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Mechirah - Chapter Seven, Mechirah - Chapter Eight, Mechirah - Chapter Nine

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Mechirah - Chapter Seven

'In the name of the Lord, eternal God'

"The beginning of wisdom: Acquire wisdom; with all your resources, gain understanding" (Proverbs 4:7)

THE TWELFTH BOOK

SEFER KINYAN The Book of Acquisition

This book contains five halachot, which are arranged in the following order:

Hilchot Mechirah - The Laws of Selling

Hilchot Zechiyah UMatanah - The Laws of Acquisition and Gifts

Hilchot Sh'chenim - The Laws Governing Relations Between Neighbors

Hilchot Sh'luchin V'Shutafin - The Laws Governing Relations with Agents

and Partners

Hilchot Avadim - The Laws Governing Servants

1

Whenever a person pays money, but does not perform meshichah on the produce, although the purchaser does not acquire the movable property, as we have explained, the person who retracts - whether the purchaser or the seller - is considered not to have conducted himself in a Jewish manner. He is liable to receive the adjuration referred to as mi shepara. Even if the purchaser only made a deposit, if either of the parties involved retracts, that party is eligible to receive the adjuration referred to as mi shepara.

א

מִי שֶׁנָּתַן הַדָּמִים וְלֹא מָשַׁךְ הַפֵּרוֹת. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא נִקְנוּ הַמִּטַּלְטְלִין כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. כָּל הַחוֹזֵר בּוֹ בֵּין לוֹקֵחַ בֵּין מוֹכֵר לֹא עָשָׂה מַעֲשֵׂה יִשְׂרָאֵל וְחַיָּב לְקַבֵּל מִי שֶׁפָּרַע. וַאֲפִלּוּ נָתַן הָעֵרָבוֹן כָּל הַחוֹזֵר מְקַבֵּל מִי שֶׁפָּרַע:

2

What does receiving the adjuration referred to as mi shepara involve? He is cursed in court and told: "May He who exacted retribution from the generation of the flood, the generation who were dispersed, the inhabitants of Sodom and Amorah, and the Egyptians who drowned in the sea, exact retribution from a person who does not keep his word."

After this curse is administered, the seller should return the money.

ב

וְכֵיצַד מְקַבֵּל מִי שֶׁפָּרַע. אוֹרְרִין אוֹתוֹ בְּבֵית דִּין וְאוֹמְרִין מִי שֶׁפָּרַע מֵאַנְשֵׁי דּוֹר הַמַּבּוּל וּמֵאַנְשֵׁי דּוֹר הַפַּלָּגָה וּמֵאַנְשֵׁי סְדוֹם וַעֲמוֹרָה וּמִמִּצְרַיִם שֶׁטָּבְעוּ בַּיָּם הוּא יִפָּרַע מִמִּי שֶׁאֵינוֹ עוֹמֵד בְּדִבּוּרוֹ. וְאַחַר כָּךְ יַחְזְרוּ הַדָּמִים:

3

The following laws apply when a purchaser pays - either completely or partially - for movable property that he desires to purchase and then retracts and the seller tells him, "Come and collect your money." The money is considered to be an entrusted object. If it is stolen or lost, the seller is not responsible for it.

If, however, the seller retracts, the money is considered to be within his domain, and he is responsible for it even though he tells the purchaser, "Come and collect your money." This applies until he receives the adjuration mi shepara and tells the purchaser afterwards: "Come and collect your money."

ג

הַנּוֹתֵן דְּמֵי הַמִּטַּלְטְלִין אוֹ מִקְצָת הַדָּמִים וְחָזַר בּוֹ הַלּוֹקֵחַ וְאָמַר לוֹ הַמּוֹכֵר בֹּא וְטֹל מְעוֹתֶיךָ. הֲרֵי הַמָּעוֹת אֶצְלוֹ כְּמוֹ פִּקָּדוֹן. וְאִם נִגְנְבוּ אוֹ אָבְדוּ אֵינוֹ חַיָּב בְּאַחֲרָיוּתָן. אֲבָל אִם חָזַר בּוֹ הַמּוֹכֵר הֲרֵי הַמָּעוֹת בִּרְשׁוּתוֹ וְחַיָּב בְּאַחֲרָיוּתָן. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁחָזַר בּוֹ וְאָמַר לַלּוֹקֵחַ בּוֹא וְטֹל אֶת שֶׁלְּךָ. עַד שֶׁיְּקַבֵּל עָלָיו מִי שֶׁפָּרַע וְיֹאמַר לוֹ אַחַר כָּךְ בּוֹא וְטֹל אֶת שֶׁלְּךָ:

4

When a person is owed a debt by a colleague and tells him: "Sell me this jug of wine for the debt that you owe me," and the seller agrees, it is considered as if the purchaser paid the money at that time. If either party retracts, he is liable to receive the adjuration mi shepara.

Moreover, if he sold him landed property in exchange for the debt, neither party is allowed to retract. This applies even if the money given as a loan is no longer in the seller's possession at the time of the sale.

