(ויקרא כה, טו) במספר שני תבואות ימכר לך
“According to the number of years of the crops he shall sell to you” (Leviticus 25:15), meaning that it is not the field itself that is sold, but rather, what is sold is the right to consume the produce for a specific number of years.
מתניתא דתניא בכור נוטל פי שנים בשדה החוזרת לאביו ביובל
A baraita supports the opinion of Reish Lakish, as it is taught: A firstborn son takes a double portion in a field that returns to his father in the Jubilee Year, i.e., a field that his father sold, and he subsequently died, and the field therefore returns to his sons in the Jubilee Year. The halakha is that a firstborn son receives a double portion only of property that the father possessed at the time of his death, but not of property that was due to the father. If the acquisition of the produce is considered to be like the acquisition of the item itself, then the field the father sold would not be considered to have been in his possession at the time of his death.
אמר אביי נקטינן בעל בנכסי אשתו צריך הרשאה
Abaye said: We have a tradition that a husband requires authorization with regard to his wife’s property, meaning that if there is a legal dispute between the husband and another person with regard to the usufruct property the husband received from his wife, he requires authorization from his wife that he may act on her behalf in order to present himself in court as a litigant. If he does not receive such authorization, the other litigant has the right to claim that he is not legally answerable to the husband, and may insist that the wife come before the court herself. This indicates that the acquisition of the produce is not considered to be like the acquisition of the item itself, and therefore the husband is not the owner of the property.
ולא אמרן אלא דלא נחית אפירי אבל נחית אפירי מיגו דמשתעי דינא אפירי משתעי דינא אגופא:
The Gemara explains: And we said this halakha only when the other litigant did not go down to court with a claim concerning the produce, and the case addresses only the ownership of the land itself. But if he went down to court with a claim concerning the produce, with regard to which the husband is definitely the interested party, then since the husband speaks in front of the court about the law concerning the produce, he also speaks in front of the court about the law concerning the land itself, and therefore he does not require authorization from his wife.
הדרן עלך השולח:
מתני׳ הניזקין שמין להן בעידית ובעל חוב בבינונית וכתובת אשה בזיבורית ר"מ אומר אף כתובת אשה בבינונית
MISHNA: The court appraises land of superior quality [iddit] for payment to injured parties. And a creditor collects his debt from the debtor’s intermediate-quality land. And payment of a woman’s marriage contract is collected from her husband’s inferior-quality land. Rabbi Meir says: Payment of a woman’s marriage contract is also collected from intermediate-quality land.
אין נפרעין מנכסים משועבדים במקום שיש נכסי' בני חורין ואפילו הן זיבורית
Payment of a debt or other obligation is not collected from liened property that has been sold to a third party when the debtor still has unsold property, even when this unsold property is inferior-quality land. The creditor cannot collect his debt from liened property that the debtor has sold to another person as long as the debtor is still in possession of other property, even if the remaining assets are inferior to those to which the creditor would otherwise have been entitled.
אין נפרעין מנכסי יתומין אלא מן הזיבורית
If one who owed money died and his children inherited his property, the father’s debt can be collected from the property of the orphans only from inferior-quality land.
אין מוציאין לאכילת פירות ולשבח קרקעות
The court does not appropriate liened property that has been sold to a third party for the consumption of produce or for the enhanced value of land. If one appropriated a field and sold it, and the buyer worked the land, enhanced it, and grew produce on it, and then the initial owner from whom the field had been stolen took back the land and the produce from the buyer, compensating him only for his expenses, then the buyer may go back to the seller, i.e., the robber, and collect his losses. He can collect the purchase price of the field even from property that the robber sold to another person. By contrast, the value of the produce and the enhancement in the value of the field, which resulted from his actions, may be collected only from the robber’s unsold property.
