BAVA METZIA 15 - Dedicated by Dr. Chaim and Melissa Lea Bitton of Geneva Switzerland in gratitude to Hashem for the birth of their daughter Aliza last week. May the new mother, Melissa Lea, have a speedy recovery, and may she and her husband raise their daughter l'Torah ul'Chupah ul'Maasim Tovim! Also dedicated towards a Refu'ah Sheleimah for Chaim's mother, Rina Bitton, may she be blessed with long life and good health and merit to see much Nachat from her children and grandchildren.

[15a - 55 lines; 15b - 52 lines]

1)[line 1]שנטלוה מסיקיןSHE'NATLUHA MASIKIN- [that that which the Beraisa refers to when it states that the field "is leaving his possession" is] that [Nochri] appropriators seized [the land]

2)[line 6]בעינא משמעBA'EINA MASHMA- implies that it is still in the same state [it was in when it was stolen]

3)[line 7]לצדדין קתניLI'TZEDADIN KA'TANI- [the ruling of the Beraisa] is meant to be split [as it is referring to two different cases]

4)[line 12]מלוה על פה הואMILVEH AL PEH HU- [that which the thief owes money to his victim] is an oral loan; i.e., it has not been recorded in a bill of debt

5)[line 12]אינו גובה מנכסים משועבדיםEINO GOVEH MI'NECHASIM MESHUBADIM- cannot be collected from properties [that have been sold after] a lien was established upon them [since those who purchased them were unaware that such a lien was established, and as such were not able to take precautions before the sale (Mipnei Tikun ha'Olam)]

6)[line 14]כשעמד בדין והדר זביןKESHE'AMAD B'DIN V'HADAR ZAVIN- [in a case] in which [the thief] stood [and was convicted] in court and then sold [the land, in which case those who purchased it were aware that it was stolen property]

7)[line 15]כשעמד בדין...KESHE'AMAD B'DIN...- (the Gemara answers) [the case is one] in which he stood [and was convicted] in court...

8)[line 16]ומאי; פסקא?U'MAI; PASKA?- what [was the Tana thinking]; did he determine that it is standard [for people to claim their stolen field but not its produce in court]?

9)[line 16]סתמא דמילתא כי תבע איניש, קרנא תבע ברישאSTAMA D'MILSA KI TAVA INISH, KARNA TAVA B'REISHA- it is standard for one who makes a claim [in court] to first claim the principle [and only later the profit]

10)[line 18]לרב חיננא בר שילתL'RAV CHINENA BAR SHILAS- to Rav Chinena bar Shilas, the scribe

11)[line 19]אמליך וכתובAMLICH U'CHESOV- [first] ask and [only then] record [in a document]

12a)[line 19]שופראSHUFRA- [whether or not he who currently owns the field wishes to include his] highest quality land (Idis)

b)[line 20]שבחאSHEVACHA- [whether or not he who currently owns the field wishes to include, in addition to its value at the time of the sale,] that which it will be improved [afterward]

c)[line 20]פיריPEIRI- [whether or not he who currently owns the field wishes to include] produce [that will grow in it afterward]

13)[line 24]שיש לו קרקעYESH LO KARKA- [the thief] has land [with which he repays the purchaser, in which case it no longer appears to be interest, since interest is usually paid with money]

14)[line 25]סאה בסאהSE'AH B'SE'AH - Charging Interest for the Loan of a Commodity

(a)One may not lend money to a fellow Jew with interest (Shemos 22:24, Vayikra 25:36, Devarim 23:20). This is forbidden whether the amount of interest is fixed, set as a percentage of the money owed, or charged only if the borrower is late in making the agreed upon payment. Some Tana'im go so far as to maintain that even if one made the interest conditional and it was ultimately not collected, extending a loan under such conditions is prohibited mid'Oraisa. Interest is termed "Neshech" or "Tarbis" by the Torah, and Chazal refer to it as "Ribis" or "Agar Natar" (lit. "the charge for waiting").

(b)Charging interest is forbidden mid'Oraisa only when the interest is fixed at the time of the loan. This is termed Ribis Ketzutzah. Interest that was not fixed at the time of the loan, or that which a seller charged more for his item since the purchaser wished to be given extra time in which to complete his payment, is termed "Avak Ribis" (lit. the dust of Ribis), and it is prohibited mid'Rabanan. Other cases that appear to be similar to Ribis were prohibited mid'Rabanan, although they do not have the status of Avak Ribis. Rather, they are classified as "Ha'aramas Ribis" (that which is done in order to avoid the prohibition of Ribis).

