הַשּׂוֹכֵר אֶת הַפּוֹעֲלִים וְאָמַר לָהֶם לְהַשְׁכִּים וּלְהַעֲרִיב, מְקוֹם שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ שֶׁלֹּא לְהַשְׁכִּים וְשֶׁלֹּא לְהַעֲרִיב, אֵינוֹ רַשַּׁאי לְכוֹפָן. מְקוֹם שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ לָזוּן, יָזוּן. לְסַפֵּק בִּמְתִיקָה, יְסַפֵּק. הַכֹּל כְּמִנְהַג הַמְּדִינָה. מַעֲשֶׂה בְּרַבִּי יוֹחָנָן בֶּן מַתְיָא שֶׁאָמַר לִבְנוֹ, צֵא שְׂכֹר לָנוּ פוֹעֲלִים. הָלַךְ וּפָסַק לָהֶם מְזוֹנוֹת. וּכְשֶׁבָּא אֵצֶל אָבִיו, אָמַר לוֹ, בְּנִי, אֲפִלּוּ אִם אַתָּה עוֹשֶׂה לָהֶם כִּסְעֻדַּת שְׁלֹמֹה בִשְׁעָתוֹ, לֹא יָצָאתָ יְדֵי חוֹבָתְךָ עִמָּהֶן, שֶׁהֵן בְּנֵי אַבְרָהָם יִצְחָק וְיַעֲקֹב. אֶלָּא עַד שֶׁלֹּא יַתְחִילוּ בַמְּלָאכָה צֵא וֶאֱמֹר לָהֶם, עַל מְנָת שֶׁאֵין לָכֶם עָלַי אֶלָּא פַת וְקִטְנִית בִּלְבַד. רַבָּן שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן גַּמְלִיאֵל אוֹמֵר, לֹא הָיָה צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר, הַכֹּל כְּמִנְהַג הַמְּדִינָה:
With regard to one who hires laborers and tells them to rise exceptionally early and to continue working until exceptionally late, if this is in a locale where laborers are not accustomed to rising so early or to continuing to work until so late, the employer is not permitted to compel them to do so. In a locale where employers are accustomed to feeding their laborers, the employer must feed them. If they are in a locale where an employer is accustomed to providing their laborers with sweet foods, he must provide such food. Everything is in accordance with the regional custom in these matters. There was an incident involving Rabbi Yoḥanan ben Matya, who said to his son: Go out and hire laborers for us. His son went, hired them, and pledged to provide sustenance for them as a term of their employment, without specifying the details. And when he came back to his father and reported what he had done, Rabbi Yoḥanan ben Matya said to him: My son, even if you were to prepare a feast for them like that of King Solomon in his time, you would not have fulfilled your obligation to them, as they are the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Rather, before they begin engaging in their labor, go out and say to them: The stipulation that food will be provided is on the condition that you have the right to claim from me only a meal of bread and legumes, which is the typical meal given to laborers. Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel says: Rabbi Yoḥanan ben Matya’s son did not need to state this condition, as the principle is that everything is in accordance with the regional custom.
וְאֵלּוּ אוֹכְלִין מִן הַתּוֹרָה. הָעוֹשֶׂה בִמְחֻבָּר לַקַּרְקַע, בִּשְׁעַת גְּמַר מְלָאכָה, וּבְתָלוּשׁ מִן הַקַּרְקַע, עַד שֶׁלֹּא נִגְמְרָה מְלַאכְתּוֹ, בְּדָבָר שֶׁגִּדּוּלוֹ מִן הָאָרֶץ. וְאֵלּוּ שֶׁאֵין אוֹכְלִין. הָעוֹשֶׂה בִמְחֻבָּר לַקַּרְקַע בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁאֵין גְּמַר מְלָאכָה, וּבְתָלוּשׁ מִן הַקַּרְקַע מֵאַחַר שֶׁנִּגְמְרָה מְלַאכְתּוֹ, וּבְדָבָר שֶׁאֵין גִּדּוּלוֹ מִן הָאָרֶץ:
This mishna details the halakha that a laborer is permitted to eat from the produce with which he is working. And these laborers may eat by Torah law: A laborer who works with produce attached to the ground at the time of the completion of its work, e.g., harvesting produce; and a laborer who works with produce detached from the ground before the completion of its work, i.e., before it is sufficiently processed and thereby subject to tithes. And this is the halakha provided that they are working with an item whose growth is from the land. And these are laborers who may not eat: A laborer who works with produce attached to the ground not at the time of the completion of its work, i.e., while it is still growing; and a laborer who works with produce detached from the ground after the completion of its work, when it is sufficiently processed and therefore subject to tithes; and a laborer who works with an item whose growth is not from the land.