ד

מִי שֶׁהָיָה לוֹ חוֹב אֵצֶל חֲבֵרוֹ וְאָמַר לוֹ מְכֹר לִי חָבִית שֶׁל יַיִן בַּחוֹב שֶׁיֵּשׁ לִי אֶצְלְךָ וְרָצָה הַמּוֹכֵר. הֲרֵי זֶה כְּמִי שֶׁנָּתַן הַדָּמִים עַתָּה. וְכָל הַחוֹזֵר בּוֹ מְקַבֵּל מִי שֶׁפָּרַע. לְפִיכָךְ אִם מָכַר לוֹ קַרְקַע בְּחוֹבוֹ אֵין אֶחָד מֵהֶן יָכוֹל לַחְזֹר בּוֹ וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין מְעוֹת הַמַּלְוֶה מְצוּיוֹת בִּשְׁעַת הַמֶּכֶר:

5

When a person purchases landed property, servants or other movable property from a colleague, a price is agreed upon, and the purchaser leaves collateral in place of the money, the transaction is not completed. Either of the two can retract; he is not even liable to receive the adjuration mi shepara.

ה

הַלּוֹקֵחַ מֵחֲבֵרוֹ קַרְקַע אוֹ עֲבָדִים אוֹ שְׁאָר מִטַּלְטְלִין וּפָסְקוּ הַדָּמִים וְהִנִּיחַ מַשְׁכּוֹן עַל הַדָּמִים לֹא קָנָה. וְכָל הָרוֹצֶה לַחְזֹר מִשְּׁנֵיהֶם חוֹזֵר וְאֵינוֹ חַיָּב לְקַבֵּל מִי שֶׁפָּרַע:

6

The following rules apply when a verbal agreement alone was concluded with regard to the sale, a price was established, and the purchaser made a mark on the article so that he will have a sign that it is his. Even though the purchaser did not pay any money at all, if either of the parties retracts after the purchaser made the mark, he is liable to receive the adjuration mi shepara.

Moreover, if it is the accepted local business custom that making a mark constitutes a binding act of contract, by making that mark, the purchaser completes the transaction. Neither can retract, and the purchaser is liable to pay the price agreed to.

ו

מָכַר לוֹ בִּדְבָרִים בִּלְבַד וּפָסְקוּ הַדָּמִים. וְרָשַׁם הַלּוֹקֵחַ רשֶׁם עַל הַמִּקָּח כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיֶה לוֹ סִימָן יָדוּעַ שֶׁהוּא שֶׁלּוֹ. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא נָתַן מֵהַדָּמִים כְּלוּם כָּל הַחוֹזֵר בּוֹ אַחַר שֶׁרָשַׁם מְקַבֵּל מִי שֶׁפָּרַע. וְאִם מִנְהַג הַמְּדִינָה הוּא שֶׁיִּקְנֶה הָרשֶׁם קִנְיָן גָּמוּר נִקְנָה הַמִּקָּח. וְאֵין אֶחָד מֵהֶן יָכוֹל לַחְזֹר בּוֹ. וְיִהְיֶה זֶה חַיָּב לִתֵּן דָּמִים:

7

It is a clear fact that this law applies only when the mark is made in the presence of the seller, or if the seller says: "Mark your purchase." For this indicates that he has agreed to transfer ownership, as explained with regard to chazakah and meshichah.

ז

דָּבָר בָּרוּר הוּא שֶׁאֵין דִּין זֶה אֶלָּא בְּשֶׁרָשַׁם בִּפְנֵי הַמּוֹכֵר. אוֹ שֶׁאָמַר לוֹ הַמּוֹכֵר רְשֹׁם מִקָּחֲךָ. שֶׁהֲרֵי גָּמַר לְהַקְנוֹתָן כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ בַּחֲזָקָה וּבִמְשִׁיכָה:

8

When a person agrees to a transaction with a verbal commitment alone, it is appropriate for him to keep his word even though he did not take any money at all, did not make a mark on the article he desired to purchase, nor leave security. If either the seller or the purchaser retracts, although they are not liable to receive the adjuration mi shepara, they are considered to be faithless, and the spirit of the Sages does not derive satisfaction from them.

ח

הַנּוֹשֵׂא וְנוֹתֵן בִּדְבָרִים בִּלְבַד הֲרֵי זֶה רָאוּי לַעֲמֹד לוֹ בְּדִבּוּרוֹ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא לָקַח מִן הַדָּמִים כְּלוּם וְלֹא רָשַׁם וְלֹא הִנִּיחַ מַשְׁכּוֹן. וְכָל הַחוֹזֵר בּוֹ בֵּין לוֹקֵחַ בֵּין מוֹכֵר אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינוֹ חַיָּב לְקַבֵּל מִי שֶׁפָּרַע הֲרֵי זֶה מִמְּחֻסְּרֵי אֲמָנָה וְאֵין רוּחַ חֲכָמִים נוֹחָה הֵימֶנּוּ:

9

Similarly, if a person promised to give a colleague a gift and failed to do so, he is considered to be faithless.

