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Today's Daf Yomi

June 7, 2016 | ืืณ ื‘ืกื™ื•ืŸ ืชืฉืขืดื•

  • This month's learning is sponsored by Joanna Rom and Steven Goldberg in loving memory of Steve's mother Shirley "Nana" Goldberg (Sura Tema bat Chaim v'Hanka)

Bava Kamma 7

Study Guide Bava Kamma 7.The gemara tries to understand what Rabbi Akiva meant by kal vahomer lehekdesh. ย What is the case of hekdesh Abaye brings a contradiction – on the one hand one needs to pay from the best of his land. ย On the other hand a braita says that he can even pay from bran. Four possible answers are brought – the first 3 are rejected.

ื•ื‘ืขืœ ื—ื•ื‘ ื‘ื‘ื™ื ื•ื ื™ืช

and the halakha of a creditor is to collect only from intermediate-quality land, not from superior-quality land.

ื•ื›ื™ ืชื™ืžื ืกื‘ืจ ืจื‘ื™ ืขืงื™ื‘ื ื‘ืขืœ ื—ื•ื‘ ื ืžื™ ื‘ืขื™ื“ื™ืช ืื™ื›ื ืœืžื™ืคืจืš ืžื” ืœื‘ืขืœ ื—ื•ื‘ ืฉื›ืŸ ื™ืคื” ื›ื—ื• ื‘ื ื–ืงื™ืŸ ืชืืžืจ ื‘ื”ืงื“ืฉ ืฉื”ื•ืจืข ื›ื—ื• ื‘ื ื–ืงื™ืŸ

And if you would say that Rabbi Akiva holds that a creditor can collect the money owed him from superior-quality land as well, there is still a difficulty; the a fortiori inference can still be refuted in the following manner: What is notable about an ordinary creditor? He is notable in that the Torah enhanced his power with regard to payment of damages, as an ordinary person can collect payment of damages for loss or injury caused by anotherโ€™s ox. But can you say the same about the Temple treasury of consecrated property, with regard to which the Torah weakened its power with regard to payment of damages, not allowing it to collect such compensation? Accordingly, even if a creditor collects from superior-quality land, it does not necessarily follow that a Temple treasurer would also do so. It is therefore apparent that Rabbi Akivaโ€™s a fortiori inference is not referring to the case of one who donates money to the Temple.

ืœืขื•ืœื ื“ื ื’ื— ืชื•ืจื ื“ื™ื“ืŸ ืœืชื•ืจื ื“ื”ืงื“ืฉ ื•ื“ืงื ืงืฉื™ื ืœืš ืฉื•ืจ ืจืขื”ื• ืืžืจ ืจื—ืžื ื ื•ืœื ืฉื•ืจ ืฉืœ ื”ืงื“ืฉ ืจื‘ื™ ืขืงื™ื‘ื ืกื‘ืจ ืœื” ื›ืจื‘ื™ ืฉืžืขื•ืŸ ื‘ืŸ ืžื ืกื™ื

The Gemara rejects this: Actually, we can explain that we are dealing here with a case where our ox gored an ox that is consecrated property. And with regard to that which posed a difficulty for you about this explanation, i.e., that the Merciful One states: โ€œThe ox of anotherโ€ (Exodus 21:35), which indicates that liability is incurred only for damaging another personโ€™s ox but not for an ox consecrated to the Temple, Rabbi Akiva disagrees with that interpretation and holds in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Shimon ben Menasya.

ื“ืชื ื™ื ืจื‘ื™ ืฉืžืขื•ืŸ ื‘ืŸ ืžื ืกื™ื ืื•ืžืจ ืฉื•ืจ ืฉืœ ื”ืงื“ืฉ ืฉื ื’ื— ืฉื•ืจ ืฉืœ ื”ื“ื™ื•ื˜ ืคื˜ื•ืจ ืฉื•ืจ ืฉืœ ื”ื“ื™ื•ื˜ ืฉื ื’ื— ืฉื•ืจ ืฉืœ ื”ืงื“ืฉ ื‘ื™ืŸ ืชื ื‘ื™ืŸ ืžื•ืขื“ ืžืฉืœื ื ื–ืง ืฉืœื

As it is taught in a baraita: Rabbi Shimon ben Menasya says: If an ox that is consecrated property gored an ox belonging to a common person [hedyot], the Temple treasury is exempt from liability. By contrast, in the case of an ox belonging to a common person that gored an ox that is consecrated property, whether the ox that gored the other ox was an innocuous ox, i.e., an ox with no consistent history of causing damage with the intent to injure, or it was a forewarned ox, i.e., an ox whose owner was forewarned because his ox had already gored another ox three times, the oxโ€™s owner pays the full cost of the damage.

ืื™ ื”ื›ื™ ืจื‘ื™ ื™ืฉืžืขืืœ ื•ืจื‘ื™ ืขืงื™ื‘ื ืžืžืื™ ื“ื‘ืขื™ื“ื™ืช ื“ื ื™ื–ืง ื•ื–ื™ื‘ื•ืจื™ืช ื“ืžื–ื™ืง ืคืœื™ื’ื™ ื“ืœืžื ื“ื›ื•ืœื™ ืขืœืžื ื‘ื“ื ื™ื–ืง ืฉื™ื™ืžื™ื ืŸ ื•ื”ื›ื ื‘ืคืœื•ื’ืชื ื“ืจื‘ื™ ืฉืžืขื•ืŸ ื‘ืŸ ืžื ืกื™ื ื•ืจื‘ื ืŸ ืงืžืคืœื’ื™

The Gemara asks: If so, from where do you know to say that Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Yishmael disagree about a case where the superior-quality land belonging to the injured party and the inferior-quality land belonging to the one liable for the damage are equal in quality, and the one liable for the damage also has land of superior quality, as the dispute was previously interpreted by Rav Aแธฅa bar Yaโ€™akov? Perhaps everyone, including Rabbi Akiva, agrees that we appraise the value of the land of the injured party, and here they disagree with regard to the dispute between Rabbi Shimon ben Menasya and the Rabbis.

ืจื‘ื™ ืขืงื™ื‘ื ืกื‘ืจ ื›ืจื‘ื™ ืฉืžืขื•ืŸ ื‘ืŸ ืžื ืกื™ื ื•ืจื‘ื™ ื™ืฉืžืขืืœ ืกื‘ืจ ื›ืจื‘ื ืŸ

The Gemara explains: Rabbi Akiva holds in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Shimon ben Menasya, that in the case of damage caused by the ox of a common person to the property of the Temple treasury, compensation is collected from superior-quality land belonging to the one liable for the damage. And Rabbi Yishmael holds in accordance with the opinion of the Rabbis, that the owner of the ox bears no liability. In other words, perhaps in the baraita recording the dispute between Rabbi Yishmael and Rabbi Akiva (see 6b), Rabbi Yishmael first taught that land is appraised based on the quality of the injured partyโ€™s land, and then, although it is not explicit in the baraita, he continued to state his opinion that the Temple treasury is unable to collect damages. Accordingly, Rabbi Akiva can be understood as having first expressed his agreement concerning the valuation of land and then proceeding to dispute Rabbi Yishmaelโ€™s opinion with regard to the Temple treasury.

ืื ื›ืŸ ืžืื™ ืœื ื‘ื ื”ื›ืชื•ื‘

The Gemara rejects this suggestion: If it is so that this is the disagreement, then what is the meaning of Rabbi Akivaโ€™s statement: The verse comes only to allow injured parties to collect compensation from superior-quality land? This indicates that Rabbi Akiva disagrees about how to understand this verse.

ื•ืขื•ื“ ืžืื™ ืงืœ ื•ื—ื•ืžืจ ืœื”ืงื“ืฉ

And furthermore, if the subject is the Temple treasury, what is the meaning of: And by means of an a fortiori inference one can derive that the Temple treasury of consecrated property collects from superior-quality land. If, as suggested, Rabbi Akiva holds in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Shimon ben Menasya, then he maintains that damage to consecrated property is dealt with more stringently than damage to another personโ€™s property, in that if oneโ€™s ox damages consecrated property one is liable for the full cost of the damage even if the ox was considered innocuous. If damage to consecrated property is dealt with more stringently, there is no basis to derive an a fortiori inference.

