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Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Sheluchin veShuttafin - Chapter Six

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Sheluchin veShuttafin - Chapter Six

1

When two partners both do business with the money belonging to the partnership, even if the money was originally invested by only one of them, their relationship is referred to as a partnership. If they lose or they profit, the loss or the profit is divided equally, or they may stipulate any other division of the profits or the losses, as we have explained.

If, however, only one of the partners was doing business with the money belonging to the partnership, even if the money was originally invested by both of them, this type of partnership is called an esek (an investment agreement). The person who does the buying and selling is called an administrator, for he alone is the one involved in the transactions. And the partner who is not involved in the business dealings is referred to as the investor.

א

שְׁנַּיִם שֶׁהֵן נוֹשְׂאִין וְנוֹתְנִין בְּמָמוֹן הַשֻּׁתָּפוּת אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהַמָּמוֹן שֶׁל אֶחָד מֵהֶן הֲרֵי זוֹ נִקְרֵאת שֻׁתָּפוּת וְאִם פָּחֲתוּ אוֹ הוֹתִירוּ הֲרֵי הוּא לָאֶמְצַע. וְיֵשׁ לָהֶם לְהַתְנוֹת בַּשָּׂכָר וּבַהֶפְסֵד כָּל מַה שֶּׁיִּרְצוּ כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. אֲבָל אִם הָיָה הָאֶחָד בִּלְבַד הוּא שֶׁנּוֹשֵׂא וְנוֹתֵן בְּמָמוֹן הַשִּׁתּוּף אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהַמָּמוֹן מִשֶּׁל שְׁנֵיהֶם הֲרֵי זוֹ הַשֻּׁתָּפוּת נִקְרֵאת עֵסֶק וְזֶה הַנּוֹשֵׂא וְנוֹתֵן נִקְרָא מִתְעַסֵּק שֶׁהֲרֵי הוּא לְבַדּוֹ מִתְעַסֵּק בְּמַשָּׂא וּמַתָּן וְשֻׁתָּפוֹ שֶׁאֵינוֹ נוֹשֵׂא וְנוֹתֵן נִקְרָא בַּעַל הַמָּעוֹת:

2

Our Sages ordained that whenever a person entrusts money to a colleague to use for business purposes, half of the money should be considered a loan. The administrator is responsible for this money even if it is destroyed by forces beyond his control. The second half is considered an entrusted object, and the investor is responsible for it. If the half that is considered an entrusted article is stolen or lost, the administrator is not liable to pay. Therefore, any profit that is earned by this half of the investment will belong to the investor.

According to this construct, the profit or the loss of the entire investment should not be equally divided between the investor and the administrator. For if this were the case, the investor would receive a profit for the half of his money that is an entrusted object without doing anything for it. The administrator is working for the sake of the half of the investment that was an entrusted article, because of the money that he was lent. Thus, this brings the two to avak ribit, the shade of interest.

What should be done if they desire that the profit or the loss be equally shared? The investor should pay the administrator the wages to be paid to an unemployed laborer of the profession in which he was involved. If the administrator has any other occupation in which he is involved aside from caring for this investment, the investor does not have to pay him a daily wage. Instead, even if he paid him only one dinar for the entire time of the partnership, this is sufficient. If the partnership lost or gained, the loss or profit should be divided equally.

Similarly, if the investor told the administrator: "In addition to the portion that is divided, you will receive one third or one tenth of the profit," since he has another occupation, it is permitted. If there is a loss, the loss is divided equally.

If the administrator is a sharecropper working the fields of the investor, and he has another business, he is not required to pay him any other wage at all. For a sharecropper is obligated to take care of the interests of the owner of the field.

