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Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Sechirut - Chapter 10, Sechirut - Chapter 11, Sechirut - Chapter 12

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Sechirut - Chapter 10

1

The following rules apply when a person gives a loan to a colleague and takes security in return. He is considered to be a paid watchman. This applies regardless of whether he lent him money or lent him produce, and regardless of whether he took the security at the time when he gave him the loan or afterwards.

Accordingly, if the security is lost or stolen, he is responsible for its value. If the security was lost because of causes beyond the lender's control -e.g., it was taken by armed thieves or the like - the lender must take an oath that it was lost due to forces beyond his control, and the owner of the security must repay his debt until the last p'rutah.

א

המלוה את חבירו על המשכון בין שהלוהו מעות בין שהלוהו פירות בין שמשכנו בשעת הלואתו בין שמשכנו אחר שהלוהו הרי זה שומר שכר לפיכך אם אבד המשכון או נגנב חייב בדמיו ואם נאנס המשכון כגון שנלקח בלסטים מזויין וכיוצא בו משאר אונסין ישבע שנאנס וישלם בעל המשכון את חובו עד פרוטה אחרונה:

2

Whenever a person tells a colleague: "Watch my article for me and I will watch your article for you," it is considered as if the owner was employed by the watchman.

If, however, he tells his colleague: "Watch an article for me today, and I will watch an article for you tomorrow," "Lend an article to me today and I will lend an article to you tomorrow," "Watch an article for me today, and I will lend an article to you tomorrow," or "Lend an article to me today and I will watch an article for you tomorrow," they are each considered to be paid watchman for the other.

ב

כל האומר לחבירו שמור לי ואשמור לך הרי זה שמירה בבעלים אמר לו שמור לי היום ואשמור לך למחר השאילני היום ואני אשאילך למחר שמור לי היום ואשאילך למחר השאילני היום ואשמור לך למחר כולן נעשו שומרי שכר זה לזה:

3

All craftsmen are considered to be paid watchman. Whenever a craftsman says: "Take your article and pay for it," or "I have completed it," and the owner does not take the article, the craftsman is considered to be an unpaid watchman from that time onward.

If, however, the craftsman says: "Bring money and take your article," he is considered a paid watchman as before.

ג

כל האומנין שומרי שכר הן וכולן שאמרו טול את שלך והבא מעות או שאומר לו האומן גמרתיו ולא לקחו הבעלים את הכלי האומן שומר חנם אבל אם אמר האומן הבא מעות וטול שלך עדיין הוא נושא שכר כשהיה:

4

If a person gives an article to a craftsman to fix and the craftsman ruins it, the craftsman is liable to make restitution.

What is implied? If a person gives a carpenter a chest, a box or a closet to place a nail into, and he breaks the article he must make restitution. Similarly, if a person gives a carpenter the wood to make a chest, a box or a closet, and he breaks them after he completes making them, the carpenter must pay the employer for a chest, a box or a closet. The rationale is that the craftsman does not acquire a share in the increase in the value of the article.

If a person gives a craftsman wool to dye, and the vat in which he dyes it boils until the water evaporates, thus destroying the wool, the dyer must reimburse the owner for his wool.

The following rules apply in the ensuing situations: The dyer dyed the wool unattractively, the owner asked him to dye it red and he dyed it black, he asked him to dye it black and he dyed it red, or he gave wood to a carpenter to make an attractive chair, and he made a poor chair or a bench. In all these instances, if the increase in the value of the article exceeds the cost,' all the owner of the article is required to pay is the cost. If the cost exceeds the increase in the value of the article, all the owner of the article is required to pay is the increase in the value of the article.

If the owner of the article says: "I do not desire this dispensation. I would prefer that he give me the value of the wool or the value of the wood," we do not heed his request. Conversely, if the craftsman says: "Here is the cost of your wool or your wood, depart," he is not heeded. The rationale is that the craftsman does not acquire a share in the increase in the value of the article.

