Bava Metzia 96a:1בבא מציעא צ״ו א:א
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96aצ״ו א

רבא סבר לה כרבי יונתן ומתרץ לקראי כרבי יונתן דתני' (שמות כב, יד) אם בעליו עמו לא ישלם משמע דאיתיה בתרוייהו ומשמע נמי דכי איתיה בחדא וליתיה בחדא פטור

By contrast, Rava holds in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yonatan, and he explains the verses in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yonatan, thereby arriving at the conclusion of the baraita, as it is taught in a baraita: “If its owner is with him, he does not pay” teaches about the case in which the owner was working for the borrower at both points in time, and it also teaches about the case in which he was working for him at one of those times but not at the other one; in both cases the borrower is exempt.

וכתיב בעליו אין עמו שלם ישלם משמע דליתיה בתרוייהו משמע נמי דכי איתיה בחדא וליתיה בחדא חייב

The Gemara raises an objection: But it is also written: “If its owner is not with him, he shall pay.” The verse teaches about the case in which the owner was not working for the borrower at either point in time, and it also teaches about the case in which he was working for him at one of those times but not at the other one; in both cases the borrower is liable.

לומר לך היה עמו בשעת שאלה אין צריך להיות עמו בשעת שבורה ומתה היה עמו בשעת שבורה ומתה צריך להיות עמו בשעת שאלה

To reconcile the verses, one must say that the phrase “if its owner is with him” serves to tell you that if the owner was with the borrower, i.e., working for him, at the time of borrowing, then he does not need to be with him at the time when the animal is injured or dies for the exemption from liability to apply; but if he was with him at the time when the animal is injured or dies, he does need to have been with him at the time of borrowing for the exemption to apply.

איפוך אנא מסתברא שאלה עדיפא משום דקא מייתי לה לרשותיה

The Gemara raises a difficulty: I could reverse the conclusion and say that the borrower’s exemption from liability is dependent upon the time when the animal was injured or died. The Gemara explains: It is reasonable that the exemption from liability should be dependent on the time of the borrowing because the borrowing is of greater significance, as with it the borrower brings the animal into his domain.

אדרבה שבורה ומתה עדיפא שכן חייב באונסי'

The Gemara retorts: On the contrary, the time when the animal is injured or dies is of greater significance, because that point marks when the borrower is actually liable to pay for any accidents that occurred.

אי לא שאלה שבורה ומתה מאי עביד ואי לאו שבורה ומתה שאלה מאי עביד אפילו הכי שאלה עדיפא שכן חייב במזונותיה

The Gemara responds: No, the borrowing is more significant. Were it not for the initial borrowing, what liability could be caused by the fact that the animal is injured or dies? The Gemara argues: But by the same logic, were it not for the fact that the animal is injured or dies, what liability could be caused by the act of borrowing? The Gemara concludes: Even so, the borrowing is of greater significance, as with it the borrower is obligated to provide the animal’s sustenance as long as it is entrusted with him.

רב אשי אמר קרא (שמות כב, יג) וכי ישאל איש מעם רעהו ולא רעהו עמו שלם ישלם הא רעהו עמו פטור

Rav Ashi said that the halakha that the borrower’s exemption from liability is dependent upon the time of the borrowing can be derived from the verse itself: The verse states: “And when a man borrows from another…he shall pay” (Exodus 22:13). The precise formulation of the verse indicates that he borrowed an item from another, but that other person was not with him, i.e., working for him, at the time. It is only in such a case that that verse concludes: “He shall pay.” By inference, when the other person is working with him, the borrower is exempt. Accordingly, it is clear that the critical moment is the time of the borrowing.

אי הכי בעליו אין עמו ואם בעליו עמו למה לי אי לאו הנך הוה אמינא האי אורחיה דקרא הוא

The Gemara asks: If so, why do I need the continuation of that verse: “Its owner is not with him,” and the next verse: “If its owner is with him”? According to Rav Ashi, the circumstances of the borrower’s liability and exemption can be derived from the beginning of the first verse. The Gemara explains: If it were not for these additional clauses, I would say that this phrase “from another” is simply the usual manner of the verse, and is not to be expounded to teach an exemption. Since the continuation of the verse and the next verse teach the actual exemption from liability, and the apparent contradiction between them raises the question of when the critical moment is, it is apparent that the beginning of the verse was written in order to be expounded, as Rav Ashi did.

