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ב"ה

Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Sechirut - Chapter 7, Sechirut - Chapter 8, Sechirut - Chapter 9

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Sechirut - Chapter 7

1

Just as a person may make any stipulation that he desires with regard to a purchase or a sale; so, too, may he make any stipulation he desires with regard to a rental. For a rental is a sale for a limited amount of time.

Whenever a person's sale of his property is upheld, the rental of his property will also be upheld. Conversely, when a person is not granted power to sell his property, he may not rent out that property. The only exception is when all he owns is the right to the produce of the property. In such an instance, he may rent out the property, but he may not sell it.

א

כְּשֵׁם שֶׁמַּתְנֶה אָדָם כָּל תְּנַאי שֶׁיִּרְצֶה בְּמִקָּח וּמִמְכָּר כָּךְ מַתְנֶה בִּשְׂכִירוּת שֶׁהַשְּׂכִירוּת מְכִירָה לִזְמַן קָצוּב הִיא וְכָל שֶׁמִּמְכָּרוֹ בִּנְכָסָיו מִמְכָּר שׂוֹכֵר שְׂכִירוּתוֹ שְׂכִירוּת. וְכָל שֶׁאֵין לוֹ לִמְכֹּר כָּךְ אֵין לוֹ לִשְׂכֹּר אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן יֵשׁ לוֹ פֵּרוֹת בִּלְבַד בְּאוֹתָהּ הַקַּרְקַע הֲרֵי זֶה שׂוֹכֵר וְאֵינוֹ מוֹכֵר:

2

When a person rents out a house to a colleague for a year, and a leap year

is declared, the extra month is granted to the tenant. If, by contrast, the agreement is made according to months, the extra month is granted to the owner.

If the rental agreement mentions both months and years, the extra month is granted to the owner. This applies regardless of whether the owner said: "A dinar every month, twelve dinarim a year," or "Twelve dinarim a year, a dinar every month." The rationale is that the land is in the possession of its owner and we may not expropriate anything from the owner of the land without a clear proof.

Similarly, when the owner of a home says: "I rented out the house for a specific time," and the tenant says: "I rented it without any specifics," or "for a longer period," the renter must prove his claim. If he does not prove his claim, the owner may support his claim with a sh'vuat hesset and have the tenant removed from the home.

ב

הַמַּשְׂכִּיר בַּיִת לַחֲבֵרוֹ לְשָׁנָה וְנִתְעַבְּרָה הַשָּׁנָה נִתְעַבְּרָה לַשּׂוֹכֵר. הִשְׂכִּיר לֶחֳדָשִׁים נִתְעַבְּרָה לַמַּשְׂכִּיר. הִזְכִּיר לוֹ חֳדָשִׁים וְשָׁנָה בֵּין שֶׁאָמַר לוֹ דִּינָר לְחֹדֶשׁ שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר דִּינָר בְּשָׁנָה. בֵּין שֶׁאָמַר לוֹ שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר דִּינָר לְשָׁנָה דִּינָר בְּכָל חֹדֶשׁ. הֲרֵי חֹדֶשׁ הָעִבּוּר שֶׁל מַשְׂכִּיר שֶׁהַקַּרְקַע בְּחֶזְקַת בְּעָלִים וְאֵין מוֹצִיאִין דָּבָר מִיַּד בַּעַל הַקַּרְקַע אֶלָּא בִּרְאָיָה בְּרוּרָה. וְכֵן בַּעַל הַבַּיִת שֶׁאָמַר לִזְמַן זֶה הִשְׂכַּרְתִּי לְךָ וְהַשּׂוֹכֵר אוֹמֵר לֹא שָׂכַרְתִּי אֶלָּא סְתָם אוֹ לִזְמַן אָרֹךְ עַל הַשּׂוֹכֵר לְהָבִיא רְאָיָה וְאִם לֹא הֵבִיא בַּעַל הַבַּיִת נִשְׁבָּע הֶסֵּת וּמוֹצִיאוֹ מִן הַבַּיִת:

3

The following rules apply when the tenant claims: "I paid the rent that I was obligated for the house," and the owner claims: "I have yet to collect it." The same rules apply whether the agreement was recorded in a contract or observed by witnesses.

If the owner demands payment within 30 days of the beginning of the rental, the burden of proof is on the renter. Alternatively, he must pay. He may then have a ban of ostracism issued against anyone who took money from him. Or the tenant may lodge a suit against the owner for the money he originally gave him as a separate claim and require the owner to take a sh'vuat hesset.

If the owner demanded payment after 30 days passed or even on the thirtieth day, the owner must bring proof that he was not paid. Otherwise, the tenant may take an oath that he already paid him the rent and thus be released from any obligation.

Similarly, if when the tenant rented the property, he stipulated that he would pay him the rent annually - if the owner demands payment within the year, the tenant is obligated to bring proof that he already paid. If he demands payment after the year - even if he demands payment on the twenty-ninth day of Elul - the owner is obligated to bring proof that he was not paid.

ג

הַשּׂוֹכֵר שֶׁאָמַר נָתַתִּי שְׂכַר הַבַּיִת שֶׁנִּתְחַיַּבְתִּי בּוֹ וְהַמַּשְׂכִּיר אוֹמֵר עֲדַיִן לֹא נָטַלְתִּי בֵּין שֶׁהָיְתָה בִּשְׁטָר בֵּין שֶׁהָיְתָה בְּעֵדִים. אִם תְּבָעוֹ בְּתוֹךְ שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם עַל הַשּׂוֹכֵר לְהָבִיא רְאָיָה אוֹ יִתֵּן וְיַחֲרִים עַל מִי שֶׁלָּקַח מִמֶּנּוּ אוֹ יִטְעֹן עָלָיו בְּדָמִים שֶׁנָּתַן תְּחִלָּה טַעֲנָה בִּפְנֵי עַצְמָהּ וְיַשְׁבִּיעֵהוּ הֶסֵּת. תְּבָעוֹ הַמַּשְׂכִּיר לְאַחַר שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם וַאֲפִלּוּ בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁלֹשִׁים עַל הַמַּשְׂכִּיר לְהָבִיא רְאָיָה אוֹ יִשָּׁבַע הַשּׂוֹכֵר שֶׁכְּבָר נָתַן לוֹ שְׂכָרוֹ וְיִפָּטֵר. וְכֵן אִם שָׂכַר מִמֶּנּוּ וּפֵרֵשׁ שֶׁיִּתֵּן לוֹ הַשָּׂכָר שָׁנָה בְּשָׁנָה וּתְבָעוֹ בְּתוֹךְ הַשָּׁנָה עַל הַשּׂוֹכֵר לְהָבִיא רְאָיָה. תְּבָעוֹ לְאַחַר הַשָּׁנָה וַאֲפִלּוּ בְּיוֹם תִּשְׁעָה וְעֶשְׂרִים בֶּאֱלוּל עַל הַמַּשְׂכִּיר לְהָבִיא רְאָיָה:

4

The following rules apply when a person rents out a house to a colleague for ten years, has a rental contract composed, but does not date that contract. If the tenant claims: "Only one year passed from the time the document was composed," but the owner claims: "The entire period of the rental agreement has passed, and you have dwelled in the house for ten years," the tenant is required to bring proof to support his claim. If he does not do so, the owner may take a sh'vuat hesset and compel him to leave the dwelling.

ד

הַמַּשְׂכִּיר בַּיִת לַחֲבֵרוֹ בִּשְׁטָר לְעֶשֶׂר שָׁנִים וְאֵין בּוֹ זְמַן הַשּׂוֹכֵר אוֹמֵר עֲדַיִן לֹא עָבַר מִזְּמַן הַשְּׁטָר אֶלָּא שָׁנָה וְהַמַּשְׂכִּיר אוֹמֵר כְּבָר עָבְרוּ וְשָׁלְמוּ שְׁנֵי הַשְּׂכִירוּת וְשָׁכַנְתָּ עֶשֶׂר שָׁנִים. עַל הַשּׂוֹכֵר לְהָבִיא רְאָיָה וְאִם לֹא הֵבִיא רְאָיָה יִשָּׁבַע הַמַּשְׂכִּיר הֶסֵּת וְיוֹצִיאוֹ:

5

The following rules apply when a person rents an orchard - or it was entrusted to him as security - for ten years and it dries up. The tenant should sell the trees, purchase land with the proceeds, and benefit from the produce of that land until the conclusion of the rental contract or the period for which the security was entrusted. As a safeguard against the violation of the prohibition against taking interest, both the owner of the orchard - the borrower and the creditor are prohibited against taking the trees themselves that became dried out or were cut down.