ב

תִּקְּנוּ חֲכָמִים שֶׁכָּל הַנּוֹתֵן מָעוֹת לַחֲבֵרוֹ לְהִתְעַסֵּק בָּהֶן יִהְיֶה חֲצִי הַמָּמוֹן בְּתוֹרַת הַלְוָאָה וַהֲרֵי הַמִּתְעַסֵּק חַיָּב בְּאַחֲרָיוּתוֹ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאָבַד בְּאֹנֶס וְהַחֵצִי הָאַחֵר בְּתוֹרַת פִּקָּדוֹן וַהֲרֵי הוּא בְּאַחֲרָיוּת בַּעַל הַמָּעוֹת. וְאִם נִגְנַב אוֹ אָבַד הַחֵצִי שֶׁל פִּקָּדוֹן אֵין הַמִּתְעַסֵּק חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּם וּלְפִיכָךְ יִהְיֶה שְׂכַר זוֹ הַחֵצִי אִם הִרְוִיחַ שֶׁל בַּעַל הַמָּעוֹת. וּלְפִי תַּקָּנָה זוֹ אִי אֶפְשָׁר שֶׁיִּהְיֶה הַשָּׂכָר אוֹ הַהֶפְסֵד שֶׁל כָּל הַמָּמוֹן לָאֶמְצַע בְּשָׁוֶה שֶׁאִם אַתָּה אוֹמֵר כֵּן נִמְצָא בַּעַל הַמָּמוֹן נוֹטֵל שְׂכַר חֲצִי מְעוֹתָיו שֶׁהֵן פִּקָּדוֹן וְאֵינוֹ עוֹשֶׂה כְּלוּם אֶלָּא זֶה הַמִּתְעַסֵּק טוֹרֵחַ לוֹ בַּחֲצִי שֶׁל פִּקָּדוֹן מִפְּנֵי מְעוֹתָיו שֶׁהִלְוָהוּ וְנִמְצָא בָּאִין לִידֵי אֲבַק רִבִּית. וְהֵיאַךְ יַעֲשׂוּ אִם רוֹצֶה לִהְיוֹת הַשָּׂכָר אוֹ הַהֶפְסֵד לָאֶמְצַע בְּשָׁוֶה יִתֵּן לַמִּתְעַסֵּק שְׂכָרוֹ שֶׁבְּכָל יוֹם וְיוֹם מִימֵי הַשֻּׁתָּפוּת כְּפוֹעֵל בָּטֵל שֶׁל אוֹתָהּ מְלָאכָה שֶׁבָּטֵל מִמֶּנָּה. וְאִם הָיָה לוֹ עֵסֶק אַחֵר כָּל שֶׁהוּא לְהִתְעַסֵּק בּוֹ עִם מְעוֹתָיו שֶׁל זֶה אֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לְהַעֲלוֹת לוֹ שָׂכָר שֶׁל כָּל יוֹם וְיוֹם אֶלָּא אֲפִלּוּ הֶעֱלָה לוֹ דִּינָר בְּכָל יְמֵי הַשֻּׁתָּפוּת דַּיּוֹ וְאִם פָּחֲתוּ אוֹ הוֹתִירוּ יִהְיֶה לָאֶמְצַע בְּשָׁוֶה. וְכֵן אִם אָמַר לוֹ כָּל הָרֶוַח יִהְיֶה לְךָ שְׁלִישׁוֹ אוֹ עֲשִׂירִיתוֹ בִּשְׂכָרְךָ הוֹאִיל וְיֵשׁ לוֹ עֵסֶק אַחֵר הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר. וְאִם הִפְסִידוּ יַפְסִיד מֶחֱצָה. וְאִם הָיָה זֶה הַמִּתְעַסֵּק אֲרִיסוֹ וְהָיָה לוֹ עֵסֶק אַחֵר אֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לְהַעֲלוֹת לוֹ שָׂכָר אַחֵר כְּלָל שֶׁהָאָרִיס מְשֻׁעְבָּד הוּא לְבַעַל הַשָּׂדֶה:

3

Our Sages also ordained that whenever a person gives a colleague money to use for a business and the investor did not desire to pay the administrator a wage, and they did not make any stipulation with regard to the division of the profits and the losses, the profit or the loss should be divided as follows: The wage of the administrator for handling the half of the investment that is considered an entrusted article is one third of the profit of that half, which is one sixth of the profit of the entire investment.