When does the above apply? With regard to a small gift, because the recipient will depend on the promise that he was given. With regard to a large gift, by contrast, the giver is not considered to be faithless if he retracts, because the recipient does not believe that he will give him these articles until he transfers ownership through a formal kinyan.

ט

וְכֵן מִי שֶׁאָמַר לַחֲבֵרוֹ לִתֵּן לוֹ מַתָּנָה וְלֹא נָתַן הֲרֵי זֶה מִמְּחֻסְּרֵי אֲמָנָה. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּמַתָּנָה מוּעֶטֶת שֶׁהֲרֵי סָמְכָה דַּעְתּוֹ שֶׁל מְקַבֵּל כְּשֶׁהִבְטִיחוֹ. אֲבָל בְּמַתָּנָה מְרֻבָּה אֵין בָּהּ חֶסְרוֹן אֲמָנָה. שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא הֶאֱמִין זֶה שֶׁיִּתֵּן לוֹ דְּבָרִים אֵלּוּ עַד שֶׁיִּקְנֶה אוֹתָן בִּדְבָרִים שֶׁקּוֹנִין בָּהֶן:

10

The following rule applies when a person gave money to a colleague to purchase landed property or movable property, and the agent left his colleague's money in his domain and went and purchased the object for himself with his own money. The purchase he performed is concluded; he is, however, considered to be a man of deceit.

י

הַנּוֹתֵן מָעוֹת לַחֲבֵרוֹ לִקְנוֹת לוֹ קַרְקַע אוֹ מִטַּלְטְלִין וְהִנִּיחַ מְעוֹת חֲבֵרוֹ אֶצְלוֹ וְהָלַךְ וְקָנָה לְעַצְמוֹ בִּמְעוֹתָיו מַה שֶּׁעָשָׂה עָשׂוּי וַהֲרֵי הוּא מִכְּלַל הָרַמָּאִין:

11

If the agent knows that the seller has affection for him and honors him and would sell the article to him, but not to the person who charged him with purchasing it, the agent is permitted to buy it for himself. He must, however, return and notify the one who sent him. If he is afraid that another person will come and purchase the article before him, he may purchase the article for himself and then notify the one who sent him.

יא

הָיָה יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁזֶּה הַמּוֹכֵר אוֹהֵב אוֹתוֹ וּמְכַבְּדוֹ וּמוֹכֵר לוֹ וְאֵינוֹ מוֹכֵר לִמְשַׁלְּחוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר לִקְנוֹת לְעַצְמוֹ. וְהוּא שֶׁיַּחֲזֹר וְיוֹדִיעוֹ. וְאִם מְפַחֵד שֶׁמָּא יָבוֹא אַחֵר וִיקַדְּמֶנּוּ לִקְנוֹת הֲרֵי זֶה קוֹנֶה לְעַצְמוֹ וְאַחַר כָּךְ מוֹדִיעוֹ:

12

Several Rabbinic authorities have ruled that if the agent purchased the article for himself using the money entrusted to him by his colleague after considering it to be a loan, he is considered to have purchased the article for himself. We accept his claim: "I considered the money that I was given to be a loan."

I differ and maintain that this ruling is not true. Instead, the purchase belongs to the principal, as will be explained with regard to the laws of an investment partnership.

יב

הוֹרוּ מִקְצָת הַמּוֹרִים שֶׁאִם קָנָה לְעַצְמוֹ בִּמְעוֹת חֲבֵרוֹ אַחַר שֶׁזְּקָפָן עָלָיו מִלְוֶה הֲרֵי קָנָה לְעַצְמוֹ. וּמְקַבְּלִין מִמֶּנּוּ כְּשֶׁאָמַר זָקַפְתִּי אוֹתָם הַמָּעוֹת עַל עַצְמִי בְּמִלְוֶה. וַאֲנִי אוֹמֵר שֶׁאֵין דִּין זֶה דִּין אֱמֶת. אֶלָּא הַמִּקָּח שֶׁל מְשַׁלֵּחַ כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּדִין הָעֵסֶק:

13

The following rules apply when three people give money to one agent to purchase an article for them: If the monies were mixed together, and the agent used only a portion of the money to purchase the article, the article is considered the property of all the purchasers, and they divide ownership of it according to their share of the money. This applies even if the intent of the agent was that the article be purchased by only one of them.

יג

שְׁלֹשָׁה שֶׁנָּתְנוּ מָעוֹת לְאֶחָד לִקְנוֹת לָהֶם הַמִּקָּח. אִם הָיוּ הַמָּעוֹת מְעֹרָבוֹת וְקָנָה בְּמִקְצָת הַדָּמִים אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהָיְתָה כַּוָּנַת הַשָּׁלִיחַ שֶׁזֶּה שֶׁקָּנָה לְאֶחָד מֵהֶן הֲרֵי הַמִּקָּח שֶׁל כֻּלָּן וְחוֹלְקִין אוֹתוֹ לְפִי מְעוֹתֵיהֶן:

14

If the money of one of the partners was bound up and sealed, and that money was used to complete the purchase, the partner whose funds were used alone acquires ownership. This applies even if the agent intended that the article be acquired by all the partnership as a joint enterprise.