הָיָה עוֹשֶׂה בְיָדָיו אֲבָל לֹא בְרַגְלָיו, בְּרַגְלָיו אֲבָל לֹא בְיָדָיו, אֲפִלּוּ בִכְתֵפוֹ, הֲרֵי זֶה אוֹכֵל. רַבִּי יוֹסֵי בְּרַבִּי יְהוּדָה אוֹמֵר, עַד שֶׁיַּעֲשֶׂה בְיָדָיו וּבְרַגְלָיו:
If a laborer was performing labor with his hands but not with his feet, or with his feet but not with his hands, e.g., pressing grapes, or even if he was performing labor only with his shoulder, this one may eat the produce of the field. Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Yehuda, says: A laborer may not eat unless he performs labor with his hands and with his feet.
הָיָה עוֹשֶׂה בִתְאֵנִים, לֹא יֹאכַל בַּעֲנָבִים, בַּעֲנָבִים, לֹא יֹאכַל בִּתְאֵנִים. אֲבָל מוֹנֵעַ אֶת עַצְמוֹ עַד שֶׁמַּגִּיעַ לִמְקוֹם הַיָּפוֹת וְאוֹכֵל. וְכֻלָּן לֹא אָמְרוּ אֶלָּא בִשְׁעַת מְלָאכָה, אֲבָל מִשּׁוּם הָשֵׁב אֲבֵדָה לַבְּעָלִים אָמְרוּ, פּוֹעֲלִים אוֹכְלִין בַּהֲלִיכָתָן מֵאֻמָּן לְאֻמָּן, וּבַחֲזִירָתָן מִן הַגַּת, וּבַחֲמוֹר כְּשֶׁהִיא פוֹרָקֶת:
If a laborer was performing labor with figs he may not eat grapes; if he was performing labor with grapes he may not eat figs, as he may eat only the type of food with which he is working. This is the halakha even if he was employed to perform labor with both types of produce but is currently performing labor with only one of them. But he may hold himself back from eating until he reaches a place of good-quality grapes or figs and eat from these, as they are the same type of food. And with regard to all of these cases the Sages said that he may eat only at the time of work. But due to the obligation to restore lost property to its owners, i.e., so that workers would not neglect their task, they said that laborers may eat as they walk from one row of a vineyard or plantation to another row, and upon their return from the winepress. And with regard to a donkey, it is permitted to eat when it is being unloaded. This statement will be explained in the Gemara.
אוֹכֵל פּוֹעֵל קִשּׁוּת אֲפִלּוּ בְדִינָר, וְכוֹתֶבֶת אֲפִלּוּ בְדִינָר. רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר חִסְמָא אוֹמֵר, לֹא יֹאכַל פּוֹעֵל יָתֵר עַל שְׂכָרוֹ. וַחֲכָמִים מַתִּירִין, אֲבָל מְלַמְּדִין אֶת הָאָדָם שֶׁלֹּא יְהֵא רַעַבְתָן וִיהֵא סוֹתֵם אֶת הַפֶּתַח בְּפָנָיו:
A laborer may eat cucumbers while he works, and this is the halakha even if the amount he eats is equal in value to a dinar; or he may eat dates, and this is the halakha even if the amount he eats is equal in value to a dinar. Rabbi Elazar Ḥisma says: A laborer may not eat more than the value of his wages, but the Rabbis permit it, according to the strict letter of the law. But one teaches a person not to be a glutton and thereby close the opening to other job offers in his face. When people hear of his greed they will be reluctant to hire him.
קוֹצֵץ אָדָם עַל יְדֵי עַצְמוֹ, עַל יְדֵי בְנוֹ וּבִתּוֹ הַגְּדוֹלִים, עַל יְדֵי עַבְדּוֹ וְשִׁפְחָתוֹ הַגְּדוֹלִים, עַל יְדֵי אִשְׁתּוֹ, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהֶן דָּעַת. אֲבָל אֵינוֹ קוֹצֵץ עַל יְדֵי בְנוֹ וּבִתּוֹ הַקְּטַנִּים, וְלֹא עַל יְדֵי עַבְדּוֹ וְשִׁפְחָתוֹ הַקְּטַנִּים, וְלֹא עַל יְדֵי בְהֶמְתּוֹ, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵין בָּהֶן דָּעַת:
A man can stipulate on his own behalf that he receive a certain increase in his wages instead of eating the produce with which he works, and similarly, he can stipulate this on behalf of his adult son or daughter, on behalf of his adult Canaanite slave or Canaanite maidservant, or on behalf of his wife, with their agreement, because they have the basic level of mental competence, i.e., they are legally competent and can therefore waive their rights. But he cannot stipulate this on behalf of his minor son or daughter, nor on behalf of his minor Canaanite slave or Canaanite maidservant, nor on behalf of his animal, as they do not have the basic level of mental competence.
