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Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Mechirah - Chapter Ten, Mechirah - Chapter Eleven, Mechirah - Chapter Twelve

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Mechirah - Chapter Ten

1

When a person compels a colleague to sell an article and to take the money for the purchase - even if he hung him until he sold the article - the purchase is binding. This applies with regard to movable property and landed property. We say that since he compelled him, he committed himself to selling. This applies even if the seller did not take the money in the presence of witnesses.

Therefore, if the seller issues a protest before he sells and tells two witnesses: "Know that the reason I am selling this and this article - or this and this property - is that I am being compelled against my will," the sale is nullified. Even if the purchaser was in possession of the article or the property for several years, it may be expropriated from him, at which point, the seller returns the money.

א

מִי שֶׁאֲנָסוּהוּ עַד שֶׁמָּכַר וְלָקַח דְּמֵי הַמִּקָּח. אֲפִלּוּ תָּלוּהוּ עַד שֶׁמָּכַר מִמְכָּרוֹ מִמְכָּר בֵּין בְּמִטַּלְטְלִין בֵּין בְּקַרְקָעוֹת שֶׁמִּפְּנֵי אָנְסוֹ גָּמַר וּמַקְנֶה. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא לָקַח הַדָּמִים בִּפְנֵי הָעֵדִים. לְפִיכָךְ אִם מָסַר מוֹדָעָה קֹדֶם שֶׁיִּמְכֹּר וְאָמַר לִשְׁנֵי עֵדִים דְּעוּ שֶׁזֶּה שֶׁאֲנִי מוֹכֵר חֵפֶץ פְּלוֹנִי אוֹ שָׂדֶה פְּלוֹנִי לִפְלוֹנִי מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֲנִי אָנוּס. הֲרֵי הַמִּמְכָּר בָּטֵל. וַאֲפִלּוּ הֶחֱזִיק כַּמָּה שָׁנִים מוֹצִיאִין אוֹתָהּ מִיָּדוֹ וּמַחֲזִיר הַדָּמִים:

2

The witnesses must know that the seller is selling because of compulsion, and that he is actually being compelled against his will.

Any record of a protest that does not contain the statement: "We the witnesses know that so and so the seller acted under compulsion - is not a valid protest.

ב

וּצְרִיכִין הָעֵדִים לֵידַע שֶׁהוּא מוֹכֵר מִפְּנֵי הָאֹנֶס וְשֶׁהוּא אָנוּס וַדַּאי. לֹא שֶׁיִּסְמְכוּ עַל פִּיו. וְכָל מוֹדָעָה שֶׁאֵין כָּתוּב בָּהּ וְאָנוּ הָעֵדִים יָדַעְנוּ שֶׁפְּלוֹנִי זֶה אָנוּס הָיָה אֵינָהּ מוֹדָעָה:

3

When does the above apply? With regard to a person who conducts a sale or who negotiates a compromise. With regard to a gift or a waiver of a debt, if the person issues a protest before giving the gift, the gift is nullified even though the person was not compelled to give the gift.

The rationale is that with regard to a gift, the factor that is significant is the expression of the giver's will. Since he does not wholeheartedly desire to transfer ownership, the recipient does not acquire the gift. Waiving a debt is equivalent to giving a gift.

ג

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּמוֹכֵר אוֹ בְּעוֹשֶׂה פְּשָׁרָה. אֲבָל בְּמַתָּנָה אוֹ בִּמְחִילָה אִם מָסַר מוֹדָעָה קֹדֶם מַתָּנָה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינוֹ אָנוּס הֲרֵי הַמַּתָּנָה בְּטֵלָה. שֶׁאֵין הוֹלְכִין בְּמַתָּנָה אֶלָּא אַחַר גִּלּוּי דַּעַת הַנּוֹתֵן שֶׁאִם אֵינוֹ רוֹצֶה לְהַקְנוֹת בְּכָל לִבּוֹ לֹא קָנָה הַמְקַבֵּל מַתָּנָה. וְהַמְּחִילָה מַתָּנָה הִיא:

4

Whether one compels a colleague to sell by hitting him, by hanging him or by threatening to employ a measure against him through gentiles or through Jews, he is considered to have been compelled against his will.

An incident occurred with regard to a person who had rented an orchard from a colleague for ten years, and the landlord of the orchard lost the debt contract. After the tenant derived benefit from the orchard for three years,the tenant told the owner: "If you do not sell it to me, I will hide the rental contract and claim that I purchased it." The Sages explained that this is considered to be compulsion. The same principles apply in all similar situations.

For this reason, if the landlord issued a claim against the tenant in court and the tenant denied it and claimed that the orchard was his, and afterwards, the landlord issued a protest, and then sold the property to the tenant who denies having rented it, the sale is nullified, for there are witnesses that the landlord was compelled against his will. These are the witnesses in whose presence the tenant denied the rental of the property in court, and they are the witnesses before whom the protest was issued.The same principles apply in all similar situations.

ד

אֶחָד הָאוֹנֵס אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ בְּשֶׁהִכָּהוּ אוֹ תְּלָאָהוּ עַד שֶׁמָּכַר אוֹ שֶׁהִפְחִידוֹ בְּדָבָר שֶׁאֶפְשָׁר לוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹת בֵּין בִּידֵי עַכּוּ''ם בֵּין בִּידֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל הֲרֵי זֶה אוֹנֵס. וּמַעֲשֶׂה בְּאֶחָד שֶׁשָּׂכַר פַּרְדֵּס מֵחֲבֵרוֹ לְעֶשֶׂר שָׁנִים וְלֹא הָיָה שְׁטַר חוֹב בְּיַד הַמַּשְׂכִּיר וְאַחַר שֶׁאֲכָלוֹ הַשּׂוֹכֵר שָׁלֹשׁ שָׁנִים אָמַר לוֹ אִם לֹא תִּמְכְּרֶנוּ לִי אֶכְבּשׁ שְׁטַר שְׂכִירוּת וְאֶטְעֹן שֶׁהוּא לָקוּחַ בְּיָדִי וְאָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים שֶׁזֶּה אוֹנֵס. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה. לְפִיכָךְ אִם תְּבָעוֹ הַמַּשְׂכִּיר בְּבֵית דִּין וְכָפַר בּוֹ וְטָעַן שֶׁהַפַּרְדֵּס שֶׁלּוֹ וְאַחַר כָּךְ מָסַר הַמַּשְׂכִּיר מוֹדָעָה וְאַחַר כָּךְ מָכַר לַשּׂוֹכֵר שֶׁכָּפַר בּוֹ הֲרֵי הַמִּמְכָּר בָּטֵל. שֶׁהֲרֵי יֵשׁ לוֹ עֵדִים שֶׁהוּא אָנוּס. וְהֵם הָעֵדִים שֶׁכָּפַר בִּפְנֵיהֶם בְּבֵית דִּין וְהֵם עֵדֵי הַמּוֹדָעָה. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

5

When does the above apply? With regard to a person who forces a colleague to sell. He is considered a chamsan because he compels a colleague to sell his property against his will.