(c)One case of Ribis d'Rabanan is that of "Se'ah b'Se'ah." A Se'ah is a measure of grain. If one lends another a measure of grain - or any other commodity that has no intrinsic value, unlike money - with the stipulation that he repay a like measure of grain, this could lead to Ribis mid'Rabanan. If the commodity appreciated in value between the time of the loan and its repayment, then a Rabbinic prohibition of Ribis has been transgressed. The Rabanan allow such a loan, however, if the borrower has such an item in his possession at the time that he borrowed it. Even if he cannot access his own item, which is what necessitated the loan, we may consider his item as if it belongs to the borrower from that moment and that it appreciated in value in the possession of the borrower.

(d)The case of Shmuel is also one of Ribis d'Rabanan. Abaye asks if that which Shmuel allows the thief to pay for the improvements lost by the purchaser when the thief has land is a blanket allowance which would also apply in other cases of Ribis d'Rabanan.

15a)[line 25]התם הלואהHASAM HALVA'AH- there [in the case of Se'ah b'Se'ah] it is a loan [and therefore more similar to Ribis d'Oraisa, in which case paying with land will not suffice]

b)[line 26]הכא זביניHACHA ZEVINI- here [in the case of Shmuel] it is a sale [and therefore paying with land renders it sufficiently different from Ribis d'Oraisa to be permissible]

16)[line 27]שקנו מידוSHEKANU MI'YADO- [the witnesses signed upon the document] acquired [the Shevach (through an act of acquisition such as Chalipin; see Background to Bava Kama 96:73) on behalf of the purchaser] from the possession of [the thief when they signed, thereby creating a lien that requires him to pay that does not appear to be Ribis] (see TOSFOS to Kidushin 26b DH Hachi Garsinan)

17)[line 31]תדעTEDA- lit. know; i.e., a proof can be found from the following

18a)[line 31]אנא איקום ואשפי ואדכי ואמריק זביני איליןANA EIKOM V'ASHFI V'ADKI V'AMRIK ZEVINI ILEIN- I shall establish, quiet [any rumors], purify [from any doubt of ownership], and cleanse [from any suspicion] these [lands that I have] sold

b)[line 32]אינון ועמליהון ושבחיהוןINUN VA'AMALEIHON U'SHEVACHEIHON- they, that which was invested in them, and that through which they have been improved

c)[line 33]ואיקום קדמךV'EIKOM KADAMACH- and I will establish it before you

d)[line 33]וצבי זבינא דנןV'TZAVI ZEVINA DENAN- and this seller agreed

e)[line 34]וקביל עלוהיV'KABIL ALOHI- and he accepted [these terms] upon himself

19)[line 36]ה"נ דלא טריף שבחא?HACHI NAMI D'LO TARIF SHEVACHA?- is it true that [a creditor] cannot collect from [those] improvements [made by the recipient]?

20)[line 36]איןIN- indeed

21)[line 37]אין; יפה ויפהIN; YAFEH V'YAFEH- indeed; quite stronger

22)[line 38]הא מתניתאHA MASNISA- the following Beraisa

23)[line 38]הונא חבריןHUNA CHAVRIN- our colleague Huna (see Insights to Kesuvos 69)

24a)[line 46]השבחHA'SHEVACH- [the current value of] the improvements [made in the field by the purchaser]

b)[line 46]היציאהHA'YETZI'AH- [the value of] the investment [in the field by the purchaser]

25)[line 50]בלוקח מגזלןB'LOKE'ACH MI'GAZLAN- a case in which one purchased a field from a thief. In this case, the "creditor" would refer to the true owner of the field.

26)[last line]כאן בשבח המגיע לכתפיםKAN B'SHEVACH HA'MAGI'A L'CHESEFAYIM- here [where Shmuel ruled that the creditor must pay the purchaser for the Shevach is a case] in which the produce (a) had reached the level of [a person's] shoulders [in which case it is considered fully grown and already belongs to the purchaser] (RASHI); (b) will eventually be harvested (first explanation of TOSFOS to Bava Kama 94b DH Shevach); (c) was the result of hard toil (RABEINU TAM cited by TOSFOS ibid.)


27)[line 4]הא דמסיק ביה כשיעור ארעא ושבחאHA D'MASIK BEI K'SHI'UR AR'A U'SHEVACHA- that [which Shmuel ruled that a creditor need not pay the purchaser for the Shevach is a case] in which he was owed by [the debtor] an amount equal to the value of the land and the improvements made to it

28)[line 6]מסליק ליהMASLIK LEI- he may remove [the purchaser from his claim to the land]

29)[line 6]אי אית ליה זוזי ללוקחIY IS LEI ZUZEI L'LOKE'ACH- [even] if the purchaser has money [equal in value to the land]

30)[line 8]שפירSHAPIR- [that which the creditor may appropriate the Shevach and pay for it against the will of the purchaser even when he is not owed that amount of money] is satisfactory

