QUESTION: In the Mishnah, Admon and the Chachamim disagree about the law in a case in which a borrower says that the person from whom he borrowed money had actually borrowed money from him. Admon rules that he is not believed, because if he indeed had lent money to the other person, he would have collected his debt from him instead of borrowing money from him. The Chachamim rule that each person may collect his debt from the other.
In the Gemara, Rav Nachman explains that the Mishnah refers to a case in which the first borrower owns fields that are Idis (high quality) and Beinonis (average quality), and the second borrower owns only fields that are Ziburis (low quality). It is in this case that the Chachamim maintain that each borrower collects from the other, and an actual exchange of fields takes place. The first borrower collects his debt by taking the other person's Ziburis field, and the second borrower collects his debt by taking the first person's Beinonis field. In any other case (where both borrowers have the same type of field), however, the Chachamim's ruling does not apply (because "Hapuchei Matarasa Lamah Li").
If it would be known for certain that both loans actually occurred, it is clear that the Halachah would be as the Chachamim rule. However, in the case of the Mishnah, Admon asserts that the second loan did not occur, because if it did occur, why did the second person borrow money from the first when he could have simply collected his debt? How do the Chachamim answer Admon's proof?
(a) The BA'AL HA'ME'OR explains that the Chachamim maintain that the second person, when he needed money, did not collect his debt from the first but rather borrowed money from him because he wanted to exchange fields and replace his Ziburis field with a Beinonis field.
(b) The RAMBAN (in Milchamos) rejects the Ba'al ha'Me'or's explanation. He asserts that had the second person wanted to replace his Ziburis field with a Beinonis field, he would not have borrowed money from his own debtor. Rather, he simply would have collected the Beinonis field from his debtor and sold his Ziburis field. Nobody would borrow money in order to get rid of a field he does not want.
The Ramban therefore explains that the dispute between Admon and the Chachamim in the Mishnah here is identical to the dispute in the previous Mishnah. There, the Chachamim said to Admon that the reason why a person sells his field to one who owes him money is to insure that the debtor will have property from which to collect the debt. Similarly, in the case of the Mishnah here, the lender borrows money from his own debtor in order to take possession of the money of his debtor so that he will have something from which to collect his debt. Admon disagrees because he maintains that a Moda'ah should have been proclaimed, while the Chachamim maintain that "Chavrach Chavra Is Lei" ("your friend has a friend") -- the owner of the field who borrowed money would find out about the lender's intention and would not sell his field to him (or lend him money). The reason why this dispute is repeated is merely to teach the Chachamim's ruling that "this one collects from this one, and this one collects from this one," and that there is an exchange of fields in this particular case.
The Ramban's explanation is problematic because this Chidush is unrelated to the dispute between Admon and the Chachamim. In fact, this Chidush could have been taught even if there was no dispute at all between the litigants and everyone agreed that both loans had occurred.
(c) The CHEMDAS SHLOMO follows the approach of the Ramban, but he adds that the words of the Chachamim in the Mishnah here teach another Chidush.
To take a loan from one's debtor is far more problematic than selling him a field. When one sells his debtor a field, the question arises, why did he sell his field to the debtor if he could have collected the money that was owed to him without parting with his field? This question can be answered with the explanation that the creditor wanted to insure that the debtor would have property from which he could collect the debt. In contrast, there is no answer to why a lender would borrow money from his own debtor. Once each person owes money to the other, neither one effectively owes any money! How can a Shtar Chov be written on such a loan?
The answer must be that the case to which the Mishnah refers is a case in which an exchange of fields will take place when each one collects from the other. Accordingly, the debts are not identical and it does make sense to write a Shtar Chov on the second loan. This Chidush in the opinion of the Chachamim is what the Mishnah here adds.