When, however, a person steals property - is established as a thief - and afterwards purchases the field that he stole the sale is nullified automatically. The seller does not have to issue a protest, as explained in Hilchot Gezelah.

ה

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּאַנָּס שֶׁהֲרֵי הוּא חַמְסָן מִפְּנֵי שֶׁכּוֹפֶה אֶת הַמּוֹכֵר לִמְכֹּר שֶׁלֹּא בִּרְצוֹנוֹ. אֲבָל הַגּוֹזֵל וְהֻחְזַק בְּגַזְלָן וְאַחַר כָּךְ לָקַח שָׂדֶה שֶׁגָּזַל אֵין הַמּוֹכֵר צָרִיךְ לִמְסֹר מוֹדָעָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ בְּהִלְכוֹת גְּזֵלָה:

6

The witnesses to the protest may themselves sign the deed of sale concerning which the protest was issued to them; their participation is of no consequence.

Even if the seller tells them in the presence of the person who is compelling him: "I am selling the property willfully, without compulsion," the protest is still viable. Just as the other person compelled the seller to sell unwillingly, he compelled him to say that he was selling it willingly.

ו

עֵדֵי הַמּוֹדָעָה יֵשׁ לָהֶם לַחְתֹּם הֵם עַצְמָן בְּאוֹתוֹ הַמִּמְכָּר שֶׁנִּמְסְרָה לָהֶם הַמּוֹדָעָה עָלָיו וְאֵין בְּכָךְ כְּלוּם. וַאֲפִלּוּ אָמַר לָהֶם בִּפְנֵי הָאַנָּס בִּרְצוֹנִי מָכַרְתִּי בְּלֹא אֹנֶס הֲרֵי הַמּוֹדָעָה קַיֶּמֶת. כְּשֵׁם שֶׁאֲנָסוֹ שֶׁמָּכַר בְּלֹא רָצוֹן כָּךְ אֲנָסוֹ עַד שֶׁאָמַר בִּרְצוֹנִי אֲנִי מוֹכֵר:

7

Similarly, if the seller admitted in the presence of witnesses that he received money after he issued a protest, he is not obligated to return anything to the thief. We say that the person compelling him compelled him to make this admission. This statement is not heeded for the witnesses already knew that he was compelled against his will.

If, however, the robber counted money out to the seller in the presence of the witnesses, the seller is obligated to return the money when the sale is nullified."

ז

וְכֵן אִם הוֹדָה בִּפְנֵיהֶם שֶׁלָּקַח הַדָּמִים אַחַר שֶׁמָּסַר מוֹדָעָה עַל כָּךְ אֵינוֹ חַיָּב לְהַחְזִיר כְּלוּם. שֶׁהָאוֹנֵס אֲנָסוֹ עַד שֶׁיּוֹדֶה וְהָעֵדִים כְּבָר יָדְעוּ שֶׁהוּא אָנוּס. אֲבָל אִם מָנָה הַדָּמִים בִּפְנֵיהֶם חַיָּב לְהַחְזִיר:

8

If the witnesses to the sale testified that the seller nullified the protest, the protest is nullified.

If the seller tells the witnesses to the protest: "Know that every kinyan in which I engage to negate a protest, and a protest regarding a protest are all nullified. I am engaging in them only because of the factor compelling me, of which you are aware. I do not ever have the intention of transferring my property to the person compelling me," the sale is nullified despite the fact that the seller performed a kinyan to nullify his protest, in the manner we have explained.

ח

הֵעִידוּ עָלָיו עֵדֵי הַמֶּכֶר שֶׁבִּטֵּל הַמּוֹדָעָה הֲרֵי הַמּוֹדָעָה בְּטֵלָה. וְאִם אָמַר לְעֵדֵי הַמּוֹדָעָה הֱיוּ יוֹדְעִין שֶׁכָּל קִנְיָן שֶׁאֲנִי לוֹקֵחַ לְבַטֵּל הַמּוֹדָעָה וּמוֹדָעֵי דְּמוֹדָעֵי שֶׁהַכּל בָּטֵל וְאֵינִי אוֹמֵר כָּךְ אֶלָּא מִפְּנֵי הָאֹנֶס שֶׁאַתֶּם יוֹדְעִין וְאֵין בְּדַּעְתִּי לְהַקְנוֹת לְזֶה הָאַנָּס לְעוֹלָם. הֲרֵי הַמֶּכֶר בָּטֵל. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁקָּנוּ מִיָּדוֹ לְבַטֵּל הַמּוֹדָעָה עַל הַדֶּרֶךְ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

Mechirah - Chapter Eleven

1

When a person transfers ownership of an article - whether landed property or movable property - and establishes conditions that can be fulfilled the conditions are binding - whether established by the seller or the purchaser. If the conditions are fulfilled, then the ownership of the object is transferred. If the conditions are not fulfilled, the ownership of the object is not transferred.

We have already described the laws governing conditional agreements in Hilchot Ishut.

א

הַמַּקְנֶּה בֵּין קַרְקַע בִּין מִטַּלְטְלִין וְהִתְנָה תְּנָאִין שֶׁאֶפְשָׁר לְקַיְּמָן. בֵּין שֶׁהִתְנָה הַמַּקְנֶה בֵּין שֶׁהִתְנָה הַקּוֹנֶה. אִם נִתְקַיְּמוּ הַתְּנָאִין נִקְנָה הַדָּבָר שֶׁהֻקְנָה. וְאִם לֹא נִתְקַיֵּם הַתְּנַאי לֹא קָנָה. וּכְבָר בֵּאַרְנוּ מִשְׁפְּטֵי הַתְּנָאִים בְּהִלְכוֹת אִישׁוּת:

2

When does the above apply? When a person stated a condition and then carried out a kinyan transferring ownership of the article through one of the accepted procedures. For then, he is obligated to fulfill the condition.

If, however, the person did not perform a kinyan, but merely entered into a conditional agreement stating that if this condition is fulfilled he will transfer ownership, and if it is not fulfilled he will not transfer ownership, the transfer of ownership is not effected even if the condition is fulfilled.

This is considered an asmachta - i.e., he made his transfer of ownership dependent on the performance of certain deeds. An asmachta is never binding, for the person transferring ownership did not make a firm decision in his heart to transfer ownership.

