Enter your email address to get our weekly email with fresh, exciting and thoughtful content that will enrich your inbox and your life.
ב"ה

Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Mechirah - Chapter Thirteen, Mechirah - Chapter Fourteen, Mechirah - Chapter Fifteen

Video & Audio Classes
Show content in:

Mechirah - Chapter Thirteen

1

When a person exchanges one article for another, or one animal for another, the laws of ona'ah do not apply. This is true even when he exchanges a needle for a necklace, or a lamb for a donkey. This person may desire the needle more than the necklace.

When, however, a person exchanges produce for produce, the laws of ona'ah do apply, regardless of whether the produce is evaluated before the sale or after the sale.

א

הַמַּחְלִיף כֵּלִים בְּכֵלִים אוֹ בְּהֵמָה בִּבְהֵמָה אֲפִלּוּ מַחַט בְּשִׁירַיִם אוֹ טָלֶה בְּסוּס אֵין לוֹ הוֹנָיָה. שֶׁזֶּה רוֹצֶה בְּמַחַט יוֹתֵר מִן הַשִּׁירַיִם. אֲבָל הַמַּחְלִיף פֵּרוֹת בְּפֵרוֹת בֵּין שֶׁשָּׁמוּ אוֹתָם קֹדֶם הַמְּכִירָה בֵּין שֶׁשָּׁמוּ אוֹתָם אַחַר מְכִירָה יֵשׁ לָהֶן הוֹנָיָה:

2

When a person purchases an article with coins without measuring their number, volume or weight - e.g., he took a handful of coins and said: "Sell me your cow for these" - this is considered an exchange. The transaction is completed, and the unfair gain must be returned, as explained above.

This law also applies if someone purchases fruit without measuring its number, volume or weight for a sela or two. The transaction is completed and the unfair gain must be returned. When a homeowner sells his personal belongings, the laws of ona'ah do not apply. For a man would not sell his personal belongings unless he were offered an exorbitant amount of money.

ב

הַלּוֹקֵחַ בְּדָמִים אַכְסָרָה כְּגוֹן שֶׁחָפַן מִמָּעוֹת וְאָמַר לוֹ מְכֹר לִי פָּרָתְךָ בְּאֵלּוּ. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁקּוֹנֶה בַּחֲלִיפִין קָנָה וּמַחֲזִיר הוֹנָאָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. וְהוּא הַדִּין לְלוֹקֵחַ פֵּרוֹת אַכְסָרָה בְּסֶלַע אוֹ בִּשְׁתַּיִם שֶׁקָּנָה וּמַחֲזִיר אוֹנָאָה. בַּעַל הַבַּיִת שֶׁמָּכַר כְּלֵי תַּשְׁמִישׁוֹ אֵין לוֹ הוֹנָיָה. שֶׁאִלּוּלֵי לֹא הִרְבּוּ לוֹ הַדָּמִים לֹא הָיָה מוֹכֵר לוֹ כְּלֵי תַּשְׁמִישׁוֹ:

3

Although a person tells a colleague, "We are completing this transaction on the condition that you do not hold me responsible for the unfair gain," the laws of ona'ah apply.

When does the above apply? When the statements are made without being explicit. In such an instance, the other party does not know how much money he is forgoing in favor of his colleague. Needless to say, this is the law when one tells the other: "We are completing this transaction on the condition that there is no ona'ah involved," for ona'ah is involved.

If, however, one explicitly mentions the amount of unfair gain, the laws of ona'ah do not apply, because all conditions that are accepted by both parties are binding in cases of financial law.

ג

הָאוֹמֵר לַחֲבֵרוֹ עַל מְנָת שֶׁאֵין לְךָ עָלַי אוֹנָיָה יֵשׁ לוֹ עָלָיו הוֹנָיָה. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בִּסְתָם שֶׁאֵין יוֹדֵעַ כַּמָּה הוֹנָיָה יֵשׁ בּוֹ כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּמְחל. וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר אִם אָמַר לוֹ עַל מְנָת שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ הוֹנָיָה שֶׁהֲרֵי יֵשׁ בּוֹ. אֲבָל בִּמְפָרֵשׁ אֵין לוֹ הוֹנָיָה שֶׁכָּל תְּנַאי שֶׁבַּמָּמוֹן קַיָּם:

4

What is implied? If the seller tells the purchaser: "I am selling you this article for 200 zuz although I know it is worth only 100. I am selling it to you on the condition that you do not hold me responsible for the unfair gain," the laws of ona'ah do not apply.

Similarly, if the purchaser tells the seller: "I am purchasing this article from you for a maneh although I know it is worth 200. I am purchasing it from you on the condition that you do not hold me responsible for the unfair gain," the laws of ona'ah do not apply.

ד

כֵּיצַד. מוֹכֵר שֶׁאָמַר לַלּוֹקֵחַ חֵפֶץ זֶה שֶׁאֲנִי נוֹתֵן בְּמָאתַיִם יוֹדֵעַ אֲנִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ שָׁוֶה אֶלָּא מָנֶה עַל מְנָת שֶׁאֵין לְךָ הוֹנָיָה אֲנִי מוֹכֵר לְךָ אֵין לוֹ עָלָיו הוֹנָיָה. וְכֵן לוֹקֵחַ שֶׁאָמַר לַמּוֹכֵר חֵפֶץ זֶה שֶׁאֲנִי לוֹקֵחַ מִמְּךָ בְּמָנֶה יוֹדֵעַ אֲנִי שֶׁשָּׁוֶה מָאתַיִם עַל מְנָת שֶׁאֵין לְךָ עָלַי הוֹנָיָה אֲנִי לוֹקֵחַ מִמְּךָ. אֵין לוֹ עָלָיו הוֹנָיָה:

5

When a person buys and sells in a faithful manner, the laws of ona'ah do not apply.

What is implied? The seller tells the purchaser: "I purchased this article for such and such, and I am making this and this amount of profit," the laws of ona'ah do not apply.

ה

הַנּוֹשֵׂא וְהַנּוֹתֵן בֶּאֱמוּנָה אֵין לוֹ עָלָיו אוֹנָיָה. כֵּיצַד. חֵפֶץ זֶה בְּכָךְ וְכָךְ לְקַחְתִּיו כָּךְ וְכָךְ אֲנִי מִשְׂתַּכֵּר בּוֹ. אֵין לוֹ עָלָיו הוֹנָיָה:

6

When a person buys and sells in a faithful manner and purchases many different utensils and garments in one lot, he should not calculate and sell the inferior items in a faithful manner, and the superior items according to their value. Instead, he should sell either the entire lot in a faithful manner, or the entire lot according to its value.

The seller may include the cost of porters, donkey drivers and his lodgings in the cost of the article. He may not, however, add his own wages as a worker to the cost. Instead, he must say: "I am taking this and this amount as profit," and be specific about that amount.

