POINT BY POINT OUTLINE
prepared by Rabbi P. Feldman of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
1) DISPUTING THE LENGTH OF A RENTAL
(a) Version #1 - Rashi - (Rava): If Shimon has an undated document saying that Reuven rented a house to Shimon for ten years, and Reuven claims that five years have expired (and Shimon says that only three have expired), Reuven is believed.
(b) Version #2 - Tosfos - (Rava): If Reuven has a document saying that he rented a house to Shimon for ten years for 100 Dinarim, ten Dinarim per year, and five years have expired, and he claims that no rent was paid, and Shimon says that he had paid for the five years, Shimon is believed. (end of Version #2)
(c) Question (Rav Acha mi'Difti): Will we also say that if Reuven borrowed 100 Zuz with a document and says that he paid half, he is believed?!
(d) Answer (Ravina): That is different. A loan document is destined to be fully paid. If he paid half, he should have written so on the document itself, or gotten a receipt;
1. Version #1 (Rashi): Here, the document was written to publicize the rental, so Shimon cannot claim that he bought the house. (It is not to prove that he gets ten years from when he shows the document!)
2. Version #2 (Tosfos): Here, the document was written to prevent Shimon from claiming that he bought the house. (It is not to prove that he owes rent for all ten years!)
2) HOW GENEROUSLY DO PEOPLE LEND THINGS?
(a) (Rav Nachman): Reuven asked to borrow Shimon's Kli 'b'Tuvo (in its goodness)', and Shimon consented, Reuven can borrow it forever, whenever he needs it.
(b) (Rav Mari brei d'Vas Shmuel): This is if he made an acquisition. If not, (Rashi - if he returns it) he does not have permanent rights to it.
(c) (Rav Mari brei d'Rav Ashi): When it is no longer fitting to use, he returns the remnant (e.g. the handle of an axe).
(d) (Rava): If Reuven asked to borrow Shimon's shovel to dig in this orchard, he may dig in that orchard;
1. If he borrowed to dig in an orchard, he may dig in any orchard he wants;
2. If he borrowed to dig in 'Pardisai' (my orchards), he may dig in as many orchards as he has, even if he wears out the shovel.
(e) (Rav Papa): If Reuven asked Shimon 'lend to me this well (to irrigate my fields)', and it caved in, Reuven cannot say 'I will rebuild it and you must let me use the new one';
1. If he asked 'lend to me a well', and it caved in, Reuven can rebuild it, and he may use it to irrigate all his fields (like before it caved in);
2. If he asked 'lend to me place for a well', he may dig in as many places as needed until he finds water;
i. He must make an acquisition. If not, Shimon can retract his promise.
3) REPLACING A RENTED HOUSE THAT FELL
(a) (Mishnah): If Reuven rented a house to Shimon and it fell, Reuven must provide for him another house.
(b) If the first house was small, the replacement cannot be big, and vice-versa.
(c) If he rented one house, he cannot replace it with two houses (of the same total size), and vice-versa.
(d) The replacement cannot have more or less windows than the first house;
1. All of these are permited only if both of them consent.
(e) (Gemara) Question: What is the case?
1. If Reuven said 'I rent to you this house', it is gone (Reuven need not provide another)!
2. If Reuven said 'I rent to you a house', why can't he provide two in place of one, or a big house in place of a small house?
(f) Answer #1 (Reish Lakish): The case is, he said 'I rent to you a house of such and such length and width' (he specified the dimensions).
(g) Objection: If so, this is obvious! (What is the Chidush?)
(h) Correction (Ravina citing Reish Lakish): The case is, he said 'I rent to you a house like this.
(i) Question: Also this is obvious! (The replacement must be similar to what he showed to him!)
(j) Answer: The case is, he showed to him a house on the riverbank. One might have thought that 'a house like this' means a house on the riverbank (but it need not have similar dimensions). The Mishnah teaches that this is not so.
4) FOLLOWING THE LOCAL CUSTOM OF WORKERS
(a) (Mishnah): If Reuven accepted to work on Shimon's field (to receive a fixed portion of the Peros, like a sharecropper, or to rent it on condition to pay a fixed amount of Peros each year, like a Choker, he follows the local customs, such as to reap (the grain, leaving the stalk) or to uproot (the entire stalk), or to plow after harvesting.