ה

הַשּׂוֹכֵר פַּרְדֵּס אוֹ שֶׁהָיָה מַשְׁכּוֹן בְּיָדוֹ לְעֶשֶׂר שָׁנִים וְיָבֵשׁ הַפַּרְדֵּס בְּתוֹךְ הַזְּמַן יִמָּכְרוּ עֵצָיו וְיִלָּקַח בָּהֶן קַרְקַע וְיֹאכַל פֵּרוֹתָיו עַד סוֹף זְמַן שְׂכִירוּתוֹ אוֹ זְמַן הַמַּשְׁכּוֹן. וְגוּף הָאִילָנוֹת שֶׁיָּבְשׁוּ אוֹ נִקְצְצוּ שְׁנֵיהֶן אֲסוּרִין בָּהֶן מִשּׁוּם רִבִּית הַמַּלְוֶה וְהַלּוֶֹה:

6

The following rules apply when a contract for rental or security mentions "years" without stating the number of years. If the tenant claims that the agreement was for three years, and the owner of the land claims that it was for two years, and the renter - or the creditor - came and made use of the produce of the third year, we assume that the produce belonged to the person who made use of it unless the owner of the land brings proof that this is not so.

A difficulty could arise if the tenant or the creditor derived benefit from the property for three years and the legal record became misplaced. If he said: "I am entitled to the produce for five years," and the owner of the land says, "The agreement was only for three," we tell the concerned parties: "Show the legal record."

If the owner says: "It was lost," the tenant's claim is accepted, for if he would have claimed that he had purchased it, his claim would also be accepted since he derived benefit from it for three years.

ו

שְׁטַר הַשְּׂכִירוּת אוֹ שְׁטַר הַמַּשְׁכּוֹן שֶׁכָּתוּב בָּהּ שָׁנִים סְתָם. בַּעַל הַפֵּרוֹת אוֹמֵר שָׁלֹשׁ וּבַעַל הַקַּרְקַע אוֹמֵר שְׁתַּיִם וְקָדַם זֶה הַשּׂוֹכֵר אוֹ הַמַּלְוֶה וְאָכַל הַפֵּרוֹת הֲרֵי הַפֵּרוֹת בְּחֶזְקַת אוֹכְלֵיהֶן עַד שֶׁיָּבִיא בַּעַל הַקַּרְקַע רְאָיָה. אֲכָלָהּ הַשּׂוֹכֵר אוֹ הַמְמַשְׁכֵּן שָׁלֹשׁ שָׁנִים וְכָבַשׁ הַשְּׁטָר וְאָמַר לְחָמֵשׁ שָׁנִים יֵשׁ לִי פֵּרוֹת וּבַעַל הַקַּרְקַע אוֹמֵר שָׁלֹשׁ אָמְרוּ לוֹ הָבֵא שְׁטָרְךָ וְאָמַר אָבַד הַשּׂוֹכֵר נֶאֱמָן שֶׁאִלּוּ רָצָה אָמַר לְקוּחָה הִיא בְּיָדִי שֶׁהֲרֵי אֲכָלָהּ שָׁלֹשׁ שָׁנִים:

7

The following rules apply when a person brings his produce into his colleague's property without his consent or beguiled him into allowing him to bring in his produce and then left it and departed. The owner of the property may sell that produce in order to pay for workers to take it away and bring it to the market place.

It is pious conduct for the owner of the property to notify the court and rent a storage place with part of the funds in order to prevent the destruction of his colleague's property, even if that colleague acted in an improper manner.

ז

מִי שֶׁהִכְנִיס פֵּרוֹתָיו לְבֵית חֲבֵרוֹ שֶׁלֹּא מִדַּעְתּוֹ אוֹ שֶׁהִטְעוּהוּ עַד שֶׁהִכְנִיס פֵּרוֹתָיו וְהִנִּיחָם וְהָלַךְ יֵשׁ לְבַעַל הַבַּיִת לִמְכֹּר לוֹ מֵאוֹתָן הַפֵּרוֹת כְּדֵי לִתֵּן שְׂכַר הַפּוֹעֲלִים שֶׁמּוֹצִיאִין אוֹתָן וּמַשְׁלִיכִין אוֹתָם לַשּׁוּק. וּמִדַּת חֲסִידוּת הוּא שֶׁיּוֹדִיעַ לְבֵית דִּין וְיַשְׂכִּירוּ מִמִּקְצָת דְּמֵיהֶן מָקוֹם מִשּׁוּם הֶשֵּׁב אֲבֵדָה לַבְּעָלִים אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא עָשָׂה כַּהֹגֶן:

8

The following rules apply when a person rents a mill from a colleague on the condition that the renter will grind 20 se'ah of grain for the owner every month as rent and afterwards, the owner of the mill became wealthy. Since he no longer needs to have his grain ground there he asks the renter to pay him the equivalent of the wage he would earn for grinding the 20 se'ah.

If the renter has wheat of his own or of others that he can grind instead, we compel him to pay the owner the wage he receives for grinding 20 se'ah. Not to pay him would be an expression of the qualities of Sodom. If the renter does not have wheat of his own or customers, he may tell the owner: "I don't have the funds. I am prepared to grind grain for you, as stated in the rental agreement. If you don't need this, sell the ground wheat to others." Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.

ח

הַשּׂוֹכֵר רֵחַיִם מֵחֲבֵרוֹ שֶׁיִּטְחֹן לוֹ עֶשְׂרִים סְאָה בְּכָל חֹדֶשׁ בִּשְׂכָרוֹ וְהֶעֱשִׁיר בַּעַל הָרֵחַיִם וַהֲרֵי אֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לִטְחֹן שָׁם אִם יֵשׁ לַשּׂוֹכֵר חִטִּים שֶׁצָּרִיךְ לִטְחֹן לְעַצְמוֹ אוֹ לַאֲחֵרִים כּוֹפִין אוֹתוֹ לִתֵּן דְּמֵי טְחִינַת עֶשְׂרִים סְאָה שֶׁזּוֹ מִדַּת סְדוֹם הִיא. וְאִם אֵין לוֹ יָכוֹל לוֹמַר אֵין לִי דָּמִים וַהֲרֵינִי טוֹחֵן לְךָ כְּמוֹ שֶׁשָּׂכַרְתִּי וְאִם אֵין אַתָּה צָרִיךְ מְכֹר לַאֲחֵרִים. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

Sechirut - Chapter 8

1

The same laws apply when a person rents a field from a colleague to sow, or a vineyard to benefit from its fruits and agrees to pay him money or agrees to pay him a fixed amount of produce - e.g., he rented a particular field for 20 kor of grain a year or a particular vineyard for 20 jugs of wine a year. A person who rents property and agrees to pay in produce is called a chocher.

א

אֶחָד הַשּׂוֹכֵר מֵחֲבֵרוֹ שָׂדֶה לְזָרְעָהּ אוֹ כֶּרֶם לֶאֱכל פֵּרוֹתָיו בְּדָמִים אוֹ שֶׁשָּׂכַר מִמֶּנּוּ בְּפֵרוֹת קְצוּבִים כְּגוֹן שֶׁשָּׂכַר מִמֶּנּוּ שָׂדֶה זוֹ בְּעֶשְׂרִים כּוֹר בְּשָׁנָה וְכֶרֶם זֶה בְּעֶשְׂרִים כַּדֵּי יַיִן בְּכָל שָׁנָה שְׁנֵיהֶן דִּין אֶחָד יֵשׁ לָהֶן. וְהַשּׂוֹכֵר בְּפֵרוֹת הוּא הַנִּקְרָא חוֹכֵר:

2

When a person takes a field or an orchard with the intent of working it, investing in it and giving the owner a third, a fourth or whatever other percentage of the harvest that they agree to, he is called a mekabel.

The following rules apply with regard to all the types of contracts mentioned above. Whenever an improvement is necessary for the sake of the land itself, it is the responsibility of the owner of the land to provide it. Whenever an improvement is an added measure of security, the renter is responsible for it.

The ax that is used to break up the land, the containers used to carry away earth, the bucket, the jug or the like that is used to draw water are the responsibility of the owner of the land. Digging the irrigation ditches, by contrast, is the responsibility of the renter.