ื•ืขื•ื“ ื”ื ืืžืจ ืจื‘ ืืฉื™ ืชื ื™ื ื‘ื”ื“ื™ื ืžื™ื˜ื‘ ืฉื“ื”ื• ื•ืžื™ื˜ื‘ ื›ืจืžื• ื™ืฉืœื ืžื™ื˜ื‘ ืฉื“ื”ื• ืฉืœ ื ื™ื–ืง ื•ืžื™ื˜ื‘ ื›ืจืžื• ืฉืœ ื ื™ื–ืง ื“ื‘ืจื™ ืจื‘ื™ ื™ืฉืžืขืืœ ืจื‘ื™ ืขืงื™ื‘ื ืื•ืžืจ ืžื™ื˜ื‘ ืฉื“ื”ื• ืฉืœ ืžื–ื™ืง ื•ืžื™ื˜ื‘ ื›ืจืžื• ืฉืœ ืžื–ื™ืง

And furthermore, didnโ€™t Rav Ashi say: It is taught explicitly in a baraita: The verse: โ€œThe best of his field and the best of his vineyard he shall payโ€ (Exodus 22:4), teaches that the appraisal is of the best of the field of the injured party, and of the best of the vineyard of the injured party. This is the statement of Rabbi Yishmael. Rabbi Akiva says: The appraisal is of the best of the field of the one liable for the damage, and of the best of the vineyard of the one liable for the damage. This clearly indicates that according to Rabbi Akiva compensation is collected from the superior-quality land belonging to the one liable for the damage.

ืจืžื™ ืœื™ื” ืื‘ื™ื™ ืœืจื‘ื ื›ืชื™ื‘ ืžื™ื˜ื‘ ืฉื“ื”ื• ื•ืžื™ื˜ื‘ ื›ืจืžื• ื™ืฉืœื ืžื™ื˜ื‘ ืื™ืŸ ืžื™ื“ื™ ืื—ืจื™ื ื ืœื

ยง The Gemara considers others issues concerning the form in which restitution should be paid: Abaye raises a contradiction and addresses it to Rava: It is written: โ€œThe best of his field and of the best of his vineyard he shall payโ€ (Exodus 22:4), which indicates that from his best-quality land, yes, he shall pay, but from something else, no, he shall not pay.

ื•ื”ืชื ื™ื ื™ืฉื™ื‘ ืœืจื‘ื•ืช ืฉื•ื” ื›ืกืฃ ื•ืืคื™ืœื• ืกื•ื‘ื™ืŸ

But isnโ€™t it taught in a baraita: The verse states: โ€œAnd if a man shall open a pit, or if a man shall dig a pit and not cover it, and an ox or a donkey fall therein, the owner of the pit shall pay; he shall recompense money to its ownersโ€ (Exodus 21:33โ€“34)? Since the verse states: โ€œThe owner of the pit shall pay,โ€ the additional term โ€œhe shall recompenseโ€ is superfluous. It therefore serves to include any item worth money, and even bran, a relatively inferior commodity, as valid forms of restitution.

ืœื ืงืฉื™ื ื›ืืŸ ืžื“ืขืชื• ื›ืืŸ ื‘ืขืœ ื›ืจื—ื•

Rava resolves the contradiction: This is not difficult. Here, the term โ€œhe shall recompenseโ€ is referring to a case where he pays of his own volition, without being taken to court, and he may therefore use any form of payment. There, the phrase โ€œof the best of his fieldโ€ is referring to a case where he pays against his will, after the injured party has sued him in court. Since he caused the injured party additional trouble, he must pay using his best-quality land.

ืืžืจ ืขื•ืœื ื‘ืจื™ื” ื“ืจื‘ ืขื™ืœืื™ ื“ื™ืงื ื ืžื™ ื“ื›ืชื™ื‘ ื™ืฉืœื ื‘ืขืœ ื›ืจื—ื•

Ulla, son of Rav Ilai, said: According to this explanation, the language of the verse is also precise, as it is written: โ€œHe shall pay,โ€ a term that, as opposed to: โ€œHe shall recompense,โ€ connotes that he is forced to pay against his will.

ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืื‘ื™ื™ ืžื™ ื›ืชื™ื‘ ื™ืฉื•ืœื ื™ืฉืœื ื›ืชื™ื‘ ืžื“ืขืชื• ืžืฉืžืข

Abaye said to him that the precise meaning of the verse does not indicate that he is paying against his will: Is it written: He shall be paid, in the passive form, which would clearly indicate that he did not voluntarily initiate the payment himself but rather is paying against his will? No; โ€œhe shall payโ€ is written, which can also indicate that he pays of his own volition.

ืืœื ืืžืจ ืื‘ื™ื™ ื›ื“ืžืจ ื“ืชื ื™ื ื”ืจื™ ืฉื”ื™ื• ืœื• ื‘ืชื™ื ืฉื“ื•ืช ื•ื›ืจืžื™ื ื•ืื™ื ื• ืžื•ืฆื ืœืžื•ื›ืจืŸ ืžืื›ื™ืœื™ืŸ ืื•ืชื• ืžืขืฉืจ ืขื ื™ ืขื“ ืžื—ืฆื”

Rather, Abaye said an alternative resolution, similar to that with which the Master, i.e., Abayeโ€™s teacher, Rabba, employed in order to resolve a different difficulty. As it is taught in a baraita: A wealthy person is not entitled to take a poor manโ€™s tithe. He is instead expected to sell his assets and purchase food with the proceeds. But in the case of an individual who owns houses, fields, and vineyards, but at the present time cannot find buyers to whom he can sell them, one may feed him with food from the poor manโ€™s tithe up until half the value of his assets.

ื•ื”ื•ื™ ื‘ื” ืžืจ ื”ื™ื›ื™ ื“ืžื™ ืื™ ื”ื•ื–ืœ ืืจืขืชื ื“ื›ื•ืœื™ ืขืœืžื ื•ื“ื™ื“ื™ื” ื ืžื™ ื–ืœ ื‘ื”ื“ื™ื™ื”ื• ืืคื™ืœื• ื˜ื•ื‘ื ื ืžื™ ืœื™ืกืคื™ ืœื™ื” ื“ื”ื ื–ื•ืœ ื“ื›ื•ืœื™ ืขืœืžื ื ืžื™

And the Master discussed it and asked: What are the circumstances that led to him being unable to sell his land? If everyoneโ€™s land depreciated in value, and his land also depreciated along with theirs, let us provide him with even more than half the value of his assets, as, since everyoneโ€™s land also depreciated, the market value of his property is low and he is genuinely classified as a poor person, who may take as much poor manโ€™s tithe as is given to him.

ืืœื ื“ืื•ืงื™ืจ ืืจืขืชื ื“ื›ื•ืœื™ ืขืœืžื ื•ื“ื™ื“ื™ื” ืื™ื™ื“ื™ ื“ืขื™ื™ืœ ื•ื ืคื™ืง ืื–ื•ื–ื™ ื–ืœ ืืจืขื™ื”

Rather, it must be that everyone elseโ€™s land appreciated in value, and with regard to his land, since people see that he goes in and goes out for money, i.e., he is in need of money, they reason that he will be forced to accept a lower offer for his property. Consequently, his land depreciated in value.

ืืคื™ืœื• ืคื•ืจืชื ื ืžื™ ืœื ืœื™ืกืคื• ืœื™ื”

The Gemara asks: But if that is the case, we should not provide him with even a slight amount of poor manโ€™s tithe. Since his assets, based on their market value, have a high value, he is not to be classified as a poor person.

ื•ืืžืจ ืžืจ ืขืœื” ืœื ืฆืจื™ื›ื ื“ื‘ื™ื•ืžื™ ื ื™ืกืŸ ื™ืงืจื ืืจืขืชื ื•ื‘ื™ื•ืžื™ ืชืฉืจื™ ื–ืœ ืืจืขืชื

And the Master, Rabba, said concerning this: No, the halakha that he is provided with only up to half the value of his assets is necessary in a case where he cannot sell due to seasonal fluctuations in price. This is because in the days of the month of Nisan, which is the beginning of the harvest season, the market value of land appreciates, and in the days of the month of Tishrei, a time when the harvest had already been reaped and it is too late to prepare the land for the coming year, the market value of land depreciates.

