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Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Zechiyah uMattanah - Chapter One, Zechiyah uMattanah - Chapter Two, Zechiyah uMattanah - Chapter Three

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Zechiyah uMattanah - Chapter One

Introduction to Hilchos Zechiyah uMattanah

The purpose of these laws is to determine how a person acquires an ownerless article and the processes that he employs. They also explain the rules governing one who gives a gift and one who receives, and which gift is retracted and which is not. All these laws are explained in the chapters that follow.

הלכות זכיה ומתנה פרק ראשון - הקדמה הלכות זכיה ומתנה ענין אלו ההלכות לידע דין זוכה מן ההפקר היאך יקנה ובמה יקנה ודין נותן מתנה ומקבל מתנה ואי זו מתנה חוזרת ואי זו אינה חוזרת וביאור כל הדינין אלו בפרקים אלו:

1

Whoever takes hold of ownerless property acquires it. Any objects found naturally in deserts, rivers and streams - e.g., grass, trees, wild fruit and the like - are ownerless. Whoever first takes hold of such an object acquires it.

א

הַהֶפְקֵר כָּל הַמַּחֲזִיק בּוֹ זָכָה. וְכֵן הַמִּדְבָּרוֹת וְהַנְּהָרוֹת וְהַנְּחָלִים כָּל שֶׁבָּהֶן הֶפְקֵר וְכָל הַקּוֹדֵם בָּהֶן זָכָה. כְּגוֹן הָעֲשָׂבִים וְהָעֵצִים וְהַפֵּרוֹת שֶׁל אִילָנוֹת שֶׁל יַעַר וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן:

2

When a person catches fish in a sea or in a river, and similarly, when he catches fowl, or various wild beasts, since they are ownerless, he acquires them. He may not, however, hunt in a field belonging to a colleague. Nevertheless, if he snares an animal there, he acquires it.

If fish - or wild beasts or fowl - are in vivariums belonging to another person, they belong to the owner of the vivarium. A person who snares an animal there is considered to be a robber. This applies even if the vivarium is large and effort is required to snare the animal.

ב

הַצָּד דָּגִים מִן הַיָּמִים וּמִן הַנְּהָרוֹת. אוֹ שֶׁצָּד עוֹפוֹת אוֹ מִינֵי חַיּוֹת. הוֹאִיל וְאֵין לָהֶם בְּעָלִים זָכָה. וּבִלְבַד שֶׁלֹּא יָצוּד בִּשְׂדֵה חֲבֵרוֹ. וְאִם צָד שָׁם קָנָה. וְאִם הָיוּ הַדָּגִים בַּבֵּיבָרִים שֶׁל בְּעָלִים וְכֵן חַיָּה וְעוֹף שֶׁבַּבֵּיבָרִים. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא בֵּיבָר גָּדוֹל וְהוּא מְחֻסַּר צִידָה הֲרֵי זֶה שֶׁל בַּעַל הַבֵּיבָרִים וְהַצָּד מִשָּׁם הֲרֵי זֶה גַּזְלָן:

3

However, when a person takes a fish from the net of a colleague at sea, or takes a beast from a snare of a colleague set in the desert, this is prohibited by virtue of Rabbinic decree. If the snare could be considered to be a container, and the person took the fish or the animal from the container, he is considered to be a robber.

ג

אֲבָל הַלּוֹקֵחַ דָּגִים מִתּוֹךְ מְצוּדָתוֹ שֶׁל חֲבֵרוֹ כְּשֶׁהוּא בְּתוֹךְ הַיָּם. אוֹ שֶׁלָּקַח חַיָּה מִמְּצוּדָתוֹ כְּשֶׁהִיא פְּרוּסָה בַּמִּדְבָּר הֲרֵי זֶה אָסוּר מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים. וְאִם הָיָה הַמְּצוּדָה כְּלִי וְלָקַח מִתּוֹךְ הַמְּצוּדָה הֲרֵי זֶה גַּזְלָן:

4

When a person spreads out a snare in a field belonging to a colleague, and traps a beast or a fowl, he acquires it, even though he does not have permission to do this. If the owner of the field was standing in the field at the time the animal was trapped, and said: "My field acquires this on my behalf," the owner of the field acquires it, and the owner of the snare does not acquire anything.

ד

הַפּוֹרֵס מְצוּדָה בִּשְׂדֵה חֲבֵרוֹ וְצָד בָּהּ חַיָּה אוֹ עוֹף אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין לוֹ רְשׁוּת לַעֲשׂוֹת דָּבָר זֶה קָנָה. וְאִם הָיָה עוֹמֵד בַּעַל הַשָּׂדֶה בְּתוֹךְ שָׂדֵהוּ וְאָמַר זָכְתָה לִי שָׂדִי קָנָה בַּעַל הַשָּׂדֶה. וְאֵין לְבַעַל הַמְּצוּדָה כְּלוּם:

5

When fish jump into a boat, they become acquired by the owner of the boat, for the boat is considered to be a protected courtyard. It is not considered to be a moving courtyard, because the boat does not move on its own. It is the water that moves it.

ה

דָּגִים שֶׁקָּפְצוּ לְתוֹךְ הַסְּפִינָה קָנָה בַּעַל הַסְּפִינָה. שֶׁזּוֹ כְּחָצֵר הַמִּשְׁתַּמֶּרֶת הִיא וְאֵינָהּ חָצֵר הַמְהַלֶּכֶת. שֶׁהַמַּיִם הֵן שֶׁמּוֹלִיכִין אוֹתָהּ וְאֵינָהּ הוֹלֶכֶת מֵחֲמַת עַצְמָהּ:

6

When a convert dies without having fathered a Jew after his conversion, he has no heirs. Instead, the first person who takes hold of his property acquires it. A neighbor does not have the right to buy the property from the person who took hold of it, because this is considered to be a gift.

ו

גֵּר שֶׁמֵּת וְלֹא הוֹלִיד יִשְׂרָאֵל אַחַר שֶׁנִּתְגַּיֵּר אֵין לוֹ יוֹרְשִׁין אֶלָּא כָּל הַקּוֹדֵם וְהֶחֱזִיק בִּנְכָסָיו זָכָה. וְאֵין בַּעַל הַמֵּצַר יָכוֹל לְסַלְּקוֹ בְּדָמִים שֶׁזּוֹ כְּמַתָּנָה הִיא:

7

The following laws apply when there are two fields in an estate that belong to a convert, with one boundary marker between them. If a person manifests ownership over one of the fields with the intent of acquiring it, he acquires it. If he manifests ownership over it with the intent of acquiring both it and the other field, he acquires the field over which he manifested ownership, but he does not acquire the other field.

If he manifests ownership over one field with the intent of acquiring only the other field, he does not acquire either of them. He does not acquire the field over which he did not manifest ownership because he did not manifest ownership over it. He does not acquire the field over which he did manifest ownership because he did not manifest ownership with the intent of acquiring it.