31)[line 11]הב לי גרבא דארעא בארעא שיעור שבחאיHAV LI GERIVA D'AR'A B'AR'A SHI'UR SHEVACHA'I- give me a measure of land in the field equal in value to that which I caused the land to appreciate

32)[line 9]אפותיקיAPOTIKI - A Designated Security

One may designate one of his possessions or parcels of land as a security for a debt. Although the item does not yet pass into the possession of the creditor, he holds a Shibud (lien) on it such that even if the debtor sells the item or otherwise passes it from his possession the creditor may claim it in lieu of the debt. Such an item is termed an "Apotiki." This is a contraction for "Apo Tehei Ka'i" - "upon this shall [the debt] stand." Since the debt is now dependent upon the Apotiki, should the Apotiki be lost, stolen, or rendered forbidden then the creditor has lost all rights to collect.

33)[line 14]פרעוןPIRA'ON- repayment

34a)[line 14]הכיר בה שאינה שלוHIKIR BAH SHE'EINAH SHE'LO- if one recognized that [a field] did not belong to [he who is selling it]

b)[line 15]ולקחהU'LEKACHAH- and he purchased it

35)[line 18]גמר ונתן לשום פקדוןGAMAR V'NASAN L'SHUM PIKADON- he decided to give it as a deposit [which he planned to reclaim at a later date]

36)[line 18]ונימא ליה...?V'NEIMA LEI...?- why does he not say to him...?

37)[line 21]כסיפא ליה מילתאKESEIFA LEI MILSA- it is embarrassing for him

38)[line 23]המקדשHA'MEKADESH- one who betroths (see Background to 16:37)

39)[line 30]בהאB'HA- in this [case of one who knowingly purchases a stolen field]

40)[line 31]לא עבדי אינשי דיהבי מתנות לנוכראהLO AVDEI INSHEI D'YAHAVEI MATANOS L'NUCHRA'AH- people do not generally give presents to strangers (i.e., one who is not a family member)

41)[line 33]בהךB'HACH- in that [case of one who "betrothed" his sister]

42)[line 36]האי לארעא במאי קא נחית, ופירות היכי אכיל?HAI L'AR'A B'MAI KA NACHIS, U'FEIROS HEICHI ACHIL?- with what [justification] did this [purchaser] go down to [take over ownership of] the field, and how did he consume its produce?

43a)[line 37]אנא איחות לארעא, ואיעביד ואיכול בגויהANA EICHOS L'AR'A, V'I'AVID V'EICHOL B'GAVEI- I will go down to [take over ownership of] the field, and I will work it and eat from it[s produce]

b)[line 38]כי היכי דהוה קא עביד איהוKI HEICHI D'HAVAH KA AVID IHU- just as he [from whom I "purchased" it] would have done

c)[line 38][ו]לכי אתי מריה דארעא, זוזאי נהוו[U]L'CHI ASI MAREI D'AR'A, ZUZA'EI NIHAVU ...- [and] when the [true] owner of the field arrives, the money [that I had given the thief] will be ...

44)[line 41]הלכתאHILCHESA- the ruling [in the Machlokes between Rav and Shmuel over whether or not a thief must make remuneration for the Shevach of the purchaser (14b)] is

45)[line 41]ואע"פ שלא פירש לו את השבחV'AF AL PI SHE'LO PIRESH LO ES HA'SHEVACH- and even though he did not specify [that he wishes to insure] that which it will be improved [by the purchaser afterward] (unlike the ruling of Shmuel on 14a)

46)[line 44]אחריות טעות סופר הוא...ACHRAYUS TA'US SOFER HU...- insurance [left unmentioned in a legal document] is the result of a mistake on the part of the scribe... (unlike the ruling of Shmuel on 14a)

47)[line 46]חזר ולקחה מבעלים הראשונים, מהו?CHAZAR U'LEKACHAH MI'BE'ALIM HA'RISHONIM, MAHU?- if [the thief] returned and purchased [the field that he sold] from the original owner, what is the Halachah [regarding whether or not the purchaser may now keep it]?

48)[line 47]מה מכר לו ראשון לשני? כל זכות שתבא לידוMAH MACHAR LO RISHON L'SHENI? KOL ZECHUS SHE'TAVO L'YADO- what has the first [purchaser (i.e., the thief)] sold to the second [purchaser (i.e., he who bought it from him)]? Every right that he himself will receive (i.e., the right to keep the field)

49)[line 49]ניחא ליה דלא נקרייה גזלנאNEICHA LEI D'LO NIKREI GAZLANA- he would rather not be called a thief

50)[line 50]ניחא ליה דליקו בהמנותיהNEICHA LEI D'LEIKU B'HEMNUSEI- he would rather remain known as a trustworthy individual