ื“ื›ื•ืœื™ ืขืœืžื ื ื˜ืจื™ ืขื“ ื ื™ืกืŸ ื•ืžื–ื‘ื ื™ ื•ื”ืื™ ื”ื•ืื™ืœ ื•ืืฆื˜ืจื™ื›ื ืœื™ื” ื–ื•ื–ื™ ื–ื‘ื™ืŸ ื›ื“ื”ืฉืชื ืขื“ ืคืœื’ื ืื•ืจื—ื™ื” ืœืžื™ื–ืœ ื˜ืคื™ ืœืื• ืื•ืจื—ื™ื” ืœืžื™ื–ืœ

Consequently, everyone generally waits until Nisan and sells only at that point. But this person, since he is in need of money, sells his land in Tishrei according to the current, lower, market price. Accordingly, based on the current market prices, his assets have a low value and there is justification in regarding him as a poor person. Yet, since if he waited until Nisan, as everyone else does, his land would have a high value, he cannot truly be classified as a poor person. Therefore, he is permitted to take only as much poor manโ€™s tithe as will cover his losses. The Gemara explains why he is permitted to take only up to half the value of his land: Since it is the nature of land to depreciate up to half its value, and it is not its nature to depreciate more than that, he is entitled to take poor manโ€™s tithe that is worth up to half the value of his land and the rest he can supplement by selling his land at its current, lower price.

ื•ื”ื›ื ื ืžื™ ื’ื‘ื™ ื ื–ืงื™ืŸ ื“ื™ื ื™ื” ื‘ืขื™ื“ื™ืช

Abaye uses a similar distinction to resolve the contradiction he raises: And here also, with regard to damages, if one considers a case where the injured party comes to collect his damages during Tishrei, his legal right is to collect payment from superior-quality land. This will be a relatively large amount of land, owing to the current seasonal depreciation in its value.

ื•ืื™ ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืื™ื”ื• ื”ื‘ ืœื™ ื‘ื™ื ื•ื ื™ืช ื˜ืคื™ ืคื•ืจืชื ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืื™ ืฉืงืœืช ื›ื“ื™ื ืš ืฉืงื•ืœ ื›ื“ื”ืฉืชื ื•ืื™ ืœื ืฉืงื™ืœ ื›ื™ ื™ื•ืงืจื ื“ืœืงืžื™ื”

But if the injured party says to the one liable for the damage: Give me slightly more land of intermediate quality instead, then the one liable for the damage can say to him: If you choose to take superior-quality land, as is your legal right, take a large amount in accordance with the current market value; but if not, and you wish to take intermediate-quality land, take according to the future value in Nisan, after it will have appreciated, which will mean you will be entitled to a smaller amount of land. This can be used to resolve the contradiction: The phrase โ€œof the best of his field,โ€ which indicates that payment is made only from superior-quality land, defines the injured partyโ€™s basic rights. The term โ€œhe shall recompense,โ€ which indicates that payment may be made in any form, is referring to a case where the injured party forgoes his rights. In such a case the value of the land or item he agrees to receive is appraised based on its appreciated value at the season when it is generally sold.

ืžืชืงื™ืฃ ืœื” ืจื‘ ืื—ื ื‘ืจ ื™ืขืงื‘ ืื ื›ืŸ ื”ื•ืจืขืช ื›ื—ืŸ ืฉืœ ื ื–ืงื™ืŸ ืืฆืœ ื‘ื™ื ื•ื ื™ืช ื•ื–ื™ื‘ื•ืจื™ืช ื“ืจื—ืžื ื ืืžืจ ืžืžื™ื˜ื‘ ื•ืืช ืืžืจืช ืžื‘ื™ื ื•ื ื™ืช ื•ื–ื™ื‘ื•ืจื™ืช ื ืžื™ ืœื

Rav Aแธฅa bar Yaโ€™akov objects to this suggestion: If so, you have weakened the power of injured parties with regard to intermediate-quality and inferior-quality land, as, by agreeing to receive land of a lower quality than that to which their rights entitle them, they will actually receive less land, since the land is then appraised based on the appreciated market values in Nisan. Such an opinion is untenable, as the Merciful One states that injured parties collect from the best-quality land, clearly intending to enhance their rights, and yet you said he cannot also collect from intermediate-quality and inferior-quality land unless he agrees that the land should be appraised based on the appreciated Nisan values, thereby lowering the value of his payment.

ืืœื ืืžืจ ืจื‘ ืื—ื ื‘ืจ ื™ืขืงื‘ ืื™ ืื™ื›ื ืœื“ืžื•ื™ื™ ืœื‘ืขืœ ื—ื•ื‘ ืžื“ืžื™ื ืŸ ืœื™ื” ื‘ืขืœ ื—ื•ื‘ ื“ื™ื ื™ื” ื‘ื‘ื™ื ื•ื ื™ืช ื•ืื™ ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ื”ื‘ ืœื™ ื–ื™ื‘ื•ืจื™ืช ื˜ืคื™ ืคื•ืจืชื ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืื™ ืฉืงืœืช ื›ื“ื™ื ืš ืฉืงื•ืœ ื›ื“ื”ืฉืชื ื•ืื™ ืœื ืฉืงื™ืœ ื›ื™ ื™ื•ืงืจื ื“ืœืงืžื™ื”

Rather, Rav Aแธฅa bar Yaโ€™akov said: If there is a case to compare to Rabbaโ€™s distinction, it is not compared to a case of payment of damages, but we can compare it to a case of a creditor who comes to collect the loan during Tishrei. His legal right is to collect from the borrowerโ€™s intermediate-quality land, which will be a relatively large amount owing to the current seasonal depreciation in the value of land. But if the creditor says to the borrower: Give me slightly more land of inferior quality instead, the borrower can say to him: If you choose to take the intermediate-quality land, as is your legal right, take a large amount in accordance with the current market value, but if not, and you wish to take land of inferior quality, take it in accordance with the future, appreciated, market value in the month of Nisan. This would mean that the creditor would be entitled to a smaller amount of land.

ืžืชืงื™ืฃ ืœื” ืจื‘ ืื—ื ื‘ืจื™ื” ื“ืจื‘ ืื™ืงื ืื ื›ืŸ ื ืขืœืช ื“ืœืช ื‘ืคื ื™ ืœื•ื™ืŸ ื“ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืื™ืœื• ื”ื•ื• ืœื™ ื–ื•ื–ื™ ื”ื•ื” ืฉืงืœื™ ื›ื“ื”ืฉืชื ื”ืฉืชื ื“ื–ื•ื–ื™ ื’ื‘ืš ืืฉืงื•ืœ ื›ื™ื•ืงืจื ื“ืœืงืžื™ื”

Rav Aแธฅa, son of Rav Ika, objects to this suggestion: If so, you have locked the door in the face of potential borrowers, as, according to your suggestion, the creditor is in a disadvantageous position. He can say to the borrower: Were I still to have the money I lent you, I would be able to purchase a large parcel of land in accordance with the current depreciated market value, so why, now that the money is with you, should I be forced to purchase land in accordance with the future, appreciated market value of the month of Nisan? If people are penalized as a result of granting loans, they will cease to do so.

ืืœื ืืžืจ ืจื‘ ืื—ื ื‘ืจื™ื” ื“ืจื‘ ืื™ืงื ืื™ ืื™ื›ื ืœื“ืžื•ื™ื™ ืœื›ืชื•ื‘ืช ืืฉื” ืžื“ืžื™ื ืŸ ื“ื”ื ื›ืชื•ื‘ืช ืืฉื” ื“ื™ื ื” ื‘ื–ื™ื‘ื•ืจื™ืช ื•ืื™ ืืžืจื” ืœื™ื” ืื™ื”ื™ ื”ื‘ ืœื™ ื‘ื™ื ื•ื ื™ืช ื‘ืฆื™ืจ ืคื•ืจืชื ืืžืจ ืœื” ืื™ ืฉืงืœืช ื›ื“ื™ื ืš ืฉืงื•ืœ ื›ื“ื”ืฉืชื ื•ืื™ ืœื ืฉืงืœื™ ื›ื™ื•ืงืจื ื“ืœืงืžื™ื”

Rather, Rav Aแธฅa, son of Rav Ika, said: If there is a case to compare to Rabbaโ€™s distinction, we can compare it to the collection of a womanโ€™s marriage contract where she comes to collect it during Tishrei. As a womanโ€™s legal right in a marriage contract is to collect payment from her husbandโ€™s inferior-quality land, which will be a relatively large amount owing to the current seasonal depreciation in the value of land. But if she says to her former husband: Give me slightly less land of intermediate quality instead, her former husband can say to her: If you choose to take the lowest-quality land, as is your legal right, take a large amount in accordance with the current market value, but if not, and you wish to take land of a higher quality, take in accordance with the future appreciated market value of the month of Nisan, which will mean you will be entitled only to a smaller amount of land.

ืžื›ืœ ืžืงื•ื ืงืฉื™ื

The Gemara returns to examine the contradiction raised by Abaye: In any case, the original difficulty still remains.

ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื ื›ืœ ื“ื™ื”ื™ื‘ ืœื™ื” ืžืžื™ื˜ื‘ ืœื™ืชื™ื‘ ืœื™ื”

Rava said: Whatever he gives the injured party as payment he must give him of the best of that type. For example, even if he pays in bran he must pay with his best-quality bran, and this is the meaning of the phrase โ€œof the best of his field.โ€ Accordingly, the contra-diction is resolved. The term โ€œhe shall recompenseโ€ indicates that payment can be given in any form, but the phrase โ€œof the best of his fieldโ€ indicates only that whichever form of payment is used, it must be of a superior quality, and not, as Abaye initially understood it, as limiting the form of payment specifically to land of superior quality.

ื•ื”ื ืžื™ื˜ื‘ ืฉื“ื”ื• ื›ืชื™ื‘

The Gemara asks: But isnโ€™t โ€œthe best of his fieldโ€ written, which suggests that the requirement to pay with oneโ€™s best land applies only when one pays with land?

ืืœื ื›ื™ ืืชื ืจื‘ ืคืคื ื•ืจื‘ ื”ื•ื ื ื‘ืจื™ื” ื“ืจื‘ ื™ื”ื•ืฉืข ืžื‘ื™ ืจื‘ ืคืจืฉื•ื” ื›ืœ ืžื™ืœื™ ืžื™ื˜ื‘ ื”ื•ื ื“ืื™ ืœื ืžื–ื“ื‘ืŸ ื”ื›ื ืžื–ื“ื‘ืŸ ื‘ืžืชื ืื—ืจื™ืชื™ ืœื‘ืจ ืžืืจืขื ื“ืœื™ืชื™ื‘ ืœื™ื” ืžืžื™ื˜ื‘ ื›ื™ ื”ื™ื›ื™ ื“ืœืงืคื•ืฅ ืขืœื” ื–ื‘ื™ื ื

Rather, when Rav Pappa and Rav Huna, son of Rav Yehoshua, came from Ravโ€™s academy, they explained it as follows: With regard to payment, all items are classified as property of the best quality, as, if an item cannot be sold here, it can be sold in another city. Since movable items are easily liquidated, they are always considered an acceptable form of payment. This is with the exception of land, which is not always easily sold. Therefore, the halakha is that the one liable for the damage must give the injured party payment from his best-quality land, which is easier to sell. This is in order to ensure the possibility that a buyer will jump at the opportunity to purchase it, thereby providing the injured party with the possibility of liquidating it. This resolves the contradiction. The phrase โ€œof the best of his fieldโ€ indicates that if payment is made with land it must be with superior-quality land, and the term โ€œhe shall recompenseโ€ indicates that if payment is made from movable property, anything worth money may be used.

ื‘ืขื ืžื™ื ื™ื” ืจื‘ ืฉืžื•ืืœ ื‘ืจ ืื‘ื ืžืืงืจื•ื ื™ื ืžืจื‘ื™ ืื‘ื ื›ืฉื”ืŸ ืฉืžื™ืŸ ื‘ืฉืœื• ื”ืŸ ืฉืžื™ืŸ ืื• ื‘ืฉืœ ืขื•ืœื ื”ืŸ ืฉืžื™ืŸ

ยง Rav Shmuel bar Abba from Akronya asked Rabbi Abba: When the court appraises land to determine if it is to be classified as being of superior-quality, does it appraise land based on the quality of a property ownerโ€™s other land or does it appraise it based on the quality of the land in the world at large?

ืืœื™ื‘ื ื“ืจื‘ื™ ื™ืฉืžืขืืœ ืœื ืชื‘ืขื™ ืœืš ื“ืืžืจ ื‘ื“ื ื™ื–ืง ืฉื™ื™ืžื™ื ืŸ

The Gemara notes: Do not raise the dilemma in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yishmael, as he says that we appraise land based on the quality of land owned by the injured party, and therefore payment is made with land that is of a similar quality to the best-quality land of the injured party. Accordingly, it is obvious that the classification is based only on the land of the injured party.

ื›ื™ ืชื‘ืขื™ ืœืš ืืœื™ื‘ื ื“ืจื‘ื™ ืขืงื™ื‘ื ื“ืืžืจ ื‘ื“ืžื–ื™ืง ืฉื™ื™ืžื™ื ืŸ

When you raise this dilemma, it is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Akiva, who says that we appraise land based on the quality of land owned by the one liable for the damage, and he pays with his superior-quality land even if its quality exceeds that of any of the injured partyโ€™s land. Consequently, according to Rabbi Akiva it is appropriate to ask whether the appraisal is based only on his other land or based on the land in the world at large.

ืžืื™ ืžื™ื˜ื‘ ืฉื“ื”ื• ืืžืจ ืจื—ืžื ื ืœืžืขื•ื˜ื™ ื“ื ื™ื–ืง ืื• ื“ืœืžื ืœืžืขื•ื˜ื™ ื“ืขืœืžื ื ืžื™

The Gemara asks: What is the answer to the dilemma? When the Merciful One states: โ€œThe best of his fieldโ€ (Exodus 22:4), does the stress in the verse on โ€œhis fieldโ€ serve to exclude only the possibility of appraising land based solely on the value of the land of the injured party, but land is appraised based on the quality of land in the world at large? Or perhaps, does it serve to exclude the possibility of appraising land based on the quality of land of the world at large as well, and it is sufficient if the land he pays with is his best-quality land?

ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืจื—ืžื ื ืืžืจ ืžื™ื˜ื‘ ืฉื“ื”ื• ื•ืืช ืืžืจืช ื‘ืฉืœ ืขื•ืœื ื”ืŸ ืฉืžื™ืŸ

Rabbi Abba said to him: The Merciful One states: โ€œThe best of his field,โ€ and you say the court appraises land based on the quality of land in the world at large? Certainly the term โ€œhis fieldโ€ teaches that it is sufficient that the land be the best of the land of the one liable for the damage.

ืื™ืชื™ื‘ื™ื” ืื™ืŸ ืœื• ืืœื ืขื™ื“ื™ืช ื›ื•ืœื ื’ื•ื‘ื™ืŸ ืžืŸ ื”ืขื™ื“ื™ืช ื‘ื™ื ื•ื ื™ืช ื›ื•ืœื ื’ื•ื‘ื™ืŸ ื‘ื™ื ื•ื ื™ืช ื–ื™ื‘ื•ืจื™ืช ื›ื•ืœื ื’ื•ื‘ื™ืŸ ื–ื™ื‘ื•ืจื™ืช

Rav Shmuel bar Abba raised an objection to this opinion from a baraita that delineates the forms of payment used for paying damages, repaying a debt to a creditor, and paying a marriage contract: If the debtor has only superior-quality land, all of them collect from the superior-quality land. Similarly, if he has only intermediate-quality land, all of them collect from the intermediate-quality land. And if he has only inferior-quality land, all of them collect from the inferior-quality land.

ื”ื™ื• ืœื• ืขื™ื“ื™ืช ื•ื‘ื™ื ื•ื ื™ืช ื•ื–ื™ื‘ื•ืจื™ืช ื ื–ืงื™ืŸ ื‘ืขื™ื“ื™ืช ื•ื‘ืขืœ ื—ื•ื‘ ื‘ื‘ื™ื ื•ื ื™ืช ื•ื›ืชื•ื‘ืช ืืฉื” ื‘ื–ื™ื‘ื•ืจื™ืช ืขื™ื“ื™ืช ื•ื‘ื™ื ื•ื ื™ืช ื ื–ืงื™ืŸ ื‘ืขื™ื“ื™ืช ื‘ืขืœ ื—ื•ื‘ ื•ื›ืชื•ื‘ืช ืืฉื” ื‘ื‘ื™ื ื•ื ื™ืช ื‘ื™ื ื•ื ื™ืช ื•ื–ื™ื‘ื•ืจื™ืช ื ื–ืงื™ืŸ ื•ื‘ืขืœ ื—ื•ื‘ ื‘ื‘ื™ื ื•ื ื™ืช ื•ื›ืชื•ื‘ืช ืืฉื” ื‘ื–ื™ื‘ื•ืจื™ืช

If he has superior-quality, intermediate-quality, and inferior-quality land, damages are paid from the superior-quality land, and a creditor collects from the intermediate-quality land, and a womanโ€™s marriage contract is paid from the inferior-quality land. If he has only superior-quality and intermediate-quality land, damages are paid from the superior-quality land, and payment to a creditor and payment of a womanโ€™s marriage contract are made from the intermediate-quality land. If he has only intermediate-quality and inferior-quality land, payments for damages and payments owed to a creditor are made from the intermediate-quality land, while payments of a womanโ€™s marriage contract are made from the inferior-quality land.