יד

הָיוּ מָעוֹת שֶׁל אֶחָד מֵהֶן צְרוּרִין וַחֲתוּמִין אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהָיָה בְּלֵב הַשָּׁלִיחַ הַזֶּה שֶׁיַּקְנֶה הַמִּקָּח לְכֻלָּן לֹא קָנָה אֶלָּא זֶה שֶׁנִּקְנָה הַמִּקָּח בִּמְעוֹתָיו בִּלְבַד:

Mechirah - Chapter Eight

'In the name of the Lord, eternal God'

"The beginning of wisdom: Acquire wisdom; with all your resources, gain understanding" (Proverbs 4:7)

THE TWELFTH BOOK

SEFER KINYAN The Book of Acquisition

This book contains five halachot, which are arranged in the following order:

Hilchot Mechirah - The Laws of Selling

Hilchot Zechiyah UMatanah - The Laws of Acquisition and Gifts

Hilchot Sh'chenim - The Laws Governing Relations Between Neighbors

Hilchot Sh'luchin V'Shutafin - The Laws Governing Relations with Agents

and Partners

Hilchot Avadim - The Laws Governing Servants

1

The following rules apply when a person sold his field to a colleague for 1000 zuz, the purchaser paid a portion of the funds, and the seller was repeatedly demanding payment of the remainder. Even if there was only one zuz remaining unpaid, the purchaser does not acquire the entire field. This applies even if the seller had a deed of sale composed or the purchaser manifested ownership.

א

הַמּוֹכֵר שָׂדֶה לַחֲבֵרוֹ בְּאֶלֶף זוּז וְנָתַן לוֹ מִקְצָת הַדָּמִים וְהָיָה יוֹצֵא וְנִכְנָס וְתוֹבֵעַ שְׁאָר הַדָּמִים אֲפִלּוּ לֹא נִשְׁאַר לוֹ אֶלָּא זוּז אֶחָד לֹא קָנָה הַלּוֹקֵחַ אֶת כֻּלָּהּ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁכָּתַב הַשְּׁטָר אוֹ הֶחֱזִיק:

2

In the above situation, if the purchaser retracts, the seller is given the upper hand. If he desires, he can tell the purchaser: "Here is your money," or he can tell him: "Acquire a portion of the land equivalent to the money that you paid me." In this instance, he gives the purchaser the land of least value.

If the seller retracts, the purchaser is given the upper hand. If he desires, he can tell the seller: "Give me my money," or he can tell him: "Give me a portion of the land equivalent to the money that I paid." In this instance, he takes the choicest portion of the land.

If the seller was not repeatedly demanding payment of the remainder, the purchaser acquires the entire property. Neither can retract. The remainder of the money unpaid at the time of sale is considered as any other debt.

ב

חָזַר בּוֹ הַלּוֹקֵחַ. יַד הַמּוֹכֵר עַל הָעֶלְיוֹנָה. רָצָה אוֹמֵר לוֹ הֵילָךְ מְעוֹתֶיךָ אוֹ קְנֵה מִן הַקַּרְקַע כְּנֶגֶד הַמָּעוֹת שֶׁנָּתַתָּ לִי וְנוֹתֵן לוֹ מִן הַזִּבּוּרִית שֶׁבָּהּ. וְאִם חָזַר הַמּוֹכֵר יַד הַלּוֹקֵחַ עַל הָעֶלְיוֹנָה רָצָה אוֹמֵר לוֹ תֵּן לִי מְעוֹתַי אוֹ תֵּן לִי קַרְקַע כְּנֶגֶד מְעוֹתַי וְנוֹטֵל מִן הַיָּפֶה שֶׁבָּהּ. וְאִם לֹא הָיָה יוֹצֵא וְנִכְנָס וְתוֹבֵעַ קָנָה הַלּוֹקֵחַ אֶת כֻּלָּהּ וְאֵין אֶחָד מֵהֶן יָכוֹל לַחְזֹר בּוֹ. וּשְׁאָר הַדָּמִים עָלָיו כִּשְׁאָר הַחוֹבוֹת:

3

If a person sold his field because it was of inferior quality, even when the seller repeatedly demands payment of the remainder of the money, the purchaser acquires the entire property, and he is not entitled to retract. For the reason the seller is pursuing the purchaser and demanding payment is not that he has not agreed to transfer ownership, but to prevent the purchaser from retracting.