ד

נתן לאומנין לתקן וקלקלו חייבין לשלם כיצד נתן לחרש שידה תיבה ומגדל לקבוע בהן מסמר ושברו או שנתן לו את העצים לעשות מהן שידה תיבה ומגדל ונשברו אחר שנעשו משלם לו דמי שידה תיבה ומגדל שאין האומן קונה בשבח הכלי נתן צמר לצבע והקדיחתו יורה נותן לו דמי צמרו צבעו כעור או נתנו לו לצבעו אדום וצבעו שחור שחור וצבעו אדום נתן עצים לחרש לעשות מהן כסא נאה ועשה כסא רע או ספסל אם השבח יתר על ההוצאה נותן בעל הכלי את ההוצאה ואם ההוצאה יתירה על השבח נותן לו את השבח בלבד אמר בעל הכלי איני רוצה בתקנה זו אלא יתן לי דמי הצמר או דמי העצים אין שומעין לו וכן אם אמר האומן הא לך דמי צמרך או דמי עצך ולך אין שומעין לו שאין האומן קונה בשבח כלי שעשה:

5

When a person brings raw materials to a professional and he ruins them, the professional is liable to reimburse the owner for their value, for he is like a paid watchman. For example, a person gave wheat to a miller to grind and he did not soak it. Hence the flour came out as bran or coarse flour. A person gave flour to a baker and he made bread that crumbles, or a person brought an animal to a slaughterer and he slaughtered it unacceptably. They are all liable to make restitution.

Therefore, if an expert slaughterer slaughters an animal without charge and he caused it to be unacceptable, he is not liable to make restitution. If he is not an expert, even if he works without charge, he is required to make restitution.

Similar rules apply when a person shows a coin to a money changer and he says that it is acceptable, and it is discovered to be unacceptable. If he charged for his services, he is obligated to pay even though he is an expert and does not require further training. If he did not charge, he is not liable, provided he is an expert and does not require further training. If he is not an expert, he must reimburse the questioner even when he does not charge for his services.

The above applies when the questioner tells the money changer: "I am relying upon you," or it is obvious from the situation that he is relying on his opinion and is not seeking another opinion.

When a ritual slaughterer slaughtered an animal without charge, but rendered it unfit, a money changer said that a coin was acceptable, and it was not, or in any similar situation, the person who caused the damage must supply proof that he is an expert. If he cannot supply proof, he is required to make restitution.

ה

המוליך חטין לטחון ולא לתתן ועשאן סובין או מורסן נתן הקמח לנחתום ועשאו פת נפולין בהמה לטבח ונבלה חייבין לשלם דמיהן מפני שהן נושאי שכר לפיכך אם היה טבח מומחה ושחט בחנם פטור מלשלם ואינו מומחה אף על פי שהוא בחנם חייב לשלם וכן המראה דינר לשולחני ואמר לו יפה הוא ונמצא רע אם בשכר ראהו חייב לשלם אע"פ שהוא בקי ואינו צריך להתלמד ואם בחנם ראהו פטור והוא שיהיה בקי שאינו צריך להתלמד ואם אינו בקי חייב לשלם אף על פי שהוא בחנ' והוא שיאמר לשולחני עליך אני סומך או שהיו הדברים מראין שהוא סומך על ראייתו ולא יראה לאחרים טבח שעשה בחנם וניבל וכן שולחני שאמר יפה ונמצא רע וכן כל כיוצא בזה עליהן להביא ראייה שהן מומחין ואם לא הביאו ראייה משלמין:

6

The following rules apply in a place where it is customary for a person who plants trees to receive half of the increase in value, and for the owner of the land to receive half of the increase in value. If he planted trees in a portion of the land and increased the value, but planted other trees in another portion of the land and caused a loss, we calculate the half of the profit that is due the planter and deduct the entire loss he caused. He then receives the remainder. Even if he stipulated that if he causes a loss in a certain portion of the land, he will not receive any profit at all, his words are not heeded and only the loss he actually caused is deducted from his profits. The rationale is that this stipulation is an asmachta.

When the person who plants trees terminates his relationship with the owner before reaping the crop, he bears the responsibility for his actions. To illustrate this principle: The local custom is that the person who plants receives half of the profits and the owner of the land, the other half. A sharecropper receives a lesser share, one third of the crop. The person who planted the trees caused the land to increase in value and then wished to terminate his relationship with the owner, forcing the owner to employ a sharecropper. The owner of the land may employ a sharecropper. Even so, the owner of the land receives half of the profits; he does not suffer a loss.