ב

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּשֶׁקָּנָה בְּדֶרֶךְ מִן הַדְּרָכִים שֶׁקּוֹנִין בָּהֶן וַהֲרֵי יֵשׁ עָלָיו לְקַיֵּם אֶת הַתְּנַאי. אֲבָל אִם לֹא קָנָה עַתָּה וְהִתְנָה עִמּוֹ שֶׁאִם נִתְקַיֵּם הַתְּנַאי זֶה יִקְנֶה וְאִם לֹא נִתְקַיֵּם לֹא יִקְנֶה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנִּתְקַיֵּם הַתְּנַאי לֹא קָנָה. שֶׁזּוֹ אַסְמַכְתָּא הִיא. שֶׁהֲרֵי סָמַךְ קְנִיָּתוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹת כָּךְ וְכָךְ וְכָל אַסְמַכְתָּא אֵינָהּ קוֹנָה שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא גָּמַר בְּלִבּוֹ לְהַקְנוֹתוֹ:

3

What is implied? A person sold a house to a colleague or gave it to him as a present, on condition that the recipient travel to Jerusalem with the seller on a given day. If the recipient manifests ownership over the house, he acquires it when he travels to Jerusalem with the seller on the date stated. If that day passes and he does not make the journey, he does not acquire it.

If, however, the owner made a condition and told the potential purchaser: "If you go with me to Jerusalem on this and this day...," or "If you bring me this article, I will give you this house," or "...I will sell it to you at such and such a price," although the person travels with him on that day or brings him the article, he does not acquire the house. This applies even if the potential purchaser manifests his ownership over the house after he fulfills the condition, for this is an asmachta. The same laws apply in all analogous situations.

ג

כֵּיצַד. הַמּוֹכֵר בַּיִת לַחֲבֵרוֹ אוֹ נְתָנוֹ לוֹ בְּמַתָּנָה עַל מְנָת שֶׁיֵּלֵךְ עִמּוֹ לִירוּשָׁלַיִם בְּיוֹם פְּלוֹנִי. וְהֶחֱזִיק זֶה בַּבַּיִת. הֲרֵי זֶה קָנָה כְּשֶׁיֵּלֵךְ עִמּוֹ לִירוּשָׁלַיִם בְּאוֹתוֹ הַיּוֹם. וְאִם עָבַר אוֹתוֹ הַיּוֹם וְלֹא הָלַךְ לֹא קָנָה. אֲבָל אִם הִתְנָה וְאָמַר לוֹ אִם תֵּלֵךְ עִמִּי לִירוּשָׁלַיִם בְּיוֹם פְּלוֹנִי אוֹ אִם תָּבִיא לִי דָּבָר פְּלוֹנִי אֶתֵּן לְךָ בַּיִת זֶה אוֹ אֶמְכְּרֶנוּ לְךָ בְּכָךְ וְכָךְ. וְהָלַךְ עִמּוֹ בְּאוֹתוֹ הַיּוֹם אוֹ שֶׁהֵבִיא לוֹ. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֶחְזִיק בַּבַּיִת אַחַר שֶׁקִּיֵּם הַתְּנַאי לֹא קָנָה שֶׁזּוֹ הִיא אַסְמַכְתָּא. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

4

For this reason, the following rules apply if a purchaser gives security to a colleague and tells him: "If I retract, I waive ownership of the security in your favor," and the seller says: "If I retract, I will double your security." If the purchaser retracts, the seller acquires the security, because it is in his possession. But if the seller retracts, we do not require him to double the security. For his promise was an asmachta and is not binding.

ד

לְפִיכָךְ הַנּוֹתֵן עֵרָבוֹן לַחֲבֵרוֹ וְאָמַר לוֹ אִם אֲנִי חוֹזֵר בִּי עֶרְבוֹנִי מָחוּל לְךָ וְהַלָּה אוֹמֵר וְאִם אֲנִי חוֹזֵר בִּי אֶכְפּל לְךָ עֶרְבוֹנְךָ. אִם חָזַר בּוֹ הַלּוֹקֵחַ קָנָה זֶה הָעֵרָבוֹן שֶׁהֲרֵי הוּא תַּחַת יָדוֹ. וְאִם חָזַר בּוֹ הַמּוֹכֵר אֵין מְחַיְּבִין אוֹתוֹ לִכְפּל הָעֵרָבוֹן שֶׁזּוֹ אַסְמַכְתָּא הִיא וְאַסְמַכְתָּא לֹא קָנָה:

5

A similar principle applies if a debtor paid a portion of a debt and the creditor entrusted the promissory note to a third party after the debtor made the following statement: "If I do not pay the remainder until such and such a date, return the promissory note." If the date arrived and the debtor did not pay, the third party should not give the promissory note to the creditor. For this agreement is an asmachta.

ה

וְכֵן מִי שֶׁפָּרַע מִקְצָת חוֹבוֹ וְהִשְׁלִישׁ אֶת הַשְּׁטָר וְאָמַר לוֹ אִם לֹא נָתַתִּי לְךָ עַד יוֹם פְּלוֹנִי תֵּן לוֹ שְׁטָרוֹ וְהִגִּיעַ זְמַן וְלֹא נָתַן לוֹ. לֹא יִתֵּן הַשָּׁלִישׁ אֶת הַשְּׁטָר שֶׁזּוֹ אַסְמַכְתָּא הִיא:

6

Similarly, all the conditions that people establish between themselves, even when confirmed by witnesses and a legal document - e.g., "If such and such will take place..." or "If you do such and such, I will give you a maneh" or "...I will transfer ownership of this house to you, but if this does not take place..." or "if you do not do such and such, I will not transfer ownership," or "...I will not give you," are considered asmachta'ot. Even though the potential recipient performs the desired action, or the event occurs, he does not acquire the promised article. For his intent is undefined, being dependent on whether or not the stipulation will be met.

ו

וְכֵן כָּל תְּנָאִין שֶׁמַּתְנִין בְּנֵי אָדָם בֵּינֵיהֶן. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֵן בְּעֵדִים וּבִשְׁטָר. אִם יִהְיֶה כָּךְ אוֹ אִם תַּעֲשֶׂה כָּךְ אֶתֵּן לְךָ מָנֶה אוֹ אַקְנֶה לְךָ בַּיִת זֶה. וְאִם לֹא יִהְיֶה אוֹ לֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה לֹא אַקְנֶה לְךָ וְלֹא אֶתֵּן לְךָ. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁעָשָׂה אוֹ שֶׁהָיָה הַדָּבָר לֹא קָנָה. שֶׁכָּל הָאוֹמֵר אִם יִהְיֶה אִם לֹא יִהְיֶה לֹא גָּמַר וְהִקְנָה. שֶׁהֲרֵי דַּעְתּוֹ עֲדַיִן סוֹמֶכֶת שֶׁמָּא יִהְיֶה אוֹ שֶׁמָּא לֹא יִהְיֶה:

7

Whenever a person says: "Acquire an entity upon fulfillment of a condition, retroactive to the present time," it is not considered an asmachta at all, and the transaction is binding. For if the person had not made a definite commitment to transfer ownership, he would not have transferred ownership retroactively to the time of the agreement.