ג

מָכַר שָׂדֵהוּ מִפְּנֵי רָעָתָהּ. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא יוֹצֵא וְנִכְנָס וְתוֹבֵעַ שְׁאָר הַדָּמִים קָנָה הַכּל. וְאֵין הַלּוֹקֵחַ יָכוֹל לַחְזֹר בּוֹ. שֶׁזֶּה שֶׁתּוֹבֵעַ וְרוֹדֵף לֹא מִפְּנֵי שֶׁעֲדַיִן לֹא גָּמַר וְהִקְנָה. אֶלָּא כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יַחְזֹר בּוֹ הַלּוֹקֵחַ:

4

The same law applies with regard to the sale of movable property. Although the purchaser draws produce after him and brings it into his domain, if the seller repeatedly demands payment of the remainder of the money, the purchaser does not acquire the goods. The person who retracts has the lower hand, as has been explained above, unless the seller sold the goods because of their inferior quality. In such an instance, the purchaser acquires all the goods.

ד

וְכֵן הַדִּין בְּמוֹכֵר מִטַּלְטְלִין אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁמָּשַׁךְ הַלּוֹקֵחַ הַפֵּרוֹת וְהוֹצִיאָן לִרְשׁוּתוֹ וְהַמּוֹכֵר נִכְנָס וְיוֹצֵא עַל שְׁאָר הַדָּמִים לֹא קָנָה. וְיַד הַחוֹזֵר בּוֹ עַל הַתַּחְתּוֹנָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן מָכַר מִפְּנֵי רָעַת מִמְכָּרוֹ וַהֲרֵי זֶה קָנָה הַכּל:

5

When a person buys a field worth 100 zuz for 200, and the seller repeatedly demands payment of the remainder of the money, the status of the transaction remains an unresolved question: Is the person considered to be one who sold his field because of its inferior quality, and he is demanding payment only because he sold it for more than its worth? Or he is not considered to be one who sold his field because of its inferior quality, and he is demanding payment because he did not decide to complete its sale until he received all the money?

Because the matter is unresolved, neither party is allowed to retract. If the seller seizes possession of a portion of the property that was sold equivalent to the worth of the money left unpaid, it should not be expropriated from his possession.

ה

לָקַח שְׁוֵה מֵאָה בְּמָאתַיִם וְהַמּוֹכֵר יוֹצֵא וְנִכְנָס לִתְבֹּעַ שְׁאָר הַדָּמִים. הֲרֵי זֶה סָפֵק אִם הוּא כְּמוֹכֵר שָׂדֵהוּ מִפְּנֵי רָעָתָהּ וְאֵינוֹ תּוֹבֵעַ אֶלָּא מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמָּכַר בְּיוֹתֵר. אוֹ אֵינוֹ כְּמוֹכֵר שָׂדֵהוּ מִפְּנֵי רָעָתָהּ וְזֶה שֶׁתּוֹבֵעַ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁעֲדַיִן לֹא גָּמַר לְהַקְנוֹתוֹ עַד שֶׁיִּקַּח כָּל הַדָּמִים. לְפִיכָךְ הָרוֹצֶה לַחְזֹר מִשְּׁנֵיהֶם אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לַחְזֹר. וְאִם תָּפַס הַמּוֹכֵר מִמִּקָּח שֶׁמָּכַר כְּנֶגֶד הַמָּעוֹת שֶׁנִּשְׁאֲרוּ לוֹ אֵין מוֹצִיאִין מִיָּדוֹ:

6

When a person acquires something from a colleague and pays him money, but errs in the amount of money he gave him the transaction is valid. If afterwards the seller lodges a claim against the purchaser, saying: "You were supposed to pay me 100 zuz, and you paid me only ninety," the transaction is still viable. The purchaser must, however, pay the additional ten zuz.

The above applies even though several years have passed since the transaction and applies with regard to the sale of both landed property and movable property.

ו

הַקּוֹנֶה דָּבָר מֵחֲבֵרוֹ וְנָתַן לוֹ הַדָּמִים וְטָעָה בְּמִנְיַן הַמָּעוֹת. וּלְאַחַר זְמַן תְּבָעוֹ הַמּוֹכֵר וְאָמַר לוֹ מֵאָה שֶׁנָּתַתָּ לִי אֵינָם אֶלָּא תִּשְׁעִים. נִקְנָה הַמִּקָּח וּמַחֲזִיר לוֹ הָעֲשָׂרָה אֲפִלּוּ אַחַר כַּמָּה שָׁנִים. בֵּין בְּקַרְקַע בֵּין בְּמִטַּלְטְלִין:

7

The following rules apply when a person tells a colleague: "If I sell this field, it will be sold to you retroactively from the present time for 100 zuz" and confirms this with a kinyan. If the seller later sells it to another person for 100 zuz, it is acquired by the first person.

If he sells it for more than that amount, the second person acquires it. The rationale is that by saying: "If I sell," he meant "If I sell it with the same approach that I have now." And this person did not want to sell it; he sold it only because of the additional amount that the other person added on. It is as if he were forced to sell.