בעי רמי בר חמא שאלה לרבעה מהו כדשיילי אינשי בעינן ולהכי לא שיילי אינשי או דלמא טעמא מאי משום הנאה והאי נמי הא אית ליה הנאה

§ Rami bar Ḥama raises a dilemma: If one borrowed an animal in order to engage in bestiality with it, a severe transgression (see Leviticus 18:23), what is the halakha; is the borrower liable for mishaps? The crux of the dilemma is: In order for him to be liable, do we require that the borrowing be for a purpose similar to that for which people typically borrow animals, and since people do not typically borrow animals for this purpose, the borrower is exempt? Or perhaps, what is the reason that a borrower is liable? It is due to the benefit he derives from the animal, and as this borrower, too, has benefit from the animal, he is liable for mishaps.

שאלה ליראות בה מהו ממונא בעינן והאיכא או דלמא ממונא דאית ליה הנאה מיניה בעינן וליכא

A similar question: If one borrowed an item, not to use it but to be seen with it, so that people will assume that he is wealthy, what is the halakha? In order for him to be liable, do we require that he borrow an item of monetary worth, and that exists in this case? Or, perhaps we require that he borrow an item of monetary worth from which he also derives tangible benefit, and that does not exist in this case.

שאלה לעשות בה פחות מפרוטה מהו ממונא בעינן ואיכא או דלמא כל פחות מפרוטה לא כלום היא

Another question: If one borrowed an item to perform work with it that is worth less than the value of one peruta, what is the halakha? Do we require only that he borrow an item of monetary worth, and that exists in this case? Or, perhaps any benefit derived that is worth less than one peruta is nothing, i.e., it is legally considered to be of no monetary worth, and he is therefore exempt.

שאל שתי פרות לעשות בהן פרוטה מהו מי אמרינן זיל בתר שואל ומשאיל ואיכא או דלמא זיל בתר פרות וכל חדא וחדא ליכא ממונא

Another question: If one borrowed two cows to perform work with them that will be worth the value of one peruta in total, what is the halakha? When appraising the value of the benefit derived, to see if it has monetary worth of one peruta, do we say: Follow the borrower and lender, i.e., appraise how much benefit the borrower received from the lender, and in this case there is benefit of the value of one peruta. Or, perhaps we follow the cows, and in this case, each one of the cows does not provide the borrower with monetary worth of one peruta.

שאל משותפין ונשאל לו אחד מהן מהו כולו בעליו בעינן והא ליכא או דלמא מההוא פלגא דידיה מיהא מיפטר

Another question: If one borrowed an item from two partners, and the services of one of those partners were also borrowed by him, what is the halakha? Does the exemption of borrowing an item together with its owner apply in this case? For the exemption to apply, do we require all of the item’s owners to be working for the borrower, and that does not exist in this case? Or, perhaps there is no such condition, but in any event, the borrower should at least be exempt from liability for that half of the item owned by the partner who is working for him.

שותפין ששאלו ונשאל לאחד מהן מהו כולו שואל בעינן וליכא או דלמא בההיא פלגא דשיילי מיהת מיפטר

Another question: In the case of partners who borrowed an item and its owner’s services were also borrowed by one of them, what is the halakha? For the exemption to apply, do we require that the owner be working for all the borrowers, and that does not exist in this case? Or, perhaps there is no such condition, but in any event, the partner who borrowed only the item should at least be exempt from liability for the half of the animal that the partner, whom the owner worked for, had borrowed.

שאל מהאשה ונשאל בעלה אשה ששאלה ונשאל לבעל מהו קנין פירות כקנין גוף דמי או לא

Another question: If one borrowed an item from a woman, and the services of her husband were also borrowed by him, or where a woman borrowed an item and its owner’s services were also borrowed by her husband, what is the halakha? A husband has the right to use his wife’s property. These questions are dependent on whether ownership of the right to use an item and the profits it engenders is tantamount to ownership of the item itself or not.

אמר ליה רבינא לרב אשי האומר לשלוחו צא והשאל לי עם פרתי מהו בעליו ממש בעינא וליכא או דלמא שלוחו של אדם כמותו ואיכא

Ravina said to Rav Ashi: In the case of one who says to his agent: Go and lend your services to somebody on my behalf together with lending my cow to that person, what is the halakha? For the exemption to apply, do I require that the cow’s actual owner work for the borrower, and in this case that does not exist? Or perhaps, since the legal status of a person’s agent is like that of himself, it is sufficient if his agent works for the borrower, and accordingly, the necessary conditions exist.

א"ל רב אחא בריה דרב אויא לרב אשי בעל פלוגתא דר' יוחנן ור"ל שליח פלוגתא דר' יונתן ור' יאשיה

Rav Aḥa, son of Rav Avya, said to Rav Ashi: This question concerning a husband is subject to a dispute between Rabbi Yoḥanan and Reish Lakish. And the question concerning an agent is subject to a dispute between Rabbi Yonatan and Rabbi Yoshiya.