ו

והַנּוֹשֵׂא וְהַנּוֹתֵן בֶּאֱמוּנָה אִם לָקַח כֵּלִים רַבִּים אוֹ בְּגָדִים בְּמִמְכָּר אֶחָד. לֹא יַחְשֹׁב אֶת הָרַע בֶּאֱמוּנָה וְאֶת הַיָּפֶה בְּשָׁוֶה אֶלָּא זֶה וְזֶה בֶּאֱמוּנָה אוֹ זֶה וְזֶה בְּשָׁוִין. וְיֵשׁ לוֹ לְהַעֲלוֹת עַל הַמִּקָּח שְׂכַר הַכַּתָּף. וּשְׂכַר הַחַמָּר. וּשְׂכַר פֻּנְדָּק. אֲבָל שְׂכַר עַצְמוֹ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא כְּפוֹעֵל אֵינוֹ מוֹסִיף אוֹתוֹ עַל הַמִּקָּח. אֶלָּא מְפָרֵשׁ וְאוֹמֵר לוֹ כָּךְ וְכָךְ אֲנִי מִשְׂתַּכֵּר:

7

The laws of ona'ah do not apply with regard to a gentile. This is implied by Leviticus 25:14, which states: "When you sell an entity... or purchase an entity..., one man should not cheat his brother."

If a gentile takes unfair advantage of a Jew, he is required to return the unfair gain according to our laws. Dealings with a gentile should not be more severe than dealings with a fellow Jew.

ז

הָעַכּוּ''ם אֵין לוֹ הוֹנָיָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כה יד) "אִישׁ אֶת אָחִיו". וְעַכּוּ''ם שֶׁהוֹנָה אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל מַחְזִיר הוֹנָיָה בְּדִינִין שֶׁלָּנוּ. לֹא יִהְיֶה זֶה חָמוּר מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל:

8

The laws of ona'ah do not apply with regard to the following objects: landed property, servants, promissory notes and consecrated property. Even if one sells one of these entities that is worth one thousand zuz for one zuz, or an entity worth one zuz for one thousand zuz, the laws of ona'ah do not apply.This is derived from Leviticus 25:14, which states: "Or when you purchase an entity from the hand of your colleague." "From the hand of indicates that the verse is referring to an article whose ownership is transferred from hand to hand, thus excluding landed property. And this also excludes servants, for an association has been established linking the laws governing them to those governing landed property. It also excludes promissory notes, since one is not purchasing the note itself. It merely serves as proof of the obligation it records.

"Your colleague" excludes consecrated property.

ח

אֵלּוּ דְּבָרִים שֶׁאֵין לָהֶם הוֹנָיָה. הַקַּרְקָעוֹת וְהָעֲבָדִים וְהַשְּׁטָרוֹת וְהַהֶקְדֵּשׁוֹת. אֲפִלּוּ מָכַר שְׁוֵה אֶלֶף בְּדִינָר אוֹ שְׁוֵה דִּינָר בְּאֶלֶף אֵין בָּהֶן הוֹנָיָה. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כה יד) "אוֹ קָנֹה מִיַּד עֲמִיתֶךָ". דָּבָר הַנִּקְנֶה מִיָּד לְיָד. יָצְאוּ הַקַּרְקָעוֹת וְיָצְאוּ עֲבָדִים שֶׁהֻקְּשׁוּ לְקַרְקָעוֹת. וְיָצְאוּ שְׁטָרוֹת שֶׁאֵין גּוּפָן קָנוּי אֶלָּא לִרְאָיָה שֶׁבָּהֶן. עֲמִיתְךָ וְלֹא הֶקְדֵּשׁ:

9

When does the above apply? When one sells one's own property. When, by contrast, an agent makes the slightest error with regard to the value of either movable property or landed property, the transaction is nullified.

It appears to me that the same laws apply to a guardian entrusted with the property of orphans. If he makes the slightest error with regard to the value of either movable property or landed property, the transaction is nullified. He is not considered comparable to a court, because he is merely one individual.

ט

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּמוֹכֵר נִכְסֵי עַצְמוֹ. אֲבָל הַשָּׁלִיחַ שֶׁטָּעָה בְּכָל שֶׁהוּא בֵּין בְּמִטַּלְטְלִין בֵּין בְּקַרְקָעוֹת חוֹזֵר. וְנִרְאֶה לִי שֶׁכֵּן הַדִּין בְּאַפּוֹטְרוֹפּוֹס שֶׁטָּעָה בְּכָל שֶׁהוּא. בֵּין בְּמִטַּלְטְלִין בֵּין בְּקַרְקָעוֹת חוֹזֵר. וְאֵינוֹ דּוֹמֶה לְבֵית דִּין מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא יָחִיד:

10

The following laws apply when a court sells either movable property or landed property belonging to orphans, and errs. If they erred with regard to less than one sixth of the value of the object, it is considered as if the unfair gain is waived, as is the law with regard to an ordinary person. If they erred with regard to one sixth, the transaction is nullified.

If the court did not desire to nullify the transaction, but instead have the unfair gain returned, they may. For the legal power of an ordinary person should not be greater than that of a court.

י

בֵּית דִּין שֶׁמָּכְרוּ נִכְסֵי יְתוֹמִים וְטָעוּ בֵּין בְּקַרְקָעוֹת בֵּין בְּמִטַּלְטְלִין. אִם טָעוּ בְּפָחוֹת מִשְּׁתוּת הֲרֵי זוֹ מְחִילָה כְּהֶדְיוֹט. טָעוּ בִּשְׁתוּת בָּטֵל הַמִּקָּח. וְאִם רָצוּ שֶׁלֹּא לְבַטֵּל הַמִּמְכָּר וְיַחְזִירוּ הַהוֹנָיָה מַחֲזִירִין. לֹא יִהְיֶה כֹּחַ הֶדְיוֹט חָמוּר מֵהֶן:

11

It appears to me that if a court sold landed property or servants belonging to orphans at an unfair price, selling entities worth 100 zuz for 200, the purchaser cannot retract. For the legal power of an ordinary individual should not be greater than that of orphans. Similarly, if a guardian of orphans sells landed property or servants at an unfair profit, the purchaser cannot retract because of the unfair profit, as is the law with regard to an ordinary individual.

יא

נִרְאֶה לִי שֶׁבֵּית דִּין שֶׁמָּכְרוּ קַרְקַע אוֹ עֲבָדִים שֶׁל יְתוֹמִים שְׁוֵה מָנֶה בְּמָאתַיִם. אֵין הַלּוֹקֵחַ יָכוֹל לַחְזֹר בָּהֶן. לֹא יִהְיֶה כֹּחַ הֶדְיוֹט חָמוּר מִכֹּחַ הַיְתוֹמִים. וְכֵן הַדִּין בְּאַפּוֹטְרוֹפּוֹס שֶׁמָּכַר קַרְקַע וַעֲבָדִים שֶׁאֵין הַלּוֹקֵחַ יָכוֹל לַחְזֹר בְּהוֹנָיָה כְּדִין הַהֶדְיוֹט:

12

When brothers or partners divide movable property, they are considered like purchasers. If there is unfair gain less than one sixth of the article's value, the transaction is completed, and there is no need to return anything. If the unfair gain exceeds one sixth, the transaction is nullified. If it is an even sixth, the transaction is completed and the unfair gain must be returned.

If the involved parties made an agreement to divide the property according to the evaluation of judges, and the judges erred with regard to a sixth or more, the division is nullified. For when judges who make an evaluation reduce or increase the value of an article by a sixth, the transaction is nullified.