ז

הָאוֹמֵר לַחֲבֵרוֹ כְּשֶׁאֶמְכֹּר שָׂדֶה זוֹ הֲרֵי הִיא מְכוּרָה לְךָ מֵעַכְשָׁו בְּמֵאָה זוּז וְקָנָה מִיָּדוֹ עַל כָּךְ וּלְאַחַר זְמַן מְכָרָהּ לְאַחֵר בְּמֵאָה. קָנָה הָרִאשׁוֹן. מְכָרָהּ בְּיוֹתֵר עַל מָנֶה קָנָה אַחֲרוֹן. שֶׁלֹּא אָמַר לוֹ אֶלָּא כְּשֶׁאֶמְכֹּר שֶׁיִּהְיֶה מוֹכֵר מִדַּעְתּוֹ תְּחִלָּה וְזֶה לֹא הָיָה רוֹצֶה לִמְכֹּר וְלֹא מָכַר אֶלָּא מִפְּנֵי הַתּוֹסֶפֶת שֶׁהוֹסִיף זֶה עַל שָׁוְיוֹ. וְנִמְצָא כְּמִי שֶׁנֶּאֱנַס וּמָכַר:

8

If the seller told the first purchaser: "If I sell this field, it will be sold to you retroactively from the present time for the price to be evaluated by a court of three," the price need be agreed on by only two of the three.

If he said: "As dictated by three," all three must agree. If he said: "As evaluated by a court of four," all four must agree. For the sale to the first purchaser to take effect, the judges must agree on the price, and he must sell it to another person as they agreed. Afterwards, the first purchaser acquires the property.

If three or four people evaluate it and the seller says: "I will not sell it until three or four others evaluate it," we do not heed him. For he confirmed his commitment to sell retroactively with a kinyan.

ח

אָמַר לוֹ כְּשֶׁאֶמְכְּרֶנָּה הֲרֵי הִיא קְנוּיָה לְךָ מֵעַכְשָׁו כְּמָה שֶׁיָּשׁוּמוּ אוֹתָהּ בֵּית דִּין שֶׁל שְׁלֹשָׁה. אֲפִלּוּ עַל פִּי שְׁנַיִם מִן הַשְּׁלֹשָׁה. אָמַר לוֹ כְּמוֹ שֶׁיֹּאמְרוּ שְׁלֹשָׁה עַד שֶׁיֹּאמְרוּ הַשְּׁלֹשָׁה. וְכֵן אִם אָמַר לוֹ כְּמוֹ שֶׁיָּשׁוּמוּ אוֹתָהּ בֵּית דִּין שֶׁל אַרְבָּעָה עַד שֶׁיָּשׁוּמוּ הָאַרְבָּעָה כֻּלָּן וְיַסְכִּימוּ וְיִמְכֹּר לְאַחֵר כְּמוֹ שֶׁיַּסְכִּימוּ. וְאַחַר כָּךְ יִקְנֶה הָרִאשׁוֹן. שָׁמוּ אוֹתָהּ שְׁלֹשָׁה אוֹ אַרְבָּעָה וְאָמַר הַמּוֹכֵר עַד שֶׁיָּבוֹאוּ שְׁלֹשָׁה אֲחֵרִים אוֹ אַרְבָּעָה וְיָשׁוּמוּ אֵין שׁוֹמְעִין לוֹ שֶׁהֲרֵי קָנוּ מִיָּדוֹ תְּחִלָּה שֶׁמָּכַר מֵעַכְשָׁו:

Mechirah - Chapter Nine

'In the name of the Lord, eternal God'

"The beginning of wisdom: Acquire wisdom; with all your resources, gain understanding" (Proverbs 4:7)

THE TWELFTH BOOK

SEFER KINYAN The Book of Acquisition

This book contains five halachot, which are arranged in the following order:

Hilchot Mechirah - The Laws of Selling

Hilchot Zechiyah UMatanah - The Laws of Acquisition and Gifts

Hilchot Sh'chenim - The Laws Governing Relations Between Neighbors

Hilchot Sh'luchin V'Shutafin - The Laws Governing Relations with Agents

and Partners

Hilchot Avadim - The Laws Governing Servants

1

The following rules apply when a person sells an article to the Temple treasury. If the representative of the treasury asks him: "How much are you selling it for?" and the person says: "Ten zuz" even if it is worth 100, once he said ten he cannot retract. For making a promise to the Most High is considered equivalent to transferring the article in question to the possession of a colleague.

א

הַמּוֹכֵר לַהֶקְדֵּשׁ וְאָמַר לוֹ הַגִּזְבָּר בְּכַמָּה אַתָּה מוֹכֵר חֵפֶץ זֶה וְאָמַר בַּעֲשָׂרָה אֲפִלּוּ הָיָה שָׁוֶה מֵאָה כֵּיוָן שֶׁאָמַר בַּעֲשָׂרָה אֵינוֹ [יָכוֹל] לַחְזֹר בּוֹ. שֶׁאֲמִירָה לְגָבוֹהַּ כִּמְסִירָה לְהֶדְיוֹט:

2

Whether a representative of the treasury buys or sells an article, he is always given the upper hand if there is a fluctuation in the article's value.