בעל פלוגתא דר' יוחנן ור"ל דאיתמר המוכר שדהו לחבירו לפירות ר' יוחנן אומר מביא וקורא ריש לקיש אומר מביא ואינו קורא

The Gemara clarifies: The question concerning a husband is subject to a dispute between Rabbi Yoḥanan and Reish Lakish pertaining to the requirement to bring the first fruits of one’s field to the Temple and recite the accompanying declaration (see Deuteronomy, chapter 26): As it was stated: With regard to one who sells his field to another, not outright but for its produce, Rabbi Yoḥanan says: The buyer brings the first fruits and recites the declaration, whereas Reish Lakish says: The buyer brings the first fruits but does not recite the declaration.

ר' יוחנן אומר מביא וקורא קנין פירות כקנין הגוף דמי וריש לקיש אומר מביא ואינו קורא קנין פירות לאו כקנין הגוף דמי

The Gemara explains: They disagree about whether it is justifiable for the buyer to recite the declaration, since in that declaration he refers to the land as: “The land which You, the Lord, have given me” (Deuteronomy 26:10), i.e., he states that the land belongs to him. Rabbi Yoḥanan says that the buyer brings the first fruits and recites the declaration, because he holds that ownership of the right to use land and its produce is tantamount to ownership of the land itself. Accordingly, the buyer is considered to be the owner of the land and he may consequently recite the declaration. And Reish Lakish says that the buyer brings the first fruits but does not recite the declaration, because he holds that ownership of the right to use land and its produce is not tantamount to ownership of the land itself. Accordingly, the buyer is not considered to be the owner of the land and is consequently unable to recite the declaration.

שליח פלוגתא דר' יונתן ור' יאשיה דתניא האומר לאפוטרופוס כל נדרים שתהא אשתי נודרת מכאן עד שאבא ממקום פלוני הפר לה והפיר לה יכול יהו מופרין ת"ל (במדבר ל, יד) אישה יקימנו ואישה יפרנו דברי ר' יאשיה ר' יונתן אומר מצינו בכל מקום ששלוחו של אדם כמותו

The Gemara clarifies the second disagreement: The question concerning an agent is subject to a dispute between Rabbi Yonatan and Rabbi Yoshiya, as it is taught in a baraita: If there is one who says to a steward appointed to take care of his household: All vows that my wife will vow from now until I come back from such and such a place, you should nullify them for her in my stead, and the steward annulled them for her, one might have thought that they would be nullified. To dispel this notion, the verse states with regard to a vow taken by a wife: “Her husband sustains it and her husband nullifies it” (Numbers 30:14), which indicates that only her husband is able to do so, and no one else; this is the statement of Rabbi Yoshiya. Rabbi Yonatan says: We have found everywhere in halakha that the legal status of a person’s agent is like that of himself. Since the steward was the agent of the husband, his nullification of the vows is effective.

א"ל רב עיליש לרבא האומר לעבדו צא והשאל עם פרתי מהו תיבעי למ"ד שלוחו של אדם כמותו תיבעי למאן דאמר שלוחו של אדם אינו כמותו

Another question: Rav Ilish said to Rava: In the case of one who says to his Canaanite slave: Go and lend your services to another together with lending my cow to that person, what is the halakha? Let the dilemma be raised according to the one who says that the legal status of a person’s agent is like that of himself, and let the dilemma be raised according to the one who says that the legal status of a person’s agent is not like that of himself.

תיבעי למ"ד שלוחו של אדם כמותו הני מילי שליח דבר מצוה הוא אבל עבד דלאו בר מצוה לא או דלמא אפי' למ"ד אין שלוחו של אדם כמותו ה"מ שליח אבל עבד יד עבד כיד רבו דמיא

The Gemara elaborates: Let the dilemma be raised according to the one who says that the legal status of a person’s agent is like that of himself, as follows: Does this matter apply only to an agent, who is obligated in mitzvot, just like the one who appointed him; but for a slave, who is not fully obligated in mitzvot, the principle does not apply? Or perhaps, even according to the one who says that the legal status of a person’s agent is not like that of himself, maybe that matter applies to an agent, who is a free, independent person. But in the case of a slave, since he has no independence from his master, as the possession of a slave is like the possession of his master, i.e., anything that the slave acquires is automatically acquired by his master, perhaps if the slave’s services are borrowed it is the same as if the master himself had been borrowed.

אמר ליה מסתברא יד עבד כיד רבו דמיא

Rava said to Rav Ilish: It stands to reason that since the possession of a slave is like the possession of his master, then one who borrows both another’s item and the services of his slave is exempt from liability.

בעי רמי בר חמא בעל בנכסי אשתו

§ Rami bar Ḥama raises a dilemma: What level of liability does a husband bear with regard to his wife’s usufruct property? This is property belonging to the wife that the husband has the right to use and to enjoy its profits while they are married, but that is returned to her upon termination of the marriage.