Therefore, if a profit is made, the administrator should receive two thirds of the profit: half of the profit stemming from the half of the investment that was a loan, and the sixth of the profit that is his wages for handling the money considered as an entrusted article. Thus, he receives two thirds of the profit.

If there is a loss, the administrator should bear a third of the loss. This figure is reached as follows: He is liable for half the loss because of the half [of the original investment that was a loan. He deserves a sixth of the loss as his wage for handling the half of the investment that was considered an entrusted article. Thus, his responsibility is one third of the loss. The investor must bear two thirds of the loss.

ג

וְעוֹד תִּקְּנוּ חֲכָמִים שֶׁכָּל הַנּוֹתֵן מָעוֹת לַחֲבֵרוֹ לְהִתְעַסֵּק בָּהֶן וּפָחֲתוּ אוֹ הוֹתִירוּ וְלֹא רָצָה לִתֵּן לוֹ שְׂכַר עֲמָלוֹ בְּכָל יוֹם וְלֹא הִתְנוּ בֵּינֵיהֶן שׁוּם תְּנַאי שֶׁיִּהְיֶה שְׂכַר הַמִּתְעַסֵּק בְּאוֹתוֹ חֲצִי שֶׁל פִּקָּדוֹן שְׁלִישׁ רֶוַח הַפִּקָּדוֹן שֶׁהוּא שְׁתוּת רֶוַח כָּל הַמָּמוֹן. לְפִיכָךְ אִם הִרְוִיחוּ יִטּל הַמִּתְעַסֵּק שְׁנֵי שְׁלִישֵׁי הָרֶוַח חֲצִי הָרֶוַח שֶׁל חֲצִי הַמָּעוֹת שֶׁהֵן מִלְוֶה וּשְׁתוּת הָרֶוַח בְּשָׂכָר שֶׁנִּתְעַסֵּק בַּפִּקָּדוֹן. נִמְצָא הַכּל שְׁנֵי שְׁלִישֵׁי הָרֶוַח. וְיִטּל בַּעַל הַמָּעוֹת שְׁלִישׁ הָרֶוַח. וְאִם פָּחֲתוּ יַפְסִיד הַמִּתְעַסֵּק שְׁלִישׁ הַפְּחָת שֶׁהֲרֵי הוּא חַיָּב בַּחֲצִי הַפְּחָת מִפְּנֵי שֶׁחֲצִי הַמָּעוֹת מִלְוֶה וְיֵשׁ לוֹ שְׁתוּת בִּשְׂכָרוֹ בְּאוֹתוֹ הַחֵצִי שֶׁל פִּקָּדוֹן וְנִמְצָא שֶׁנִּשְׁאַר עָלָיו מִן הַפְּחָת שְׁלִישׁוֹ וּבַעַל הַמָּעוֹת יַפְסִיד שְׁנֵי שְׁלִישֵׁי הַפְּחָת:

4

There is an opinion that makes an error, maintaining that when a person makes an investment without making any stipulations with regard to the division of profits and losses, they should be divided as follows: If there is a profit, the administrator should receive half, but if there is a loss, he must bear only a third of the loss. This is not the rule unless they made an explicit stipulation to this effect.

Similarly, if they stipulated that if there be a loss the administrator should suffer half the loss, and if there be a profit he should be granted two thirds of the profit, this is permitted. Similarly, if they stipulated that if there be a profit, the administrator should receive one ninth and if there be a loss, he should lose one tenth, this stipulation is binding. The rationale is that they made a stipulation that the administrator should receive a greater share of the profit than his share of the loss, and he is granted this additional amount because of his work.

My teachers ruled that such a conditional agreement is not effective unless the administrator has another occupation. If he does not have another occupation, the profit that the administrator can receive must be at least a sixth more than the loss he could suffer, as we have explained. They maintain that a prohibition is involved, and the stipulation cannot supersede it. This ruling does not appear correct to me.