ב

הַמְקַבֵּל שָׂדֶה אוֹ פַּרְדֵּס כְּדֵי לַעֲבֹד אוֹתוֹ וּלְהוֹצִיא עָלָיו יְצִיאוֹת וְיִתֵּן לְבַעַל הַקַּרְקַע שְׁלִישׁ הַתְּבוּאוֹת אוֹ רְבִיעַ אוֹ מַה שֶּׁיַּתְנוּ בֵּינֵיהֶן וְהוּא הַנִּקְרָא מְקַבֵּל. כָּל דָּבָר שֶׁהוּא לִסְיַג הָאָרֶץ בַּעַל הַקַּרְקַע חַיָּב בּוֹ וְכָל דָּבָר שֶׁהוּא שְׁמִירָה יְתֵרָה הַחוֹכֵר אוֹ הַמְקַבֵּל חַיָּב בּוֹ. הַקַּרְדֹּם שֶׁחוֹפְרִין בּוֹ הָאָרֶץ וְהַכֵּלִים שֶׁנּוֹשְׂאִין בָּהֶן הֶעָפָר וְהַדְּלִי וְהַכַּד וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן שֶׁדּוֹלִין בָּהֶן הַמַּיִם עַל בַּעַל הַקַּרְקַע. וַחֲטִיטַת הַמְּקוֹמוֹת שֶׁמְּקַבְּצִין בָּהֶן הַמַּיִם עַל הַחוֹכֵר אוֹ עַל הַמְקַבֵּל:

3

When a person rents or makes a sharecropping agreement with regard to a colleague's field for only a few years, he should not sow flax. If he rents it or enters a sharecropping agreement for seven years, he may sow flax for the first year." The Sabbatical year is not included in this reckoning. If he rents it or enters a sharecropping agreement for a seven-year period, the Sabbatical year is included in this reckoning.

ג

הַשּׂוֹכֵר אוֹ הַמְקַבֵּל שָׂדֶה מֵחֲבֵרוֹ לְשָׁנִים מוּעָטוֹת לֹא יִזְרָעֶנָּה פִּשְׁתָּן. שְׂכָרָהּ אוֹ קִבְּלָהּ שֶׁבַע שָׁנִים זוֹרְעָהּ שָׁנָה רִאשׁוֹנָה פִּשְׁתָּן וְאֵין הַשְּׁבִיעִית מִן הַמִּנְיָן. שְׂכָרָהּ אוֹ קִבְּלָהּ שָׁבוּעַ אֶחָד שְׁבִיעִית מִן הַמִּנְיָן:

4

The following laws apply when a person rents or makes a sharecropping agreement with regard to a colleague's field that is parched and requires irrigation, and the spring used to irrigate the field dries up, but the larger river has not ceased to flow, and it is possible to carry water from it in a bucket. The renter may not reduce his payments. If this is a problem that affects the entire region - e.g., the river itself dried up - he may reduce his payments. Similar laws apply if one rents an orchard and the trees of the orchard are cut down.

Different rules apply when the owner was standing in his field and told the renter: "I am renting you this parched field," or "I am renting you this orchard." If the spring dries up or the tree is chopped down, he may reduce his payments. Since he was standing in the property when he made that statement, we assume that by saying: "this field" or "this orchard," his intent was: "I am renting it to you in its present condition."

Therefore, when the owner is not standing in his field and told the renter: "I am renting you this parched field," or "I am renting you this orchard." If the spring dries up or the tree is chopped down, he may not reduce his payments.

ד

הַחוֹכֵר אוֹ הַמְקַבֵּל שָׂדֶה מֵחֲבֵרוֹ וְהִיא בֵּית הַשְּׁלָחִין אוֹ בֵּית הָאִילָן וְיָבְשָׁה מַעְיַן בֵּית הַשְּׁלָחִין וְלֹא פָּסַק הַנָּהָר הַגָּדוֹל אֶלָּא אֶפְשָׁר לְהָבִיא מִמֶּנּוּ בִּדְלִי. אוֹ שֶׁנִּקְצַץ הָאִילָן שֶׁל בֵּית הָאִילָנוֹת אֵינוֹ מְנַכֶּה לוֹ מֵחַכִּירוֹ. וְאִם מַכַּת מְדִינָה הִיא כְּגוֹן שֶׁיָּבַשׁ הַנָּהָר מְנַכֶּה לוֹ מֵחַכִּירוֹ. הָיָה עוֹמֵד בְּתוֹךְ הַשָּׂדֶה וְאָמַר לוֹ בֵּית הַשְּׁלָחִין הַזֶּה אֲנִי מַשְׂכִּיר לְךָ בֵּית הָאִילָן זֶה אֲנִי מַשְׂכִּיר יָבֵשׁ הַמַּעְיָן אוֹ נִקְצַץ הָאִילָן מְנַכֶּה מֵחַכִּירוֹ שֶׁהֲרֵי הוּא עוֹמֵד בְּתוֹכָהּ וְלֹא אָמַר לוֹ הַזֶּה אֶלָּא כְּמִי שֶּׁאוֹמֵר כְּמוֹת שֶׁהִיא עַתָּה אֲנִי מַשְׂכִּיר לְפִיכָךְ אִם לֹא הָיָה עוֹמֵד בְּתוֹכָהּ וְאָמַר לוֹ בֵּית הַשְּׁלָחִין אֲנִי מַשְׂכִּיר לְךָ אוֹ בֵּית הָאִילָן וְיָבֵשׁ הַמַּעְיָן אוֹ שֶׁנִּקְצַץ הָאִילָן אֵינוֹ מְנַכֶּה לוֹ מֵחַכִּירוֹ:

5

The following rules apply when a person rents or makes a sharecropping agreement with regard to a colleague's field, and the crops are eaten by locusts or destroyed by drought. If this condition prevailed among the majority of the fields of that city, he may reduce his payments according to the extent of the loss that he suffered. If this blight did not prevail among the majority of the fields, he may not reduce his payments. This law applies even though all the fields belonging to this land owner were ravaged.

If all the fields of the renter or the sharecropper were ravaged, even though the blight also affected most of the other fields, he may not reduce his payment. For the loss is dependent on the renter's bad fortune, as evidenced by the fact that all his fields were ravaged.

If the owner stipulated that the renter should sow the field with wheat, and he sowed it with barley, did not sow it at all or sowed it and nothing grew, the renter may not reduce his payments even though locusts or a drought came and the majority of the fields were ravaged. Until when must he till it and sow it a second time if the first crop does not grow? Until the time when it is fit to sow in that place.

ה

הַשּׂוֹכֵר אוֹ הַמְקַבֵּל שָׂדֶה מֵחֲבֵרוֹ וַאֲכָלָהּ חָגָב אוֹ נִשְׁתַּדְּפָה אִם אֵרַע דָּבָר זֶה לְרֹב הַשָּׂדוֹת שֶׁל אוֹתָהּ הָעִיר מְנַכֶּה לוֹ מֵחַכִּירוֹ הַכּל לְפִי הַהֶפְסֵד שֶׁאֵרְעוֹ וְאִם לֹא פָּשְׁטָה הַמַּכָּה בְּרֹב הַשָּׂדוֹת אֵינוֹ מְנַכֶּה לוֹ מֵחַכִּירוֹ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנִּשְׁתַּדְּפוּ כָּל הַשָּׂדוֹת שֶׁל בַּעַל הַקַּרְקַע. נִשְׁתַּדְּפוּ כָּל הַשָּׂדוֹת שֶׁל הַשּׂוֹכֵר אוֹ הַמְקַבֵּל אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁפָּשְׁטָה הַמַּכָּה בְּרֹב הַשָּׂדוֹת אֵינוֹ מְנַכֶּה לוֹ מֵחַכִּירוֹ שֶׁאֵין זֶה הַהֶפְסֵד תָּלוּי אֶלָּא בַּשּׂוֹכֵר שֶׁהֲרֵי כָּל שְׂדוֹתָיו נִשְׁתַּדְּפוּ. הִתְנָה עָלָיו בַּעַל הַקַּרְקַע שֶׁיִּזְרָעֶנָּה חִטִּים וּזְרָעָהּ שְׂעוֹרִים אוֹ שֶׁלֹּא זְרָעָהּ כְּלָל אוֹ שֶׁזְּרָעָהּ וְלֹא צָמְחָה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁבָּא חָגָב אוֹ שִׁדָּפוֹן וְהֻכְּתָה רֹב הַמְּדִינָה אֵינוֹ מְנַכֶּה לוֹ מֵחַכִּירוֹ. וְעַד מָתַי חַיָּב לְהִטַּפֵּל וְלִזְרֹעַ פַּעַם אַחֶרֶת אִם לֹא צָמְחָה כָּל זְמַן שֶׁרָאוּי לִזְרִיעָה בְּאוֹתוֹ מָקוֹם:

6

The following rules apply when a person rents or makes a sharecropping agreement with regard to a colleague's field. If it is customary in that locale to cut down the crops, the renter should cut them down. He is not permitted to uproot them. If it is customary to uproot the crops, the renter should uproot them. He is not permitted to cut them down. Either of them can prevent the custom from being changed.