  • This month's learning is sponsored by Joanna Rom and Steven Goldberg in loving memory of Steve's mother Shirley "Nana" Goldberg (Sura Tema bat Chaim v'Hanka)

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Bava Kamma 7

The William Davidson Talmud | Powered by Sefaria

Bava Kamma 7

ื•ื‘ืขืœ ื—ื•ื‘ ื‘ื‘ื™ื ื•ื ื™ืช

and the halakha of a creditor is to collect only from intermediate-quality land, not from superior-quality land.

ื•ื›ื™ ืชื™ืžื ืกื‘ืจ ืจื‘ื™ ืขืงื™ื‘ื ื‘ืขืœ ื—ื•ื‘ ื ืžื™ ื‘ืขื™ื“ื™ืช ืื™ื›ื ืœืžื™ืคืจืš ืžื” ืœื‘ืขืœ ื—ื•ื‘ ืฉื›ืŸ ื™ืคื” ื›ื—ื• ื‘ื ื–ืงื™ืŸ ืชืืžืจ ื‘ื”ืงื“ืฉ ืฉื”ื•ืจืข ื›ื—ื• ื‘ื ื–ืงื™ืŸ

And if you would say that Rabbi Akiva holds that a creditor can collect the money owed him from superior-quality land as well, there is still a difficulty; the a fortiori inference can still be refuted in the following manner: What is notable about an ordinary creditor? He is notable in that the Torah enhanced his power with regard to payment of damages, as an ordinary person can collect payment of damages for loss or injury caused by anotherโ€™s ox. But can you say the same about the Temple treasury of consecrated property, with regard to which the Torah weakened its power with regard to payment of damages, not allowing it to collect such compensation? Accordingly, even if a creditor collects from superior-quality land, it does not necessarily follow that a Temple treasurer would also do so. It is therefore apparent that Rabbi Akivaโ€™s a fortiori inference is not referring to the case of one who donates money to the Temple.

ืœืขื•ืœื ื“ื ื’ื— ืชื•ืจื ื“ื™ื“ืŸ ืœืชื•ืจื ื“ื”ืงื“ืฉ ื•ื“ืงื ืงืฉื™ื ืœืš ืฉื•ืจ ืจืขื”ื• ืืžืจ ืจื—ืžื ื ื•ืœื ืฉื•ืจ ืฉืœ ื”ืงื“ืฉ ืจื‘ื™ ืขืงื™ื‘ื ืกื‘ืจ ืœื” ื›ืจื‘ื™ ืฉืžืขื•ืŸ ื‘ืŸ ืžื ืกื™ื

The Gemara rejects this: Actually, we can explain that we are dealing here with a case where our ox gored an ox that is consecrated property. And with regard to that which posed a difficulty for you about this explanation, i.e., that the Merciful One states: โ€œThe ox of anotherโ€ (Exodus 21:35), which indicates that liability is incurred only for damaging another personโ€™s ox but not for an ox consecrated to the Temple, Rabbi Akiva disagrees with that interpretation and holds in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Shimon ben Menasya.

ื“ืชื ื™ื ืจื‘ื™ ืฉืžืขื•ืŸ ื‘ืŸ ืžื ืกื™ื ืื•ืžืจ ืฉื•ืจ ืฉืœ ื”ืงื“ืฉ ืฉื ื’ื— ืฉื•ืจ ืฉืœ ื”ื“ื™ื•ื˜ ืคื˜ื•ืจ ืฉื•ืจ ืฉืœ ื”ื“ื™ื•ื˜ ืฉื ื’ื— ืฉื•ืจ ืฉืœ ื”ืงื“ืฉ ื‘ื™ืŸ ืชื ื‘ื™ืŸ ืžื•ืขื“ ืžืฉืœื ื ื–ืง ืฉืœื

As it is taught in a baraita: Rabbi Shimon ben Menasya says: If an ox that is consecrated property gored an ox belonging to a common person [hedyot], the Temple treasury is exempt from liability. By contrast, in the case of an ox belonging to a common person that gored an ox that is consecrated property, whether the ox that gored the other ox was an innocuous ox, i.e., an ox with no consistent history of causing damage with the intent to injure, or it was a forewarned ox, i.e., an ox whose owner was forewarned because his ox had already gored another ox three times, the oxโ€™s owner pays the full cost of the damage.

ืื™ ื”ื›ื™ ืจื‘ื™ ื™ืฉืžืขืืœ ื•ืจื‘ื™ ืขืงื™ื‘ื ืžืžืื™ ื“ื‘ืขื™ื“ื™ืช ื“ื ื™ื–ืง ื•ื–ื™ื‘ื•ืจื™ืช ื“ืžื–ื™ืง ืคืœื™ื’ื™ ื“ืœืžื ื“ื›ื•ืœื™ ืขืœืžื ื‘ื“ื ื™ื–ืง ืฉื™ื™ืžื™ื ืŸ ื•ื”ื›ื ื‘ืคืœื•ื’ืชื ื“ืจื‘ื™ ืฉืžืขื•ืŸ ื‘ืŸ ืžื ืกื™ื ื•ืจื‘ื ืŸ ืงืžืคืœื’ื™

The Gemara asks: If so, from where do you know to say that Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Yishmael disagree about a case where the superior-quality land belonging to the injured party and the inferior-quality land belonging to the one liable for the damage are equal in quality, and the one liable for the damage also has land of superior quality, as the dispute was previously interpreted by Rav Aแธฅa bar Yaโ€™akov? Perhaps everyone, including Rabbi Akiva, agrees that we appraise the value of the land of the injured party, and here they disagree with regard to the dispute between Rabbi Shimon ben Menasya and the Rabbis.

ืจื‘ื™ ืขืงื™ื‘ื ืกื‘ืจ ื›ืจื‘ื™ ืฉืžืขื•ืŸ ื‘ืŸ ืžื ืกื™ื ื•ืจื‘ื™ ื™ืฉืžืขืืœ ืกื‘ืจ ื›ืจื‘ื ืŸ

The Gemara explains: Rabbi Akiva holds in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Shimon ben Menasya, that in the case of damage caused by the ox of a common person to the property of the Temple treasury, compensation is collected from superior-quality land belonging to the one liable for the damage. And Rabbi Yishmael holds in accordance with the opinion of the Rabbis, that the owner of the ox bears no liability. In other words, perhaps in the baraita recording the dispute between Rabbi Yishmael and Rabbi Akiva (see 6b), Rabbi Yishmael first taught that land is appraised based on the quality of the injured partyโ€™s land, and then, although it is not explicit in the baraita, he continued to state his opinion that the Temple treasury is unable to collect damages. Accordingly, Rabbi Akiva can be understood as having first expressed his agreement concerning the valuation of land and then proceeding to dispute Rabbi Yishmaelโ€™s opinion with regard to the Temple treasury.

ืื ื›ืŸ ืžืื™ ืœื ื‘ื ื”ื›ืชื•ื‘

The Gemara rejects this suggestion: If it is so that this is the disagreement, then what is the meaning of Rabbi Akivaโ€™s statement: The verse comes only to allow injured parties to collect compensation from superior-quality land? This indicates that Rabbi Akiva disagrees about how to understand this verse.

ื•ืขื•ื“ ืžืื™ ืงืœ ื•ื—ื•ืžืจ ืœื”ืงื“ืฉ

And furthermore, if the subject is the Temple treasury, what is the meaning of: And by means of an a fortiori inference one can derive that the Temple treasury of consecrated property collects from superior-quality land. If, as suggested, Rabbi Akiva holds in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Shimon ben Menasya, then he maintains that damage to consecrated property is dealt with more stringently than damage to another personโ€™s property, in that if oneโ€™s ox damages consecrated property one is liable for the full cost of the damage even if the ox was considered innocuous. If damage to consecrated property is dealt with more stringently, there is no basis to derive an a fortiori inference.