The sharecropper receives a third and the remaining sixth is given to the person who planted the trees. Since he willingly terminated his relationship, he suffers the consequences.

ו

מקום שנהגו שיהיה הנוטע אילנות נוטל חצי השבח ובעל הקרקע חצי ונטע והשביח ונטע והפסיד מחשבין לו חצי השבח שיש לו ומנכין ממנו מה שהפסיד ונוטל השאר ואפילו התנה על עצמו שאם הפסיד לא יטול כלום ה"ז אסמכתא ואין מנכין לו אלא מה שהפסיד היה מנהגם שיטול הנוטע מחצה ובעל הקרקע מחצה [אם] היה מנהגם שיטול האריס שליש אם נטע הנוטע והשביח ורצה להסתלק שנמצא בעל הקרקע צריך להוריד לה אריס הרי בעל הקרקע מוריד אריס ויטול בעל הקרקע חציו ולא יפסיד בעל הקרקע כלום ויטול האריס שליש והשתות הנשאר של נוטע שהרי סילק עצמו ברצונו:

7

The following principle applies with regard to a person who plants trees on behalf of all the members of a city who caused a loss; similarly, a ritual slaughterer of a village who rendered an animal unacceptable for consumption, a blood-letter who caused an injury, a scribe who erred in composing a legal document, a teacher who was negligent with the children and did not teach them or taught them in error, or any other professional who made an error that cannot be corrected. They may be removed from their positions without warning, for the warning for them to perform their work carefully is self evident. They must faithfully apply themselves to their tasks, for they were appointed by the community to discharge this responsibility.

ז

הנוטע אילנות לבני המדינה שהפסיד וכן טבח של בני העיר שנבל הבהמות והמקיז דם שחבל והסופר שטעה בשטרות ומלמד תינוקות שפשע בתינוקות ולא למד או למד בטעות וכל כיוצא באלו האומנים שאי אפשר שיחזירו ההפסד שהפסידו מסלקין אותן בלא התראה שהן כמותרין ועומדין עד שישתדלו במלאכתן הואיל והעמידו אותן הצבור עליהם:

Sechirut - Chapter 11

1

It is a positive commandment to pay a worker his wage on time, as Deuteronomy 24:15 states: "On the day it is due, pay him his wage." If an employer delays payment, he violates a negative commandment, as that verse continues: "Do not let the sun set without him receiving it." Lashes are not given for the violation of this prohibition, for he is liable to pay.

This principle applies to the wage of a person or the fee for hiring an animal or a utensil. In all these instances, one is obligated to make payment when due, and if one delays payment, one violates a negative commandment.

The obligation to pay a wage when due applies to a resident alien, but one does not transgress a negative commandment if one delays paying him.

א

מצות עשה ליתן שכר השכיר בזמנו שנאמר ביומו תתן שכרו וגו' ואם איחרו לאחר זמנו עובר בל"ת שנאמר ולא תבוא עליו השמש ואין לוקין עליו שהרי הוא חייב לשלם אחד שכר האדם ואחד שכר הבהמה ואחד שכר הכלים חייב ליתן בזמנו ואם איחר לאחר זמן עובר בל"ת וגר תושב יש בו משום ביומו תתן שכרו ואם איחרו אינו עובר בל"ת:

2

Whenever a person withholds the payment of a worker's wage, it is as if he takes his soul from him, as Deuteronomy 24:16 continues: "Because of it, he puts his life in his hand." He violates four admonitions and a positive commandment: He transgresses the commandments not to oppress a colleague, not to steal, not to hold overnight the wage of a worker and not to allow the sun to set before having paid him, and the positive commandment to pay him on time.

When are a worker's wages due? A person who is hired to work during the day should collect his wages at any time throughout the following night. With regard to him, Leviticus 19:13 states: "Do not hold the wage of a worker in your possession overnight until the morning."

A person who is hired to work during the night should collect his wages at any time throughout the following day. Concerning him, it is written: "On the day it is due, pay him his wage."