ד

יֵשׁ מִי שֶׁטּוֹעֶה וְאוֹמֵר שֶׁהַנּוֹתֵן עֵסֶק סְתָם אִם יִהְיֶה שָׁם שָׂכָר יִטּל הַמִּתְעַסֵּק חֶצְיוֹ וְאִם הָיָה שָׁם הֶפְסֵד יַפְסִיד שְׁלִישׁ. וְאֵין הַדָּבָר כֵּן אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הִתְנוּ עַל דָּבָר זֶה בְּפֵרוּשׁ. וְכֵן אִם הִתְנוּ שֶׁיַּפְסִיד הַמִּתְעַסֵּק מֶחֱצָה וְאִם יִהְיֶה שָׁם שָׂכָר יִטּל שְׁנֵי שְׁלִישֵׁי הָרֶוַח הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר. וְכֵן אִם הִתְנוּ שֶׁאִם יִהְיֶה שָׁם שָׂכָר יִטּל הַמִּתְעַסֵּק תְּשִׁיעִיתוֹ וְאִם יִהְיֶה שָׁם הֶפְסֵד יַפְסִיד עֲשִׂירִיתוֹ הוֹאִיל וְהִתְנוּ שֶׁיִּהְיֶה רֶוַח הַמִּתְעַסֵּק יוֹתֵר עַל הֶפְסֵדוֹ תְּנָאוֹ קַיָּם וְתוֹסֶפֶת זוֹ כְּנֶגֶד עֲמָלוֹ. וְרַבּוֹתַי הוֹרוּ שֶׁאֵין הַתְּנַאי זֶה מוֹעִיל אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הָיָה לַמִּתְעַסֵּק עֵסֶק אַחֵר. אֲבָל אִם אֵין לוֹ עֵסֶק אַחֵר צָרִיךְ שֶׁיְּהֵא שְׂכַר הַמִּתְעַסֵּק יֶתֶר עַל הֶפְסֵדוֹ בִּשְׁתוּת כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ שֶׁזֶּה דָּבָר אָסוּר הוּא וְאֵין הַתְּנַאי מוֹעִיל בּוֹ. וְלֹא יֵרָאֶה לִי זֶה:

5

My teachers ruled that if a stipulation was made that the administrator should receive three fourths of the profit and the investor only one portion, only one fourth of the money will be considered an entrusted article and three fourths will be considered a loan. Therefore, if there is a loss, the administrator should bear three fourths of the loss, minus a twelfth. The investor should suffer a fourth of the loss plus a twelfth - i.e., one third of the entire loss.

What is implied? The investor gave the administrator 100 dinarim according to this stipulation, and they lost 24 dinarim, the investor should lose eight, and the administrator sixteen.

These ratios should be followed at all times. Whenever there is a profit, the investor should receive the share of the profit that was stipulated. If there is a loss, he should bear that same proportion of the loss, but should be given one third of the investor's portion. Thus, according to this approach, if it was agreed that the administrator would receive a fourth of the profits, he does not lose anything if there is a loss. For in place of the fourth of the loss that he is required to bear, he is due one third of the portion of the owner - i.e., one fourth. And so, one cancels out the other.

These authorities maintain that similar principles apply if a stipulation was made regarding losses without mentioning profits. If a loss was incurred, the administrator must bear the loss as stipulated. If a profit was made, the administrator should receive the share of the loss that he was supposed to bear, plus one third of the portion to be received by the investor.

What is implied? If a stipulation was made that in the event of a loss, the administrator should bear one fourth of the loss. If there is a loss, he must pay the investor one fourth. If there is a profit, the administrator receives half the profit.

Although the rules that they issued are words of logic, if these principles are followed, it is possible for the administrator to cause a loss and yet receive profit.

What is implied? It was stipulated that the administrator should receive one seventh of the profit. A loss was incurred. Thus, the administrator should receive as a wage one seventh in addition to this loss.

How is this illustrated? They suffered a loss of seven dinarim. The administrator will tell the investor: "I owe you one dinar according to our stipulation, but you owe me two dinarim, which is one third of the portion of the entrusted article." Thus, the investor is obligated to pay him a dinar as wages for losing seven dinarim. And if he had lost fourteen dinarim, the investor would have to pay him two dinarim as wages. This is an unfathomable matter, which cannot be accepted by logic. To me, it appears like a dream.