If he manifests ownership over one field with the intent of acquiring it, the other field and the boundary marker between them, or if he manifests ownership over the boundary marker with the intent of acquiring both fields, there is an unresolved doubt with regard to the matter. If another person comes and manifests ownership over one of the fields itself with the intent of acquiring it, the latter person becomes the legal owner.

ז

שְׁתֵּי שָׂדוֹת בְּנִכְסֵי הַגֵּר וּמֵצַר אֶחָד בֵּינֵיהֶן. הֶחֱזִיק בְּאַחַת מֵהֶן לִקְנוֹתָהּ קְנָאָהּ. הֶחֱזִיק בָּהּ לִקְנוֹת אוֹתָהּ וְאֶת חֲבֶרְתָּהּ. זוֹ שֶׁהֶחְזִיק בָּהּ קָנָה אֲבָל חֲבֶרְתָּהּ לֹא קָנָה. הֶחֱזִיק בָּהּ כְּדֵי לִקְנוֹת אֶת חֲבֶרְתָּהּ לֹא קָנָה אַחַת מֵהֶן. חֲבֶרְתָּהּ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁלֹּא הֶחֱזִיק בָּהּ. וְאוֹתָהּ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁלֹּא הֶחֱזִיק בָּהּ כְּדֵי לִקְנוֹתָהּ. הֶחֱזִיק בָּהּ כְּדֵי לִקְנוֹתָהּ וְלִקְנוֹת אֶת חֲבֶרְתָּהּ וְאֶת הַמֵּצַר שֶׁבֵּינֵיהֶן. אוֹ שֶׁהֶחְזִיק בַּמֵּצַר לִקְנוֹת שְׁתֵּיהֶן הֲרֵי זֶה סָפֵק. וְאִם בָּא אֶחָד וְהֶחֱזִיק בָּהּ כְּדֵי לִקְנוֹתָהּ זָכָה הָאַחֲרוֹן:

8

Similarly, when two houses are located one within the other, if a person manifests ownership over one of the houses with the intent of acquiring both it and the other house, he acquires only the house over which he manifested ownership. If he manifests ownership over one house with the intent of acquiring only the other one, he does not acquire even the house over which he did manifest ownership.

ח

וְכֵן שְׁנֵי בָּתִּים זֶה לְפָנִים מִזֶּה שֶׁהֶחְזִיק בְּאֶחָד מֵהֶן לִקְנוֹתוֹ וְלִקְנוֹת אֶת הַשֵּׁנִי לֹא קָנָה אֶלָּא זֶה שֶׁהֶחְזִיק בּוֹ בִּלְבַד. הֶחֱזִיק בְּאֶחָד מֵהֶן כְּדֵי לִקְנוֹת אֶת הַשֵּׁנִי אַף זֶה שֶׁהֶחְזִיק בּוֹ לֹא קָנָה:

9

When a person takes hold over a deed of sale within the estate of a convert with the intent of acquiring the land mentioned in that deed, he acquires only the document itself. He may use it to wrap around the top of a bottle or the like.

ט

הַמַּחֲזִיק בִּשְׁטָר מִנִּכְסֵי הַגֵּר כְּדֵי לִקְנוֹת אֶת הַקַּרְקַע הַכְּתוּבָה בְּאוֹתוֹ שְׁטָר לֹא קָנָה אֶלָּא הַשְּׁטָר בִּלְבַד לָצוּר עַל פִּי צְלוֹחִיתוֹ וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

10

When the boundaries of a field belonging to a deceased convert are clearly marked, when a person plunges a spade into the field in one place, he acquires the entire field. If the boundaries of the field are not clearly marked, by plunging the spade into that one place, he acquires only a portion over which a team of oxen will pass when plowing, before the team returns.

A boundary marker and a chatzav used to designate boundaries serve as cut-off points with regard to the estate of a convert. Whoever manifests ownership over the field acquires only up to the boundary marker or the chatzav.

י

שָׂדֶה הַמְצֻיֶּנֶת בִּמְצָרֶיהָ כֵּיוָן שֶׁהִכִּישׁ בָּהּ מַכּוֹשׁ אֶחָד קָנָה אֶת כֻּלָּהּ. וְאִם אֵינָהּ מְצֻיֶּנֶת בִּמְצָרֶיהָ קוֹנֶה מִמֶּנָּה בְּאוֹתוֹ מַכּוֹשׁ כְּדֵי שֶׁיֵּלֵךְ הַצֶּמֶד בִּשְׁעַת חֲרִישָׁה וְיַחְזֹר. הַמֵּצַר וְהֶחָצָב שֶׁמְּתַחֲמִין בּוֹ תְּחוּמִין מַפְסִיקִין בְּנִכְסֵי הַגֵּר. וְכָל הַמַּחֲזִיק בְּשָׂדֶה לֹא קָנָה אֶלָּא עַד הַמֵּצַר אוֹ עַד הֶחָצָב:

11

Whatever is considered significant to create a separation with regard to the distribution of pe'ah is also considered significant to create a separation with regard to the acquisition of the property of a deceased convert.

What is implied? If there was a stream, an irrigation ditch or the like, the person seeking to acquire the field acquires only up to the stream or up to the irrigation ditch.

Whatever creates a distinction with regard to the domains of the Sabbath, creates a distinction with regard to the acquisition of the property of a deceased convert - for example, a situation where a private domain or a carmelit is interposed between two fields. Indeed, a distinction is created, even if the two fields were separated by a domain that is considered a distinction with regard to the transfer of a bill of divorce.

יא

כָּל הַמַּפְסִיק לְפֵאָה מַפְסִיק בְּנִכְסֵי הַגֵּר. כֵּיצַד. הָיָה שָׁם נַחַל אוֹ אַמַּת הַמַּיִם וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן לֹא קָנָה אֶלָּא עַד הַנַּחַל אוֹ עַד הָאַמָּה. וְכָל הַמַּפְסִיק בִּרְשׁוּת שַׁבָּת מַפְסִיק בְּנִכְסֵי הַגֵּר כְּגוֹן שֶׁהָיָה בֵּין שְׁתֵּי הַשָּׂדוֹת רְשׁוּת הַיָּחִיד אוֹ כַּרְמְלִית אֲפִלּוּ הָיָה בֵּינֵיהֶם רְשׁוּת שֶׁחוֹלֶקֶת לְגִטִּין:

12

Whenever a distinction is created with regard to the laws of ritual impurity, it also applies with regard to the acquisition of the property of a deceased convert.

What is implied? A person enters a valley. There is an object that conveys ritual impurity on one side of the valley, and the person does not know whether or not he has reached the place that is ritually impure. Wherever the person would be considered to be ritually impure is considered to be a separate entity from the field as a whole.

יב

כָּל דָּבָר הַמַּפְסִיק לְטֻמְאָה מַפְסִיק בְּנִכְסֵי הַגֵּר. כֵּיצַד. כְּגוֹן שֶׁנִּכְנַס אָדָם לְבִקְעָה זוֹ וְטֻמְאָה בַּבִּקְעָה בְּצִדָּהּ אַחֶרֶת וְאֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ אִם הִגִּיעַ לִמְקוֹם הַטֻּמְאָה אִם לָאו. כָּל מָקוֹם שֶׁמַּחֲזִיקִין אוֹתוֹ לְטֻמְאָה הֲרֵי הוּא כְּמָקוֹם אַחֵר, מֻחְלָק בִּפְנֵי עַצְמוֹ:

13

The following law applies when there is a large valley containing many fields, all belonging to one convert, and there is no boundary marker, chatzav or any other entity that creates a distinction between them. If one person comes and manifests ownership over a portion of the valley with the intent of acquiring the entire valley, he acquires all the land that is known to be owned by that convert.

יג

בִּקְעָה גְּדוֹלָה שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהּ שָׂדוֹת רַבּוֹת וְכֻלָּן שֶׁל גֵּר אֶחָד וְלֹא הָיָה בֵּינֵיהֶן לֹא מֵצַר וְלֹא חָצָב וְלֹא דָּבָר מִדְּבָרִים הַמַּפְסִיקִין. וּבָא אֶחָד וְהֶחֱזִיק בְּמִקְצָת הַבִּקְעָה לִקְנוֹת אֶת כֻּלָּהּ. כָּל הַנִּקְרָא עַל שֵׁם אוֹתוֹ הַגֵּר קוֹנֶה אוֹתוֹ:

14

When a gentile sells movable property to a Jew or buys movable property, he acquires and transfers the property through meshichah or through the transfer of funds.

Different rules apply with regard to landed property. A gentile does not acquire landed property from a Jew without a deed of sale, nor does he transfer property without a deed of sale. For he will not rely on anything but a deed of sale.

For this reason, if a Jew purchased a field from a gentile and paid the money for it, but before he could manifest his ownership over it, another Jew came and manifested ownership over it in a manner similar to that described above with regard to the acquisition of the property of a deceased convert, the latter person acquires the land. He must, however, repay the money to the purchaser.

The rationale for the decision is that the gentile abrogates his ownership over the property at the time he receives the money. And yet, the Jew [purchasing the land does not acquire it until the deed of sale reaches his hand. In the interim, the property is like property in the desert concerning which the rule is: Whoever manifests ownership over it acquires it.

יד

עַכּוּ''ם שֶׁמָּכַר מִטַּלְטְלִין לְיִשְׂרָאֵל אוֹ קָנָה מִטַּלְטְלִין מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל. קוֹנֶה בִּמְשִׁיכָה וּמַקְנֶה בִּמְשִׁיכָה אוֹ בְּדָמִים. אֲבָל הַקַּרְקַע אֵינוֹ קוֹנֶה אוֹתוֹ מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל אֶלָּא בִּשְׁטָר וְאֵינוֹ מַקְנֶה אוֹתוֹ לְיִשְׂרָאֵל אֶלָּא בִּשְׁטָר שֶׁאֵין דַּעְתּוֹ סוֹמֶכֶת אֶלָּא עַל הַשְּׁטָר. לְפִיכָךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁלָּקַח שָׂדֶה מִן הָעַכּוּ''ם וְנָתַן הַדָּמִים. וְקֹדֶם שֶׁיַּחְזִיק בָּהּ בָּא יִשְׂרָאֵל אַחֵר וְהֶחֱזִיק בָּהּ כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁמַּחֲזִיקִין בְּנִכְסֵי הַגֵּר זָכָה אַחֲרוֹן וְנוֹתֵן לָרִאשׁוֹן אֶת הַדָּמִים. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהָעַכּוּ''ם מֵעֵת שֶׁלָּקַח הַדָּמִים סִלֵּק רְשׁוּתוֹ וְיִשְׂרָאֵל לֹא קָנָה עַד שֶׁיַּגִּיעַ הַשְּׁטָר לְיָדוֹ. וְנִמְצְאוּ נְכָסִים אֵלּוּ כְּנִכְסֵי מִדְבָּר שֶׁכָּל הַמַּחֲזִיק בָּהֶן זָכָה:

15

When does the above apply? When there are no known laws enforced by the governing sovereign. If, however, the law of the governing sovereign and his judgment is that only a person whose name is mentioned in the deed of sale - who paid money for the property or the like - can acquire the land, we follow the law of the governing sovereign. For we rule according to all the financial laws of the governing sovereign.

טו

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁאֵין מִשְׁפָּט יָדוּעַ לַמֶּלֶךְ. אֲבָל אִם דִּין אוֹתוֹ הַמֶּלֶךְ וּמִשְׁפָּטוֹ שֶׁלֹּא יִזְכֶּה בַּקַּרְקַע אֶלָּא מִי שֶׁכּוֹתֵב בִּשְׁטָר אוֹ הַנּוֹתֵן דָּמִים וְכַיּוֹצֵא בִּדְבָרִים אֵלּוּ. עוֹשִׂין כְּפִי מִשְׁפַּט הַמֶּלֶךְ. שֶׁכָּל דִּינֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ בְּמָמוֹן עַל פִּיהֶן דָּנִין:

Zechiyah uMattanah - Chapter Two

1

The property of a deceased convert who has no heirs, property that is ownerless, and a field that a gentile sold to a Jew who has not taken hold of it are all governed by the same laws. Whoever manifests ownership over them using a valid chazakah - to be described in Hilchot Mechirah - acquires them, with one exception: eating produce.

א

נִּכְסֵי גֵּר שֶׁאֵין לוֹ יוֹרְשִׁים. וְנִכְסֵי הַהֶפְקֵר וְשָׂדֶה שֶׁמְּכָרָהּ הָעַכּוּ''ם לְיִשְׂרָאֵל וַעֲדַיִן לֹא הֶחֱזִיק בָּהּ. כֻּלָּם דִּינָם שָׁוֶה. כָּל הַמַּחֲזִיק בָּהֶם בְּדֶרֶךְ מִדַּרְכֵי הַחֲזָקָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ בְּהִלְכוֹת מְכִירָה קָנָה חוּץ מֵאֲכִילַת הַפֵּרוֹת:

2

What is implied? When a person buys landed property from a colleague and manifests his ownership over it by eating produce, he acquires it, as we have explained. But with regard to the acquisition of ownerless property or property of a deceased convert, even if a person eats produce of a tree for several years, he does not acquire the tree itself or the land itself until he performs a deed involving the land itself or performs a task involving the tree.

An incident occurred when a woman ate the produce of a date palm for thirteen years, and then another person manifested ownership over the tree by performing a task involving the tree itself. The incident was brought before the Sages and they ruled that the latter person acquired it.

ב

כֵּיצַד. הַלּוֹקֵחַ קַרְקַע מֵחֲבֵרוֹ וְהֶחֱזִיק בָּהּ בַּאֲכִילַת פֵּרוֹתֶיהָ קָנָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. אֲבָל בְּנִכְסֵי הֶפְקֵר אוֹ נִכְסֵי הַגֵּר אֲפִלּוּ אָכַל פֵּרוֹת הָאִילָן כַּמָּה שָׁנִים לֹא קָנָה גּוּף הָאִילָן וְלֹא גּוּף הַקַּרְקַע עַד שֶׁיַּעֲשֶׂה מַעֲשֶׂה בְּגוּף הָאָרֶץ אוֹ יַעֲבֹד עֲבוֹדָה בָּאִילָן. וּמַעֲשֶׂה בְּאִשָּׁה אַחַת שֶׁאָכְלָה פֵּרוֹת דֶּקֶל שְׁלֹשׁ עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה וּבָא אֶחָד וְהֶחֱזִיק בָּאִילָן בַּעֲבוֹדָה שֶׁעָבַד בְּגוּף הָאִילָן וּבָא מַעֲשֶׂה לִפְנֵי חֲכָמִים וְאָמְרוּ זֶה הָאַחֲרוֹן קָנָה:

3

There are many acts that if performed by a purchaser to prove ownership of property are not effective , but when performed to manifest ownership over ownerless property, property belonging to a deceased convert or the like, are effective in acquiring it.

What is implied? When a person finds large palaces constructed on property belonging to a deceased convert or on ownerless property, if he paints them slightly or plasters them slightly - e.g., for a cubit or more opposite the entrance - he acquires them.

ג

יֵשׁ דְּבָרִים רַבִּים שֶׁאִם הֶחֱזִיק בָּהֶן הַלּוֹקֵחַ לֹא קָנָה עֲדַיִן. וְאִם הֶחֱזִיק בְּאֶחָד מֵהֶן בְּנִכְסֵי הַגֵּר אוֹ בְּנִכְסֵי הֶפְקֵר קָנָה. כֵּיצַד. הַמּוֹצֵא פַּלְטְרִים גְּדוֹלִים בְּנוּיִין בְּנִכְסֵי הַגֵּר אוֹ בְּנִכְסֵי הֶפְקֵר וְסִיֵּד בָּהֶן סִיּוּד אֶחָד אוֹ כִּיֵּר בָּהֶן כִּיּוּר אֶחָד כְּגוֹן אַמָּה אוֹ יוֹתֵר כְּנֶגֶד הַפֶּתַח קָנָה:

4

When a person makes a design in the property of a deceased convert, he acquires it. If he sets out mattresses in the property of a deceased convert, he acquires it. If he plows a field with the intent of leaving it fallow in the property of a deceased convert, he acquires it.

When a person cuts branches of a vine or of a tree, or fronds from a date palm in the property of a deceased convert, if his intent is to improve the tree, he acquires the property. If his intent is to feed the branches to his animal, he does not acquire the property.

ד

הַצָּר צוּרָה בְּנִכְסֵי הַגֵּר קָנָה. וְהַמַּצִּיעַ מַצָּעוֹת בְּנִכְסֵי הַגֵּר קָנָה. הַנָּר אֶת הַשָּׂדֶה בְּנִכְסֵי הַגֵּר קָנָה. הַמְפַצֵּל זְמוֹרוֹת הַגֶּפֶן אוֹ שָׂרִיגֵי אִילָנוֹת וְכַפּוֹת תְּמָרִים בְּנִכְסֵי הַגֵּר. אִם דַּעְתּוֹ לַעֲבֹד הָאִילָן קָנָה. וְאִם דַּעְתּוֹ לְהַאֲכִיל הָעֵצִים לִבְהֵמָה לֹא קָנָה:

5

What is implied? If the person prunes the branches of the tree from both sides, we can assume that he intends to improve the tree. If he cuts from only one side, it appears that his intent is only for the branches.

Similarly, when a person collects wood, grass and stones from a field, if his intent is to improve the land, he acquires the field. If his intent is to collect the wood, he does not acquire the field.

ה

כֵּיצַד. הָיָה כּוֹרֵת מִכָּאן וּמִכָּאן הֲרֵי חֶזְקָתוֹ שֶׁנִּתְכַּוֵּן לַעֲבוֹדַת הָאִילָן. הָיָה כּוֹרֵת מֵרוּחַ אַחַת אֵינוֹ מִתְכַּוֵּן אֶלָּא לָעֵצִים. וְכֵן הַמְלַקֵּט עֵצִים וַעֲשָׂבִים וַאֲבָנִים מִן הַשָּׂדֶה. אִם דַּעְתּוֹ לְתַקֵּן הָאָרֶץ קָנָה. וְאִם לָעֵצִים לֹא קָנָה:

6

What is implied? If the person collected both large and small branches, we can assume that his intent was to improve the land. If, by contrast, he collected only large branches and not small ones, we can assume that his intent was to collect wood.

Similarly, when a person levels the surface of the land, if his intent is to improve the land, he acquires the field. If his intent is to level a place to use as a grain heap, he does not acquire the field.

ו

כֵּיצַד. לִקֵּט הַגַּס וְהַדַּק הֲרֵי זוֹ בְּחֶזְקַת שֶׁנִּתְכַּוֵּן לְתַקֵּן אֶת הָאָרֶץ. לִקֵּט הַגַּס וְלֹא הַדַּק הֲרֵי זֶה בְּחֶזְקַת שֶׁנִּתְכַּוֵּן לָעֵצִים. וְכֵן הַמַּשְׁוֶה פְּנֵי הָאָרֶץ. אִם דַּעְתּוֹ לְתַקֵּן הָאָרֶץ קָנָה. וְאִם דַּעְתּוֹ לְהַשְׁווֹת מָקוֹם שֶׁיַּעֲמִיד בּוֹ גֹּרֶן לֹא קָנָה:

7

What is implied? If the person takes earth from a high place and brings it to a lower place, it appears that his intent is to improve the land. If we see that he is not concerned with this and instead throws earth and stones anywhere without concern, we can assume that his intent is merely to level one limited area to use as a grain heap.

Similarly, when a person opens a flow of water into a field, if his intent is to improve the land, he acquires the field. If his intent is to catch fish, he does not acquire the field.