ולמזון האשה והבנות מנכסים משועבדין מפני תיקון העולם
And similarly, payment for the sustenance of a man’s wife and daughters cannot be collected from his liened property. One of the stipulations included in a marriage contract is that after the husband dies, his widow and daughters are entitled to sustenance from his estate. This sustenance cannot be collected from husband’s liened property that has been sold to another person, but only from his unsold property inherited by his heirs. All of these enactments were made for the betterment of the world.
והמוצא מציאה לא ישבע מפני תיקון העולם:
And it was further instituted that one who finds a lost item and returns it to its rightful owner is not required to take an oath that he did not keep any part of the lost item for himself. This ordinance was also instituted for the betterment of the world.
גמ׳ מפני תיקון העולם דאורייתא היא דכתיב (שמות כב, ד) מיטב שדהו ומיטב כרמו ישלם
GEMARA: When the mishna says: For the betterment of the world, it seems to be referring to all of the cases in mishna. The Gemara therefore asks: The first clause of the mishna states that compensation for damage is collected from superior-quality land. Is this ordinance also only for the betterment of the world? This is by Torah law, as it is written with regard to one who damages another person’s property: “Of the best of his own field, and of the best of his own vineyard, shall he pay” (Exodus 22:4).
אמר אביי לא צריכא אלא לרבי ישמעאל דאמר מדאורייתא בדניזק שיימינן קמ"ל מפני תיקון העולם שיימינן בדמזיק
Abaye said: This statement is necessary only according to Rabbi Yishmael, who said that by Torah law we appraise the property of the injured party, i.e., the injured party can collect payment only from property equal in quality to the best of his own, even if the one who caused the damage owns property of higher quality. Therefore, the tanna of the mishna teaches us that for the betterment of the world we appraise the property of the one who caused the damage.
מאי רבי ישמעאל דתניא מיטב שדהו ומיטב כרמו ישלם מיטב שדהו של ניזק ומיטב כרמו של ניזק דברי רבי ישמעאל רע"א לא בא הכתוב אלא לגבות לניזקין מן העידית וק"ו להקדש
The Gemara asks: What is this statement of Rabbi Yishmael alluded to by Abaye? It is as it is taught in a baraita: The verse: “Of the best of his own field, and of the best of his own vineyard, shall he pay,” teaches that the appraisal is of the best quality of the field of the injured party and of the best quality of the vineyard of the injured party. This is the statement of Rabbi Yishmael. Rabbi Akiva says: The verse comes only to allow injured parties to collect compensation from superior-quality land belonging to the one who caused the damage, in the event that he has no money or movable property. And by means of an a fortiori inference one can derive that the Temple treasury collects from superior-quality land.
ולר' ישמעאל אכל שמנה משלם שמנה אכל כחושה משלם שמנה אמר רב אידי בר אבין הכא במאי עסקינן כגון שאכלה ערוגה בין הערוגות ולא ידעינן אי כחושה אכל אי שמנה אכל דמשלם ליה ממיטב
The Gemara asks: And according to the opinion of Rabbi Yishmael, if one’s animal ate from a rich garden bed, it is understandable that he must pay the injured party the value of a rich garden bed. But if it ate from a poor garden bed, is it reasonable that he pays the value of a rich garden bed? Rav Idi bar Avin said: With what are we dealing here? We are dealing with a case where the animal that caused the damage ate from one garden bed among other garden beds, and we do not know whether it ate from a poor one or it ate from a rich one. In such a case, the animal’s owner pays the injured party the value of the latter’s best quality property.
אמר רבא אילו ידעינן דכחושה אכל משלם כחושה השתא דלא ידעינן משלם שמנה המוציא מחברו עליו הראיה אלא אמר רב אחא בר יעקב
Rava raised a question and said: If we would know that the animal ate from a poor garden bed, its owner would have to pay only the value of a poor garden bed. Now that we do not know from which garden bed it ate, is it reasonable that he should have to pay the value of a rich garden bed? There is a principle governing monetary disputes that the burden of proof falls on the claimant. Therefore, so long as the injured party cannot prove that the animal ate from the rich garden bed, he should not be entitled to collect the value of such a garden bed. Rather, Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov said: