborers went and appeased him so that he would let them continue their work. Lest you say that the employer can say to them: When I was appeased, that was with the intent that you would decrease your wages for me, therefore, the baraita teaches us that the laborers can say to him: When we spoke it was with the intent that we will do improved work for you.
סלע נותן להם סלע פשיטא א"ר הונא בריה דרב נתן לא צריכא דאוזילו אינהו גביה זוזא מעיקרא ולסוף זל עבידתא The baraita further teaches that Rabbi Dosa said: And if the current wage for the part of the task they had not done was worth a sela, he gives them a sela. The Gemara asks: Isn’t that obvious? Rav Huna, son of Rav Natan, said: No, it is necessary in a case where they reduced for him the accepted price by a dinar at the outset, and ultimately the price of labor decreased, so that the standard wage became equal to the price they had agreed on.
מהו דתימא בציר זוזא אמריתו לי בציר זוזא יהבינא לכו קמ"ל דאמרי ליה כי אמרנא לך בבציר זוזא דלא הוה קים לך השתא קים לך Rav Huna, son of Rav Natan, elaborates: Lest you say that the employer can say to them: You said to me that you would accept wages of a dinar less than the market value, and therefore a dinar less that the standard wage is what I will give you. Consequently, Rabbi Dosa teaches us that the laborers can say to him: When we said to you that we would agree to a dinar less, that was when it was not clear that you would be willing to pay the higher wage, but now it is clear that you will agree, and therefore you cannot reduce our wages.
אמר רב הלכה כר' דוסא ומי אמר רב הכי והאמר רב פועל יכול לחזור בו אפילו בחצי היום וכי תימא שאני ליה לרבי דוסא בין שכירות לקבלנות ומי שאני ליה והתניא השוכר את הפועל ולחצי היום שמע שמת לו מת או שאחזתו חמה אם שכיר הוא With regard to that same dispute in the baraita, Rav said: The halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Dosa. The Gemara asks: And did Rav really say that? But doesn’t Rav say that a laborer can renege from his commitment even at midday? And if you would say that there is a difference for Rabbi Dosa between hired work and contracted work, as a hired laborer can renege but a contracted laborer cannot, is there really a difference for him? But isn’t it taught in a baraita: With regard to one who hires a laborer, and at midday the laborer heard that a relative of his died and he has to tend to the burial, or if the laborer was gripped with fever and could not continue to work, if he is a hired laborer,