A person who is hired to work several hours during the day should collect his wage during the remainder of the day. A person who is hired to work several hours during the night, should collect his wage during the remainder of the night.

The following principles apply with regard to a person hired for a week, for a month, for a year or for a seven-year period. If he leaves his work during the day, he should collect his wage during the remainder of the day. If he leaves his work during the night, he should collect his wage during the remainder of the night.

ב

כל הכובש שכר שכיר כאילו נטל נפשו ממנו שנאמר ואליו הוא נושא את נפשו ועובר בארבע אזהרות ועשה עובר משום בל תעשוק ומשום בל תגזול ומשום לא תלין פעולת שכיר ומשום לא תבא עליו השמש ומשום ביומו תתן שכרו אי זהו זמנו שכיר יום גובה כל הלילה ועליו נאמר לא תלין פעולת שכיר אתך עד בקר ושכיר לילה גובה כל היום ועליו נאמר ביומו תתן שכרו ושכיר שעות של יום גובה כל היום ושכיר שעות של לילה גובה כל הלילה שכיר שבת שכיר חדש שכיר שנה שכיר שבוע יצא ביום גובה כל היום יצא בלילה גובה כל (אותו) הלילה:

3

If a person gives his garment to a tailor, and the tailor completes it and notifies him, the owner does not transgress this commandment as long as the garment is in the possession of the tailor. This applies even if he delays paying him for ten days.

If the tailor returned it in the middle of the day, once the sun sets, the employer transgresses the commandment for holding the worker's wage past its due date. For contracting work is governed by the same laws as hired labor, and the craftsman must be paid when his wage is

ג

נתן טליתו לאומן וגמרה והודיעו אפילו איחרו עשרה ימים כל זמן שהכלי ביד האומן אינו עובר נתנה בחצי היום כיון ששקעה עליו חמה עובר משום בל תלין שהקבלנות כשכירות היא וחייב ליתן לו בזמנו:

4

The following rules apply when a person tells his agent: "Go out and hire workers for me," and the agent tells them: "The employer is responsible for your wages." They both do not transgress the prohibition against delaying payment of the worker's wages. The owner is not culpable, because he did not hire them, and the agent is not culpable, because he does not benefit from the workers' activity. If, however, the agent did not tell them: "The employer is responsible for your wages," the agent is considered to be transgressing the prohibition.

The employer does not transgress this prohibition unless the worker demanded payment and he did not give it to him. If, however, the worker did not demand payment or he demanded payment and the employer did not have the money to pay him, or he directed the worker to another person who accepted the responsibility of paying him, the employer is not culpable.

ד

האומר לשלוחו צא ושכור לי פועלים אמר להם שכרכם על בעה"ב שניהם אינן עוברין משום בל תלין זה לפי שלא שכרן וזה לפי שאין פעולתן אצלו ואם לא אמר להם שכרכם על בעל הבית השליח עובר אין השוכר עובר אלא בזמן שתבעו השכיר ולא נתן לו אבל אם לא תבעו או שתבעו ולא היה לו מה יתן לו או שהמחהו אצל אחר וקבל ה"ז פטור:

5

When a person delays payment of a worker's wages until after they are due, he is liable to pay him immediately, although he has already violated the positive and the negative commandment mentioned above. Throughout the time he delays payment, he transgresses a Rabbinic commandment, as alluded to by Proverbs 3:28: "Do not tell your colleague, 'Go and return for tomorrow I will pay.'

ה

המשהה שכר שכיר עד אחר זמנו אע"פ שכבר עבר בעשה ול"ת ה"ז חייב ליתן מיד וכל עת שישהה עובר על לאו של דבריהם שנאמר אל תאמר לרעך לך ושוב:

6

The following rules apply whenever a worker who was hired in the presence of witnesses demands payment from his employer at the appointed time, the owner claims to have paid the wage, and the worker claims not to have received it. Our Sages ordained that, while holding a sacred object, the worker should take an oath that he did not receive his wage. He may then collect it according to the laws governing all those who take oaths and then collect their due.

The rationale for this ruling is that the employer is busy managing his workers and the worker is pinning his soul on his wage. Even if the worker is a minor, the worker may take an oath and collect his wage.