In a locale where it is customary to plow after the harvesting, the renter should plow. In a locale where it is customary to rent trees together with land, they are considered to have been rented out. This applies even though the owner rented the property for a price that is lower than usual. In a locale where it is not customary to rent trees together with land, they are not considered to have been rented out. This applies even though the owner rented the property for a price that is higher than usual. Everything follows the local custom.

ו

הַשּׂוֹכֵר אוֹ הַמְקַבֵּל שָׂדֶה מֵחֲבֵרוֹ מָקוֹם שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ לִקְצֹר יִקְצֹר וְאֵינוֹ רַשַּׁאי לַעֲקֹר. לַעֲקֹר יַעֲקֹר וְאֵינוֹ רַשַּׁאי לִקְצֹר. וּשְׁנֵיהֶם מְעַכְּבִין זֶה עַל זֶה. וּמָקוֹם שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ לַחְרשׁ אַחֲרָיו יַחְרשׁ. מָקוֹם שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ לְהַשְׂכִּיר אִילָנוֹת עַל גַּב קַרְקַע מַשְׂכִּירִין וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהִשְׂכִּיר לוֹ סְתָם בְּפָחוֹת מִן הַיָּדוּעַ. וּמָקוֹם שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ שֶׁלֹּא לְהַשְׂכִּיר אִילָנוֹת אֵין לוֹ אִילָנוֹת אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁשָּׂכַר מִמֶּנּוּ בְּיֶתֶר עַל הַיָּדוּעַ. הַכּל כְּמִנְהַג הַמְּדִינָה:

7

When a person rents a field from a colleague for ten kor of wheat and it suffered blight, he may pay the owner from the wheat of that field. Conversely, if it produces extremely high quality wheat, he should not tell the owner: "I will purchase wheat for you from the marketplace." Instead, he must give him the wheat from the field.

If a person rents a vineyard for ten baskets of grapes and they become sour after they were harvested, the renter may give the owner the grapes from the vineyard. A similar ruling applies to sheaves of grain that became ruined after they were harvested. If, however, a person rents a vineyard for ten jugs of wine, and the wine becomes sour, he is obligated to provide the owner with good wine.

The following rules apply when a person rented a field for 100 sheaves of cattle fodder, sowed another crop and then plowed the field and sowed it with cattle fodder. If it suffered blight, the renter may not give the owner the cattle fodder growing in it. Instead, he must give him high quality fodder, for he deviated from the terms of the initial agreement. Similar rules apply even if he sowed it with fodder at the outset, plowed it and then sowed it again and it suffered blight or in any other situation where the damage to the crops comes after the renter deviates from the initial agreement.

ז

הַחוֹכֵר שָׂדֶה מֵחֲבֵרוֹ בַּעֲשָׂרָה כּוֹר חִטִּים וְלָקְתָה נוֹתֵן לוֹ מִתּוֹכָהּ. הָיוּ חִטֶּיהָ יָפוֹת לֹא יֹאמַר לוֹ הֲרֵינִי לוֹקֵחַ לְךָ מִן הַשּׁוּק אֶלָּא נוֹתֵן לוֹ מִתּוֹכָהּ. חָכַר מִמֶּנּוּ כֶּרֶם בַּעֲשָׂרָה סַלֵּי עֲנָבִים וְהִקְרִיסוּ אַחַר שֶׁנִּבְצְרוּ וְכֵן עֳמָרִים שֶׁלָקוּ אַחַר שֶׁנִּקְצְרוּ נוֹתֵן לוֹ מִתּוֹכָן. חֲכָרוֹ בַּעֲשָׂרָה כַּדֵּי יַיִן וְהֶחְמִיץ חַיָּב לִתֵּן לוֹ יַיִן טוֹב. חֲכָרָהּ מִמֶּנּוּ בְּמֵאָה עֳמָרִים שֶׁל אַסְפַּסְתָּא וּזְרָעָהּ מִין אַחֵר וְאַחַר כָּךְ חֲרָשָׁהּ וּזְרָעָהּ אַסְפַּסְתָּא וְלָקְתָה אוֹ שֶׁזְּרָעָהּ בַּתְּחִלָּה אַסְפַּסְתָּא וַחֲרָשָׁהּ וְאַחַר כָּךְ זְרָעָהּ פַּעַם אַחֶרֶת וְלָקְתָה אֵינוֹ נוֹתֵן לוֹ מִתּוֹכָהּ אֶלָּא נוֹתֵן לוֹ אַסְפַּסְתָּא טוֹבָה שֶׁהֲרֵי שִׁנָּה. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

8

The following rules apply when a person rents a field from a colleague, but does not desire to weed it. Although the renter tells the owner: "What will you suffer? I will give you the amount stipulated regardless," his words are not heeded. For the owner may respond: "Ultimately, you will leave it, and it will grow weeds for me."

Even if the renter says: "At the end I will plow it," his words are not heeded.

ח

הַחוֹכֵר שָׂדֶה מֵחֲבֵרוֹ וְלֹא רָצָה לְנַכֵּשׁ וְאָמַר לוֹ מַה הֶפְסֵד יֵשׁ לְךָ הֲרֵינִי נוֹתֵן לְךָ חַכִּירְךָ אֵין שׁוֹמְעִין לוֹ שֶׁהֲרֵי הוּא אוֹמֵר לוֹ לְמָחָר אַתָּה יוֹצֵא מִמֶּנָּה וְהִיא מַעֲלָה עֲשָׂבִים. וַאֲפִלּוּ אָמַר לוֹ בָּאַחֲרוֹנָה אֲנִי חוֹרֵשׁ אוֹתָהּ אֵין שׁוֹמְעִין לוֹ:

9

When a person rents a field with the stated intent of sowing barley, he should not sow wheat, because wheat saps the nutrients of the land more than barley. If he rented it with the intent of sowing wheat, he may sow barley.

If his original intent was to sow legumes, he may not sow grain. If his original intent was grain, he may sow legumes. In Babylon and lands of that nature, he should not sow legumes, for legumes sap the nutrients of the land.

ט

הַחוֹכֵר שָׂדֶה מֵחֲבֵרוֹ לְזָרְעָהּ שְׂעוֹרִים לֹא יִזְרָעֶנָּה חִטִּים מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהַחִטִּין מַכְחִישׁוֹת אֶת הַקַּרְקַע יֶתֶר מֵהַשְּׂעוֹרִים. שְׂכָרָהּ לְזָרְעָהּ חִטִּים יִזְרָעֶנָּה שְׂעוֹרִים. קִטְנִית לֹא יִזְרָעֶנָּה תְּבוּאָה. תְּבוּאָה יִזְרָעֶנָּה קִטְנִית. וּבְבָבֶל וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהּ לֹא יִזְרָעֶנָּה קִטְנִית מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהַקִּטְנִית שָׁם מַכְחֶשֶׁת אֶת הָאָרֶץ:

10

When a person rents a field from a colleague for a few years according to a sharecropping agreement, the sharecropper does not receive a share of the wood that grows from the wild fig trees and the like, nor in the appreciation in the value of the field due to the trees growing in the field. We do, however, consider the place of the trees as if it were filled with the type of crop that was planted in the field. This applies provided the trees grew in a place that is fit to sow. If, however, they grow in a place that is not fit to sow, the sharecropper is not given any consideration. If the sharecropper rents the field for seven years or more, he is entitled to a share of the wood that grows from the wild fig trees and the like.

If at the time the sharecropper's lease runs out, there are plants in the field that have not reached the stage at which they are fit to be sold, or they have reached that stage, but the market day has not come yet, they should be evaluated and the sharecropper given his share by the owner of the land.

In the same manner as the sharecropper and the owner divide the grain; so, too, they should divide the straw and the stubble. In the same manner as they divide the wine; so, too, they should divide the twigs. Different rules apply with regard to the rods that are placed beneath the vine for support. If they were purchased in partnership, they should be divided in the same manner. If they were purchased by one party, they belong to the one who purchased them. Similar principles apply in all analogous situations.