What is implied? If the representative paid with money from the Temple treasury, but did not perform meshichah on the produce, although the value of the produce increases, the Temple treasury nevertheless acquires the produce, as prescribed by Scriptural Law. If the value of the produce decreases, the Temple treasurer may retract, for he did not perform meshichah, and the legal power of an ordinary person should not be greater than that of the Temple treasury.

Similarly, if the Temple treasurer sold an article that had been consecrated, the purchaser performed meshichah, but did not pay for it, and then the value of the article decreases, the transaction is finalized. For the legal power of an ordinary person should not be greater than that of the Temple treasury. If the value of the article increases, the representative of the treasury may retract, for he did not accept payment, and consecrated articles may be acquired only through the payment of money, as implied by the verse: "And he shall give the money and it will be established as his." The representative of the treasury is not liable to receive the adjuration mi shepara.

ב

הַגִּזְבָּר שֶׁקָּנָה לַהֶקְדֵּשׁ אוֹ שֶׁמָּכַר יָדוֹ עַל הָעֶלְיוֹנָה. כֵּיצַד. נָתַן דָּמִים שֶׁל הֶקְדֵּשׁ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא מָשַׁךְ הַפֵּרוֹת אִם הוּקְרוּ קָנָה כְּדִין תּוֹרָה. וְאִם הוּזְלוּ הַפֵּרוֹת חוֹזֵר שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא מָשַׁךְ. וְלֹא יְהֵא כֹּחַ הֶדְיוֹט חָמוּר מִכֹּחַ הַהֶקְדֵּשׁ. וְכֵן אִם מָכַר חֵפֶץ שֶׁל הֶקְדֵּשׁ וּמְשָׁכוֹ הַלּוֹקֵחַ וְלֹא נָתַן דָּמִים וְהוּזַל הַחֵפֶץ קָנָה. שֶׁלֹּא יְהֵא כֹּחַ הֶדְיוֹט חָמוּר מִכֹּחַ הֶקְדֵּשׁ. וְאִם הוּקַר הַחֵפֶץ חוֹזֵר בּוֹ שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא לָקַח הַגִּזְבָּר דָּמִים. וְהַהֶקְדֵּשׁ אֵינוֹ נִקְנֶה אֶלָּא בְּכֶסֶף שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וְנָתַן הַכֶּסֶף וְקָם לוֹ. וְאֵין הַגִּזְבָּר חַיָּב לְקַבֵּל מִי שֶׁפָּרַע:

3

Property belonging to orphans is governed by the same rules as those governing the Temple treasury.

What is implied? When orphans sell produce, and meshichah is performed on the produce, but they have not yet received the money for it, they may retract from the agreement if the value of the produce increases. For like consecrated property, property belonging to orphans can be acquired only through the transfer of money.

If the value of the produce decreases the transaction should be allowed to stand. For the legal power of an ordinary person should not be greater than the legal power of orphans.

ג

נִכְסֵי יְתוֹמִים הֲרֵי הֵן כְּהֶקְדֵּשׁ. כֵּיצַד. יְתוֹמִים שֶׁמָּכְרוּ פֵּרוֹת וְנִמְשְׁכוּ מֵהֶן הַפֵּרוֹת וַעֲדַיִן לֹא לָקְחוּ הַדָּמִים וְהוּקְרוּ הַפֵּרוֹת חוֹזְרִין בָּהֶן. שֶׁאֵין נִכְסֵי יְתוֹמִים נִקְנִין אֶלָּא בְּכֶסֶף כְּהֶקְדֵּשׁ. הוּזְלוּ הַפֵּרוֹת לֹא יִהְיֶה כֹּחַ הֶדְיוֹט יוֹתֵר חָמוּר מִכֹּחָן:

4

Similarly, if orphans received payment, but meshichah was not performed on their produce before it increased in value, they may retract as may ordinary individuals. If, however, the value of the produce decreased and the purchasers desire to retract, they may do so, but they must receive the adjuration mi shepara, as would be the law with regard to others.

They are allowed to retract because if we required them to keep the produce, as would be required by Scriptural Law, this would be a disservice to the orphans. For if this were the law, when the orphans desire to sell an object, they would never find anyone who would be willing to pay them money unless the object were handed over first.

ד

וְכֵן אִם לָקְחוּ הַדָּמִים וַעֲדַיִן לֹא נִמְשְׁכוּ פֵּרוֹתֵיהֶן וְהוּקְרוּ. חוֹזְרִין כִּשְׁאָר הַהֶדְיוֹטוֹת. אֲבָל אִם הוּזְלוּ הַפֵּרוֹת וְרָצוּ הַלָּקוֹחוֹת לַחְזֹר בָּהֶן. חוֹזְרִין וּמְקַבְּלִין מִי שֶׁפָּרַע כְּדִינָם עִם שְׁאָר הָעָם. שֶׁאִם נְחַיֵּב אוֹתָם לִקַּח הַפֵּרוֹת כְּדִין תּוֹרָה הֲרֵי זוֹ רָעָה לַיְתוֹמִים. שֶׁאִם יִהְיֶה דִּינָם כָּךְ כְּשֶׁיִּצְטָרְכוּ לִמְכֹּר לֹא יִמְצְאוּ מִי יִתֵּן לָהֶם דָּמִים:

5

Similar principles apply if orphans purchase produce and perform meshichah on the produce, but have not yet paid for it. If the value of the produce increases, the legal power of an ordinary person should not be greater than their legal power. Therefore, the transaction should be allowed to stand."