הַשּׂוֹכֵר אֶת הַפּוֹעֲלִים לַעֲשׂוֹת בְּנֶטַע רְבָעִי שֶׁלּוֹ, הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ לֹא יֹאכְלוּ. אִם לֹא הוֹדִיעָן, פּוֹדֶה וּמַאֲכִילָן. נִתְפָּרְסוּ עִגּוּלָיו, נִתְפַּתְּחוּ חָבִיּוֹתָיו, הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ לֹא יֹאכְלוּ. אִם לֹא הוֹדִיעָן, מְעַשֵּׂר וּמַאֲכִילָן:
In the case of one who hires a laborer to perform labor with his fourth-year fruit, such laborers may not eat the fruit. And if he did not inform them beforehand that they were working with fourth-year fruit, he must redeem the fruit and feed them. If his fig cakes broke apart and crumbled, so that they must be preserved again, or if his barrels of wine opened and he hired workers to reseal them, these laborers may not eat, as the work of the figs or wine had already been completed with regard to tithes, from which point a laborer may not eat them. And if he did not inform them, he must tithe the food and feed them.
שׁוֹמְרֵי פֵרוֹת אוֹכְלִין מֵהִלְכוֹת מְדִינָה, אֲבָל לֹא מִן הַתּוֹרָה. אַרְבָּעָה שׁוֹמְרִין הֵן. שׁוֹמֵר חִנָּם, וְהַשּׁוֹאֵל, נוֹשֵׂא שָׂכָר, וְהַשּׂוֹכֵר. שׁוֹמֵר חִנָּם נִשְׁבָּע עַל הַכֹּל, וְהַשּׁוֹאֵל מְשַׁלֵּם אֶת הַכֹּל, וְנוֹשֵׂא שָׂכָר וְהַשּׂוֹכֵר נִשְׁבָּעִים עַל הַשְּׁבוּרָה וְעַל הַשְּׁבוּיָה וְעַל הַמֵּתָה, וּמְשַׁלְּמִין אֶת הָאֲבֵדָה וְאֶת הַגְּנֵבָה:
The mishna adds: Watchmen of produce may eat the produce of the field or vineyard by local regulations, i.e., in accordance with the ordinances accepted by the residents of that place, but not by Torah law. There are four types of bailees, to whom different halakhot apply. They are as follows: An unpaid bailee, who receives no compensation for safeguarding the item; and the borrower of an item for his own use; a paid bailee, who is provided with a salary for watching over an item; and a renter, i.e., a bailee who pays a fee for the use of a vessel or animal. If the item was stolen, lost, or broken, or if the animal died in any manner, their halakhot are as follows: An unpaid bailee takes an oath over every outcome; whether the item was lost, stolen, or broken, or if the animal died, the unpaid bailee must take an oath that it happened as he described, and he is then exempt from payment. The borrower does not take an oath, but pays for every outcome, even in a circumstance beyond his control. And the halakhot of a paid bailee and a renter are the same: They take an oath over an injured animal, over a captured animal, and over a dead animal, attesting that the mishaps were caused by circumstances beyond their control, and they are exempt, but they must pay for loss or theft.