י

הַמְקַבֵּל שָׂדֶה מֵחֲבֵרוֹ לְשָׁנִים מוּעָטוֹת אֵין לַמְקַבֵּל כְּלוּם בְּקוֹרַת הַשִּׁקְמָה וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהּ וְלֹא בְּשֶׁבַח הָאִילָנוֹת שֶׁיָּצְאוּ מֵאֲלֵיהֶן בַּשָּׂדֶה. אֲבָל מְחַשְּׁבִין לוֹ מְקוֹם הָאִילָנוֹת כְּאִלּוּ הָיָה בָּהֶן אוֹתוֹ זֶרַע שֶׁזָּרַע בְּכָל הַשָּׂדֶה. וְהוּא שֶׁצָּמְחוּ הָאִילָנוֹת בְּמָקוֹם הָרָאוּי לִזְרִיעָה אֲבָל אִם יָצְאוּ בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁאֵינוֹ רָאוּי לִזְרִיעָה אֵין מְחַשְּׁבִין לוֹ כְּלוּם. וְאִם קִבְּלָהּ שֶׁבַע שָׁנִים אוֹ יֶתֶר יֵשׁ לוֹ בְּקוֹרַת הַשִּׁקְמָה וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהּ. הִגִּיעַ זְמַנּוֹ לְהִסְתַּלֵּק מִן הַשָּׂדֶה וְהָיוּ שָׁם זְרָעִים שֶׁעֲדַיִן לֹא הִגִּיעוּ לְהִמָּכֵר אוֹ שֶׁנִּגְמְרוּ וְלֹא הִגִּיעַ יוֹם הַשּׁוּק לְמָכְרָן שָׁמִין אוֹתָן וְנוֹטֵל מִבַּעַל הַקַּרְקַע. כְּשֵׁם שֶׁחוֹלְקִין הַמְקַבֵּל וּבַעַל הַקַּרְקַע בַּתְּבוּאָה כָּךְ חוֹלְקִין בַּתֶּבֶן וּבַקַּשׁ. כְּשֵׁם שֶׁחוֹלְקִין בַּיַּיִן כָּךְ חוֹלְקִין בַּזְּמוֹרוֹת. אֲבָל הַקָּנִים הַמַּעֲמִידִים תַּחַת הַגְּפָנִים אִם קָנוּ אוֹתָן בְּשֻׁתָּפוּת הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ חוֹלְקִין בָּהֶן וְאִם הֵן מִשֶּׁל אֶחָד מֵהֶן זֶה שֶׁקָּנָה אוֹתָן הֲרֵי הֵן שֶׁלּוֹ. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

11

When a person rents a field from a colleague according to a sharecropping agreement in order to plant vines, the owner accepts the possibility that there will be ten non-productive vines in an area sufficient to grow a se'ah of grain. If there are more non-productive vines, the sharecropper must pay for the entire area as if all the vines were productive.

יא

הַמְקַבֵּל שָׂדֶה מֵחֲבֵרוֹ לִטַּע מְקַבֵּל עָלָיו בַּעַל הַשָּׂדֶה עֲשָׂרָה בּוֹרְאוֹת לִסְאָה. יֶתֶר עַל זֶה מְגַלְגְּלִין עָלָיו אֶת הַכּל:

12

The following rules apply when a person rents a field from a colleague under a sharecropping agreement and the field does not produce a significant yield. If its yield appears sufficient to produce at least two se'ah more than the investment made in it, the sharecropper is obligated to take care of it. For in the sharecropping agreement, he promises the owner of the land: "I will rise, plow the land, sow it, reap it, tie it in sheaves, thresh it and make a grain heap before you, and you will receive half - or whatever other portion they agreed upon - and I will receive the remainder as payment for my work and the expenses that I undertook."

יב

הַמְקַבֵּל שָׂדֶה מֵחֲבֵרוֹ וְלֹא עָשְׂתָה אִם יֵשׁ בָּהּ כְּדֵי שֶׁתּוֹצִיא סָאתַיִם יֶתֶר עַל הַהוֹצָאָה חַיָּב הַמְקַבֵּל לִטָּפֵל בָּהּ. שֶׁכָּךְ כּוֹתֵב לְבַעַל הַקַּרְקַע אָנָּא אֵיקוּם וְאָנִיר וְאֶזְרַע וְאֶקְצֹר וְאֶעֱמֹר וְאָדוּשׁ וְאֶזְרֶה וְאַעֲמִיד כְּרִי לְפָנֶיךָ וְתִטּוֹל אֶת חֶצְיוֹ אוֹ מַה שֶּׁיִּתְּנוּ וַאֲנִי אֶטּוֹל הַשְּׁאָר בִּשְׂכַר עֲמָלִי וּבְמַה שֶּׁהוֹצֵאתִי:

13

The following rule applies when a person rents a field from a colleague under a sharecropping agreement, and after taking possession of the field decides to leave it fallow. We evaluate the amount the field could be expected to produce and require the sharecropper to give the owner the portion agreed upon. For in the sharecropping agreement, he promises the owner of the land: "If I leave it fallow and do not till it, I will pay according to its best yield." The same rule applies if he left only a portion of it fallow.

Why is the renter obligated to pay? Because he did not stipulate that he would pay a fixed amount, in which instance we would say that it is an asmachta, but instead promised to pay the field's best yield."o Therefore, he made a binding commitment.

If, however, he stipulated: "If I leave it fallow, I will pay you 100 dinarim" this is considered an asmachta and he is not obligated to pay that amount. Instead, he should give the owner only his share of what the field would be expected to produce.

יג

הַמְקַבֵּל שָׂדֶה מֵחֲבֵרוֹ וְאַחַר שֶׁזָּכָה בָּהּ הוֹבִירָהּ שָׁמִין אוֹתָהּ כַּמָּה הִיא רְאוּיָה לַעֲשׂוֹת וְנוֹתֵן לוֹ חֶלְקוֹ שֶׁהָיָה מַגִּיעַ לוֹ. שֶׁכָּךְ כּוֹתֵב לְבַעַל הַקַּרְקַע אִם אוֹבִיר וְלֹא אַעֲבִיד אֲשַׁלֵּם בְּמֵיטָבָא. וְהוּא הַדִּין אִם הוֹבִיר מִקְצָתָהּ. וּמִפְּנֵי מָה נִתְחַיֵּב לְשַׁלֵּם מִפְּנֵי שֶׁלֹּא פָּסַק עַל עַצְמוֹ דָּבָר קָצוּב כְּדֵי שֶׁנֹּאמַר הֲרֵי הִיא כְּאַסְמַכְתָּא אֶלָּא הִתְנָה שֶׁיְּשַׁלֵּם בְּמֵיטָבָא וּלְפִיכָךְ גָּמַר וְשִׁעְבֵּד עַצְמוֹ. אֲבָל אִם אָמַר אִם אוֹבִיר וְלֹא אַעֲבִיד אֶתֵּן לְךָ מֵאָה דִּינָרִין הֲרֵי זוֹ אַסְמַכְתָּא וְאֵינוֹ חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּם אֶלָּא נוֹתֵן כְּפִי מַה שֶּׁרְאוּיָה לַעֲשׂוֹת בִּלְבַד:

14

The following rule applies when a person rents a field from a colleague under a sharecropping agreement with the intent of sowing sesame seeds, but instead, sows wheat. If the field produces a crop of wheat that is worth the same as the yield of sesame seeds could have been expected to be worth, the owner may have no more than complaints against him.

If the field produces a crop of wheat that is worth less than the yield of sesame seeds could have been expected to be worth, the sharecropper must pay the amount the crop of sesame seeds could have expected to yield. If the field produces a crop of wheat that is worth more than the yield of sesame seeds could have been expected to be worth, they should divided the crop according to their original stipulation although the owner of the land profits.

יד

הַמְקַבֵּל שָׂדֶה לְזָרְעָהּ שֻׁמְשְׁמִין וּזְרָעָהּ חִטִּים וְעָשְׂתָה חִטִּים שֶׁשָּׁוִין כַּמָּה שֶׁהִיא רְאוּיָה לַעֲשׂוֹת מִן הַשֻּׁמְשְׁמִין אֵין לוֹ עָלָיו אֶלָּא תַּרְעֹמֶת. עָשְׂתָה פָּחוֹת מִמַּה שֶּׁהִיא רְאוּיָה לַעֲשׂוֹת מִן הַשֻּׁמְשְׁמִין מְשַׁלֵּם לוֹ הַמְקַבֵּל כְּפִי מַה שֶּׁהִיא רְאוּיָה לַעֲשׂוֹת מִן הַשֻּׁמְשְׁמִין. עָשְׂתָה חִטִּים יֶתֶר מִמַּה שֶּׁהִיא רְאוּיָה לַעֲשׂוֹת מִן הַשֻּׁמְשְׁמִין חוֹלְקִין לְפִי הַתְּנַאי שֶׁבֵּינֵיהֶן אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁמִּשְׂתַּכֵּר בַּעַל הַקַּרְקַע:

Sechirut - Chapter 9

1

The following rule applies when a person hires workers and tells them: "Get up early and work late." In a place where it is not customary for workers to get up early and work late, he cannot compel them to keep the times he desires. In a place where it is customary for an employer to provide his workers' meals, he must provide their meals. If it is customary for him to provide dried figs, dates and the like for the workers, he must. Everything follows the local custom.