Instead, the proper approach and the true law appears to me as follows: If there is a loss, the administrator should bear as a loss two thirds of the percentage he would receive if there were a profit. Similarly, if they made a stipulation concerning a loss and they profited, the administrator should receive the portion he would lose in the event of a loss, plus a third of the share of his colleague. Thus, according to this approach, if a stipulation was made that the administrator should receive one fourth of the profit and he incurred a loss, he should pay one sixth of the loss. And if a stipulation was made that he should lose a fourth and he profited, he should receive a half. Following this approach will not lead to unthinkable results, and there will be expressed a law that is just.

ה

הוֹרוּ רַבּוֹתַי שֶׁאִם הִתְנוּ שֶׁיִּטּל הַמִּתְעַסֵּק שְׁלֹשָׁה חֲלָקִים מֵהַשָּׂכָר וּבַעַל הַמָּעוֹת רְבִיעַ הַשָּׂכָר נִמְצָא רְבִיעַ הַמָּעוֹת בִּלְבַד בְּתוֹרַת פִּקָּדוֹן וּשְׁלֹשָׁה רְבִיעִים בְּתוֹרַת הַלְוָאָה. לְפִיכָךְ אִם הָיָה שָׁם הֶפְסֵד יַפְסִיד הַמִּתְעַסֵּק שְׁלֹשָׁה רְבִיעֵי הֶפְסֵד פָּחוֹת שְׁלִישׁ הָרְבִיעַ וְיַפְסִיד בַּעַל הַמָּעוֹת רְבִיעַ וּשְׁלִישׁ רְבִיעַ שֶׁהוּא שְׁלִישׁ כָּל הַהֶפְסֵד. כֵּיצַד. נָתַן לוֹ מֵאָה דִּינָרִים עַל תְּנַאי זֶה וְחָסְרוּ אַרְבָּעָה וְעֶשְׂרִים בַּעַל הַמָּעוֹת מַפְסִיד שְׁמֹנָה וְהַמִּתְעַסֵּק מְשַׁלֵּם שִׁשָּׁה עָשָׂר. וְעַל דֶּרֶךְ זוֹ לְעוֹלָם כָּל חֵלֶק שֶׁיֵּשׁ לְבַעַל הַמָּעוֹת בַּשָּׂכָר אִם יִהְיֶה שָׁם רֶוַח נוֹטֵל כְּמוֹ שֶׁהִתְנוּ וְאִם יִהְיֶה שָׁם הֶפְסֵד יַפְסִיד אוֹתוֹ הַחֵלֶק וְתוֹסֶפֶת שְׁלִישׁוֹ. נִמְצֵאתָ לָמֵד לְפִי מִדָּה זוֹ שֶׁאִם הִתְנוּ שֶׁיִּטּל הַמִּתְעַסֵּק רְבִיעַ הַשָּׂכָר אִם פָּחַת לֹא יְשַׁלֵּם הַמִּתְעַסֵּק כְּלוּם שֶׁהֲרֵי רְבִיעַ הַהֶפְסֵד שֶׁהוּא חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּם מִפְּנֵי הַמִּלְוֶה יֵשׁ לוֹ כְּנֶגְדּוֹ שְׁלִישׁ מַה שֶּׁיִּטּל בַּעַל הַמָּעוֹת שֶׁהוּא רְבִיעַ וְנִמְצָא זֶה כְּנֶגֶד זֶה. וְכֵן אִם הִתְנוּ עַל הַפְּחָת