זְאֵב אֶחָד, אֵינוֹ אֹנֶס, שְׁנֵי זְאֵבִים, אֹנֶס. רַבִּי יְהוּדָה אוֹמֵר, בִּשְׁעַת מִשְׁלַחַת זְאֵבִים, אַף זְאֵב אֶחָד אֹנֶס. שְׁנֵי כְלָבִים, אֵינוֹ אֹנֶס. יַדּוּעַ הַבַּבְלִי אוֹמֵר מִשּׁוּם רַבִּי מֵאִיר, מֵרוּחַ אַחַת, אֵינוֹ אֹנֶס, מִשְּׁתֵּי רוּחוֹת, אֹנֶס. הַלִּסְטִים, הֲרֵי זֶה אֹנֶס. הָאֲרִי וְהַדֹּב וְהַנָּמֵר וְהַבַּרְדְּלָס וְהַנָּחָשׁ, הֲרֵי זֶה אֹנֶס. אֵימָתַי, בִּזְמַן שֶׁבָּאוּ מֵאֲלֵיהֶן, אֲבָל אִם הוֹלִיכָן לִמְקוֹם גְּדוּדֵי חַיָּה וְלִסְטִים, אֵינוֹ אֹנֶס:
One wolf that approaches a flock and attacks is not considered a circumstance beyond one’s control, as the shepherd can drive it away, but an attack by two wolves is considered a circumstance beyond one’s control. Rabbi Yehuda says: At a time of wolf attacks, when many wolves come out of hiding and pounce on animals at every corner, even an attack by one wolf is considered a circumstance beyond one’s control. An attack by two dogs is not considered a circumstance beyond one’s control. Yadua the Babylonian says in the name of Rabbi Meir: If the two dogs came and attacked from one direction it is not considered a circumstance beyond one’s control, but if they attacked from two directions, this is considered a circumstance beyond one’s control, as the shepherd cannot protect his flock from both of them at once. If bandits came, this is considered a circumstance beyond one’s control. Likewise, with regard to an attack by a lion, a bear, a leopard, a cheetah, and a snake, these are each considered a circumstance beyond one’s control. When is an attack by one of the above considered beyond his control, which means that a paid bailee is exempt? It is when the dangerous beasts or bandits came of their own accord to the usual grazing spot. But if the shepherd led his flock to a place of groups of beasts or bandits, this is not considered a circumstance beyond one’s control, as he is at fault.
מֵתָה כְדַרְכָּהּ, הֲרֵי זֶה אֹנֶס. סִגְּפָהּ וָמֵתָה, אֵינוֹ אֹנֶס. עָלְתָה לְרָאשֵׁי צוּקִין וְנָפְלָה וָמֵתָה, הֲרֵי זֶה אֹנֶס. הֶעֱלָהּ לְרָאשֵׁי צוּקִין וְנָפְלָה וָמֵתָה, אֵינוֹ אֹנֶס. מַתְנֶה שׁוֹמֵר חִנָּם לִהְיוֹת פָּטוּר מִשְּׁבוּעָה, וְהַשּׁוֹאֵל לִהְיוֹת פָּטוּר מִלְּשַׁלֵּם, נוֹשֵׂא שָׂכָר וְהַשּׂוֹכֵר לִהְיוֹת פְּטוּרִין מִשְּׁבוּעָה וּמִלְּשַׁלֵּם:
If the animal died in its normal manner, this is considered a circumstance beyond one’s control; if he afflicted it by overworking it or by negligent treatment and it died, this is not considered a circumstance beyond one’s control. If the animal ascended to the top of a cliff and fell down and died, this is considered a circumstance beyond one’s control. If the shepherd himself brought it up to the top of a cliff and it fell down and died, this is not considered a circumstance beyond one’s control. The halakhot of bailees stated in the previous mishna apply to standard cases. The halakha is that in any case involving monetary matters the parties may agree to special terms. Therefore, an unpaid bailee may stipulate with the owner that he will be exempt from taking an oath if the item is lost, and similarly, a borrower may stipulate that he will be exempt from having to pay, and a paid bailee or a renter can stipulate that he will be exempt from taking an oath and from having to pay, as one can relinquish his monetary rights. With regard to matters that do not involve monetary claims, anyone who stipulates counter to that which is written in the Torah, his stipulation is void.
כָּל הַמַּתְנֶה עַל מַה שֶּׁכָּתוּב בַּתּוֹרָה, תְּנָאוֹ בָטֵל. וְכָל תְּנַאי שֶׁיֵּשׁ מַעֲשֶׂה בִתְחִלָּתוֹ, תְּנָאוֹ בָטֵל. וְכָל שֶׁאֶפְשָׁר לוֹ לְקַיְּמוֹ בְסוֹפוֹ, וְהִתְנָה עָלָיו מִתְּחִלָּתוֹ, תְּנָאוֹ קַיָּם:
And any condition that is preceded by an action, i.e., the agreement is formulated with the promise of an action followed by a statement that this action will be carried out only under certain terms, the condition is void and the promise remains intact. The condition must be stated before the action. And with regard to any condition that one can ultimately fulfill, but he stipulated with him initially, i.e., in practice the action is performed first, followed by the fulfillment of the condition, nevertheless, because it was formulated in the proper manner, with the condition first, his condition is valid. If the condition cannot be fulfilled at all, once the action has been carried out the condition is void.