יב

הָאַחִין וְהַשֻּׁתָּפִין שֶׁחָלְקוּ הַמִּטַּלְטְלִין הֲרֵי הֵן כְּלָקוֹחוֹת. פָּחוֹת מִשְּׁתוּת נִקְנֶה מִקָּח וְאֵין מַחְזִיר כְּלוּם. יֶתֶר עַל שְׁתוּת בָּטֵל מִקָּח. שְׁתוּת קָנָה וּמַחֲזִיר אוֹנָאָה. וְאִם הִתְנוּ בֵּינֵיהֶם שֶׁיַּחְלְקוּ בְּשׁוּם הַדַּיָּנִין וְטָעוּ בִּשְׁתוּת בָּטְלָה חֲלוּקָה. שֶׁהַדַּיָּנִין שֶׁשָּׁמוּ וּפָחֲתוּ שְׁתוּת אוֹ הוֹתִירוּ שְׁתוּת מִכְרָן בָּטֵל:

13

Livestock, pearls, a sword, and a Torah scroll are considered like other movable property, and the laws of ona'ah apply to transactions involving them. There are no entities in which the laws of ona'ah do not apply, except the four entities mentioned by our Sages. And even with regard to these entities, this is true provided the person is buying or selling his own property, as we have explained.

יג

הַבְּהֵמָה וְהַמַּרְגָּלִית וְהַסַּיִף. וְסֵפֶר תּוֹרָה הֲרֵי הֵן כִּשְׁאָר מִטַּלְטְלִין וְיֵשׁ בָּהֶן הוֹנָיָה. אֵין לְךָ דָּבָר שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ הוֹנָיָה חוּץ מֵאַרְבָּעָה דְּבָרִים שֶׁמָּנוּ חֲכָמִים. וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיֶה מוֹכֵר קוֹנֶה בְּנִכְסֵי עַצְמוֹ כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

14

Just as the laws of ona'ah do not apply to the purchase of landed property, so too, these laws do not apply to the rental of landed property. Even if one rents a large hall for only one dinar a year, or a small coop for a dinar a day, the laws of ona'ah do not apply.

יד

כְּשֵׁם שֶׁאֵין לְקַרְקְעוֹת הוֹנָיָה כָּךְ שְׂכִירוּת קַרְקַע אֵין לוֹ הוֹנָיָה. אֲפִלּוּ שָׂכַר טְרַקְלִין גָּדוֹל בְּדִינָר בְּשָׁנָה אוֹ רֶפֶת קְטַנָּה בְּדִינָר בְּכָל יוֹם אֵין לוֹ הוֹנָיָה:

15

When a person hires a worker to work for him - whether with regard to movable property or with regard to landed property - the laws of ona'ah do not apply. It is as if he is purchasing him for that time, and the laws of ona'ah do not apply with regard to servants.

טו

הַשּׂוֹכֵר אֶת הַפּוֹעֵל לַעֲשׂוֹת עִמּוֹ בֵּין בְּקַרְקַע בֵּין בְּמִטַּלְטְלִין אֵין לוֹ הוֹנָיָה. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא כְּקוֹנֶה אוֹתוֹ לִזְמַן. וַעֲבָדִים אֵין בָּהֶם הוֹנָיָה:

16

There is an unresolved doubt in the following situation. A person hires a contractorto sow a field, the contractor claims to have sowed it in a proper manner, and witnesses testify that the contractor sowed fewer seeds than are supposed to be sown. We are unsure whether the laws of ona'ah apply because of the seeds, or whether these laws do not apply because of the land."

Therefore, the funds should not be expropriated from the defendant, nor is he required to take anything but a Rabbinic oath, because of the connection the dispute has to landed property.

טז

שְׂכָרוֹ לִזְרֹעַ לוֹ קַרְקַע וְאָמַר זָרַעְתִּי בָּהּ זְרִיעָה הָרָאוּי בָּהּ וּבָאוּ עֵדִים שֶׁזָּרַע בָּהּ פָּחוֹת מִן הָרָאוּי לָהּ. הֲרֵי זֶה סָפֵק אִם יֵשׁ לוֹ הוֹנָיָה מִפְּנֵי הַזֶּרַע אוֹ אֵין לוֹ הוֹנָיָה מִפְּנֵי הַקַּרְקַע. לְפִיכָךְ אֵין מוֹצִיאִין מִיַּד נִתְבָּע. וְכֵן אֵין מַשְׁבִּיעִין אוֹתוֹ אֶלָּא שְׁבוּעַת הֶסֵּת מִפְּנֵי צַד הַקַּרְקַע שֶׁיֵּשׁ כָּאן:

17

The laws of ona'ah apply with regard to the rental of a utensil or an animal. For rental is considered to be a sale for a day. Thus, if there is an unfair gain of one sixth or more - regardless of whether this unfair gain is taken at the advantage of the owner or the person who rents the article - the unfair gain must be returned. This applies even when a lengthy period of time has passed since the transaction.

יז

הַשּׂוֹכֵר אֶת הַכֵּלִים אוֹ אֶת הַבְּהֵמָה יֵשׁ לָהֶם אוֹנָיָה. שֶׁהַשְּׂכִירוּת מְכִירָה בַּת יוֹמָהּ הִיא. וְאִם יֵשׁ בָּהּ הוֹנָיָה שְׁתוּת אוֹ יוֹתֵר. בֵּין שֶׁנִּתְאַנָּה שׂוֹכֵר בֵּין שֶׁנִּתְאַנָּה מַשְׂכִּיר. הֲרֵי זֶה מַחְזִיר הוֹנָיָה וַאֲפִלּוּ לְאַחַר זְמַן מְרֻבֶּה:

18

It appears to me that the laws of ona'ah apply with regard to a contractor.

What is implied? A person agreed to weave a particular garment for ten zuzim, or to sew a particular cloak for two zuzim. If there is unfair profit involved, the laws of ona'ah apply. Either the contractor or the owner of the garment may always retract as a seller may.

יח

נִרְאֶה לִי שֶׁהַקַּבְּלָן יֵשׁ לוֹ הוֹנָאָה. כֵּיצַד. כְּגוֹן שֶׁקִּבֵּל עָלָיו לֶאֱרֹג בֶּגֶד זֶה בַּעֲשָׂרָה זוּזִים. אוֹ לִתְפֹּר חָלוּק זֶה בִּשְׁנֵי זוּזִים. הֲרֵי זֶה יֵשׁ לוֹ הוֹנָיָה. וְכָל אֶחָד מִשְּׁנֵיהֶם בֵּין קַבְּלָן בֵּין בַּעַל הַבֶּגֶד חוֹזֵר לְעוֹלָם כְּמוֹכֵר:

Mechirah - Chapter Fourteen

1

We have already explained that if a person buys and sells in a faithful manner, saying "This is the extent of profit that I am making," the laws of ona'ah do not apply. Even if he says: "I purchased the article for a sela, and I am selling it for ten," this is permitted.

Nevertheless, the court is obligated to regulate prices and appoint officers of the law, so that people at large will not be able to reap whatever profit they desire. Instead, the court should regulate that a person should earn only a profit of a sixth. A seller should not profit more than a sixth of his investment.