What is implied? If a person says: "If I return between now and such and such a date, you acquire this house retroactively to the present time," and his commitment is affirmed by a kinyan the transaction is binding if he returns within the set time. The same applies with regard to all similar situations.

ז

כָּל הָאוֹמֵר קְנֵה מֵעַכְשָׁו אֵין כָּאן אַסְמַכְתָּא כְּלָל וְקָנָה. שֶׁאִלּוּ לֹא גָּמַר לְהַקְנוֹתוֹ לֹא הִקְנָהוּ מֵעַכְשָׁו. כֵּיצַד. אִם בָּאתִי מִכָּאן וְעַד יוֹם פְּלוֹנִי קְנֵה בַּיִת זֶה מֵעַכְשָׁו וְקָנוּ מִיָּדוֹ עַל כָּךְ. הֲרֵי זֶה קָנָה אִם בָּא בְּתוֹךְ הַזְּמַן שֶׁקָּבַע. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

8

When a person sells a courtyard or a field and specifies at the time of the sale that he is selling the property in order to travel to a particular place, or because there has been a drought and he desires to buy wheat with the money he receives for his courtyard, it is considered as if he sold the property conditionally.

Therefore, if it rained after he made the sale, or wheat was imported and sold at a lower price, or he was prevented from travelling to that land, or factors did not facilitate his journey or his purchase of wheat, the seller may return the money he received and have the land returned to him. For he stated that he was selling the property only for the sake of performing a specific act - and that act was not performed. Similar principles apply in all analogous situations.

ח

מִי שֶׁמָּכַר חֲצֵרוֹ אוֹ שָׂדֵהוּ. וּפֵרֵשׁ בִּשְׁעַת הַמְּכִירָה שֶׁהוּא מוֹכֵר כְּדֵי לֵילֵךְ לְמָקוֹם פְּלוֹנִי אוֹ מִפְּנֵי הַמָּטָר שֶׁנִּמְנַע כְּדֵי לִקְנוֹת חִטִּים בִּדְמֵי חֲצֵרוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה כְּמוֹכֵר עַל תְּנַאי. לְפִיכָךְ אִם יָרַד הַמָּטָר אַחַר שֶׁמָּכַר. אוֹ בָּאוּ חִטִּין וְהוּזְלוּ. אוֹ נִמְנַע הַדֶּרֶךְ לֵילֵךְ לְאוֹתָהּ הָאָרֶץ. אוֹ שֶׁלֹּא נִסְתַּיֵּעַ לוֹ לַעֲלוֹת אוֹ לִקְנוֹת חִטִּים. הֲרֵי זֶה מַחְזִיר אוֹתָן הַדָּמִים וְתַחְזֹר לוֹ קַרְקַע. שֶׁהֲרֵי פֵּרֵשׁ שֶׁאֵינוֹ מוֹכֵר אֶלָּא לַעֲשׂוֹת דָּבָר פְּלוֹנִי וַהֲרֵי לֹא נַעֲשָׂה. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן:

9

If, however, a person sells landed property without making any explicit statement, the sale is final even though he had the intent in his heart that he was selling the property for a particular reason, and even if it is apparent that he is selling the property for that reason. The rationale is that he did not make an explicit statement, and thoughts in a person's heart are of no consequence in business transactions.

ט

אֲבָל הַמּוֹכֵר סְתָם אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהָיָה בְּלִבּוֹ שֶׁמִּפְּנֵי כָּךְ וְכָךְ הוּא מוֹכֵר. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁמַּרְאִין הַדְּבָרִים שֶׁאֵינוֹ מוֹכֵר אֶלָּא לַעֲשׂוֹת כָּךְ וְכָךְ וְלֹא נַעֲשָׂה אֵינוֹ חוֹזֵר. שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא פֵּרֵשׁ וּדְבָרִים שֶׁבַּלֵּב אֵינָן דְּבָרִים:

10

The following rules apply if one transferred ownership of an entity to a colleague and stipulated that he acquire it on the condition that he give or sell that entity to another person. If the person gives or sells the entity to that person, the transaction is binding. If he does not fulfill the stipulation and sells it to another person, or does not give or sell it to the person intended within the time frame established, the original transaction is not binding.

Similarly, if the seller or the purchaser of an article establishes a condition that the article be returned at a specific time or returned at that time in exchange for money, the transaction is binding, and the article must be returned as stipulated.

י

מִי שֶׁהִקְנָה לַחֲבֵרוֹ וְהִתְנָה עָלָיו עַל מְנָת שֶׁתִּתֵּן מִקָּח זֶה אוֹ תִּמְכְּרֶנוּ לִפְלוֹנִי. אִם נְתָנוֹ אוֹ מְכָרוֹ לְאוֹתוֹ פְּלוֹנִי קָנָה. וְאִם לֹא קִיֵּם הַתְּנַאי וּמְכָרוֹ לְאַחֵר אוֹ שֶׁלֹּא מְכָרוֹ וְלֹא נְתָנוֹ בַּזְּמַן שֶׁקָּבַע לוֹ לֹא קָנָה. וְכֵן הַמּוֹכֵר אוֹ הַלּוֹקֵחַ שֶׁהִתְנוּ שֶׁיַּחְזִיר לוֹ הַמִּקָּח בִּזְמַן פְּלוֹנִי אוֹ כְּשֶׁיִּתֵּן לוֹ הַמָּעוֹת. הֲרֵי הַמֶּכֶר קַיָּם וְיַחְזִיר כְּשֶׁהִתְנָה:

11

Different rules apply in the following situation. A person sold landed property to a colleague. The seller made a stipulation, saying: "When I acquire money, return this land to me." The produce of the land belongs to the seller.)

If the seller made the sale without stipulating a condition, and the purchaser said on his own volition: "When you acquire funds, bring them to me, and I will return this property," the stipulation is binding. The purchaser can derive benefit from the property; doing so is not considered "a shade of interest," because the purchaser voluntarily obligated himself by this condition.

יא

מָכַר קַרְקַע לַחֲבֵרוֹ וְהִתְנָה הַמּוֹכֵר וְאָמַר לַלּוֹקֵחַ כְּשֶׁיִּהְיוּ לִי מָעוֹת תַּחְזִיר לִי הַקַּרְקַע זוֹ הֲרֵי הַפֵּרוֹת שֶׁל מוֹכֵר. מָכַר לוֹ סְתָם וְאָמַר לוֹ הַלּוֹקֵחַ מִדַּעְתּוֹ כְּשֶׁיִּהְיוּ לְךָ מָעוֹת תְּבִיאֵם לִי וַאֲנִי אַחְזִיר לְךָ קַרְקַע זוֹ. הֲרֵי הַתְּנַאי קַיָּם וְהַלּוֹקֵחַ אוֹכֵל פֵּרוֹת. וְאֵין בָּזֶה אֲבַק רִבִּית שֶׁהֲרֵי מִדַּעְתּוֹ חִיֵּב עַצְמוֹ בִּתְנַאי זֶה:

12

An incident occurred concerning a woman who sent an agent, Reuven, to purchase a courtyard for her from one of her relatives, Shimon. Shimon, the seller, said to Reuven, the agent: "If I acquire funds, so and so, my relative, should return this property to me."