א

הַשׂוֹכֵר אֶת הַפּוֹעֲלִים וְאָמַר לָהֶם לְהַשְׁכִּים וּלְהַעֲרִיב מָקוֹם שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ שֶׁלֹּא לְהַשְׁכִּים וְשֶׁלֹּא לְהַעֲרִיב אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְכוּפָן. מָקוֹם שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ לָזוּן יָזוּן. לְסַפֵּק בִּגְרוֹגָרוֹת אוֹ בִּתְמָרִים וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן לְפוֹעֲלִים יְסֻפַּק הַכּל כְּמִנְהַג הַמְּדִינָה:

2

When a person hires a worker and tells him: "I will pay you like any other worker in the city," we check the lowest wage paid and the highest wage paid and arrive at an average.

ב

הַשּׂוֹכֵר אֶת הַפּוֹעֵל וְאָמַר לוֹ כְּאֶחָד וְכִשְׁנַיִם מִבְּנֵי הָעִיר רוֹאִין הַפָּחוּת שֶׁבַּשְּׂכִירוּת וְהַיָּתֵר שֶׁבַּשְּׂכִירוּת וּמְשַׁמְּנִין בֵּינֵיהֶן:

3

The following rules apply when a person tells his agent: "Go out and hire workers for me for three zuz," and the agent hires them for four. If the agent told them: "I am responsible for your wage," he must pay them four. He receives three zuz from the employer, and forfeits one zuz of his own.

If he told them: "The employer is responsible for your wages," the employer should pay them according to the local custom. If there are some in that city who are hired at three and others at four, he is not required to pay them more than three. They have, however, justified complaints'3 against the agent.

When does the above apply? When it cannot be determined that they invested extra effort in their work. If, however, it is obvious that they invested extra effort in their work, and it is worth four zuz, the employer must pay them four. For had the agent not told them four, they would not have worked harder and produced work that is worth four.

If the employer told the agent: "Hire workers for me at four," and the agent goes and hires them at three, they receive no more than three. This applies even when their work is worth four. For they accepted the lower amount. They do, however, have a complaint against the agent.

If the employer told the agent three zuz, and the agent hires them for four, but the workers say: "We will work for what the employer says," their intent is that the employer will pay them more than four zuz. Therefore, we evaluate their work. If it is worth four, they should receive four zuz from the employer. If the value of their work is not obvious or it is not worth four, they may be paid only three.

If the employer told the agent to hire workers at four zuz, and he hired them at three, but they say: "We will work for what the employer says," they may be paid only three. This applies even if their work is worth four, for they heard the agent say three and agreed.

ג

אָמַר לִשְׁלוּחוֹ צֵא וּשְׂכֹר לִי פּוֹעֲלִים בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה וְהָלַךְ וּשְׂכָרָן בְּאַרְבָּעָה אִם אָמַר לָהֶם הַשָּׁלִיחַ שְׂכַרְכֶם עָלַי נוֹתֵן לָהֶם אַרְבָּעָה וְנוֹטֵל מִבַּעַל הַבַּיִת שְׁלֹשָׁה וּמַפְסִיד אֶחָד מִכִּיסוֹ. אָמַר לָהֶם שְׂכַרְכֶם עַל בַּעַל הַבַּיִת נוֹתֵן לָהֶם בַּעַל הַבַּיִת כְּמִנְהַג הַמְּדִינָה. הָיָה בַּמְּדִינָה מִי שֶׁנִּשְׂכַּר בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה וּמִי שֶׁנִּשְׂכַּר בְּאַרְבָּעָה אֵינוֹ נוֹתֵן לָהֶם אֶלָּא שְׁלֹשָׁה וְיֵשׁ לָהֶם תַּרְעֹמֶת עַל הַשָּׁלִיחַ. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים כְּשֶׁאֵין מְלַאכְתָּן נִכֶּרֶת אֲבָל הָיְתָה מְלַאכְתָּן נִכֶּרֶת וַהֲרֵי הִיא שָׁוָה אַרְבָּעָה נוֹתֵן לָהֶם בַּעַל הַבַּיִת אַרְבָּעָה שֶׁאִלּוּ לֹא אָמַר לָהֶם שְׁלוּחוֹ אַרְבָּעָה לֹא טָרְחוּ וְעָשׂוּ שָׁוֶה אַרְבָּעָה. אָמַר לוֹ בַּעַל הַבַּיִת שְׂכֹר לִי בְּאַרְבָּעָה וְהָלַךְ הַשָּׁלִיחַ וְשָׂכַר בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֲרֵי מְלַאכְתָּן שָׁוָה אַרְבָּעָה אֵין לָהֶם אֶלָּא שְׁלֹשָׁה שֶׁהֲרֵי קִבְּלוּ עַל עַצְמָן וְיֵשׁ לָהֶם תַּרְעֹמֶת עַל הַשָּׁלִיחַ. אָמַר לוֹ בַּעַל הַבַּיִת בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה וְהָלַךְ הַשָּׁלִיחַ וְאָמַר לָהֶם בְּאַרְבָּעָה וְאָמְרוּ הֲרֵינוּ כְּמַה שֶּׁאָמַר בַּעַל הַבַּיִת אֵין דַּעְתָּם אֶלָּא שֶׁיִּתֵּן בַּעַל הַבַּיִת יֶתֶר עַל אַרְבָּעָה לְפִיכָךְ שָׁמִין מַה שֶּׁעָשׂוּ אִם שָׁוָה אַרְבָּעָה נוֹטְלִין אַרְבָּעָה מִבַּעַל הַבַּיִת וְאִם אֵינוֹ יָדוּעַ אוֹ אֵינוֹ שָׁוֶה אֵין לָהֶם אֶלָּא שְׁלֹשָׁה. אָמַר לוֹ בַּעַל הַבַּיִת בְּאַרְבָּעָה וְהָלַךְ הַשָּׁלִיחַ וְאָמַר לָהֶם בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה וְאָמְרוּ לוֹ כַּמָּה שֶׁאָמַר בַּעַל הַבַּיִת אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁמְּלַאכְתָּן שָׁוֶה אַרְבָּעָה אֵין לָהֶם אֶלָּא שְׁלֹשָׁה שֶׁהֲרֵי שָׁמְעוּ שְׁלֹשָׁה וְקִבְּלוּ עֲלֵיהֶם:

4

When a person hires workers and the workers hoax the employer or the employer hoaxes the workers, all they have is complaints against each other.

When does the above apply? When the workers did not go to the appointed place. Different rules apply, however, if donkey drivers went to the appointed place and did not find any grain, workers went to a field and found that the ground was wet, or the employer hired workers to irrigate his field and they discovered that it was filled with water. If the owner checked the area that required work on the previous evening and saw that the workers were necessary, the workers are not entitled to any reimbursement. What could the owner have done? If, however, he did not check the land where he wants the work to be performed beforehand, he must pay them as an idle worker. For a person who comes carrying a burden cannot be compared to someone who comes empty-handed, nor can a person who performs labor be compared to someone who does not.

When does the above apply? When they did not begin doing work. If, however, the worker began doing his work different rules apply. A worker may quit his work even in the middle of the day. This is derived from Leviticus 25:55: "The children of Israel are servants to Me" - i.e., to Me alone. They are not servants to servants.

What is the law that applies to a worker who quits after having started work? We evaluate the work that he performed and he is paid that amount. If he is a contractor, we evaluate the work that still must be performed. Whether the price of labor was low at the time he was hired or it was not low, whether it was reduced afterwards or whether it was not reduced, we evaluate the work that must be performed.

What is implied? A person agreed to harvest standing grain for two selaim. He harvested half of the grain, but left half unharvested. Similarly, a person agreed to weave a garment for two selaim. He wove half of the garment, but left half unwoven. If the remainder would cost six dinarim to complete, the original contractor is paid a shekel or he is given the option of completing his work. If the remainder was worth only two dinarim, the owner need not pay the contractor more than a sela, because he did not perform more than half the work.

When does the above apply? With regard to work that does not involve an immediate loss. If, however, the work involves an immediate loss - e.g., he hired the workers to remove flax from the vat, or he hired a donkey to bring flutes for a funeral or for a wedding or the like - neither a worker nor a contractor may retract unless he is held back by forces beyond his control -e.g., he became ill or a close relative died. If the worker is not held back by forces beyond his control, and he retracts, the owner may hire others on their account or deceive them.

What is meant by deceiving them? He tells them: "I agreed to pay you a sela; take two so that you will complete your work." Afterwards, he is not required to give them anything more than he originally agreed. Moreover, even if he gave them two, he can compel them to return the additional amount.

What is meant by hiring others on their account? He hires other workers who complete their task so that he will not suffer a loss. Whatever he must add to pay these later workers beyond the amount the first workers agreed upon, he may take from the first workers.