ื•ืขื•ื“ ื”ื ืืžืจ ืจื‘ ืืฉื™ ืชื ื™ื ื‘ื”ื“ื™ื ืžื™ื˜ื‘ ืฉื“ื”ื• ื•ืžื™ื˜ื‘ ื›ืจืžื• ื™ืฉืœื ืžื™ื˜ื‘ ืฉื“ื”ื• ืฉืœ ื ื™ื–ืง ื•ืžื™ื˜ื‘ ื›ืจืžื• ืฉืœ ื ื™ื–ืง ื“ื‘ืจื™ ืจื‘ื™ ื™ืฉืžืขืืœ ืจื‘ื™ ืขืงื™ื‘ื ืื•ืžืจ ืžื™ื˜ื‘ ืฉื“ื”ื• ืฉืœ ืžื–ื™ืง ื•ืžื™ื˜ื‘ ื›ืจืžื• ืฉืœ ืžื–ื™ืง

And furthermore, didnโ€™t Rav Ashi say: It is taught explicitly in a baraita: The verse: โ€œThe best of his field and the best of his vineyard he shall payโ€ (Exodus 22:4), teaches that the appraisal is of the best of the field of the injured party, and of the best of the vineyard of the injured party. This is the statement of Rabbi Yishmael. Rabbi Akiva says: The appraisal is of the best of the field of the one liable for the damage, and of the best of the vineyard of the one liable for the damage. This clearly indicates that according to Rabbi Akiva compensation is collected from the superior-quality land belonging to the one liable for the damage.

ืจืžื™ ืœื™ื” ืื‘ื™ื™ ืœืจื‘ื ื›ืชื™ื‘ ืžื™ื˜ื‘ ืฉื“ื”ื• ื•ืžื™ื˜ื‘ ื›ืจืžื• ื™ืฉืœื ืžื™ื˜ื‘ ืื™ืŸ ืžื™ื“ื™ ืื—ืจื™ื ื ืœื

ยง The Gemara considers others issues concerning the form in which restitution should be paid: Abaye raises a contradiction and addresses it to Rava: It is written: โ€œThe best of his field and of the best of his vineyard he shall payโ€ (Exodus 22:4), which indicates that from his best-quality land, yes, he shall pay, but from something else, no, he shall not pay.

ื•ื”ืชื ื™ื ื™ืฉื™ื‘ ืœืจื‘ื•ืช ืฉื•ื” ื›ืกืฃ ื•ืืคื™ืœื• ืกื•ื‘ื™ืŸ

But isnโ€™t it taught in a baraita: The verse states: โ€œAnd if a man shall open a pit, or if a man shall dig a pit and not cover it, and an ox or a donkey fall therein, the owner of the pit shall pay; he shall recompense money to its ownersโ€ (Exodus 21:33โ€“34)? Since the verse states: โ€œThe owner of the pit shall pay,โ€ the additional term โ€œhe shall recompenseโ€ is superfluous. It therefore serves to include any item worth money, and even bran, a relatively inferior commodity, as valid forms of restitution.

ืœื ืงืฉื™ื ื›ืืŸ ืžื“ืขืชื• ื›ืืŸ ื‘ืขืœ ื›ืจื—ื•

Rava resolves the contradiction: This is not difficult. Here, the term โ€œhe shall recompenseโ€ is referring to a case where he pays of his own volition, without being taken to court, and he may therefore use any form of payment. There, the phrase โ€œof the best of his fieldโ€ is referring to a case where he pays against his will, after the injured party has sued him in court. Since he caused the injured party additional trouble, he must pay using his best-quality land.

ืืžืจ ืขื•ืœื ื‘ืจื™ื” ื“ืจื‘ ืขื™ืœืื™ ื“ื™ืงื ื ืžื™ ื“ื›ืชื™ื‘ ื™ืฉืœื ื‘ืขืœ ื›ืจื—ื•

Ulla, son of Rav Ilai, said: According to this explanation, the language of the verse is also precise, as it is written: โ€œHe shall pay,โ€ a term that, as opposed to: โ€œHe shall recompense,โ€ connotes that he is forced to pay against his will.

ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืื‘ื™ื™ ืžื™ ื›ืชื™ื‘ ื™ืฉื•ืœื ื™ืฉืœื ื›ืชื™ื‘ ืžื“ืขืชื• ืžืฉืžืข

Abaye said to him that the precise meaning of the verse does not indicate that he is paying against his will: Is it written: He shall be paid, in the passive form, which would clearly indicate that he did not voluntarily initiate the payment himself but rather is paying against his will? No; โ€œhe shall payโ€ is written, which can also indicate that he pays of his own volition.

ืืœื ืืžืจ ืื‘ื™ื™ ื›ื“ืžืจ ื“ืชื ื™ื ื”ืจื™ ืฉื”ื™ื• ืœื• ื‘ืชื™ื ืฉื“ื•ืช ื•ื›ืจืžื™ื ื•ืื™ื ื• ืžื•ืฆื ืœืžื•ื›ืจืŸ ืžืื›ื™ืœื™ืŸ ืื•ืชื• ืžืขืฉืจ ืขื ื™ ืขื“ ืžื—ืฆื”

Rather, Abaye said an alternative resolution, similar to that with which the Master, i.e., Abayeโ€™s teacher, Rabba, employed in order to resolve a different difficulty. As it is taught in a baraita: A wealthy person is not entitled to take a poor manโ€™s tithe. He is instead expected to sell his assets and purchase food with the proceeds. But in the case of an individual who owns houses, fields, and vineyards, but at the present time cannot find buyers to whom he can sell them, one may feed him with food from the poor manโ€™s tithe up until half the value of his assets.

ื•ื”ื•ื™ ื‘ื” ืžืจ ื”ื™ื›ื™ ื“ืžื™ ืื™ ื”ื•ื–ืœ ืืจืขืชื ื“ื›ื•ืœื™ ืขืœืžื ื•ื“ื™ื“ื™ื” ื ืžื™ ื–ืœ ื‘ื”ื“ื™ื™ื”ื• ืืคื™ืœื• ื˜ื•ื‘ื ื ืžื™ ืœื™ืกืคื™ ืœื™ื” ื“ื”ื ื–ื•ืœ ื“ื›ื•ืœื™ ืขืœืžื ื ืžื™

And the Master discussed it and asked: What are the circumstances that led to him being unable to sell his land? If everyoneโ€™s land depreciated in value, and his land also depreciated along with theirs, let us provide him with even more than half the value of his assets, as, since everyoneโ€™s land also depreciated, the market value of his property is low and he is genuinely classified as a poor person, who may take as much poor manโ€™s tithe as is given to him.

ืืœื ื“ืื•ืงื™ืจ ืืจืขืชื ื“ื›ื•ืœื™ ืขืœืžื ื•ื“ื™ื“ื™ื” ืื™ื™ื“ื™ ื“ืขื™ื™ืœ ื•ื ืคื™ืง ืื–ื•ื–ื™ ื–ืœ ืืจืขื™ื”

Rather, it must be that everyone elseโ€™s land appreciated in value, and with regard to his land, since people see that he goes in and goes out for money, i.e., he is in need of money, they reason that he will be forced to accept a lower offer for his property. Consequently, his land depreciated in value.

ืืคื™ืœื• ืคื•ืจืชื ื ืžื™ ืœื ืœื™ืกืคื• ืœื™ื”

The Gemara asks: But if that is the case, we should not provide him with even a slight amount of poor manโ€™s tithe. Since his assets, based on their market value, have a high value, he is not to be classified as a poor person.

ื•ืืžืจ ืžืจ ืขืœื” ืœื ืฆืจื™ื›ื ื“ื‘ื™ื•ืžื™ ื ื™ืกืŸ ื™ืงืจื ืืจืขืชื ื•ื‘ื™ื•ืžื™ ืชืฉืจื™ ื–ืœ ืืจืขืชื

And the Master, Rabba, said concerning this: No, the halakha that he is provided with only up to half the value of his assets is necessary in a case where he cannot sell due to seasonal fluctuations in price. This is because in the days of the month of Nisan, which is the beginning of the harvest season, the market value of land appreciates, and in the days of the month of Tishrei, a time when the harvest had already been reaped and it is too late to prepare the land for the coming year, the market value of land depreciates.

ื“ื›ื•ืœื™ ืขืœืžื ื ื˜ืจื™ ืขื“ ื ื™ืกืŸ ื•ืžื–ื‘ื ื™ ื•ื”ืื™ ื”ื•ืื™ืœ ื•ืืฆื˜ืจื™ื›ื ืœื™ื” ื–ื•ื–ื™ ื–ื‘ื™ืŸ ื›ื“ื”ืฉืชื ืขื“ ืคืœื’ื ืื•ืจื—ื™ื” ืœืžื™ื–ืœ ื˜ืคื™ ืœืื• ืื•ืจื—ื™ื” ืœืžื™ื–ืœ

Consequently, everyone generally waits until Nisan and sells only at that point. But this person, since he is in need of money, sells his land in Tishrei according to the current, lower, market price. Accordingly, based on the current market prices, his assets have a low value and there is justification in regarding him as a poor person. Yet, since if he waited until Nisan, as everyone else does, his land would have a high value, he cannot truly be classified as a poor person. Therefore, he is permitted to take only as much poor manโ€™s tithe as will cover his losses. The Gemara explains why he is permitted to take only up to half the value of his land: Since it is the nature of land to depreciate up to half its value, and it is not its nature to depreciate more than that, he is entitled to take poor manโ€™s tithe that is worth up to half the value of his land and the rest he can supplement by selling his land at its current, lower price.