וְלֹא הִזְכִּירוּ הָרֶוַח אִם פָּחֲתוּ פִּחֵת הַמִּתְעַסֵּק כְּפִי מַה שֶּׁהִתְנוּ וְאִם הוֹסִיפוּ נוֹטֵל הַמִּתְעַסֵּק כְּמוֹ אוֹתוֹ הַחֵלֶק שֶׁהָיָה מַפְסִיד וְתוֹסֶפֶת שְׁלִישׁ מַה שֶּׁנָּטַל בַּעַל הַמָּעוֹת. כֵּיצַד. הִתְנוּ שֶׁאִם הָיָה שָׁם הֶפְסֵד יִפְחֹת הַמִּתְעַסֵּק רְבִיעַ וְהִפְחִיתוּ מְשַׁלֵּם רְבִיעַ הַפְּחָת וְאִם הוֹתִירוּ נוֹטֵל מֶחֱצָה. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁדְּבָרִים אֵלּוּ שֶׁהוֹרוּ דִּבְרֵי טַעַם הֵם אִם תֵּלֵךְ עַל דֶּרֶךְ זוֹ שֶׁמָּא הַמִּתְעַסֵּק אֶפְשָׁר שֶׁיִּפְחֹת וְיִטּל שָׂכָר. כֵּיצַד. כְּגוֹן שֶׁהִתְנָה עִמּוֹ שֶׁיִּטּל הַמִּתְעַסֵּק אֶחָד מִשִּׁבְעָה בַּשָּׂכָר וּפָחֲתוּ נִמְצָא נוֹטֵל הַמִּתְעַסֵּק אֶחָד מִשִּׁבְעָה יָתֵר עַל זֶה הַהֶפְסֵד. כֵּיצַד. כְּגוֹן שֶׁפָּחֲתוּ שִׁבְעָה דִּינָרִים הֲרֵי הַמִּתְעַסֵּק אוֹמֵר לוֹ אֲנִי חַיָּב לְךָ דִּינָר אֶחָד כְּפִי הַתְּנַאי וְאַתָּה חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּם לִי שְׁנַיִם שֶׁהֵן שְׁלִישׁ חֵלֶק הַפִּקָּדוֹן נִמְצָא בַּעַל הַמָּעוֹת חַיָּב לִתֵּן לוֹ דִּינָר בִּשְׂכָר שֶׁהִפְסִיד שִׁבְעָה וְאִלּוּ הִפְסִיד אַרְבָּעָה עָשָׂר הָיָה חַיָּב בַּעַל הַמָּעוֹת לִתֵּן לוֹ שְׁנֵי דִּינָרִין וְזֶה תֵּימָה גָּדוֹל וְדָבָר שֶׁאֵין הַדַּעַת סוֹבֶלֶת אוֹתוֹ וְאֵין זֶה אֶצְלִי אֶלָּא כְּמוֹ דִּבְרֵי הַחֲלוֹם. אֲבָל הַדֶּרֶךְ וְהַדִּין הָאֱמֶת שֶׁיֵּרָאֶה לִי שֶׁכָּל שֶׁיַּרְוִיחַ הַמִּתְעַסֵּק אִם יִהְיֶה שָׁם הֶפְסֵד יַפְסִיד שְׁנֵי שְׁלִישֵׁי הַחֵלֶק שֶׁהָיָה מַרְוִיחַ וְכֵן אִם הִתְנוּ עַל הַהֶפְסֵד וְהִרְוִיחוּ יִטּל כְּמוֹ אוֹתוֹ הַחֵלֶק שֶׁהָיָה מַפְסִיד וְתוֹסֶפֶת שְׁלִישׁ חֵלֶק חֲבֵרוֹ. נִמְצֵאתָ אַתָּה אוֹמֵר לְפִי מִדָּה זוֹ שֶׁאִם הִתְנוּ שֶׁיִּטּל הַמִּתְעַסֵּק רְבִיעַ הַשָּׂכָר וְהִפְסִיד הֲרֵי זֶה מְשַׁלֵּם שְׁתוּת וְאִם הִתְנוּ שֶׁיַּפְסִיד רְבִיעַ וְהִרְוִיחַ נוֹטֵל מֶחֱצָה. וְעַל דֶּרֶךְ זֶה לֹא תִּמְצָא תֵּימָה וְיֵצֵא הַדִּין בְּקַו הַצֶּדֶק:

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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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