א

כְּבָר בֵּאַרְנוּ שֶׁהַנּוֹשִׂא וְנוֹתִן בֶּאֱמוּנָה וְאָמַר כָּךְ וְכָךְ אֲנִי מִשְׂתַּכֵּר אֵין לוֹ הוֹנָיָה. וַאֲפִלּוּ אָמַר זֶה לָקַחְתִּי בְּסֶלַע וּבְעֶשֶׂר אֲנִי מוֹכֵר מֻתָּר. אֲבָל בֵּית דִּין חַיָּבִין לִפְסֹק הַשְּׁעָרִים וּלְהַעֲמִיד שׁוֹטְרִין לְכָךְ. וְלֹא יִהְיֶה כָּל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד מִשְׂתַּכֵּר כָּל מַה שֶּׁיִּרְצֶה אֶלָּא שְׁתוּת בִּלְבַד יִפְסְקוּ לָהֶם בִּשְׂכָרָם. וְלֹא יִשְׂתַּכֵּר הַמּוֹכֵר יֶתֶר עַל שְׁתוּת:

2

When does the above apply? With regard to articles on which our lives depend - e.g., wine, oil and fine flour. With regard to herbs - e.g., costus, frankincense, and the like - by contrast, a set limit is not established by the court. The seller may take any measure of profit he desires.

ב

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בִּדְבָרִים שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהֶם חַיֵּי נֶפֶשׁ כְּגוֹן יֵינוֹת שְׁמָנִים וּסְלָתוֹת. אֲבָל הָעִקָּרִין כְּגוֹן הַקֹּשְׁט וְהַלְּבוֹנָה וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן אֵין פּוֹסְקִין לָהֶם שַׁעַר אֶלָּא יִשְׂתַּכֵּר כָּל מַה שֶּׁיִּרְצֶה:

3

Profit may not be taken twice when selling eggs. The first merchant who sells them may take a profit, and the person who buys them from him must sell them at cost.

ג

וְאֵין מִשְׂתַּכְּרִין פַּעֲמַיִם בְּבֵיצִים אֶלָּא הַתַּגָּר הָרִאשׁוֹן הוּא מוֹכְרָן בְּשָׂכָר וְהַלּוֹקֵחַ מִמֶּנּוּ מוֹכְרָן בְּקֶרֶן בִּלְבַד:

4

It is forbidden to do business in Eretz Yisrael with articles on which our lives depend. Instead, one person should bring from his produce heap, and another person should bring from his produce heap, so that they sell cheaply. In places where oil is abundant, it is permitted to do business with oil.

ד

אָסוּר לַעֲשׂוֹת סְחוֹרָה בְּאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל בִּדְבָרִים שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהֶן חַיֵּי נֶפֶשׁ. אֶלָּא זֶה מֵבִיא מִגָּרְנוֹ וּמוֹכֵר וְזֶה מֵבִיא מִגָּרְנוֹ וּמוֹכֵר כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּמְכְּרֶנּוּ בְּזוֹל. וּבְמָקוֹם שֶׁהַשֶּׁמֶן מְרֻבֶּה מֻתָּר לְהִשְׂתַּכֵּר בְּשֶׁמֶן:

5

Produce on which our lives depend should not be stored for the future in Eretz Yisrael or in any place that is predominantly inhabited by Jews, for this causes anxiety for the Jewish people.

When does the above apply? When a person purchases such produce in the market place. When a person stores his own produce, he may store the kav that he possesses.

ה

אֵין אוֹצְרִין פֵּרוֹת שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהֶן חַיֵּי נֶפֶשׁ בָּאָרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל וְכֵן בְּכָל מָקוֹם שֶׁרֻבּוֹ יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁהֲרֵי מַגִּיעַ מִדָּבָר זֶה צַעַר לְיִשְׂרָאֵל. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּלוֹקֵחַ מִן הַשּׁוּק. אֲבָל הַמַּכְנִיס מִשֶּׁלּוֹ מֻתָּר לַעֲשׂוֹת לוֹ קַבּוֹ אוֹצָר:

6

It is permitted to store produce during three years: the year before the Sabbatical year, the Sabbatical year and the year following the Sabbatical year.

In a year of drought, one should not store even a small measure of carobs, because one brings a curse on the market prices. Whoever causes prices to rise or who stores produce in Eretz Yisrael or in a place primarily inhabited by Jews is likened to one who lends money at interest.

ו

מֻתָּר לֶאֱצֹר פֵּרוֹת שָׁלֹשׁ שָׁנִים עֶרֶב שְׁבִיעִית וּשְׁבִיעִית וּמוֹצָאֵי שְׁבִיעִית. וּבִשְׁנֵי בַּצֹּרֶת אֲפִלּוּ קַב חָרוּבִין לֹא יֶאֱצֹר מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמַּכְנִיס מְאֵרָה בַּשְּׁעָרִים. וְכָל הַמַּפְקִיעַ שְׁעָרִים אוֹ שֶׁאָצַר פֵּרוֹת בָּאָרֶץ אוֹ בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁרֻבּוֹ יִשְׂרָאֵל הֲרֵי זֶה כְּמַלְוֶה בְּרִבִּית:

7

When does the above apply? With regard to produce on which our lives depend. It is, however, permitted to store spices like cumin and pepper in Eretz Yisrael and to transport them from place to place like other herbs.

ז

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּפֵרוֹת שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהֶן חַיֵּי נֶפֶשׁ. אֲבָל הַתַּבְלִין כְּגוֹן כַּמּוֹן וּפִלְפְּלִין מֻתָּר לֶאֱצֹר אוֹתָן בְּאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל וּלְהוֹצִיא אוֹתָן מִמָּקוֹם לְמָקוֹם כִּשְׁאָר הָעִקָּרִין:

8

We may not take produce on which our lives depend - e.g., wine, oil and fine flour - from Eretz Yisrael to the diaspora or to Syria. Nor may such produce be taken from the domain of one king to the domain of another king in Eretz Yisrael.

ח

אֵין מוֹצִיאִין פֵּרוֹת שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהֶן חַיֵּי נֶפֶשׁ כְּגוֹן יֵינוֹת שְׁמָנִים וּסְלָתוֹת מֵאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל לְחוּצָה לָאָרֶץ אוֹ לְסוּרְיָא. וְלֹא מֵרְשׁוּת מֶלֶךְ זֶה לִרְשׁוּת מֶלֶךְ אַחֵר בְּאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל:

9

The inhabitants of a city are permitted to establish fixed prices for any commodities they desire, even meat and bread. They may establish conditions stating that anyone who violates these guidelines will be punished in such and such a fashion.

ט

רַשָּׁאִין בְּנֵי הָעִיר לָקֹץ לָהֶם שַׁעַר לְכָל דָּבָר שֶׁיִּרְצוּ וַאֲפִלּוּ בָּשָׂר וְלֶחֶם וּלְהַתְנוֹת בֵּינֵיהֶם לְכָל מִי שֶׁיַּעֲבֹר יַעַנְשׁוּ אוֹתוֹ כָּךְ וְכָךְ:

10

Similarly, craftsmen in a specific profession may establish provisions and agree that one should not work on the day on which another is working or the like, and that anyone who violates these guidelines will be punished in such and such a fashion.