ז

כֵּיצַד. הָיָה לוֹקֵחַ עָפָר מִמָּקוֹם גָּבוֹהַּ וְנוֹתְנוֹ לַמָּקוֹם הַנָּמוּךְ הֲרֵי זֶה מְתַקֵּן הָאָרֶץ. רְאִינוּהוּ שֶׁאֵינוֹ מַקְפִּיד עַל זֶה אֶלָּא מַשְׁלִיךְ הֶעָפָר וְהַצְּרוֹרוֹת בְּכָל מָקוֹם בְּלֹא הַקְפָּדָה הֲרֵי זֶה בְּחֶזְקַת שֶׁאֵינוֹ מִתְכַּוֵּן אֶלָּא לְהַשְׁווֹת מָקוֹם לְדַיִשׁ. וְכֵן הַפּוֹתֵחַ מַיִם לְתוֹךְ הָאָרֶץ. אִם לְתַקֵּן הָאָרֶץ קָנָה. וְאִם לָצוּד הַדָּגִים לֹא קָנָה:

8

What is implied? If the person made only a place for water to enter, it appears that his intent is to improve the land. If he made two openings -one for the water to enter and one for the water to leave - it appears that his intent is to catch fish.

ח

כֵּיצַד. עָשָׂה מָקוֹם שֶׁיִּכָּנְסוּ בּוֹ הַמַּיִם בִּלְבַד הֲרֵי זֶה מִתְכַּוֵּן לְתַקֵּן הָאָרֶץ. עָשָׂה שְׁנֵי פְּתָחִים אֶחָד לְהַכְנִיס וְאֶחָד לְהוֹצִיא הֲרֵי זֶה מִתְכַּוֵּן לָצוּד דָּגִים:

9

When a person builds large palaces on property belonging to a deceased convert, and another person comes and sets up the doors, the second person acquires the property.

The rationale is that the first person did not do anything with the land itself, is It is as if he piled up stones on the land, an act that does not bring about his acquisition of the property.

Nor is his acquisition effective because by constructing the building he made a fence around the land since this fence is not useful, because the entrance to the building is wide enough and one can pass through it. Setting up the structure of this building is not at all useful until one sets up the doors.

ט

הַבּוֹנֶה פַּלְטֵרִין גְּדוֹלִים בְּנִכְסֵי הַגֵּר וּבָא אַחֵר וְהֶעֱמִיד לָהֶם דְּלָתוֹת קָנָה הָאַחֲרוֹן. שֶׁהָרִאשׁוֹן לֹא עָשָׂה בְּגוּף הָאָרֶץ כְּלוּם. וַהֲרֵי הוּא כְּמִי שֶׁעָשָׂה גַּל אֲבָנִים עַל הָאָרֶץ שֶׁאֵינוֹ קוֹנֶה. שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא הוֹעִיל בְּגָדֵר זֶה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא רָחָב בְּיוֹתֵר וּמְפֻלָּשׁ. וְאֵין צוּרַת אוֹתוֹ הַבִּנְיָן מוֹעֶלֶת לוֹ עַד שֶׁיַּעֲמִיד דְּלָתוֹת:

10

When a person spreads seeds in rows in a field, he does not acquire the field. The rationale is that at the time he sowed the seeds, he did not improve the field at all. And at the time the produce grew, the benefit came as a result of a natural course of events. This is not sufficient for an acquisition to be made.

י

הַמֵּפִיץ הַזֶּרַע לְתוֹךְ הַתְּלָמִים לֹא קָנָה. שֶׁבְּעֵת שֶׁהִשְׁלִיךְ הַזֶּרַע לֹא הִשְׁבִּיחַ כְּלוּם וּבְעֵת שֶׁצָּמַח וְהִשְׁבִּיחַ שֶׁבַח הַבָּא מֵאֵלָיו הוּא וְאֵינוֹ קוֹנֶה:

11

If a partition existed within the property of a deceased convert, and another person came and built another partition on top of the existing one, he does not acquire the field. This applies even when the first partition sinks into the ground, and the higher partition is still functional. The rationale is that at the time the partition was built, it was not beneficial. And when it became beneficial, the benefit came as a result of a natural course of events.

יא

הָיְתָה מְחִצָּה בְּנִכְסֵי הַגֵּר וּבָא זֶה וְעָשָׂה מְחִצָּה אַחֶרֶת עַל גַּבָּהּ לֹא קָנָה. וַאֲפִלּוּ נִבְלְעָה מְחִצָּה הַתַּחְתּוֹנָה וַהֲרֵי הָעֶלְיוֹנָה קַיֶּמֶת. שֶׁבְּעֵת שֶׁבָּנָה לֹא הוֹעִיל וּבְעֵת שֶׁהוֹעִיל מֵאֵלָיו בָּא הַמַּעֲשֶׂה:

12

When a person manifests ownership over property belonging to a deceased convert or ownerless property, without the intent of acquiring it, he does not acquire it despite the fact that he built or erected a fence.

יב

הַמַּחֲזִיק בְּנִכְסֵי הַגֵּר וּבְהֶפְקֵר וְהוּא אֵין דַּעְתּוֹ לִקְנוֹת. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁבָּנָה וְגָדַר לֹא קָנָה:

13

When a person plows on property belonging to a deceased convert under the mistaken conception that it is his own property, he does not acquire it.

If he plows on property belonging to one deceased convert, while he thinks that it belongs to another, he does acquire it. For he intended that his deeds acquire ownerless property.

יג

הָעוֹדֵר בְּנִכְסֵי הַגֵּר וְכַסָּבוּר שֶׁהֵן שֶׁלּוֹ לֹא קָנָה. עָדַר בְּנִכְסֵי גֵּר זֶה וּכְסָבוּר שֶׁל גֵּר אַחֵר. הוֹאִיל וְנִתְכַּוֵּן בְּמַעֲשָׂיו אֵלּוּ לִזְכּוֹת מִן הַהֶפְקֵר הֲרֵי זֶה קָנָה:

14

If a convert was holding security belonging to a Jew, and when the convert died another Jew came and took possession of this security, it should be expropriated from him and returned to its owner. The rationale is that when the convert died, his lien on the article was nullified.

יד

הָיָה מַשְׁכּוֹן יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּיַד הַגֵּר וּכְשֶׁמֵּת הַגֵּר בָּא יִשְׂרָאֵל אַחֵר וְהֶחֱזִיק בְּמַשְׁכּוֹן זֶה. מוֹצִיאִין אוֹתוֹ מִיָּדוֹ. שֶׁכֵּיוָן שֶׁמֵּת הַגֵּר בָּטֵל שִׁעְבּוּדוֹ:

15

When a Jew was holding security belonging to a convert, the convert dies, and another Jew takes hold of the security, the creditor should receive payment for the money owed him from the security. If it is worth more, the second person acquires the remainder.

טו

הָיָה מַשְׁכּוֹן הַגֵּר בְּיַד יִשְׂרָאֵל וּבָא יִשְׂרָאֵל אַחֵר וְהֶחֱזִיק בּוֹ. לוֹקֵחַ מִמֶּנּוּ הָרִאשׁוֹן כְּנֶגֶד מְעוֹתָיו וְהָאַחֲרוֹן קָנָה אֶת הַשְּׁאָר:

16

When does the above apply? When the security was not kept in a courtyard belonging to the first person. If it was kept in such a courtyard, his courtyard acquires it on his behalf, even without his knowledge, as we have explained with regard to an article that is discovered, and the person who takes hold of it afterwards does not acquire anything.

טז

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּשֶׁלֹּא הָיָה הַמַּשְׁכּוֹן בַּחֲצַר הָרִאשׁוֹן. אֲבָל אִם הָיָה בַּחֲצֵרוֹ חֲצֵרוֹ קוֹנָה לוֹ שֶׁלֹּא מִדַּעְתּוֹ כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ בְּעִנְיַן מְצִיאָה. וְאֵין לְזֶה הָאַחֲרוֹן כְּלוּם:

17

The following rules apply when a convert dies and Jews take possession of his property. If the estate contains Canaanite servants above the age of majority, they acquire their freedom. Servants below the age of majority, by contrast, are regarded as are livestock. Whoever manifests ownership over them acquires them. We have already explained the manner in which a person manifests ownership over servants and acquires them.

יז

גֵּר שֶׁמֵּת וּבִזְבְּזוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת נְכָסָיו וְהָיוּ בָּהֶן עֲבָדִים גְּדוֹלִים. קָנוּ עַצְמָן בְּנֵי חוֹרִין. אֲבָל הָעֲבָדִים הַקְּטַנִּים הֲרֵי הֵן כִּבְהֵמָה וְכָל הַמַּחֲזִיק בָּהֶן זָכָה בָּהֶם. וּכְבָר בֵּאַרְנוּ דַּרְכֵי הַחֲזָקָה שֶׁיִּקְנוּ בָּהֶם אֶת הָעֲבָדִים:

18

The following rules apply when it is rumored that a convert died and Jews take possession of his property, and then it is discovered that he did not die, that he has a child or that his wife is pregnant. They must all return the property.

If they all returned the property and then discovered that the first rumor had in fact been true and the convert had died at that time, that his son died before him, or that his wife miscarried, whoever takes possession at this time acquires the property. Those who originally took possession do not acquire it.

יח

גֵּר שֶׁמֵּת וּבִזְבְּזוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת נְכָסָיו. וְשָׁמְעוּ שֶׁעֲדַיִן לֹא מֵת אוֹ שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ בֵּן אוֹ שֶׁאִשְׁתּוֹ מְעֻבֶּרֶת. כֻּלָּן חַיָּבִין לְהַחְזִיר. הֶחְזִירוּ כֻּלָּן וְאַחַר כָּךְ שָׁמְעוּ שֶׁמֵּת שֶׁשְּׁמוּעָה רִאשׁוֹנָה אֱמֶת הָיְתָה וּבָרִאשׁוֹנָה מֵת. אוֹ מֵת בְּנוֹ מִקֹּדֶם אוֹ הִפִּילָה אִשְׁתּוֹ. כָּל הַמַּחֲזִיק בַּשְּׁנִיָּה קָנָה וּבָרִאשׁוֹנָה לֹא קָנָה:

Zechiyah uMattanah - Chapter Three

1

When a person gives a gift to a colleague, the recipient does not acquire it until he takes possession through one of the legal processes by which a purchaser takes possession of a purchase.

If the giver desires to give him movable property, the recipient must lift up the article, perform meshichah on an article that one would not ordinarily lift up, or acquire that article through one of the other means through which movable property is acquired.

If he is giving him landed property or servants, the recipient does not acquire them until he manifests ownership over them as a purchaser would, or until a legal document recording the gift reaches his hand.

A verbal statement is not sufficient. The recipient does not acquire the gift, and either one of them still has the option of retracting.

א

הַנּוֹתֵן מַתָּנָה לַחֲבֵרוֹ אֵין הַמְקַבֵּל זוֹכֶה בָּהּ אֶלָּא בְּאֶחָד מִן הַדְּרָכִים שֶׁהַקּוֹנֶה זוֹכֶה בָּהֶן בְּמִקָּחוֹ. אִם מִטַּלְטְלִין רוֹצֶה לִתֵּן לוֹ עַד שֶׁיַּגְבִּיהַּ אוֹ שֶׁיִּמְשֹׁךְ דָּבָר שֶׁאֵין דַּרְכּוֹ לְהַגְבִּיהַּ אוֹ יִקְנֶה בְּאֶחָד מִשְּׁאָר הַדְּבָרִים שֶׁהַמִּטַּלְטְלִין נִקְנִין בָּהֶן. וְאִם קַרְקַע אוֹ עֲבָדִים נָתַן לוֹ עַד שֶׁיַּחְזִיק כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁמַּחְזִיק הַלּוֹקֵחַ אוֹ עַד שֶׁיַּגִּיעַ שְׁטַר מַתָּנָה לְיָדוֹ. אֲבָל בִּדְבָרִים לֹא זָכָה הַמְקַבֵּל אֶלָּא כָּל אֶחָד מֵהֶן עֲדַיִן יָכוֹל לַחְזֹר בּוֹ:

2

When, by contrast, a creditor forgoes a debt to a colleague or gives him an object that previously had been entrusted to the recipient for safekeeping, such a gift is made final by a verbal statement alone. Nothing further is necessary, as we have explained.

ב

מָחַל לַחֲבֵרוֹ חוֹב שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ עָלָיו. אוֹ נָתַן לוֹ הַפִּקָּדוֹן שֶׁהָיָה מֻפְקָד אֶצְלוֹ. הֲרֵי זוֹ מַתָּנָה הַנִּקְנֵית בִּדְבָרִים בִּלְבַד. וְאֵין צָרִיךְ דָּבָר אַחֵר כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

3

Similarly, if a person tells a colleague: "You owe me a maneh. Give it to this person," the intended recipient acquires it. Neither has the option of retracting. This applies whether he gave the recipient the maneh in payment for a debt he owed him, or whether he gave it to him as a gift. And it applies whether the maneh had been given to the person to whom the giver charged with making the gift as a loan or it had been entrusted to him for safekeeping, as we have explained.

ג

וְכֵן הָאוֹמֵר לַחֲבֵרוֹ מָנֶה שֶׁיֵּשׁ לִי בְּיָדְךָ תְּנֵהוּ לָזֶה קָנָה. וְאֵין אֶחָד מֵהֶן יָכוֹל לַחְזֹר בּוֹ. בֵּין שֶׁנָּתַן הַמָּנֶה בְּחוֹב שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ אֶצְלוֹ בֵּין שֶׁנְּתָנוֹ לוֹ מַתָּנָה בֵּין שֶׁהָיָה חוֹב אֶצְלוֹ בֵּין שֶׁהָיָה פִּקָּדוֹן אֶצְלוֹ כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

4

Just as with regard to buying and selling, witnesses are necessary only to reveal the truth of the situation when there are claims and denials, so too, with regard to the waiver of obligations and gifts, witnesses are necessary only because of liars.