If the value of the produce decreases, they are not allowed to retract. For this would be a disservice to them. If they were given this privilege, should they desire to purchase produce, they would not find anyone who would sell it to them before they made payment.

ה

וְכֵן יְתוֹמִים שֶׁלָּקְחוּ פֵּרוֹת וּמָשְׁכוּ הַפֵּרוֹת וְלֹא נָתְנוּ הַדָּמִים וְהוּקְרוּ לֹא יִהְיֶה כֹּחַ הֶדְיוֹט גָּדוֹל מִכֹּחָן. וְאִם הוּזְלוּ הַפֵּרוֹת אֵינָן חוֹזְרִין. שֶׁזּוֹ רָעָה לָהֶם כְּשֶׁיִּצְטָרְכוּ לִקְנוֹת פֵּרוֹת לֹא יִמְצְאוּ מִי שֶׁיִּמְכֹּר לָהֶם:

6

If the orphans paid for produce but did not perform meshichah, and then the value of the produce decreases, they may retract, for the legal power of an ordinary person should not be greater than their legal power. If the value of the produce increases, the sellers may retract if they desire and receive the adjuration mi shepara. For if the law were that the orphans acquire the produce by the payment of money, the seller would tell them that the produce was destroyed by fire or another factor beyond human control after the produce entered their property, at the time payment was made.

ו

נָתְנוּ הַדָּמִים וְלֹא מָשְׁכוּ הַפֵּרוֹת וְהֻזְּלוּ הַפֵּרוֹת חוֹזְרִין. לֹא יִהְיֶה כֹּחַ הֶדְיוֹט גָּדוֹל מִכֹּחָן. הוּקְרוּ אִם רָצוּ הַמּוֹכְרִים לַחְזֹר בָּהֶן חוֹזְרִין וּמְקַבְּלִין מִי שֶׁפָּרַע. שֶׁאִם יִהְיֶה דִּינָם שֶׁיִּקְנוּ בִּנְתִינַת הַמָּעוֹת יֹאמַר לָהֶם הַמּוֹכֵר נִשְׂרְפוּ הַפֵּרוֹת שֶׁלְּקַחְתֶּם אוֹ אָבְדוּ בְּאֹנֶס וּכְבָר נַעֲשׂוּ בִּרְשׁוּתְכֶם מִשְּׁעַת נְתִינַת הַמָּעוֹת:

7

On four occasions during the year, our Sages restricted their enactments and applied Scriptural Law with regard to the purchase of meat, for on these days, all people need meat. The times are the day before Shemini Atzeret, the day before the first day of Pesach, the day before Shavuot and the day before Rosh HaShanah.

What is implied? If a butcher had a steer that was worth even 100 dinarim, and he took one dinar from the purchaser in exchange for meat that he would slaughter, he cannot retract, even if enough money is not collected to pay for the entire value of the steer. Instead, the butcher is compelled to slaughter against his will. He is forcibly made to slaughter the steer and provide the purchaser with meat.

For this reason, if the steer dies before being ritually slaughtered, the purchaser suffers the loss.

ז

בְּאַרְבָּעָה פְּרָקִים בַּשָּׁנָה הֶעֱמִידוּ דִּבְרֵיהֶם עַל דִּין תּוֹרָה בְּבָשָׂר מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהָעָם כֻּלָּן צְרִיכִין לְבָשָׂר. וְאֵלּוּ הֵן. עֶרֶב יוֹם טוֹב הָאַחֲרוֹן שֶׁל חַג. וְעֶרֶב יוֹם טוֹב הָרִאשׁוֹן שֶׁל פֶּסַח. וְעֶרֶב הָעֲצֶרֶת. וְעֶרֶב רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה. כֵּיצַד. הָיָה לַטַּבָּח שׁוֹר אֲפִלּוּ שָׁוֶה מֵאָה דִּינָרִין וְלָקַח דִּינָר אֶחָד מִן הַלּוֹקֵחַ כְּדֵי לִתֵּן לוֹ בָּשָׂר כְּשֶׁיִּשְׁחֹט וְלֹא נִתְקַבְּצוּ לוֹ כָּל דְּמֵי הַשּׁוֹר אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לַחְזֹר בּוֹ. אֶלָּא מַשְׁחִיטִין אֶת הַטַּבָּח בַּעַל כָּרְחוֹ. וְכוֹפִין אוֹתוֹ לִשְׁחֹט וְלִתֵּן הַבָּשָׂר לַלּוֹקֵחַ. לְפִיכָךְ אִם מֵת הַשּׁוֹר מֵת לַלּוֹקֵחַ:

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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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