י

רַשָּׁאִין אַנְשֵׁי אֻמָּנֻיּוֹת לִפְסֹק בֵּינֵיהֶם שֶׁלֹּא יַעֲשֶׂה אֶחָד בְּיוֹם שֶׁיַּעֲשֶׂה חֲבֵרוֹ וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה וְכָל מִי שֶׁיַּעֲבֹר עַל הַתְּנַאי יַעַנְשׁוּ אוֹתוֹ כָּךְ וְכָךְ:

11

When does the above apply? In a city where there is not a distinguished sage to correct the conduct within the city and improve the ways of its inhabitants. If, however, there is such a distinguished sage, a condition established by craftsmen is not effective without the ruling of the sage.

They may not punish or inflict loss on anyone who does not accept their stipulation, unless that stipulation was made with the consent of the sage. Whoever causes a colleague a loss because of a stipulation that was not made with the consent of the sage is liable to pay.

יא

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בִּמְדִינָה שֶׁאֵין בָּהּ חָכָם חָשׁוּב לְתַקֵּן מַעֲשֵׂה הַמְּדִינָה וּלְהַצְלִיחַ דַּרְכֵי יוֹשְׁבֶיהָ. אֲבָל אִם יֵשׁ בָּהּ אָדָם חָכָם חָשׁוּב אֵין הַתְּנַאי שֶׁלָּהֶן מוֹעִיל כְּלוּם וְאֵין יְכוֹלִין לַעֲנשׁ וּלְהַפְסִיד עַל מִי שֶׁלֹּא קִבֵּל הַתְּנַאי אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הִתְנָה עִמָּהֶם וְעָשׂוּ מִדַּעַת הֶחָכָם. וְכָל מִי שֶׁהִפְסִיד לְפִי הַתְּנַאי שֶׁאֵינוֹ מִדַּעַת הֶחָכָם מְשַׁלֵּם:

12

Just as the prohibition against ona'ah applies with regard to business transactions, it applies with regard to speech, as Leviticus 25:17 states: "A person should not abuse his colleague, and you shall fear your God. I am the Lord"; this refers to verbal abuse.

יב

כְּשֵׁם שֶׁהוֹנָיָה בְּמִקָּח וּמִמְכָּר כָּךְ יֵשׁ הוֹנָיָה בִּדְבָרִים שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כה יז) "וְלֹא תוֹנוּ אִישׁ אֶת עֲמִיתוֹ וְיָרֵאתָ מֵאֱלֹהֶיךָ אֲנִי ה'". זֶה הוֹנָיַת דְּבָרִים:

13

What is implied? If a person is one who has repented, one should not say: "Remember your initial deeds." If a person is a descendant of converts, one should not tell him: "Remember your ancestors' deeds."

If a convert comes to study the Torah, one should not tell him: "Should a mouth that ate meat from animals that were not ritually slaughtered and that were trefah come and study the Torah that was given by the Almighty?"

If a person was afflicted by illness and suffering or he is forced to bury his children, one should not speak to him in the manner that Job's friends addressed him Job 4:6-7: "Your fear of God was for your own security.... Can you recall anyone who was innocent who perished?"

יג

כֵּיצַד. הָיָה בַּעַל תְּשׁוּבָה לֹא יֹאמַר לוֹ זְכֹר מַעֲשֶׂיךָ הָרִאשׁוֹנִים. וְאִם הָיָה בֶּן גֵּרִים לֹא יֹאמַר לוֹ זְכֹר מַעֲשֵׂה אֲבוֹתֶיךָ. הָיָה גֵּר וּבָא לִלְמֹד תּוֹרָה לֹא יֹאמַר לוֹ פֶּה שֶׁאָכַל נְבֵלוֹת וּטְרֵפוֹת יָבוֹא וְיִלְמֹד תּוֹרָה שֶׁנִּתְּנָה מִפִּי הַגְּבוּרָה. הָיוּ חֳלָאִים וְיִסּוּרִים בָּאִין עָלָיו אוֹ שֶׁהָיָה מְקַבֵּר אֶת בָּנָיו. לֹא יֹאמַר לוֹ כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁאָמְרוּ חֲבֵרָיו לְאִיּוֹב (איוב ד ו) "הֲלֹא יִרְאָתְךָ כִּסְלָתֶךָ" (איוב ד ז) "זְכָר נָא מִי הוּא נָקִי אָבָד":

14

If donkey drivers are seeking grain, one should not tell them: "Go to so and so," if one knows that this person has never sold grain.

If a question regarding a point of knowledge was raised, one should not ask a person who has never studied that field of knowledge: "How would you answer this question?" or "What do you think about this matter?" The same applies to other matters of this like.

יד

הָיוּ חַמָּרִין מְבַקְּשִׁין תְּבוּאָה לֹא יֹאמַר לָהֶם לְכוּ אֵצֶל פְּלוֹנִי וְהוּא יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁלֹּא מָכַר תְּבוּאָה מֵעוֹלָם. נִשְׁאֲלָה שְׁאֵלָה עַל דְּבַר חָכְמָה לֹא יֹאמַר לְמִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ אוֹתָהּ חָכְמָה מַה תָּשִׁיב בְּדָבָר זֶה אוֹ מַה דַּעְתְּךָ בְּדָבָר זֶה. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בִּדְבָרִים הַלָּלוּ:

15

Whoever abuses a convert, whether in financial transactions or verbally, transgresses three prohibitions, as Exodus 22:20 states: "Do not abuse a convert..." this refers to verbal abuse- "and do not oppress him" - this refers to taking unfair financial advantage of him.

This teaches that anyone who verbally abuses a convert transgresses three negative prohibitions: "A person should not abuse his colleague," and "One man should not take unfair advantage of his brother," "Do not abuse a convert."

טו

כָּל הַמְאַנֶּה אֶת הַגֵּר בֵּין בְּמָמוֹן בֵּין בִּדְבָרִים עוֹבֵר בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה לָאוִין. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כב כ) "וְגֵר לֹא תוֹנֶה" זֶה הוֹנָיַת דְּבָרִים. (שמות כב כ) "וְלֹא תִלְחָצֶנּוּ" זֶה הוֹנָיַת מָמוֹן. הָא לָמַדְתָּ שֶׁכָּל הַמְּאַנֶּה אֶת הַגֵּר עוֹבֵר בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה לָאוִין. מִשּׁוּם (ויקרא כה יז) "לֹא תוֹנוּ אִישׁ אֶת עֲמִיתוֹ". וּמִשּׁוּם (ויקרא כה יד) "אַל תּוֹנוּ אִישׁ אֶת אָחִיו". וּמִשּׁוּם וְגֵר לֹא תוֹנֶה:

16

Similarly, if a person oppresses a convert and takes unfair financial advantage of him, he transgresses three negative prohibitions: "A person should not abuse his colleague," "One man should not take unfair advantage of his brother," and "Do not oppress him."

טז

וְכֵן אִם לְחָצוֹ וְהוֹנָהוּ בְּמָמוֹן עוֹבֵר בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה לָאוִין. מִשּׁוּם (ויקרא כה יד) "אַל תּוֹנוּ אִישׁ אֶת אָחִיו". וּמִשּׁוּם (ויקרא כה יז) "וְלֹא תוֹנוּ אִישׁ אֶת עֲמִיתוֹ". וּמִשּׁוּם (שמות כב כ) "וְלֹא תִלְחָצֶנּוּ":

17

Why does a person transgress the prohibition against verbal abuse when he takes unfair financial advantage of a convert, and the prohibition against taking unfair financial advantage if he verbally abuses him? Because the Torah uses the word ona'ah with regard to both these prohibitions, without being more specific, and repeats these two prohibitions with regard to a convert explicitly: "Do not abuse" and "do not oppress him."