To what extent are the first workers responsible? For their entire wage. Moreover, if they have property that is in the employer's possession, the employer can use that property to hire workers to complete their work until he pays each worker 40 or 50 zuz a day although he originally hired the worker at three or four zuz.

When does the above apply? When there are no workers available to hire at the wage to be paid the original workers. If, however, such workers are available and the original workers tell the employer: "Go out and hire from these to complete your work so that you will not suffer a loss," whether a worker or a contractor is involved, the employer has only complaints against them. To determine the wage that should be paid, we follow these guidelines: For a worker, we calculate the work he already performed and for a contractor, we calculate the work that must be performed.

ד

הַשּׂוֹכֵר אֶת הַפּוֹעֲלִים וְהִטְעוּ אֶת בַּעַל הַבַּיִת אוֹ בַּעַל הַבַּיִת הִטְעָה אוֹתָם אֵין לָהֶם זֶה עַל זֶה אֶלָּא תַּרְעֹמֶת. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּשֶׁלֹּא הָלְכוּ. אֲבָל הָלְכוּ הַחַמָּרִין וְלֹא מָצְאוּ תְּבוּאָה. פּוֹעֲלִים וּמָצְאוּ שָׂדֶה כְּשֶׁהִיא לָחָה. אוֹ שֶׁשָּׂכַר לְהַשְׁקוֹת הַשָּׂדֶה וּמְצָאוּהָ שֶׁנִּתְמַלְּאָה מַיִם. אִם בִּקֵּר בַּעַל הַבַּיִת מְלַאכְתּוֹ מִבָּעֶרֶב וּמָצָא שֶׁצְּרִיכָה פּוֹעֲלִים אֵין לַפּוֹעֲלִים כְּלוּם מַה בְּיָדוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹת. וְאִם לֹא בִּקֵּר נוֹתֵן לָהֶם שְׂכָרָן כְּפוֹעֵל בָּטֵל שֶׁאֵינוֹ דּוֹמֶה הַבָּא טָעוּן לְבָא רֵיקָן וְעוֹשֶׂה מְלָאכָה לְבַטֵּל. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּשֶׁלֹּא הִתְחִילוּ בִּמְלָאכָה. אֲבָל אִם הִתְחִיל הַפּוֹעֵל בַּמְּלָאכָה וְחָזַר בּוֹ אֲפִלּוּ בַּחֲצִי הַיּוֹם חוֹזֵר שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כה נה) "כִּי לִי בְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל עֲבָדִים" וְלֹא עֲבָדִים לַעֲבָדִים. וְכֵיצַד דִּין הַפּוֹעֵל שֶׁחָזַר בּוֹ אַחַר שֶׁהִתְחִיל. שָׁמִין לוֹ מַה שֶּׁעָשָׂה וְנוֹטֵל. וְאִם קַבְּלָן הוּא שָׁמִין לוֹ מַה שֶּׁעָתִיד לַעֲשׂוֹת. בֵּין שֶׁהוּזְלוּ בְּעֵת שֶׁשְּׂכָרָן בֵּין לֹא הוּזְלוּ בֵּין שֶׁהוּזְלָה מְלָאכָה אַחַר כֵּן בֵּין לֹא הוּזְלָה שָׁמִין לוֹ מַה שֶּׁעָתִיד לַעֲשׂוֹת. כֵּיצַד. קִבֵּל מִמֶּנּוּ קָמָה לִקְצֹר בִּשְׁתֵּי סְלָעִים קָצַר חֶצְיָהּ וְהִנִּיחַ חֶצְיָהּ. בֶּגֶד לֶאֱרֹג בִּשְׁתֵּי סְלָעִים אָרַג חֶצְיוֹ וְהִנִּיחַ חֶצְיוֹ. שָׁמִין לוֹ מַה שֶּׁעָתִיד לַעֲשׂוֹת. אִם הָיָה שָׁוֶה שִׁשָּׁה דִּינָרִין נוֹתֵן לוֹ שֶׁקֶל אוֹ יִגְמְרוּ אֶת מְלַאכְתָּן. וְאִם הָיָה הַנִּשְׁאָר יָפֶה שְׁנַיִם דִּינָרִין אֵינוֹ נוֹתֵן לָהֶן אֶלָּא סֶלַע שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא עָשׂוּ אֶלָּא חֲצִי מְלָאכָה. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּדָבָר שֶׁאֵינוֹ אָבוּד אֲבָל בְּדָבָר הָאָבוּד כְּגוֹן פִּשְׁתָּנוֹ לְהַעֲלוֹת מִן הַמִּשְׁרָה אוֹ שֶׁשָּׂכַר חֲמוֹר לְהָבִיא חֲלִילִין לְמֵת אוֹ לְכַלָּה וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן אֶחָד פּוֹעֵל וְאֶחָד קַבְּלָן אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לַחְזֹר בּוֹ אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן נֶאֱנַס כְּגוֹן שֶׁחָלָה אוֹ שָׁמַע שֶׁמֵּת לוֹ מֵת. וְאִם לֹא נֶאֱנַס וְחָזַר בּוֹ שׂוֹכֵר עֲלֵיהֶן אוֹ מַטְעָן. כֵּיצַד מַטְעָן. אוֹמֵר לָהֶם סֶלַע קָצַצְתִּי לָכֶם בּוֹאוּ וּטְלוּ שְׁתַּיִם עַד שֶׁיִּגְמְרוּ מְלַאכְתָּן וְלֹא יִתֵּן לָהֶם אֶלָּא מַה שֶּׁפָּסַק תְּחִלָּה וַאֲפִלּוּ נָתַן לָהֶם הַשְּׁתַּיִם מַחְזִיר מֵהֶן הַתּוֹסֶפֶת. כֵּיצַד שׂוֹכֵר עֲלֵיהֶן. שׂוֹכֵר פּוֹעֲלִים אֲחֵרִים וְגוֹמְרִים מְלַאכְתָּן שֶׁלֹּא תֹּאבַד וְכָל שֶׁיּוֹסִיף לְאֵלּוּ הַפּוֹעֲלִין הָאֲחֵרִים עַל מַה שֶּׁפָּסַק לָרִאשׁוֹנִים נוֹטֵל מִן הָרִאשׁוֹנִים. עַד כַּמָּה עַד כְּדֵי שְׂכָרָן שֶׁל רִאשׁוֹנִים. וְאִם הָיָה לָהֶם מָמוֹן תַּחַת יָדוֹ שׂוֹכֵר לְהַשְׁלִים הַמְּלָאכָה עַד אַרְבָּעִים וַחֲמִשִּׁים זוּז בְּכָל יוֹם לְכָל פּוֹעֵל אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁשָּׂכַר הַפּוֹעֵל שְׁלֹשָׁה אוֹ אַרְבָּעָה. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים שֶׁאֵין שָׁם פּוֹעֲלִים לִשְׂכֹּר בִּשְׂכָרָן לְהַשְׁלִים הַמְּלָאכָה אֲבָל יֵשׁ פּוֹעֲלִים לִשְׂכֹּר בִּשְׂכָרָן וְאָמְרוּ לוֹ צֵא וּשְׂכֹר מֵאֵלּוּ לְהַשְׁלִים מְלַאכְתְּךָ וְלֹא תֹּאבַד בֵּין שׂוֹכֵר בֵּין קַבְּלָן אֵין לוֹ עֲלֵיהֶן אֶלָּא תַּרְעֹמֶת וְשָׁמִין לַשּׂוֹכֵר מַה שֶּׁעָשָׂה וְלַקַּבְּלָן מַה שֶּׁעָתִיד לַעֲשׂוֹת:

5

When a person hires a worker, but [the worker is then taken to perform the king's service, the worker need not be paid for a full day's work. Instead, the employer should pay him only for the work he performed.

ה

הַשּׂוֹכֵר אֶת הַפּוֹעֵל וְנֶאֱחָז לַעֲבוֹדַת הַמֶּלֶךְ לֹא יֹאמַר לוֹ הֲרֵינִי לְפָנֶיךָ אֶלָּא נוֹתֵן לוֹ שְׂכַר מַה שֶּׁעָשָׂה:

6

The following rules apply when a person hires a worker to irrigate his field from a particular river, and that river dried up in the middle of the day. If the river does not ordinarily dry up, the workers need only be paid for the work they performed.

Similarly, if the inhabitants of the city frequently dam the river, and they stop its flow in the middle of the day, the workers need only be paid for the work they performed. The rationale is that the workers know the pattern of this river. If, however, the river often dries up on its own accord, the employer must pay the workers their entire wage. For it was his responsibility to inform them.