ד

כְּשֵׁם שֶׁאֵין צְרִיכִים עֵדִים לְעִנְיַן מִקָּח וּמִמְכָּר אֶלָּא לְגַלּוֹת הַדָּבָר בִּלְבַד אִם הָיְתָה שָׁם טַעֲנָה וּכְפִירָה. כָּךְ בִּמְחִילוֹת וּמַתָּנוֹת אֵין צְרִיכִין עֵדִים אֶלָּא מִפְּנֵי הַמְשַׁקְּרִים:

5

Just as a seller must define the property that he sells, as we have explained, so too, a person who gives a gift must define what he is giving.

What is implied? If a person writes a deed to a colleague which states: "Land from my property is given to you," or he writes: "All of my property is acquired by you with some exceptions," since he did not identify the property he was giving, and the recipient did not know what he was receiving, the recipient does not acquire anything. The recipient may not demand of the giver: "Give me the least valuable of your properties." Instead, he acquires nothing unless the giver defines the place that he is giving him.

Different rules apply, however, if the giver tells the recipient: "I am giving you a portion worth such and such in this and this field." Since he defined the field, even though he did not define the portion of the field, the recipient may collect a portion of that value from the least valuable portion of the field.

ה

כְּשֵׁם שֶׁמּוֹכֵר צָרִיךְ לְסַיֵּם הַמִּמְכָּר כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ כָּךְ הַנּוֹתֵן. כֵּיצַד. הַכּוֹתֵב לַחֲבֵרוֹ קַרְקַע מִנְּכָסַי נְתוּנָה לְךָ. אוֹ שֶׁכָּתַב לוֹ כָּל נְכָסַי קְנוּיִין לְךָ חוּץ מִמִּקְצָתָן. הוֹאִיל וְלֹא סִיֵּם הַדָּבָר שֶׁנָּתַן לוֹ וְאֵינוֹ יָדוּעַ לֹא קָנָה כְּלוּם. וְאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לוֹמַר לוֹ תֵּן לִי פָּחוּת שֶׁבִּנְכָסֶיךָ עַד שֶׁסִּיֵּם לוֹ הַמָּקוֹם שֶׁנָּתַן לוֹ. אֲבָל אִם אָמַר לוֹ חֵלֶק כָּךְ וְכָךְ בְּשָׂדֶה פְּלוֹנִית הוֹאִיל וְסִיֵּם הַשָּׂדֶה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא סִיֵּם הַחֵלֶק נוֹטֵל אוֹתוֹ חֵלֶק מִן הַפָּחוּת שֶׁבְּאוֹתָהּ שָׂדֶה:

6

The following rules apply whenever a person gives a gift within the context of a conditional agreement. Whether the condition was stipulated by the giver or by the recipient, should the recipient take possession of and acquire the gift, the gift becomes binding when the condition is fulfilled. If the condition is not fulfilled, the gift is nullified and the recipient must return the benefit that he derived. This applies provided that the condition was stated in the proper manner.

ו

כָּל הַנּוֹתֵן מַתָּנָה עַל תְּנַאי. בֵּין שֶׁהִתְנָה נוֹתֵן בֵּין שֶׁהִתְנָה הַמְקַבֵּל. וְהֶחֱזִיק הַמְקַבֵּל וְזָכָה בָּהּ. אִם נִתְקַיֵּם הַתְּנַאי נִתְקַיֵּם הַמַּתָּנָה וְאִם לֹא נִתְקַיֵּם הַתְּנַאי בְּטֵלָה הַמַּתָּנָה וְיַחְזִיר פֵּרוֹת שֶׁאָכַל. וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיֶה הַתְּנַאי כָּרָאוּי:

7

We have already explained that with regard to all conditional agreements concerning gifts, purchases and sales, it is necessary that the condition be restated, that the positive dimension of the condition be stated before the negative, that the condition precede the deed, and that the condition is one that is possible to fulfill. If any one of these factors is lacking, the condition is nullified, and it is as if it had never been stated.

ז

כְּבָר בֵּאַרְנוּ שֶׁכָּל תְּנָאִין שֶׁיֵּשׁ בְּמַתָּנוֹת אוֹ בְּמִקָּח וּמִמְכָּר צָרִיךְ שֶׁיִּהְיֶה תְּנַאי כָּפוּל. וְהֵן קוֹדֵם לְלָאו. וּתְנַאי קוֹדֵם לְמַעֲשֶׂה. וְיִהְיֶה תְּנַאי שֶׁאֶפְשָׁר לְקַיְּמוֹ. וְאִם חָסֵר אֶחָד מֵאֵלּוּ הַתְּנָאִין בָּטֵל וּכְאִלּוּ אֵין שָׁם תְּנַאי:

8

Whenever a person uses the expression: "conditional on the following," it is as if he said that the transaction will take effect retroactive to the present time"; he does not have to restate the condition. Some of the geonim have ruled in this manner. And this is also my opinion.

My teachers ruled that there is no need to restate the condition or state the positive dimension of the condition first, except in cases of divorce and consecration. There is no proof to substantiate this approach.

ח

וְכָל הָאוֹמֵר עַל מְנָת כְּאוֹמֵר מֵעַכְשָׁו דָּמִי וְאֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לִכְפּל הַתְּנַאי. כָּךְ הוֹרוּ מִקְצָת הַגְּאוֹנִים וְלָזֶה דַּעְתִּי נוֹטָה. וְרַבּוֹתַי הוֹרוּ שֶׁאֵין צָרִיךְ לִכְפּל הַתְּנַאי וּלְהַקְדִּים הֵן לְלָאו אֶלָּא בְּגִטִּין וּבְקִדּוּשִׁין בִּלְבַד. וְאֵין לְדָבָר זֶה רְאָיָה:

9

Whenever a person gives a gift on the condition that it be returned, the gift is valid. The gift is valid whether the condition was made to return the article immediately, that it be returned after a specific time passes, that it remain as a gift for the entire lifetime of either the giver or the recipient, or that it remain as a gift for the entire lifetime of another person.

The above applies both with regard to movable property and landed property. The recipient may derive benefit from the gift for the entire time that it is his.

ט

הַנּוֹתֵן מַתָּנָה עַל מְנָת לְהַחְזִיר הֲרֵי זוֹ מַתָּנָה. בֵּין שֶׁהִתְנָה לְהַחְזִיר מִיָּד בֵּין שֶׁהִתְנָה לְהַחְזִירָהּ לִזְמַן קָצוּב. אוֹ כָּל יְמֵי חַיָּיו שֶׁל אֶחָד מֵהֶם. אוֹ כָּל יְמֵי חַיָּיו שֶׁל פְּלוֹנִי. הֲרֵי זוֹ מַתָּנָה בֵּין בְּמִטַּלְטְלִין בֵּין בְּקַרְקַע. וְאוֹכֵל פֵּרוֹת כָּל זְמַן הַמַּתָּנָה:

10

When a person tells a colleague: "I am giving you this ox as a gift on the condition that you return it," if the recipient consecrates the ox and then returns it, it is consecrated, and he has fulfilled his obligation to return it.