יז

וּמִפְּנֵי מָה עוֹבֵר בְּגֵר עַל לָאו שֶׁל הוֹנָיַת דְּבָרִים אַף בַּהֲנָיַת מָמוֹן. וְעַל לָאו שֶׁל הוֹנָיַת מָמוֹן אַף בְּהוֹנָאַת דְּבָרִים. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוֹצִיא הַכָּתוּב אֶת שְׁנֵיהֶם בִּלְשׁוֹן הוֹנָיָה סְתָם. וְכָפַל לָאוִין בְּגֵר בִּשְׁנֵי הַדְּבָרִים בְּפֵרוּשׁ. לֹא תוֹנוּ וְלֹא תִלְחָץ:

18

Verbally abusing a person is more severe than taking unfair advantage of him financially. For the latter can be repaid, while the former can never be repaid. The latter involves only the person's possessions, while the former involves his person.

And with regard to verbal abuse, Leviticus 25:17 states: "And you shall fear your God," for the matter is one of feelings. With regard to all matters of feeling, the Torah states: "And you shall fear your God."

Whenever a person cries out because of verbal abuse, he is answered immediately, as implied by the conclusion of the above verse: "...I am God."

יח

גְּדוֹלָה הוֹנָיַת דְּבָרִים מֵהוֹנָיַת מָמוֹן. שֶׁזֶּה נִתָּן לְהִשָּׁבוֹן וְזֶה לֹא נִתָּן לְהִשָּׁבוֹן. וְזֶה בְּמָמוֹנוֹ וְזֶה בְּגוּפוֹ. וַהֲרֵי הוּא אוֹמֵר בְּהוֹנָיַת דְּבָרִים (ויקרא כה יז) "וְיָרֵאתָ מֵאֱלֹהֶיךָ" לְפִי שֶׁהַדָּבָר מָסוּר לַלֵּב. הָא לָמַדְתָּ כָּל דָּבָר שֶׁהוּא מָסוּר לַלֵּב נֶאֱמַר בּוֹ וְיָרֵאתָ מֵאֱלֹהֶיךָ. וְכָל הַצּוֹעֵק מֵהוֹנָיַת דְּבָרִים נַעֲנֶה מִיָּד שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כה יז) "כִּי אֲנִי ה'":

Mechirah - Chapter Fifteen

1

When a person sells an item to a colleague by measure, by weight or by number, and errs to the slightest degree, the colleague may seek redress at any time.

The principles of ona'ah apply only with regard to an object's value. An error in calculation, by contrast, is always reason to seek redress.

א

הַמּוֹכֵר לַחֲבֵרוֹ בְּמִדָּה בְּמִשְׁקָל אוֹ בְּמִנְיָן וְטָעָה בְּכָל שֶׁהוּא חוֹזֵר לְעוֹלָם. שֶׁאֵין הוֹנָיָה אֶלָּא בְּדָמִים אֲבָל בְּחֶשְׁבּוֹן חוֹזֵר:

2

What is implied? A person sold a colleague 100 nuts for a dinar, and then it was discovered that he gave him 101 or 99. The transaction is binding, and the extra or missing nut must be returned. This applies even if several years have passed.

Similarly, if it is discovered that more or less money was given than the amount originally agreed upon the error should be corrected. This applies even if he performed a kinyan attesting to the fact that his colleague does not owe him anything. For the kinyan was performed under mistaken premises. Similar principles apply in all analogous situations.

ב

כֵּיצַד. מָכַר לוֹ מֵאָה אֱגוֹזִים בְּדִינָר וְנִמְצְאוּ מֵאָה וְאֶחָד אוֹ תִּשְׁעִים וְתִשְׁעָה. נִקְנָה הַמִּקָּח וּמַחֲזִיר אֶת הַטָּעוּת וַאֲפִלּוּ לְאַחַר כַּמָּה שָׁנִים. וְכֵן אִם נִמְצְאוּ הַמָּעוֹת חָסֵר אוֹ יָתֵר מִן הַמִּנְיָן שֶׁפָּסְקוּ חוֹזֵר וַאֲפִלּוּ לְאַחַר שֶׁקָּנוּ מִיָּדוֹ שֶׁלֹּא נִשְׁאַר לוֹ אֵצֶל חֲבֵרוֹ כְּלוּם חוֹזֵר שֶׁקִּנְיָן בְּטָעוּת הוּא. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

3

Similarly, when a person sells a colleague landed property, a servant, an animal or movable property, and there is a defect in the property that the purchaser was not aware of, he may return it, even though several years have passed. For the transaction was concluded under erroneous premises.

The above applies provided he did not use the purchased article after he discovered the blemish. If, however, he made use of it after he discovered the blemish, he is considered to have forfeited his right to retract, and he may not return the article.

ג

וְכֵן הַמּוֹכֵר לַחֲבֵרוֹ קַרְקַע אוֹ עֶבֶד אוֹ בְּהֵמָה אוֹ שְׁאָר מִטַּלְטְלִין וְנִמְצָא בַּמִּקָּח מוּם שֶׁלֹּא יָדַע בּוֹ הַלּוֹקֵחַ. מַחְזִירוֹ אֲפִלּוּ לְאַחַר כַּמָּה שָׁנִים שֶׁזֶּה מִקָּח טָעוּת הוּא. וְהוּא שֶׁלֹּא יִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ בַּמִּקָּח אַחַר שֶׁיָּדַע בַּמּוּם. אֲבָל אִם נִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ בּוֹ אַחַר שֶׁרָאָה הַמּוּם הֲרֵי זֶה מָחַל וְאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהַחְזִיר:

4

We do not evaluate the diminution in value caused by the blemish. Instead, even if one sold a colleague a utensil worth ten dinarim, and a blemish was discovered that reduced its value by an isar the purchaser may return the utensil. The seller may not tell him: "Here is an isar, the decrease in value caused by the blemish." For the purchaser may say: "I desire a perfect article." Conversely, if the purchaser desires that the transaction stand, but seeks to be reimbursed for the diminution in value caused by the blemish, the option is given to the seller. He may tell him: "Either purchase the utensil as is for the full price, or take your money and depart.