Reuven answered him: "You and so and so are relatives. You are so close, you are like brother and sister" - i.e., it is as if he were saying, "It is very likely that she will return it to you, and that she will not show concern about such a matter."

Afterwards, the matter was brought to the Sages, and they ruled that the agent did not purchase anything. For the relative selling the field did not rely on the agent's words, since they were not a clear reply. Therefore, the seller did not make a final decision to transfer ownership. Similar principles apply in other analogous situations.

יב

מַעֲשֶׂה בְּאִשָּׁה שֶׁשָּׁלְחָה רְאוּבֵן לִקְנוֹת לָהּ חָצֵר מִשִּׁמְעוֹן שֶׁהָיָה קְרוֹבוֹ וְאָמַר שִׁמְעוֹן הַמּוֹכֵר לִרְאוּבֵן הַשָּׁלִיחַ אִם יִהְיוּ לִי מָעוֹת תַּחְזִיר לִי פְּלוֹנִית קְרוֹבָתִי קַרְקַע זוֹ. וֶהֱשִׁיבוֹ רְאוּבֵן וְאָמַר לוֹ אַתָּה וּפְלוֹנִית קְרוֹבִים כְּמוֹ אַחִים. כְּלוֹמַר הַדָּבָר קָרוֹב שֶׁהִיא תַּחְזִיר לְךָ וְאֵינָהּ מַקְפֶּדֶת עַל זוֹ. וּבָא מַעֲשֶׂה לִפְנֵי חֲכָמִים וְאָמְרוּ הֲרֵי זֶה הַשָּׁלִיחַ לֹא קָנָה כְּלוּם שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא סָמְכָה דַּעְתּוֹ שֶׁל קָרוֹב זֶה עַל דִּבְרֵי הַשָּׁלִיחַ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁלֹּא הֱשִׁיבוֹ תְּשׁוּבָה בְּרוּרָה וְנִמְצָא שֶׁלֹּא גָּמַר וְלֹא הִקְנָה. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

13

When a kinyan confirming an asmachta is made in a prominent court, it is considered as binding. This applies, provided the person involved entrusts the legal documents involved to the court, and provided he is not acting under duress.

יג

אַסְמַכְתָּא שֶׁקָּנוּ מִיָּדוֹ עָלֶיהָ בְּבֵית דִּין חָשׁוּב הֲרֵי זֶה קָנָה. וְהוּא שֶׁיִּתְפֹּס זְכֻיּוֹתָיו בְּבֵית דִּין. וְהוּא שֶׁלֹּא יִהְיֶה אָנוּס:

14

What is implied? A person entrusted his promissory note or his receipt to the court and engages in a kinyan, stating that if he does not come by such and such a date, the promissory note should be given to the other litigant. If the date arrives without the person's coming, the note should be given. If he was prevented from coming by a river or by illness, the promissory note should not be given to the other litigant. Similar principles apply in all analogous situations, provided that this is done in the presence of a prominent court.

יד

כֵּיצַד. הֲרֵי שֶׁהִתְפִּיס שְׁטָרוֹ אוֹ שׁוֹבְרוֹ בְּבֵית דִּין. וְקָנוּ מִיָּדוֹ שֶׁאִם לֹא בָּא בְּיוֹם פְּלוֹנִי יִנָּתֵן שְׁטָר זֶה לְבַעַל דִּינוֹ וְהִגִּיעַ הַיּוֹם וְלֹא בָּא הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ נוֹתְנִים. וְאִם עִכְּבוֹ נָהָר אוֹ חֹלִי מִלָּבוֹא לֹא יִתְּנוּ. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה. וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיֶה בְּבֵית דִּין חָשׁוּב:

15

When a person undertakes a financial obligation to another person without making any stipulation, he becomes liable although he did not owe that person anything previously. He is giving him a present; this is not an asmachta.

What is implied? A person tells witnesses: "Serve as witnesses that I owe so and so a maneh," he composes a legal document that states that he owes the other person a maneh even though it is not observed by witnesses, or he told the other person in the presence of witnesses: "I owe you a maneh as recorded in a legal document." In the latter circumstance, even though he did not tell the witnesses to serve as witnesses, since he said "as recorded in a legal document," it is as if he told them: "Serve as witnesses that I am obligated."

Even though both parties admit - and the witnesses know - that the giver did not owe the recipient anything, he accepted an obligation on himself and becomes liable, as a guarantor does. The majority of the geonim ruled in this manner.

טו

הַמְחַיֵּב עַצְמוֹ בְּמָמוֹן לְאַחֵר בְּלֹא תְּנַאי כְּלָל. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה חַיָּב לוֹ כְּלוּם הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב. שֶׁדָּבָר זֶה מַתָּנָה הִיא וְאֵינָהּ אַסְמַכְתָּא. כֵּיצַד. הָאוֹמֵר לְעֵדִים הֱווּ עָלַי עֵדִים שֶׁאֲנִי חַיָּב לִפְלוֹנִי מָנֶה. אוֹ שֶׁכָּתַב לוֹ בִּשְׁטָר הֲרֵינִי חַיָּב לְךָ מָנֶה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין שָׁם עֵדִים. אוֹ שֶׁאָמַר לוֹ בִּפְנֵי עֵדִים הֲרֵינִי חַיָּב לְךָ מָנֶה בִּשְׁטָר. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא אָמַר אַתֶּם עֵדַי. הוֹאִיל וְאָמַר בִּשְׁטָר הֲרֵי זֶה כְּמִי שֶׁאָמַר הֱווּ עָלַי עֵדִים וְחַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּם. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁשְּׁנֵיהֶם מוֹדִים וְהָעֵדִים יוֹדְעִים שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה לוֹ אֶצְלוֹ כְּלוּם. שֶׁהֲרֵי חִיֵּב עַצְמוֹ. כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּשְׁתַּעְבֵּד הֶעָרֵב. וְכָזֶה הוֹרוּ רֹב הַגְּאוֹנִים:

16

The following rules apply when a person accepts an obligation on himself that is unlimited in nature - e.g., he says: "I obligate myself to feed you..." or "...to clothe you for five years." Even though he affirms his commitment to the recipient with a kinyan, he is not liable. For this resembles a present, and yet there is no specific and known entity that is being given as a present. My masters ruled in this manner.