The Chemdas Shlomo supports this explanation from an inference in the wording of the Mishnah. In the earlier Mishnah, Admon asks "why did you (the lender) sell your field to me (the borrower)," a logical question which demands an answer. In the Mishnah here, Admon asks "how could you borrow money from me," a rhetorical question which means that the loan makes no sense at all. This is why the Chachamim respond that the loans are not identical, and the second loan makes sense because of the exchange of fields. (Mordechai Zvi Dicker)


OPINIONS: The Beraisa states that anyone who lives in Eretz Yisrael is considered as though he has a G-d. Anyone who lives in Chutz la'Aretz is considered as though he worships idols.
What does the Beraisa mean?
(a) The PNEI YEHOSHUA cites the RASHBA (Teshuvos #134) who explains that Eretz Yisrael is called "Nachalas Hash-m" (Shmuel I 26:19) because Hash-m provides direct supervision over Eretz Yisrael, in contrast to all other lands which He supervises only though intermediaries. One who lives in Chutz la'Aretz relies on those intermediaries to carry out the will of Hash-m, and in that way he is considered to worship Avodah Zarah.
The Rashba's explanation needs further elucidation, because as long as a person knows that Hash-m provides him with all of his needs and supervises all of his affairs, why should the fact that the supervision comes through intermediaries be considered Avodah Zarah?
It must be that with all the good intentions one has, the Emunah he has when in a state of being supervised by intermediaries will never reach the level of Emunah of one whose affairs are supervised directly by Hash-m. This lack of Emunah is equated to worship of Avodah Zarah.
(b) The PNEI YEHOSHUA adds that since the supervision of Hash-m in Chutz la'Aretz comes through intermediaries, one who lives there tends to rely on those intermediaries themselves and forgets that Hash-m is the One truly in charge. In contrast, one who lives in Eretz Yisrael always remembers that Hash-m is in charge.
(c) The RAMBAM (in Igeres Kidush Hash-m) writes that one who lives outside of Eretz Yisrael is like one who serves Avodah Zarah because of his choice to live among heretics. One must loathe Resha'im and distance himself from them.
The ME'IRI similarly writes that the benefit of living in Eretz Yisrael is the Chochmah and Yir'as Shamayim which one will attain there. (This is why Rav Yehudah (111a) says that one who lives in Bavel is like one who lives in Eretz Yisrael -- because of the Yeshivos there that spread Torah and Yir'as Shamayim, as Rashi explains.)
(d) The REBBE of SATMAR (in VA'YOEL MOSHE, Ma'amar Shalosh Shevuos) infers from the words of Rashi (DH v'Chi Mi Amar) that the Gemara's warning against leaving Eretz Yisrael applies only when doing so will put a person under the dominion of idolatrous rulers. Rashi writes that David ha'Melech "was forced to flee and leave Eretz Yisrael, and go to the king of Moav and to Achish." Rashi does not need to mention that David ha'Melech went to the king of Moav and Achish; it would suffice to say that he was forced to leave Eretz Yisrael. It must be that the problem involved with leaving Eretz Yisrael is subjecting oneself to the dominion of idolatrous rulers in Chutz la'Aretz.
(e) The AYELES AHAVIM explains that one who lives in Chutz la'Aretz is vulnerable to acquire the bad character traits which characterize the various foreign nations. Acquiring such traits is akin to serving Avodah Zarah.
The Gemara in Kidushin (49b) says that the traits of "Chanufah" (flattery) and "Gasos ha'Ru'ach" (haughtiness) descended to the nation of Bavel. The Gemara in Sotah (4b and 5a) equates haughtiness with Avodah Zarah when it says that "one who is haughty is considered as though he serves Avodah Zarah" and "one who is haughty should be cut down like an Asheirah tree."
The Gemara in Nedarim (22a) infers from a verse that one who lives in Bavel is prone to anger, and the Gemara there says that one who gets angry pushes away the Shechinah. Similarly, the Gemara in Shabbos (105b) says that one who breaks objects in anger is akin to one who serves Avodah Zarah.
It is because of these bad character traits that one is prone to acquire in Chutz la'Aretz that one who lives there is considered as though he serves Avodah Zarah. (Mordechai Zvi Dicker)