ד

אֵין מְחַשְּׁבִין פְּחַת הַמּוּם. אֲפִלּוּ מָכַר לוֹ כְּלִי שָׁוֶה עֲשָׂרָה דִּינָרִין וְנִמְצָא בּוֹ מוּם הַמַּפְחִיתוֹ מִדָּמוֹ אִיסָר מַחְזִיר אֶת הַכְּלִי וְאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לוֹמַר לוֹ הֵילָךְ אִיסָר פְּחַת הַמּוּם. שֶׁהַלּוֹקֵחַ אוֹמֵר בְּחֵפֶץ שָׁלֵם אֲנִי רוֹצֶה. וְכֵן אִם רָצָה הַלּוֹקֵחַ לִקַּח פְּחַת הַמּוּם הָרְשׁוּת בְּיַד הַמּוֹכֵר. שֶׁהוּא אוֹמֵר לוֹ אוֹ תִּקְנֶה אוֹתוֹ כְּמוֹ שֶׁהוּא אוֹ טֹל דָּמִים שֶׁלְּךָ וְלֵךְ:

5

Whenever there is a blemish that the people of a city agree is serious enough to warrant the nullification of a transaction, the article should be returned. Whenever the people agree that a fault is not considered to be a blemish, the article should not be returned unless the purchaser explicitly stated that he refused to accept even the slightest blemish. The rationale is that whenever a person conducts business without making any specific demands, it is assumed that he is following the prevailing customs of the community.

ה

כָּל שֶׁהִסְכִּימוּ עָלָיו בְּנֵי הַמְּדִינָה שֶׁהוּא מוּם שֶׁמַּחְזִיר בּוֹ מִקָּח זֶה מַחֲזִירִין. וְכָל שֶׁהִסְכִּימוּ עָלָיו שֶׁאֵינוֹ מוּם הֲרֵי זֶה אֵינוֹ מַחְזִיר בּוֹ אֶלָּא אִם פֵּרֵשׁ. שֶׁכָּל הַנּוֹשֵׂא וְנוֹתֵן סְתָם עַל מִנְהַג הַמְּדִינָה הוּא סוֹמֵךְ:

6

Whenever a person purchases an article without making any specific statements, it is assumed that he desired to purchase an article that is perfect, without any blemish.

Even if the seller explicitly said: "This article is sold to you on the condition that you do not return it as blemished," the purchaser may nevertheless return the article unless the purchaser says: "I accept any blemish that I will discover in this article although it causes it to be worth such and such less." For when a person waives money that is due him, he must know how much he is waiving and make an explicit statement to that effect, as applies with regard to the laws of ona'ah.

ו

כָּל הַלּוֹקֵחַ סְתָם אֵינוֹ לוֹקֵחַ אֶלָּא הַדָּבָר הַשָּׁלֵם מִכָּל מוּם. וְאִם פֵּרֵשׁ הַמּוֹכֵר וְאָמַר עַל מְנָת שֶׁאֵין אַתָּה חוֹזֵר עָלַי בְּמוּם. הֲרֵי זֶה חוֹזֵר עַד שֶׁיְּפָרֵשׁ הַמּוּם שֶׁיֵּשׁ בְּמִמְכָּרוֹ וְיִמְחל הַלּוֹקֵחַ. אוֹ עַד שֶׁיֹּאמַר לוֹ כָּל מוּם שֶׁיִּמָּצֵא בְּמִקָּח זֶה הַפּוֹחֵת דָּמָיו עַד כָּךְ וְכָךְ קִבַּלְתִּי אוֹתוֹ. שֶׁהַמּוֹחֵל צָרִיךְ לֵידַע הַדָּבָר שֶׁיִּמְחל לוֹ בּוֹ וִיפָרֵשׁ אוֹתוֹ כְּמוֹ הַמְפָרֵשׁ בְּהוֹנָיָה:

7

When a person sells a cow to a colleague and states that it has some blemishes that are obvious and some blemishes that are not obvious, and the cow does not possess any of the blemishes that are obvious, but does possess one of the blemishes that are not obvious, the transaction is considered to have been concluded under erroneous premises. The cow may be returned although the blemish that was discovered was mentioned explicitly. The rationale is that the purchaser will say: "Since I saw that the cow did not possess any of the apparent blemishes that you mentioned, I said to myself: 'In the same manner, it does not have any of the blemishes that are not apparent. Why did the seller mention them? To make me feel good about my purchase.' "

ז

הַמּוֹכֵר פָּרָה לַחֲבֵרוֹ וּמָנָה בָּהּ מוּמִין גְּלוּיִים וּמוּמִין שֶׁאֵין נִכָּרִין וְלֹא הָיָה בָּהּ מֵאוֹתָן הַמּוּמִין הַגְּלוּיִין שֶׁמָּנָה. וְנִמְצָא בָּהּ מוּם מֵאוֹתָן שֶׁאֵינָן נִכָּרִין הֲרֵי זֶה מִקַּח טָעוּת וְחוֹזֵר וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁפֵּרֵשׁ הַמּוּם שֶׁנִּמְצָא. שֶׁהֲרֵי הַלּוֹקֵחַ אוֹמֵר כְּשֶׁרָאִיתִי שֶׁאֵין בָּהּ אֵלּוּ הַמּוּמִין שֶׁנִּרְאִין שֶׁמָּנָה אָמַרְתִּי כָּךְ אֵין בָּהּ אֵלּוּ שֶׁאֵינָן נִרְאִין שֶׁמָּנָה. וְאֵינוֹ מְפָרֵשׁ מוּמִין אֵלּוּ אֶלָּא כְּדֵי לְהַשְׁבִּיחַ דַּעְתִּי:

8

What is implied? The seller says: "This cow is blind; it is lame; it bites and it crouches suddenly," and it is discovered that the cow only bites or only crouches suddenly, the transaction is considered to have been concluded under erroneous premises.

If the cow possesses all the blemishes the seller mentioned, the transaction is not considered to have been concluded under erroneous premises. Similarly, if the cow is lame but not blind, and it is discovered that it bites, the transaction is not considered to have been concluded under erroneous premises.

ח

כֵּיצַד. פָּרָה זוֹ עִוֶּרֶת הִיא חִגֶּרֶת הִיא נַשְׁכָנִית הִיא רַבְצָנִית הִיא. וְנִמְצֵאת רַבְצָנִית בִּלְבַד אוֹ נַשְׁכָנִית הֲרֵי זֶה מִקַּח טָעוּת. הָיוּ בָּהּ כָּל הַמּוּמִין שֶׁמָּנָה אֵין זֶה מִקַּח טָעוּת. וְכֵן אִם הָיְתָה חִגֶּרֶת וְנִמְצֵאת נַשְׁכָנִית אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינָהּ עִוֶּרֶת אֵין זֶה מִקַּח טָעוּת:

9

The following rule applies if the seller shows the purchaser a blemish that the cow possesses and tells him: "It has this blemish and also these other blemishes." Although the cow possesses all or several of the non-obvious blemishes that the seller mentioned, the transaction is not considered to have been conducted under false premises.

ט

הֶרְאָה לוֹ הַמּוּם שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהּ וְאָמַר לוֹ מוּם זֶה יֵשׁ בָּהּ וּמוּם פְּלוֹנִי [וּמוּם פְּלוֹנִי] אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאוֹתָן הַמּוּמִין שֶׁמָּנָה נִרְאִין וְנִמְצְאוּ בָּהּ כֻּלָּן אוֹ מִקְצָתָן אֵין זֶה מִקַּח טָעוּת:

10

Similarly, if a person sells a maidservant to a colleague and says: "She has only one hand; she limps; she is blind; she is a maniac; she is an epileptic," and she does not possess any of the blemishes the seller mentioned, but she is epileptic, the transaction is considered to have been conducted under false premises. The same principles apply in all analogous situations.