If a person hires workers to irrigate a field and it rains and completes the watering of the field, the workers need only be paid for the work they performed. If a river rises and irrigates the field, they should be paid their entire wage. From heaven, they were granted help.

When does the above apply? With regard to a worker. Different rules apply, however, when a person stipulates with a sharecropper that if he waters a field four times a day, he will receive half the crop, in contrast to other sharecroppers who water the field twice a day and receive a fourth of the crop. If rain comes and he does not have to draw water to irrigate the crop, he still receives half the crops, as he stipulated. The rationale is that a sharecropper is considered to be a partner, not a worker.

ו

הַשּׂוֹכֵר אֶת הַפּוֹעֵל לְהַשְׁקוֹת אֶת הַשָּׂדֶה מִזֶּה הַנָּהָר וּפָסַק הַנָּהָר בַּחֲצִי הַיּוֹם אִם אֵין דַּרְכּוֹ לְהַפְסִיק אֵין לָהֶן אֶלָּא שְׂכַר מַה שֶּׁעָשׂוּ. וְכֵן אִם דַּרְכּוֹ שֶׁיַּפְסִיקוּ אוֹתוֹ בְּנֵי הָעִיר וְהִפְסִיקוּהוּ בַּחֲצִי הַיּוֹם אֵין לָהֶן אֶלָּא שְׂכַר מַה שֶּׁעָשׂוּ שֶׁהֲרֵי יָדְעוּ הַפּוֹעֲלִים דַּרְכּוֹ שֶׁל נָהָר. וְאִם דַּרְכּוֹ לְהַפְסִיק מֵאֵלָיו נוֹתֵן לָהֶם שְׂכַר כָּל הַיּוֹם מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהָיָה לוֹ לְהוֹדִיעָם. שְׂכָרָן לְהַשְׁקוֹת הַשָּׂדֶה וּבָא הַמָּטָר וְהִשְׁקָה אֵין לָהֶן אֶלָּא מַה שֶּׁעָשׂוּ. בָּא הַנָּהָר וְהִשְׁקָה נוֹתֵן לָהֶן כָּל שְׂכָרָן. מִן הַשָּׁמַיִם נִסְתַּיְּעוּ. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּפוֹעֵל. אֲבָל מִי שֶׁפָּסַק עִם אֲרִיסוֹ שֶׁאִם יַשְׁקֶה שָׂדֶה זוֹ אַרְבַּע פְּעָמִים בְּיוֹם יִטּל חֲצִי הַפֵּרוֹת וְכָל הָאֲרִיסִין שֶׁהֵן מַשְׁקִין שְׁתֵּי פְּעָמִים אֵינָן נוֹטְלִין אֶלָּא רְבִיעַ הַפֵּרוֹת וּבָא הַמָּטָר וְלֹא הֻצְרַךְ לִדְלוֹת וּלְהַשְׁקוֹת נוֹטֵל חֲצִי הַפֵּרוֹת כְּמוֹ שֶׁפָּסַק עִמּוֹ שֶׁהָאָרִיס כְּשֻׁתָּף וְאֵינוֹ כְּפוֹעֵל:

7

The following rules apply when a person hires a worker to perform work for an entire day and he completes it in half the day. If the employer has another task that is as - or less - difficult, he may have the worker perform it for the remainder of the day. If he does not have a task for him to perform, he should pay him as an idle worker. When the worker is one who digs, labors in the field or performs heavy labor of this nature and hence will become ill if he does not work, the employer must pay him his entire wage even if he is idle.

ז

הַשּׂוֹכֵר אֶת הַפּוֹעֵל לַעֲשׂוֹת מְלָאכָה כָּל הַיּוֹם וְשָׁלְמָה הַמְּלָאכָה בַּחֲצִי הַיּוֹם אִם יֵשׁ לוֹ מְלָאכָה אַחֶרֶת כְּמוֹתָהּ אוֹ קַלָּה מִמֶּנָּה עוֹשֶׂה שְׁאָר הַיּוֹם. וְאִם אֵין לוֹ מַה יַּעֲשֶׂה נוֹתֵן לוֹ שְׂכָרוֹ כְּפוֹעֵל בָּטֵל. וְאִם הָיָה מִן הַחוֹפְרִים אוֹ עוֹבְדֵי אֲדָמָה וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן שֶׁדַּרְכּוֹ לִטְרֹחַ הַרְבֵּה וְאִם לֹא יַעֲשֶׂה בִּמְלָאכָה יֶחֱלֶה נוֹתֵן לוֹ כָּל שְׂכָרוֹ:

8

When a person hires a worker to bring him an object from one place to another, and the worker goes to the designated place but cannot find the object specified, the employer is obligated to pay him his entire wage.

If a person hires a worker to bring rods to use as supports for a vineyard, but the worker can not find them, and hence does not bring them, the employer must pay the worker his wage.

If he hired him to bring cabbage or prunes for a sick person, the worker went and when he returned, the sick person either died or recovered, the employer should not tell the worker: "Take what you brought as your payment." Instead, he must pay him the entire wage he promised him. Similar principles apply in all analogous situations.

ח

הַשּׂוֹכֵר אֶת הַפּוֹעֵל לְהָבִיא לוֹ שְׁלִיחוּת מִמָּקוֹם לְמָקוֹם וְהָלַךְ וְלֹא מָצָא שָׁם מַה יָּבִיא נוֹתֵן לוֹ שְׂכָרוֹ מָשְׁלָם. שְׂכָרוֹ לְהָבִיא קָנִים לַכֶּרֶם וְהָלַךְ וְלֹא מָצָא וְלֹא הֵבִיא נוֹתֵן לוֹ שְׂכָרוֹ מָשְׁלָם. שְׂכָרוֹ לְהָבִיא כְּרוּב וּדוֹרְמַסְקְנִין לַחוֹלֶה וְהָלַךְ וּמְצָאוֹ שֶׁמֵּת אוֹ הִבְרִיא לֹא יֹאמַר לוֹ טל מַה שֶּׁהֵבֵאתָ בִּשְׂכָרְךָ אֶלָּא נוֹתֵן לוֹ כָּל שְׂכָרוֹ. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

9

When a person hires a worker to perform work in his own field, but shows him a field belonging to a colleague and has him perform work there, he must pay him his entire wage. Afterwards, he may require his colleague to reimburse him for the benefit he received from this work.

ט

הַשּׂוֹכֵר אֶת הַפּוֹעֵל לַעֲשׂוֹת עִמּוֹ בְּשֶׁלּוֹ וְהֶרְאָהוּ בְּשֶׁל חֲבֵרוֹ נוֹתֵן כָּל שְׂכָרוֹ וְחוֹזֵר וְלוֹקֵחַ מֵחֲבֵרוֹ מַה שֶּׁנֶּהֱנָה בְּזוֹ הַמְּלָאכָה:

10

When a person hires a worker to work together with him with straw, stubble and the like, he is not given the option of telling the worker: "Take what you did as your payment." If, however, he made such an offer, and the worker agreed, he is not given the option of changing his mind and telling the worker: "Take your wage and I will take my straw."

י

הַשּׂוֹכֵר אֶת הַפּוֹעֵל לַעֲשׂוֹת עִמּוֹ בְּתֶבֶן וְקַשׁ וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן וְאָמַר לוֹ טל מַה שֶּׁעָשִׂיתָ בִּשְׂכָרְךָ אֵין שׁוֹמְעִין לוֹ. וְאִם מִשֶּׁקִּבֵּל עָלָיו אָמַר לוֹ הֵילָךְ שְׂכָרְךָ וַאֲנִי אֶטּל אֶת שֶׁלִּי אֵין שׁוֹמְעִין לוֹ:

11

An ownerless object discovered by a worker belongs to him. This law applies even when the employer told him: "Work for me today." Needless to say, it applies if he told him: "Hoe for me."

If, however, he hired him to take possession of ownerless objects - e.g., a river dried up and he hired him to collect the fish in a nearby marsh -whatever he finds, even a wallet filled with silver coins, belongs to the owner.

יא

מְצִיאַת הַפּוֹעֵל לְעַצְמוֹ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאָמַר לוֹ עֲשֵׂה עִמִּי מְלָאכָה הַיּוֹם. וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר אִם אָמַר לוֹ עֲדֹר עִמִּי הַיּוֹם. אֲבָל אִם שְׂכָרוֹ לִלְקֹט מְצִיאוֹת כְּגוֹן שֶׁחָסַר הַנָּהָר וּשְׂכָרוֹ לִלְקֹט הַדָּגִים הַנִּמְצָאִין בַּאֲגַם הֲרֵי מְצִיאָתוֹ לְבַעַל הַבַּיִת וַאֲפִלּוּ מָצָא כִּיס מָלֵא דִּינָרִין:

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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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