טז

חִיֵּב עַצְמוֹ בְּדָבָר שֶׁאֵינוֹ קָצוּב. כְּגוֹן שֶׁאָמַר הֲרֵינִי חַיָּב לָזוּן אוֹתְךָ אוֹ לְכַסּוֹת חָמֵשׁ שָׁנִים. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁקָּנוּ מִיָּדוֹ לֹא נִשְׁתַּעְבֵּד. שֶׁזּוֹ כְּמוֹ מַתָּנָה הִיא וְאֵין כָּאן דָּבָר יָדוּעַ וּמָצוּי שֶׁנְּתָנוֹ בְּמַתָּנָה. וְכֵן הוֹרוּ רַבּוֹתַי:

17

If so, why is a person who makes a commitment to his wife to provide food for her daughter from a previous marriage obligated to provide for her? Because he made this commitment at the time of their marriage. And the matter resembles entities that are acquired although only a verbal commitment is made.

יז

וּמִפְּנֵי מָה הַפּוֹסֵק עִם אִשְׁתּוֹ שֶׁיִּהְיֶה זָן אֶת בִּתָּהּ חַיָּב לְזוּנָהּ. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁפָּסַק בִּשְׁעַת נִשּׂוּאִין וְהַדָּבָר דּוֹמֶה לִדְבָרִים הַנִּקְנִין בַּאֲמִירָה:

18

When the sages of Spain desired to make a kinyan with regard to an asmachta, they would adhere to the following guidelines: They would establish a kinyan with one party that he is obligated to the other party one hundred zuz. After he has undertaken such an obligation, a kinyan is made with the person to whom he indebted himself, that as long as this and this condition prevails or if he does such and such, the obligation is waived, effective retroactively to the time of the agreement, but that if this condition does not prevail or if he does not do such and such, he will sue him for the payment of the money for which he obligated himself.

This is the procedure that is followed in all stipulations that are made between a man and his wife with regard to engagements and other similar matters.

יח

כְּשֶׁהָיוּ חַכְמֵי סְפָרַד רוֹצִים לְהַקְנוֹת בְּאַסְמַכְתָּא כָּךְ הָיוּ עוֹשִׂין. קוֹנִין מִזֶּה שֶׁהוּא חַיָּב לַחֲבֵרוֹ מֵאָה דִּינָרִין. וְאַחַר שֶׁחִיֵּב עַצְמוֹ קוֹנִין מִבַּעַל חוֹבוֹ שֶׁכָּל זְמַן שֶׁיִּהְיֶה כָּךְ אוֹ שֶׁיַּעֲשֶׂה כָּךְ הֲרֵי הַחוֹב זֶה מָחוּל לוֹ מֵעַכְשָׁו. וְאִם לֹא יִהְיֶה אוֹ לֹא יַעֲשֶׂה הֲרֵינִי תּוֹבְעוֹ בְּמָמוֹן שֶׁחִיֵּב עַצְמוֹ בּוֹ. וְעַל דֶּרֶךְ זוֹ הָיִינוּ עוֹשִׂין בְּכָל הַתְּנָאִין שֶׁבֵּין אָדָם לְאִשְׁתּוֹ בְּשִׁדּוּכִין וּבְכָל הַדְּבָרִים הַדּוֹמִין לָהֶם:

Mechirah - Chapter Twelve

1

It is forbidden for a seller or a purchaser to take unfair advantage of a colleague, as Leviticus 25:14 states: "When you sell an entity to your colleague or purchase an entity from a colleague, one man should not take unfair advantage of his brother."

Even though such a person transgresses a negative commandment, he is not punished by lashes, because the funds can be returned. Whether the person intentionally deceived his colleague or did not know that this transaction involved taking unfair advantage, he is obligated to pay the unwarranted gain.

א

אָסוּר לַמּוֹכֵר אוֹ לַקּוֹנֶה לְהוֹנוֹת אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כה יד) "וְכִי תִמְכְּרוּ מִמְכָּר לַעֲמִיתֶךָ אוֹ קָנֹה מִיַּד עֲמִיתֶךָ אַל תּוֹנוּ". וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא עוֹבֵר בְּלֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה אֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁנִּתָּן לְהִשָּׁבוֹן. וּבֵין שֶׁהוֹנָה בְּמֵזִיד בֵּין שֶׁלֹּא יָדַע שֶׁיֵּשׁ בְּמֶכֶר זֶה הוֹנָיָה חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּם:

2

How much unfair gain must there be in a transaction for the one who profits to be required to return it? An even sixth.

What is implied? If a person sold an article worth six zuz for five, or for seven, or one worth five zuz for six, or one worth seven zuz for six, it is considered to be unfair gain. The transaction is completed, and the person who profited is required to return the entire amount of unfair gain to the one who suffered the loss.

ב

וְכַמָּה תְּהֵא הוֹנָיָה וְיִהְיֶה חַיָּב לְהָשִׁיב. שְׁתוּת בְּשָׁוֶה. כֵּיצַד. הֲרֵי שֶׁמָּכַר שְׁוֵה שֵׁשׁ בְּחָמֵשׁ. אוֹ שְׁוֵה שֶׁבַע בְּשֵׁשׁ. אוֹ שְׁוֵה חָמֵשׁ בְּשֵׁשׁ. אוֹ שְׁוֵה שֵׁשׁ בְּשֶׁבַע. הֲרֵי זֶה הוֹנָיָה וְנִקְנֶה הַמִּקָּח וְחַיָּב הַמְאַנֶּה לְשַׁלֵּם אֶת הַהוֹנָיָה וּלְהַחֲזִירָהּ כֻּלָּהּ לַמִּתְאַנֶּה:

3

If the unfair gain was even the slightest amount less than that - e.g., the person sold an article worth sixty dinarim for fifty dinarim and a p'rutah, he is not required to return anything. For it is common for people to waive any loss less than one sixth of the article's value.

ג

הָיְתָה הַהוֹנָיָה פָּחוֹת מִזֶּה בְּכָל שֶׁהוּא. כְּגוֹן שֶׁמָּכַר שְׁוֵה שִׁשִּׁים דִּינָר בַּחֲמִשִּׁים וּפְרוּטָה. אֵינוֹ חַיָּב לְהַחְזִיר כְּלוּם. שֶׁכָּל פָּחוֹת מִשְּׁתוּת דֶּרֶךְ הַכּל לִמְחל בּוֹ:

4

If the unfair gain was even the slightest amount more than one sixth - e.g., one sold an object worth 60 dinarim for 50 minus a p'rutah, the transaction is nullified. The purchaser may return the object without the transaction being completed at all.

