Contact Us
This class serves as an introduction to the subject matter discussed in the third chapter of Bava Metzia, namely the laws of the four guardians.

Talmud Study - Lesson 2

Talmud Study - Lesson 2

The Four Guardians

 Email
Autoplay

Talmud Study - Lesson 2: The Four Guardians

This class serves as an introduction to the subject matter discussed in the third chapter of Bava Metzia, namely the laws of the four guardians.
Six Orders of the Mishnah, The Four Types of Guradians, Thief's Fine
Listen to Audio | Download this MP3
Talmud, Tractate Bava Metziah
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with Chabad.org's copyright policy.
 Email
Join the Discussion
Sort By:
96 Comments
1000 characters remaining
Donna Nall Chandler, AZ USA October 26, 2017

Rabbi Wolf,

I just listened to your Lesson 1 of Talmud Study. I cannot read Hebrew or Aramaic but I would love to study the Talmud, is there one that has been translated into English? I love that you said, "Truth can only be realized by rigorous effort and questioning is essential for understanding." paraphrased. I liked how you explained the Mishnah. I have studied God's word for many years but have not studied it from a Jewish prospective which I believe has to have more information because you are God's chosen people. He has always made sure there was a remnant of His people who loved and honored Him. Looking forward to lesson 2. Do you happen to work from an outline that we can use to take notes. It took me 2 hours to listen to the first one because I had to keep going back. No problem, you said some things that I wanted to listen to more than once. Reply

Jenifer Nech Houston USA February 28, 2017

Thank you so much. Rebbe Wolf, you are so easy to listen to. I am motivated to learn more. Reply

Eliezer Zalmanov for Chabad.org December 20, 2015

Re: The Renter If the rental policy included the furniture (TV, etc.) in the apartment, then it would only be logical for the renter to be responsible for anything stolen from it. Reply

Bonnie Kalbrosky San Francisco December 6, 2015

The Renter So if someone (A) rents an apartment from someone else (B) and the apartment is broken into during the day and a TV is stolen, are the Rabbi's saying that "B" is responsible / liable for "A"'s stolen goods and would therefore have to repay him/her? Reply

Benjamin Indianapolis June 9, 2015

Ox & Sheep/ Watch Additionally, I wonder if due to an Ox & Sheep being living, breathing life forms in relation to value? Just a thought 🌈 Reply

Gurdeep Badwal wolverhampton June 7, 2015

ox and sheep i thought maybe the ox and sheep have a higher value because they bring income to the household, a watch is a watch but if you steal an ox or a sheep not only have you stole the principal value you are also stealing future income that would have came from the ox plowing or transporting carts and the sheep for its wool or meat ..... its just a thought. By the way i think the course is fantastic and the rabbi a very articulate man. Reply

benjamin Indianapolis May 17, 2015

Rabbi Meir I do not see Rabbi Meir listed on the "Personalities' heading on the Class Resource f/ Lesson 1. I thought to look upon hearing the discussion of the Ox & Sheep between he & R. Zakkai. From there I looked Rabbi Meir up on Wikipedia....quite interesting. Looking forward to Lesson 3. Reply

Chana Bangkok April 4, 2015

thank you for sharing! i really love this lecture! Reply

Anonymous WI November 7, 2014

Thief's Fine How do you/is the factor of metal instability fit into this teaching and understanding? What if the 'thief' simply doesn't have the mental clarity to understand would 'they' be held to the law in the same way or is there exceptions to this line of thinking? If yes, who is deemed worthy to judge a person that suffers unlike the common people? Reply

Malca Miami February 24, 2014

My First Encounter This is my first encounter with Talmud from the beginning and I am happy that the teacher/Rabbi is talking slowly and clearly in order to understand. Talmud brings about teachings from the basic elements in life, like an ox and a sheep. And if we pay attention and concentrate, we can understand the message.

I am an observant Jew who learns and lives as a Jew. Now, I would like to add a different aspect into my spiritual life that requires thought and concentration, and that at the end, it arrives at being better people.