ื•ื”ื›ื ื ืžื™ ื’ื‘ื™ ื ื–ืงื™ืŸ ื“ื™ื ื™ื” ื‘ืขื™ื“ื™ืช

Abaye uses a similar distinction to resolve the contradiction he raises: And here also, with regard to damages, if one considers a case where the injured party comes to collect his damages during Tishrei, his legal right is to collect payment from superior-quality land. This will be a relatively large amount of land, owing to the current seasonal depreciation in its value.

ื•ืื™ ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืื™ื”ื• ื”ื‘ ืœื™ ื‘ื™ื ื•ื ื™ืช ื˜ืคื™ ืคื•ืจืชื ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืื™ ืฉืงืœืช ื›ื“ื™ื ืš ืฉืงื•ืœ ื›ื“ื”ืฉืชื ื•ืื™ ืœื ืฉืงื™ืœ ื›ื™ ื™ื•ืงืจื ื“ืœืงืžื™ื”

But if the injured party says to the one liable for the damage: Give me slightly more land of intermediate quality instead, then the one liable for the damage can say to him: If you choose to take superior-quality land, as is your legal right, take a large amount in accordance with the current market value; but if not, and you wish to take intermediate-quality land, take according to the future value in Nisan, after it will have appreciated, which will mean you will be entitled to a smaller amount of land. This can be used to resolve the contradiction: The phrase โ€œof the best of his field,โ€ which indicates that payment is made only from superior-quality land, defines the injured partyโ€™s basic rights. The term โ€œhe shall recompense,โ€ which indicates that payment may be made in any form, is referring to a case where the injured party forgoes his rights. In such a case the value of the land or item he agrees to receive is appraised based on its appreciated value at the season when it is generally sold.

ืžืชืงื™ืฃ ืœื” ืจื‘ ืื—ื ื‘ืจ ื™ืขืงื‘ ืื ื›ืŸ ื”ื•ืจืขืช ื›ื—ืŸ ืฉืœ ื ื–ืงื™ืŸ ืืฆืœ ื‘ื™ื ื•ื ื™ืช ื•ื–ื™ื‘ื•ืจื™ืช ื“ืจื—ืžื ื ืืžืจ ืžืžื™ื˜ื‘ ื•ืืช ืืžืจืช ืžื‘ื™ื ื•ื ื™ืช ื•ื–ื™ื‘ื•ืจื™ืช ื ืžื™ ืœื

Rav Aแธฅa bar Yaโ€™akov objects to this suggestion: If so, you have weakened the power of injured parties with regard to intermediate-quality and inferior-quality land, as, by agreeing to receive land of a lower quality than that to which their rights entitle them, they will actually receive less land, since the land is then appraised based on the appreciated market values in Nisan. Such an opinion is untenable, as the Merciful One states that injured parties collect from the best-quality land, clearly intending to enhance their rights, and yet you said he cannot also collect from intermediate-quality and inferior-quality land unless he agrees that the land should be appraised based on the appreciated Nisan values, thereby lowering the value of his payment.

ืืœื ืืžืจ ืจื‘ ืื—ื ื‘ืจ ื™ืขืงื‘ ืื™ ืื™ื›ื ืœื“ืžื•ื™ื™ ืœื‘ืขืœ ื—ื•ื‘ ืžื“ืžื™ื ืŸ ืœื™ื” ื‘ืขืœ ื—ื•ื‘ ื“ื™ื ื™ื” ื‘ื‘ื™ื ื•ื ื™ืช ื•ืื™ ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ื”ื‘ ืœื™ ื–ื™ื‘ื•ืจื™ืช ื˜ืคื™ ืคื•ืจืชื ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืื™ ืฉืงืœืช ื›ื“ื™ื ืš ืฉืงื•ืœ ื›ื“ื”ืฉืชื ื•ืื™ ืœื ืฉืงื™ืœ ื›ื™ ื™ื•ืงืจื ื“ืœืงืžื™ื”

Rather, Rav Aแธฅa bar Yaโ€™akov said: If there is a case to compare to Rabbaโ€™s distinction, it is not compared to a case of payment of damages, but we can compare it to a case of a creditor who comes to collect the loan during Tishrei. His legal right is to collect from the borrowerโ€™s intermediate-quality land, which will be a relatively large amount owing to the current seasonal depreciation in the value of land. But if the creditor says to the borrower: Give me slightly more land of inferior quality instead, the borrower can say to him: If you choose to take the intermediate-quality land, as is your legal right, take a large amount in accordance with the current market value, but if not, and you wish to take land of inferior quality, take it in accordance with the future, appreciated, market value in the month of Nisan. This would mean that the creditor would be entitled to a smaller amount of land.

ืžืชืงื™ืฃ ืœื” ืจื‘ ืื—ื ื‘ืจื™ื” ื“ืจื‘ ืื™ืงื ืื ื›ืŸ ื ืขืœืช ื“ืœืช ื‘ืคื ื™ ืœื•ื™ืŸ ื“ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืื™ืœื• ื”ื•ื• ืœื™ ื–ื•ื–ื™ ื”ื•ื” ืฉืงืœื™ ื›ื“ื”ืฉืชื ื”ืฉืชื ื“ื–ื•ื–ื™ ื’ื‘ืš ืืฉืงื•ืœ ื›ื™ื•ืงืจื ื“ืœืงืžื™ื”

Rav Aแธฅa, son of Rav Ika, objects to this suggestion: If so, you have locked the door in the face of potential borrowers, as, according to your suggestion, the creditor is in a disadvantageous position. He can say to the borrower: Were I still to have the money I lent you, I would be able to purchase a large parcel of land in accordance with the current depreciated market value, so why, now that the money is with you, should I be forced to purchase land in accordance with the future, appreciated market value of the month of Nisan? If people are penalized as a result of granting loans, they will cease to do so.

ืืœื ืืžืจ ืจื‘ ืื—ื ื‘ืจื™ื” ื“ืจื‘ ืื™ืงื ืื™ ืื™ื›ื ืœื“ืžื•ื™ื™ ืœื›ืชื•ื‘ืช ืืฉื” ืžื“ืžื™ื ืŸ ื“ื”ื ื›ืชื•ื‘ืช ืืฉื” ื“ื™ื ื” ื‘ื–ื™ื‘ื•ืจื™ืช ื•ืื™ ืืžืจื” ืœื™ื” ืื™ื”ื™ ื”ื‘ ืœื™ ื‘ื™ื ื•ื ื™ืช ื‘ืฆื™ืจ ืคื•ืจืชื ืืžืจ ืœื” ืื™ ืฉืงืœืช ื›ื“ื™ื ืš ืฉืงื•ืœ ื›ื“ื”ืฉืชื ื•ืื™ ืœื ืฉืงืœื™ ื›ื™ื•ืงืจื ื“ืœืงืžื™ื”

Rather, Rav Aแธฅa, son of Rav Ika, said: If there is a case to compare to Rabbaโ€™s distinction, we can compare it to the collection of a womanโ€™s marriage contract where she comes to collect it during Tishrei. As a womanโ€™s legal right in a marriage contract is to collect payment from her husbandโ€™s inferior-quality land, which will be a relatively large amount owing to the current seasonal depreciation in the value of land. But if she says to her former husband: Give me slightly less land of intermediate quality instead, her former husband can say to her: If you choose to take the lowest-quality land, as is your legal right, take a large amount in accordance with the current market value, but if not, and you wish to take land of a higher quality, take in accordance with the future appreciated market value of the month of Nisan, which will mean you will be entitled only to a smaller amount of land.

ืžื›ืœ ืžืงื•ื ืงืฉื™ื

The Gemara returns to examine the contradiction raised by Abaye: In any case, the original difficulty still remains.

ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื ื›ืœ ื“ื™ื”ื™ื‘ ืœื™ื” ืžืžื™ื˜ื‘ ืœื™ืชื™ื‘ ืœื™ื”

Rava said: Whatever he gives the injured party as payment he must give him of the best of that type. For example, even if he pays in bran he must pay with his best-quality bran, and this is the meaning of the phrase โ€œof the best of his field.โ€ Accordingly, the contra-diction is resolved. The term โ€œhe shall recompenseโ€ indicates that payment can be given in any form, but the phrase โ€œof the best of his fieldโ€ indicates only that whichever form of payment is used, it must be of a superior quality, and not, as Abaye initially understood it, as limiting the form of payment specifically to land of superior quality.

ื•ื”ื ืžื™ื˜ื‘ ืฉื“ื”ื• ื›ืชื™ื‘

The Gemara asks: But isnโ€™t โ€œthe best of his fieldโ€ written, which suggests that the requirement to pay with oneโ€™s best land applies only when one pays with land?

ืืœื ื›ื™ ืืชื ืจื‘ ืคืคื ื•ืจื‘ ื”ื•ื ื ื‘ืจื™ื” ื“ืจื‘ ื™ื”ื•ืฉืข ืžื‘ื™ ืจื‘ ืคืจืฉื•ื” ื›ืœ ืžื™ืœื™ ืžื™ื˜ื‘ ื”ื•ื ื“ืื™ ืœื ืžื–ื“ื‘ืŸ ื”ื›ื ืžื–ื“ื‘ืŸ ื‘ืžืชื ืื—ืจื™ืชื™ ืœื‘ืจ ืžืืจืขื ื“ืœื™ืชื™ื‘ ืœื™ื” ืžืžื™ื˜ื‘ ื›ื™ ื”ื™ื›ื™ ื“ืœืงืคื•ืฅ ืขืœื” ื–ื‘ื™ื ื

Rather, when Rav Pappa and Rav Huna, son of Rav Yehoshua, came from Ravโ€™s academy, they explained it as follows: With regard to payment, all items are classified as property of the best quality, as, if an item cannot be sold here, it can be sold in another city. Since movable items are easily liquidated, they are always considered an acceptable form of payment. This is with the exception of land, which is not always easily sold. Therefore, the halakha is that the one liable for the damage must give the injured party payment from his best-quality land, which is easier to sell. This is in order to ensure the possibility that a buyer will jump at the opportunity to purchase it, thereby providing the injured party with the possibility of liquidating it. This resolves the contradiction. The phrase โ€œof the best of his fieldโ€ indicates that if payment is made with land it must be with superior-quality land, and the term โ€œhe shall recompenseโ€ indicates that if payment is made from movable property, anything worth money may be used.

ื‘ืขื ืžื™ื ื™ื” ืจื‘ ืฉืžื•ืืœ ื‘ืจ ืื‘ื ืžืืงืจื•ื ื™ื ืžืจื‘ื™ ืื‘ื ื›ืฉื”ืŸ ืฉืžื™ืŸ ื‘ืฉืœื• ื”ืŸ ืฉืžื™ืŸ ืื• ื‘ืฉืœ ืขื•ืœื ื”ืŸ ืฉืžื™ืŸ

ยง Rav Shmuel bar Abba from Akronya asked Rabbi Abba: When the court appraises land to determine if it is to be classified as being of superior-quality, does it appraise land based on the quality of a property ownerโ€™s other land or does it appraise it based on the quality of the land in the world at large?

ืืœื™ื‘ื ื“ืจื‘ื™ ื™ืฉืžืขืืœ ืœื ืชื‘ืขื™ ืœืš ื“ืืžืจ ื‘ื“ื ื™ื–ืง ืฉื™ื™ืžื™ื ืŸ

The Gemara notes: Do not raise the dilemma in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yishmael, as he says that we appraise land based on the quality of land owned by the injured party, and therefore payment is made with land that is of a similar quality to the best-quality land of the injured party. Accordingly, it is obvious that the classification is based only on the land of the injured party.

ื›ื™ ืชื‘ืขื™ ืœืš ืืœื™ื‘ื ื“ืจื‘ื™ ืขืงื™ื‘ื ื“ืืžืจ ื‘ื“ืžื–ื™ืง ืฉื™ื™ืžื™ื ืŸ

When you raise this dilemma, it is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Akiva, who says that we appraise land based on the quality of land owned by the one liable for the damage, and he pays with his superior-quality land even if its quality exceeds that of any of the injured partyโ€™s land. Consequently, according to Rabbi Akiva it is appropriate to ask whether the appraisal is based only on his other land or based on the land in the world at large.

ืžืื™ ืžื™ื˜ื‘ ืฉื“ื”ื• ืืžืจ ืจื—ืžื ื ืœืžืขื•ื˜ื™ ื“ื ื™ื–ืง ืื• ื“ืœืžื ืœืžืขื•ื˜ื™ ื“ืขืœืžื ื ืžื™

The Gemara asks: What is the answer to the dilemma? When the Merciful One states: โ€œThe best of his fieldโ€ (Exodus 22:4), does the stress in the verse on โ€œhis fieldโ€ serve to exclude only the possibility of appraising land based solely on the value of the land of the injured party, but land is appraised based on the quality of land in the world at large? Or perhaps, does it serve to exclude the possibility of appraising land based on the quality of land of the world at large as well, and it is sufficient if the land he pays with is his best-quality land?

ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืจื—ืžื ื ืืžืจ ืžื™ื˜ื‘ ืฉื“ื”ื• ื•ืืช ืืžืจืช ื‘ืฉืœ ืขื•ืœื ื”ืŸ ืฉืžื™ืŸ

Rabbi Abba said to him: The Merciful One states: โ€œThe best of his field,โ€ and you say the court appraises land based on the quality of land in the world at large? Certainly the term โ€œhis fieldโ€ teaches that it is sufficient that the land be the best of the land of the one liable for the damage.

ืื™ืชื™ื‘ื™ื” ืื™ืŸ ืœื• ืืœื ืขื™ื“ื™ืช ื›ื•ืœื ื’ื•ื‘ื™ืŸ ืžืŸ ื”ืขื™ื“ื™ืช ื‘ื™ื ื•ื ื™ืช ื›ื•ืœื ื’ื•ื‘ื™ืŸ ื‘ื™ื ื•ื ื™ืช ื–ื™ื‘ื•ืจื™ืช ื›ื•ืœื ื’ื•ื‘ื™ืŸ ื–ื™ื‘ื•ืจื™ืช

Rav Shmuel bar Abba raised an objection to this opinion from a baraita that delineates the forms of payment used for paying damages, repaying a debt to a creditor, and paying a marriage contract: If the debtor has only superior-quality land, all of them collect from the superior-quality land. Similarly, if he has only intermediate-quality land, all of them collect from the intermediate-quality land. And if he has only inferior-quality land, all of them collect from the inferior-quality land.

ื”ื™ื• ืœื• ืขื™ื“ื™ืช ื•ื‘ื™ื ื•ื ื™ืช ื•ื–ื™ื‘ื•ืจื™ืช ื ื–ืงื™ืŸ ื‘ืขื™ื“ื™ืช ื•ื‘ืขืœ ื—ื•ื‘ ื‘ื‘ื™ื ื•ื ื™ืช ื•ื›ืชื•ื‘ืช ืืฉื” ื‘ื–ื™ื‘ื•ืจื™ืช ืขื™ื“ื™ืช ื•ื‘ื™ื ื•ื ื™ืช ื ื–ืงื™ืŸ ื‘ืขื™ื“ื™ืช ื‘ืขืœ ื—ื•ื‘ ื•ื›ืชื•ื‘ืช ืืฉื” ื‘ื‘ื™ื ื•ื ื™ืช ื‘ื™ื ื•ื ื™ืช ื•ื–ื™ื‘ื•ืจื™ืช ื ื–ืงื™ืŸ ื•ื‘ืขืœ ื—ื•ื‘ ื‘ื‘ื™ื ื•ื ื™ืช ื•ื›ืชื•ื‘ืช ืืฉื” ื‘ื–ื™ื‘ื•ืจื™ืช

If he has superior-quality, intermediate-quality, and inferior-quality land, damages are paid from the superior-quality land, and a creditor collects from the intermediate-quality land, and a womanโ€™s marriage contract is paid from the inferior-quality land. If he has only superior-quality and intermediate-quality land, damages are paid from the superior-quality land, and payment to a creditor and payment of a womanโ€™s marriage contract are made from the intermediate-quality land. If he has only intermediate-quality and inferior-quality land, payments for damages and payments owed to a creditor are made from the intermediate-quality land, while payments of a womanโ€™s marriage contract are made from the inferior-quality land.

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