The person who took the unfair gain, however, is not entitled to retract if the purchaser desires and seeks to maintain possession of the article, even though the transaction is nullified. The person who received the unfair gain is not obligated to return it unless the unfair gain exceeds a p'rutah. If the unfair gain was exactly a p'rutah], he is not obligated to return it, because the laws of ona'ah do not apply with regard to a p'rutah.

ד

הָיְתָה הַהוֹנָיָה יְתֵרָה עַל הַשְּׁתוּת בְּכָל שֶׁהוּא. כְּגוֹן שֶׁמָּכַר שְׁוֵה שִׁשִּׁים בַּחֲמִשִּׁים פָּחוֹת פְּרוּטָה. בָּטֵל מִקָּח. וְהַמִּתְאַנֶּה יָכוֹל לְהַחְזִיר הַחֵפֶץ וְלֹא יִקְנֶה כְּלָל. אֲבָל הַמְאַנֶּה אוֹתוֹ אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לַחְזֹר אִם רָצָה זֶה וְקִבֵּל. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁבָּטַל הַמִּקָּח. אֵין הַמְאַנֶּה חַיָּב לְהַחְזִיר עַד שֶׁתִּהְיֶה הַהוֹנָיָה יֶתֶר עַל פְּרוּטָה. הָיְתָה פְּרוּטָה בְּשָׁוֶה אֵינוֹ מַחְזִיר שֶׁאֵין הוֹנָיָה לִפְרוּטוֹת:

5

Until when does the purchaser have the right to demand the return of the unfair gain or the nullification of the transaction? Until he has time to show the article to a merchant or to a relative. If he waits longer, even if he purchased an article worth 100 zuz for 200, he may not nullify the transaction.

ה

עַד מָתַי יִהְיֶה לוֹ לַחְזֹר וְלִתְבֹּעַ הַהוֹנָיָה אוֹ לְבַטֵּל הַמִּקָּח. עַד כְּדֵי שֶׁיַּרְאֶה לְתַגָּר אוֹ לִקְרוֹבוֹ. וְאִם שָׁהָה יוֹתֵר מִזֶּה אֲפִלּוּ לָקַח שְׁוֵה מֵאָה בְּמָאתַיִם אֵינוֹ חוֹזֵר:

6

With regard to whom does the above apply? To a purchaser. For the article he purchased is in his possession, and it is common for him to show it to others.

The seller, by contrast, always has the opportunity to demand the return of the unfair gain. Needless to say, this applies with regard to the nullification of the sale. For he does not know the correct price of the article he sold until he sees a comparable article being sold. Accordingly, if the merchandise was a standard article that does not vary -e.g., peppers, or the like - he is given merely the time it takes to check the current market price.

ו

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּלוֹקֵחַ שֶׁהֲרֵי הַמִּקָּח בְּיָדוֹ וּמַרְאֵהוּ. אֲבָל הַמּוֹכֵר חוֹזֵר בְּהוֹנָיָה לְעוֹלָם. וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר בְּבִטּוּל מִקָּח שֶׁאֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ דְּמֵי זֶה שֶׁמָּכַר עַד שֶׁיִּרְאֶה כְּמוֹתוֹ שֶׁנִּמְכַּר בַּשּׁוּק. לְפִיכָךְ אִם הָיָה הַמִּקָּח דָּבָר שֶׁאֵין בְּמִינוֹ שִׁנּוּי וְהוּא כֻּלּוֹ שָׁוֶה כְּגוֹן פִּלְפְּלִין וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן הֲרֵי זֶה אֵינוֹ חוֹזֵר אֶלָּא עַד כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּשְׁאַל עַל שַׁעַר שֶׁבַּשּׁוּק בִּלְבַד:

7

Similarly, if it is known that an article comparable to the one he sold came into the seller's possession, he realized that he had erred regarding the initial sale, but he did not protest, he can no longer protest, for he has already waived his claim.

ז

וְכֵן אִם נוֹדַע שֶׁבָּא לְיָדוֹ כְּמִמְכָּרוֹ וְיָדַע שֶׁטָּעָה וְלֹא תָּבַע אֵינוֹ יוּכַל לַחְזֹר וְלִתְבֹּעַ שֶׁהֲרֵי מָחַל:

8

Just as the laws of ona'ah apply with regard to an ordinary person, so too, they apply with regard to a merchant, although he is knowledgeable concerning prices.

Just as the laws of ona'ah apply with regard to produce and animals, so too, they apply with regard to coins.

ח

כְּשֵׁם שֶׁהוֹנָיָה לְהֶדְיוֹט כָּךְ הוֹנָיָה לְתַגָּר אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא בָּקִי. וּכְשֵׁם שֶׁהוֹנָיָה בְּפֵרוֹת וּבִבְהֵמָה כָּךְ יֵשׁ דִּין הוֹנָיָה בְּמַטְבְּעוֹת:

9

What is implied? If a golden dinar was valued at 24 silver dinarim, and it was exchanged for 20 dinarim or 28 dinarim, the unfair gain must be returned. If the unfair gain was more than that, the exchange is nullified. If it is less than that, it is considered as if the other party waived his right to that money.

ט

כֵּיצַד. הֲרֵי שֶׁהָיָה דִּינָר שֶׁל זָהָב בְּעֶשְׂרִים וְאַרְבָּעָה דִּינָר שֶׁל כֶּסֶף וְצֵרְפָה בְּעֶשְׂרִים דִּינָר אוֹ בְּעֶשְׂרִים וּשְׁמוֹנָה הֲרֵי זֶה מַחְזִיר אֶת הַהוֹנָיָה. הָיָה יָתֵר עַל זֶה בָּטֵל הַצֵּרוּף. פָּחוֹת מִכָּאן מְחִילָה:

10

Similarly, if a sela was lacking a sixth of its weight, and sela'im were being exchanged by number, rather than by weight, the unfair gain should be returned.

י

וְכֵן אִם הָיָה הַסֶּלַע חֲסֵרָה שְׁתוּת וְהָיוּ מוֹצִיאִין הַסְּלָעִים בְּמִנְיָן וְלֹא בְּמִשְׁקָל מַחְזִיר הַהוֹנָיָה:

11

Until when is the recipient obligated to return a dinar or a sela'im large cities, the amount of time necessary to show the coin to a money-changer. In villages, where a money-changer is not frequently found, until the end of the week. The rationale is that only a money-changer recognizes sela'im, whether they are lacking, and their worth.

Similar concepts apply with regard to sellers of books, and sellers of gems and pearls. The purchaser has the right to retract if the seller took unfair advantage of him until he has time to show the article he purchased to a merchant who is expert in such matters, wherever such an expert may be found. For not everyone is expert in the appraisal of such matters.

Therefore, if there was no expert available in that country, and after a considerable amount of time the purchaser took the object to another place, or an expert came and stated that the price was in error, the purchaser may retract.