י

וְכֵן הַמּוֹכֵר שִׁפְחָה לַחֲבֵרוֹ וְאָמַר לוֹ גִּדֶּמֶת הִיא חִגֶּרֶת הִיא סוּמָא הִיא שׁוֹטָה הִיא נִכְפֵּית הִיא וְלֹא הָיָה בָּהּ מוּם מֵאֵלּוּ הַמּוּמִין שֶׁמָּנָה וְנִמְצֵאת נִכְפֵּית הֲרֵי זֶה מִקַּח טָעוּת. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

11

On this basis, I maintain that if a person sells an article to a person for 100 dinarim and tells him: "This article is not worth more than one zuz, and I am selling it to you on the condition that the laws of ona'ah do not apply to me," the laws of ona'ah do apply. For the purchaser will say: "Since I saw the seller say that it was only worth a zuz, I realized that he was only trying to make me feel good about my purchase."The above holds true until the seller explicitly mentions the amount of unfair gain involved in this purchase - or mentions a figure that is close to that, concerning which a person could possibly err. For then we know that the purchaser certainly waived his right to this money.It is fitting to rule according to this logic.

יא

מִכָּאן אֲנִי אוֹמֵר שֶׁהַמּוֹכֵר חֵפֶץ לַחֲבֵרוֹ בְּמֵאָה דִּינָרִין וְאָמַר לוֹ חֵפֶץ זֶה אֵינוֹ שָׁוֶה אֶלָּא זוּז אֶחָד עַל מְנָת שֶׁאֵין לְךָ עָלַי אוֹנָאָה. הֲרֵי זֶה יֵשׁ לוֹ עָלָיו אוֹנָאָה שֶׁהֲרֵי אוֹמֵר כֵּיוָן שֶׁרָאִיתִי שֶׁאָמַר שֶׁאֵינוֹ שָׁוֶה אֶלָּא זוּז יָדַעְתִּי שֶׁאֵינוֹ מִתְכַּוֵּן אֶלָּא לְהַשְׁבִּיחַ דַּעְתִּי. עַד שֶׁיְּפָרֵשׁ כְּדֵי הַהוֹנָיָה שֶׁיֵּשׁ בְּמִקָּחוֹ בְּוַדַּאי אוֹ קָרוֹב לָהּ בִּכְדֵי שֶׁהַדַּעַת טוֹעָה. שֶׁהֲרֵי יָדַע בְּוַדַּאי הַדָּבָר שֶׁמָּחַל בּוֹ. וְכָזֶה רָאוּי לָדוּן:

12

When a person sells a manservant or a maidservant, the purchaser may not return it because it possesses blemishes that do not prevent the man or woman from working. These blemishes are called simpon. If the simpon was evident, the purchaser saw it at the time of purchase.If it was not always evident - e.g., a mole in its flesh, a scar from a dog-bite or a foul odor coming from the mouth or the nose - he may not return it, for these blemishes do not prevent the servant from working. And servants are not for the purpose of physical intimacy, but to perform work.

יב

הַמּוֹכֵר עֶבֶד אוֹ שִׁפְחָה. אֵין הַלּוֹקֵחַ יָכוֹל לְהַחְזִירוֹ מִפְּנֵי מוּמִין שֶׁאֵין מְבַטְּלִין אוֹתוֹ מִמְּלַאכְתּוֹ וְהֵן הַנִּקְרָאִין סִמְפּוֹן. שֶׁאִם הָיָה זֶה סִמְפּוֹן גָּלוּי כְּבָר רָאָהוּ. וְאִם אֵינוֹ נִרְאֶה כְּגוֹן שׁוּמָא בַּבָּשָׂר אוֹ נְשִׁיכַת כֶּלֶב אוֹ רֵיחַ הַפֶּה אוֹ הַחֹטֶם וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן הוֹאִיל וְאֵינוֹ מְבַטְּלוֹ מִמְּלַאכְתּוֹ אֵינוֹ מַחְזִיר. שֶׁאֵין הָעֲבָדִים לְתַשְׁמִישׁ הַמִּטָּה אֶלָּא לִמְלָאכָה:

13

If the servant has extremely uncomfortable boils or a sickness that weakens his strength, or if he is epileptic or insane, it is considered to be a blemish, because this prevents him from working. Similarly, if he has tzara'afi or other conditions that are revolting, it is considered to be a blemish, because a person is repelled by them, and therefore he will not use this servant to serve food or drink.

Similarly, if he is discovered to be an armed robber, this is considered to be a blemish that destroys his entire worth. For the ruling authorities will seize him and execute him.

Similarly, if he has been conscripted by the ruling authorities, this is considered to be a blemish for which the servant can be returned, for the king will seize him to work for him whenever he desires. If, however, the servant is discovered to be a thief, a pilferer, a kidnapper, one who constantly tries to escape, a glutton or the like, the purchaser may not return him unless he explicitly stated that he refused to accept a servant with any of these qualities. For all servants can be assumed to possess these undesirable attributes.

יג

נִמְצָא בּוֹ שְׁחִין רַע. אוֹ חֹלִי הַמֵּתִישׁ אֶת כֹּחוֹ. אוֹ שֶׁהָיָה נִכְפֶּה אוֹ מְשֻׁעֲמָם. הֲרֵי זֶה מוּם מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמְּבַטְּלוֹ מִמְּלַאכְתּוֹ. וְכֵן אִם נִמְצָא בּוֹ צָרַעַת וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהּ מִדְּבָרִים אֵלּוּ הַמְגֹאָלִים הֲרֵי זֶה מוּם. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁנַּפְשׁוֹ שֶׁל אָדָם אוֹנֶנֶת מֵהֶם וְנִמְצָא שֶׁאֵינוֹ מִתְעַסֵּק לוֹ בִּמְלֶאכֶת אֲכִילָה וּשְׁתִיָּה. וְכֵן אִם נִמְצָא לִסְטִים מְזֻיָּן הֲרֵי זֶה מוּם הַמְאַבֵּד אֶת כֻּלּוֹ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהַמֶּלֶךְ תּוֹפֵס אוֹתוֹ וְהוֹרְגוֹ. וְכֵן אִם נִמְצָא מֻכְתָּב לַמַּלְכוּת הֲרֵי זֶה מוּם וּמַחֲזִירוֹ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהַמֶּלֶךְ תּוֹפְשׂוֹ לִמְלַאכְתּוֹ בְּכָל עֵת שֶׁיִּרְצֶה. אֲבָל אִם נִמְצָא גַּנָּב אוֹ חוֹטֵף אוֹ גּוֹנֵב נְפָשׁוֹת. אוֹ בּוֹרֵחַ תָּמִיד. אוֹ זוֹלֵל וְסוֹבֵא וְכַיּוֹצֵא בִּדְבָרִים אֵלּוּ. אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהַחְזִיר. שֶׁכָּל הָעֲבָדִים בְּחֶזְקַת שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהֶן כָּל הַדֵּעוֹת הָרָעוֹת אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן פֵּרֵשׁ.

Published and copyright by Moznaim Publications, all rights reserved.
To purchase this book or the entire series, please click here.
The text on this page contains sacred literature. Please do not deface or discard.
Vowelized Hebrew text courtesy Torat Emet under CC 2.5 license.
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.
Download Rambam Study Schedules: 3 Chapters | 1 Chapter | Daily Mitzvah