If, however, the giver tells the recipient: "I am giving it to you on the condition that you return it to me," the ox is not consecrated. For implied in the condition stated by the owner is that he return to him an article that will be fitting for him to use. The same applies in all analogous situations.

י

הָאוֹמֵר לַחֲבֵרוֹ שׁוֹר זֶה אֲנִי נוֹתֵן לְךָ בְּמַתָּנָה עַל מְנָת שֶׁתַּחְזִירֵהוּ. הִקְדִּישׁוֹ וְהֶחֱזִירוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה מֻקְדָּשׁ וּמֻחְזָר. אָמַר לוֹ עַל מְנָת שֶׁתַּחְזִירֵהוּ לִי אֵינוֹ קָדוֹשׁ. שֶׁלֹּא הִתְנָה עָלָיו אֶלָּא שֶׁיַּחְזִיר דָּבָר הָרָאוּי לוֹ. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

11

It is forbidden for a Jew to give a gentile a gift without charge. He may, however, give such a gift to a resident alien, as implied by Deuteronomy 14:21: "Give it to the stranger in your gates to eat or sell it to a gentile."

To a gentile, it must be sold; it may not be given. To a resident alien, by contrast, it may be sold or given. The reason for the distinction is that we are obligated to sustain a resident alien, as implied by Leviticus 25:35: "A stranger or a resident, he shall live among you."

יא

אָסוּר לְיִשְׂרָאֵל לִתֵּן לְעַכּוּ''ם מַתְּנַת חִנָּם. אֲבָל נוֹתֵן הוּא לְגֵר תּוֹשָׁב. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יד כא) "לַגֵּר אֲשֶׁר בִּשְׁעָרֶיךָ תִּתְּנֶנָּה וַאֲכָלָהּ אוֹ מָכֹר לְנָכְרִי", בִּמְכִירָה וְלֹא בְּמַתָּנָה. אֲבָל לְגֵר תּוֹשָׁב בֵּין בִּמְכִירָה בֵּין בִּנְתִינָה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאַתָּה מְצֻוֶּה לְהַחְיוֹתוֹ. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כה לה) "גֵּר וְתוֹשָׁב וָחַי עִמָּךְ":

12

When a person gives a gift to a Canaanite servant or a married woman, it is acquired by the husband or the owner. There is, however, a distinction between their powers of acquisition. The servant's master acquires the article itself, while the husband acquires merely the right to the benefit from the article.

יב

הַנּוֹתֵן מַתָּנָה לְעֶבֶד אוֹ לְאִשָּׁה קָנָה הַבַּעַל וְהָאָדוֹן. אֶלָּא שֶׁהָאָדוֹן קוֹנֶה לַגּוּף וְהַבַּעַל קוֹנֶה אוֹתָהּ לְפֵרוֹת:

13

Even if a person gives a gift to a married woman on the condition that her husband have no authority over it, or to a servant on the condition that his master have no authority over it, the master or the husband acquires it.

If, however, one gives a gift to a married woman or to a servant and the giver stipulates that the gift itself may be used for only this or this purpose, the master or the husband does not acquire it.

יג

נָתַן מַתָּנָה לְאִשָּׁה עַל מְנָת שֶׁאֵין לְבַעְלָהּ רְשׁוּת בָּהּ. וּלְעֶבֶד עַל מְנָת שֶׁאֵין לְרַבּוֹ רְשׁוּת בּוֹ. קָנָה הָאָדוֹן וְקָנָה הַבַּעַל. אֲבָל הַנּוֹתֵן מַתָּנָה לְאִשָּׁה אוֹ לְעֶבֶד וְהִתְנָה עִמָּהֶן הַנּוֹתֵן בְּגוּפָהּ שֶׁל מַתָּנָה שֶׁתִּהְיֶה לְכָךְ וְכָךְ. לֹא קָנָה הָאָדוֹן וְלֹא קָנָה הַבַּעַל:

14

What is implied? When a person gives a gift to a married woman and tells her: "This money is given to you as a gift on the condition that you use it for clothing, that you use it for beverages or that you do with it what you desire without the permission of your husband," the husband has no authority over it.

Similarly, if a person told a servant: "This money is given to you as a gift on the condition that you use it for food and drink, that you use it to obtain your freedom/1 or that you do with it what you desire without the permission of your master," the master has no authority over it. The same principles apply in all analogous situations.

יד

כֵּיצַד. הַנּוֹתֵן מַתָּנָה לְאִשָּׁה וְאָמַר לָהּ הֲרֵי הַמָּעוֹת הָאֵלּוּ נְתוּנִים לְךָ בְּמַתָּנָה עַל מְנָת שֶׁתִּלְבְּשִׁי בָּהֶן אוֹ עַל מְנָת שֶׁתִּשְׁתִּי בָּהֶם וְתַעֲשִׂי מַה שֶּׁתִּרְצִי בְּלֹא רְשׁוּת הַבַּעַל. לֹא קָנָה הַבַּעַל. וְכֵן אִם אָמַר לְעֶבֶד עַל מְנָת שֶׁתֹּאכַל בָּהֶן וְתִשְׁתֶּה בָּהֶן. עַל מְנָת שֶׁתֵּצֵא בָּהֶם לְחֵרוּת. אוֹ עַל מְנָת שֶׁתַּעֲשֶׂה בָּהֶם כָּל מַה שֶּׁתִּרְצֶה בְּלֹא רְשׁוּת אָדוֹן שֶׁלְּךָ. לֹא קָנָה הָאָדוֹן. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

15

When a person gives all his possessions to a servant as a gift, the servant acquires himself, and he becomes a free man. He then acquires all the other property.

If, however, the master retains for himself even the slightest amount of property - even movable property, the servant does not acquire anything.

The rationale is that the deed is not a complete bill of freedom, for the master retains some connection to the bill of transfer. Therefore, the servant is not freed, and since he is not freed, he does not acquire anything.

טו

הַנּוֹתֵן כָּל נְכָסָיו לְעַבְדּוֹ קָנָה עַצְמוֹ וְיָצָא בֶּן חוֹרִין וְקָנָה שְׁאָר הַנְּכָסִים. וְאִם שִׁיֵּר כָּל שֶׁהוּא אֲפִלּוּ מִטַּלְטְלִין לֹא קָנָה כְּלוּם שֶׁאֵין זֶה גֵּט חֵרוּת גָּמוּר שֶׁהֲרֵי שִׁיֵּר בּוֹ בְּגֵט וּמִתּוֹךְ שֶׁלֹּא נִשְׁתַּחְרֵר לֹא קָנָה כְּלוּם:

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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 the 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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