יא

עַד מָתַי חַיָּב לְהַחְזִיר הַדִּינָר אוֹ הַסֶּלַע. בַּכְּרַכִּים עַד כְּדֵי שֶׁיַּרְאֶה לַשֻּׁלְחָנִי. בִּכְפָרִים שֶׁאֵין הַשֻּׁלְחָנִי מָצוּי שָׁם יֵשׁ לוֹ לְהַחְזִיר עַד עַרְבֵי שַׁבָּתוֹת. שֶׁאֵין מַכִּיר הַסֶּלַע וְחֶסְרוֹנָהּ וְדָמֶיהָ אֶלָּא הַשֻּׁלְחָנִי. וְהוּא הַדִּין לְמוֹכֵר סְפָרִים אֲבָנִים טוֹבוֹת וּמַרְגָּלִיּוֹת שֶׁיֵּשׁ לַלּוֹקֵחַ לַחְזֹר עַד שֶׁיַּרְאֶה אוֹתָם לְתַגָּרִים הַבְּקִיאִים בָּהֶן בְּכָל מָקוֹם שֶׁהֵן. שֶׁאֵין הַכּל בְּקִיאִים בִּדְבָרִים אֵלּוּ. לְפִיכָךְ אִם לֹא הָיָה מַכִּיר בְּאוֹתָהּ מְדִינָה וְהוֹלִיךְ הַמִּקָּח לְמָקוֹם אַחֵר. אוֹ שֶׁבָּא הַבָּקִי לְאַחַר זְמַן מְרֻבֶּה וְהוֹדִיעוֹ שֶׁטָּעָה. הֲרֵי זֶה חוֹזֵר:

12

The following rules apply when a person gives a sela that is lacking in weight to a colleague. Should he be able to identify it, even after twelve months, the recipient may return it. If it will be accepted as currency, albeit with difficulty, the recipient may not return it after a lengthy time has passed, unless the giver accepts it as an expression of commitment beyond the measure of the law.

יב

הַנּוֹתֵן סֶלַע חֲסֵרָה לַחֲבֵרוֹ אִם הָיָה מַכִּירָהּ אֲפִלּוּ לְאַחַר שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר חֹדֶשׁ הֲרֵי זֶה מַחְזִירָהּ. וְאִם הָיָה אֶפְשָׁר לְהוֹצִיאָהּ עַל יְדֵי הַדְּחָק אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהַחְזִירָהּ לְאַחַר זְמַן אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן קִבְּלָהּ מִמֶּנּוּ בְּמִדַּת חֲסִידוּת:

13

The following rules apply in a situation where a person sold a colleague an article worth four zuz for five. As mentioned above, ordinarily, the transaction would be nullified. In this instance, however, before the purchaser had the opportunity to show the article to a merchant or to a relative, its price rose to seven zuz. The purchaser has the right to retract, and not the seller. For the purchaser will tell the seller: "If you had not taken unfair advantage of me, you would not have the right to retract. Now, because you have taken unfair advantage, do you think you should have the right to retract? Should a sinner receive reward?"

יג

הַמּוֹכֵר לַחֲבֵרוֹ שְׁוֵה אַרְבַּע בְּחָמֵשׁ שֶׁהֲרֵי הַמִּקָּח בָּטֵל כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ וְלֹא הִסְפִּיק לְהַרְאוֹת לְתַגָּר אוֹ לִקְרוֹבוֹ עַד שֶׁהוּקַר וְעָמַד בְּשֶׁבַע. לוֹקֵחַ יָכוֹל לַחְזֹר בּוֹ וְלֹא הַמּוֹכֵר. שֶׁהֲרֵי הַלּוֹקֵחַ אוֹמֵר לַמּוֹכֵר אִלּוּ לֹא הוֹנֵיתַנִי לֹא הָיִיתָ יָכוֹל לַחְזֹר וְעַתָּה שֶׁהוֹנֵיתַנִי תַּחְזֹר הֵיאַךְ יִהְיֶה הַחוֹטֵא נִשְׂכָּר:

14

Similarly, if one sold an object worth five zuz for four, and then its value decreased to three, the seller has the right to retract and not the purchaser. For the seller will tell the purchaser: "By deceiving me, you did not gain the right to retract."

יד

וְכֵן מוֹכֵר שֶׁמָּכַר שְׁוֵה חָמֵשׁ בְּאַרְבַּע וְזָל וְעָמַד בְּשָׁלֹשׁ. מוֹכֵר יָכוֹל לַחְזֹר בּוֹ וְלֹא לוֹקֵחַ. שֶׁהֲרֵי אוֹמֵר לוֹ הַמּוֹכֵר לַלּוֹקֵחַ לֹא מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוֹנֵיתַנִי תַּחְזֹר בְּךָ:

15

If a person sold an article worth five zuz for six, and before the purchaser had the opportunity to show the article to a merchant, its value increased to eight, the seller is obligated to return the zuz of unfair gain. For the transaction is completed and the seller is obligated to reimburse the purchaser for the unfair gain. When the article increased in value afterwards, it increased in value while in the possession of the purchaser.

Similarly, if a person sold an article worth six zuz for five and its value decreased to three, the purchaser is obligated to return the zuz of unfair gain. For the transaction is completed, and the article decreased in value while in the possession of the purchaser.

טו

הַמּוֹכֵר שְׁוֵה חָמֵשׁ בְּשֵׁשׁ וְלֹא הִסְפִּיק לְהַרְאוֹתוֹ עַד שֶׁהוּקַר וְעָמַד בִּשְׁמוֹנֶה. הֲרֵי הַמּוֹכֵר חַיָּב לְהַחְזִיר הָאַחַת שֶׁל הוֹנָיָה שֶׁהֲרֵי נִקְנָה הַמִּקָּח וְחַיָּב לְהַחְזִיר וּכְשֶׁהוֹקִיר בִּרְשׁוּת לוֹקֵחַ הוּקַר. וְכֵן אִם מָכַר שָׁוֶה שֵׁשׁ בְּחָמֵשׁ וְהוּזְלוּ וְעָמְדוּ עַל שָׁלֹשׁ. הֲרֵי הַלּוֹקֵחַ חַיָּב לְהַחְזִיר סֶלַע אַחַת שֶׁל הוֹנָיָה. שֶׁהֲרֵי נִקְנָה הַמִּקָּח וּבִרְשׁוּת הַלּוֹקֵחַ הוּזַל:

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The Mishneh Torah was the Rambam's (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon) magnum opus, a work spanning hundreds of chapters and describing all of the laws mentioned in the Torah. To this day it is the only work that details all of Jewish observance, including those laws which are only applicable when the Holy Temple is in place. Participating in one of the annual study cycles of these laws (3 chapters/day, 1 chapter/day, or Sefer Hamitzvot) is a way we can play a small but essential part in rebuilding the final Temple.
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