Thank you for the opportunity Chabad.org is giving all of us to learn Talmud. Reply

Harold Brownstein February 22, 2014

Thank you,

I have learned way more than I thought in a short period of time. I look forward to lesson 3. Reply

Jean Oakes BATTLE GROUND October 17, 2013

Thanks, Questions, and Comments. Part Two (Continued from Part One)
Typically, you used two oxen for many of these tasks and losing one, is losing half your livelihood.
Sheep on the other hand were used for their wool, for food, and for worship. (I think I forgot that in the Oxen - they were used in Worship as well.) You could credibly have one or two oxen, but it is highly unlikely that a family at that time, even a poor one, had only one or two sheep. If they had sheep, they were more likely to have more like five or ten or even hundreds.
So an oxen, besides having 4 or 5 uses, could be 50% or 100% of a family's livelihood, but a sheep not only had fewer uses, possibly 3 or 4, was also more likely to be 5% or 25% of the family's livelihood.

I have studied Torah and some Talmud now for two years, and it seems the more you study the more questions you have. One question gets answered and ten more line up take its place. How I wish to be able to study Torah all day with wise Rabbis!
~ Jean Reply

Jean Oakes BATTLE GROUND October 17, 2013

Thanks, Questions, and Comment... Part One As another said, I am here to learn - and in the best Jewish tradition - by arguing, but with fear and trembling for my audacity all the same.

I also want to thank you for another wonderful teaching, regardless of my questions and arguments, I have learned SO MUCH and appreciate the opportunity to be pressed to even think about it.

I also wondered about the "paid" guardian. I didn't find that implicated in the English text and wondered if it is implicated in the Hebrew?

On the Oxen and sheep/ Stealing Oxen and Sheep in that time, was touching on a man's livelihood. Oxen did much more than plowed in those days - they they were used in the threshing, they pulled the wheel around for grinding wheat to flour and grinding other things, they pulled carts, perhaps loaded with merchandise for market or sacrifices for the Temple, and they were transportation. Typically, you used two oxen for many of these tasks and losing one, is losing half your livelihood. Reply

Anndré Ranulfo Rio de Janeiro - Brazil October 9, 2013

Again! That's me again, re-watching this whole course. It s so incredible, and wonderful! Also the Rabbi is so eloquent and explains it so well!

Thanks chabad.org to share this amazing material with us all! Reply

David Montreal and Serbia February 17, 2013

I just love this Rabbi! Very knowledgeable individual and not only that, he is capable to convey his knowledge which is most important. Reply

Moshe Solmes Apple valley ca December 11, 2012

Great video toda rabba Reply

Uri Hirsch Netanya December 10, 2012

Shelah Re: the Shelah's opinion of man as the guardian of our soul. I would think that we are ''borrowers'' not paid or unpaid guardians. Reply

Uri Israel November 7, 2012

Very impressed with the clarity and presentation of the shiur. Hopefully I will be able to listen/view many more sessions. Reply

E Evans Newcastle, CA July 8, 2012

Wisdom I'm very new to the Talmud, but not new at pursuing our God. I really have enjoyed these first two lessons of the Talmud and especially enjoy the connection of the law to who our Father is and how He cares for us. As for the 5 ox I agree with Lisa B. as the to the interpretation that 1 ox is to the replace the sold or slaughtered ox, the 2nd is do unto the thief as he did to the ox owner, the 3rd is to replace the food that the owner's ox would have provided and the 4th is to replace the seed the owner's ox would have provided....none of which may be adequately replaced by another ox. This would be same reason for the 4 sheep replaced. The 5th ox is for the productivity lost. This seems to keep inline with the thinking of the 4 guardians, but isn't as beautiful as the kindness God extends to the theif who humbled himself by carrying a sheep on his shoulders....which sounds much like a stretch, but hey I'm here to learn. Thank you again. Reply

Eliezer jerusalem, israel February 1, 2012

excellent perfect teaching.Thank you Rabbi Eliezer. Reply

These Talmud classes will be studying and analyzing the third chapter of tractate Bava Metzia, which presents the Jewish approach in many matters of civil law, particularly vis-à-vis the different degrees of liability assumed by guardians, renters and borrowers.
Related Topics