(b) They share the straw just like they share the grain. They share the vines and reeds just like they share the wine;
1. They both supply the reeds.
(c) (Gemara - Beraisa): Where the custom is to reap, he may not uproot, and vice-versa. Neither the owner nor worker can deviate from the custom without the other's consent.
1. Where the custom is to reap, he may not uproot. The owner can say 'I want the stalks to remain to fertilize the land.' The worker can say 'I do not want to toil so much';
2. Where the custom is to uproot, he may not reap. The owner can say 'I want the land to be clear.' The worker can say 'I need straw for my animals.'
(d) Question: Why must it say 'neither can deviate without the other's consent'? (It already said that the worker cannot reap or uproot against the custom. We already know that sometimes he prefers one, and sometimes the other, and likewise the owner!)
(e) Answer: The Beraisa gives the reason for the law. Because sometimes each prefers one way, neither can deviate without the other's consent.
(f) (Mishnah): Where the custom is to plow after harvesting, he must do so.
(g) Objection: This is obvious!
(h) Answer: It teaches about place in which people do not weed, and this worker weeded;
1. One might have thought that he can say 'I weeded in order that I will not have to plow.' The Mishnah teaches that he cannot say so now. It helps only if he said so before weeding (Me'iri - and the owner agreed; Ramah - and the owner did not object).
(i) (Mishnah): All is according to the local custom.
(j) Question: What does this come to include?
(k) Answer (Beraisa): In a place where trees on the field are included in the rental (even though they need very little work), if nothing was specified, they are included. In a place where trees are not included, (unless specified) they are not included.
(l) Question: Obviously, in a place where trees are included, we assume that they are included!
(m) Answer: The case is, the owner agreed to give the worker a larger share of the Peros than normal. One might have thought that this was on condition that the trees are not included. The Beraisa teaches that this is not so, because he did not stipulate.
(n) (Beraisa): In a place where trees are not included, they are not included.
(o) Objection: This is obvious!
(p) Answer: The case is, the worker agreed to take a smaller share of the Peros than normal. One might have thought that this was on condition that the trees are included. The Beraisa teaches that this is not so, because he did not stipulate.
(q) (Mishnah): They share the straw just like they share the grain.
(r) (Rav Yosef): In Bavel, the custom is that sharecroppers do not receive a portion of the straw.
(s) Question: What do we learn from this?
(t) Answer: If one person does so, we do not learn from him. He just happens to be generous.
5) RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE OWNER AND THE WORKER
(a) Version #1 (Rav Yosef): The custom is make a dirt wall around a field, and to add to the wall (make it higher), and to add a third time. The owner supplies all the dirt, and also posts to make a fence around the field;
1. The worker supplies thorns for the fence.
2. The general rule is, the owner supplies needs of basic guarding, and the worker supplies extra guarding.
(b) (Rav Yosef): The owner supplies the shovel, hoe, and the bucket or pouch for irrigating. The worker makes the irrigation ditch.
(c) (Mishnah): They share the vines and reeds just like they share the wine.
(d) Question: Which reeds are harvested from a vineyard?!
(e) Answer (d'Vei R. Yanai): These are smoothed reeds that were used to support the vines.
(f) (Mishnah): They both supply the reeds.
(g) Objection: This is obvious! (Since he gets a share, surely he also supplies!)
(h) Answer: The Mishnah gives the reason. They share the vines and reeds because they both supply the reeds.
6) GROUNDS FOR DEDUCTING FROM THE RENTAL FEE
(a) (Mishnah): If Reuven accepted to work on Shimon's Beis ha'Shelachin (a field that must be irrigated from a spring) or a Beis ha'Ilan (a field with a tree, which is profitable for the worker), and the spring dried up or the tree was cut down, Reuven does not deduct from the agreed rental;
1. If he said 'Chakor Li (rent to me; Nimukei Yosef - rent from me) this Beis ha'Shelachin or Beis ha'Ilan', he deducts from the agreed rental.
(b) (Gemara) Question: What is the case (in which the spring dried up)?
1. If a big river dried up, why doesn't he deduct? This affects the entire region (we cannot say that it is due to his bad Mazal)!
(c) Answer (Rav Papa): A small spring dried up. The worker could bring from the big river.