Different rules apply when the employer hired the worker without witnesses observing. Since the employer could say: "Such a thing never happened; I never hired you," we accept his claim when he says: "I hired you, and I paid you." Hence, the employer must take a sh'vuat hesset if he denies owing anything to the worker or a Scriptural oath if he admits a portion of his claim, as applies in all other suits. If there is one witness who testifies that the worker was hired, it is of no consequence.

Similarly, if the worker demands payment after the day on which his wage is due, we follow the principle: "A person who wishes to expropriate money from a colleague must prove his claim." This applies even if there are witnesses that the employer hired him. If he does not prove his claim, the employer may support his claim with a sh'vuat hesset and be freed of liability. If the worker proves that he has been continually demanding payment, he may take an oath and collect his wage on the day on which he demands payment.

What is implied? The worker performed labor for the employer on Monday until the evening. The time he should be paid is Monday night. On Tuesday, he can no longer take an oath and collect his wage. If he brings witnesses who testify that he demanded his wage throughout Monday night, he may take an oath and collect his wage throughout the day on Tuesday, but from Tuesday night onward, we follow the principle: "A person who wishes to expropriate money from a colleague must prove his claim."

Similarly, if he has witnesses who testify that he had demanded his wage until Thursday, he may take an oath and collect his wage throughout the day on Thursday.

ו

כל שכיר ששכרו בעדים ותבעו בזמנו ואמר בעל הבית נתתי לך שכרך והשכיר אומר לא נטלתי כלום תקנו חכמים שישבע השכיר בנקיטת חפץ ויטול כדין כל נשבע ונוטל מפני שבעל הבית טרוד בפועליו וזה השכיר נושא נפשו לזה אפילו היה השכיר קטן השכיר נשבע ונוטל שכרו שלא בעדים מתוך שיכול לומר לא היו דברים מעולם ולא שכרתיך נאמן לומר שכרתיך ונתתי לך שכרך וישבע בעל הבית היסת שנתן או שבועת התורה אם הודה במקצת כשאר הטענות היה לו עד אחד ששכרו אינו מועיל לו כלום וכן אם תבעו אחר זמנו אף על פי ששכרו בעדים המוציא מחבירו עליו הראייה ואם לא הביא ראייה ישבע בעל הבית היסת הביא ראייה שתבעו כל זמנו ה"ז נשבע ונוטל כל אותו היום של תביעה כיצד היה עושה עמו ביום שני עד הערב זמנו כל ליל שלישי וביום השלישי אינו נשבע ונוטל ואם הביא עדים שהיה תובעו כל ליל שלישי ה"ז נשבע ונוטל כל יום שלישי אבל מליל רביעי והלאה המוציא מחבירו עליו הראייה וכן אם הביא עדים שהיה תובעו והולך עד יום ה' ה"ז נשבע ונוטל כל יום ה':

7

The following rules apply when there is a difference between the employer and the worker with regard to the wage promised - e.g., the employer states "I promised you two zuz" and the worker states: "You promised me three."

In this instance, our Sages did not entitle the worker to support his claim with an oath. Instead, they applied the principle: "A person who wishes to expropriate money from a colleague must prove his claim," If the worker did not prove his claim, even though the employer already gave him the two zuz he admits owing him or says: "Here is your money," the employer must take an oath holding a sacred object. This oath was ordained by the Sages so that the worker will not depart with an unsatisfied soul.

When does the above apply? When the employer hired the worker in the presence of witnesses who did not know the wage they agreed on, and also when the worker demanded his wage on time. If, however, the employer hired the worker without this being observed by witnesses or the worker demanded payment after the time for payment passed, the employer is required to take only a sh'vuat hesset that he agreed to pay him no more than he already gave him or no more than he admits to owe him and told him that he was willing to pay, as is true with regard to all other claims.

ז

בעה"ב אומר שתים קצצתי לך והשכיר אומר שלש קצצת לי לא תקנו חכמים שישבע השכיר כאן אלא המוציא מחבירו עליו הראייה ואם לא הביא ראיה אע"פ שכבר נתן לו שתים או שאמר לו הילך הרי בעל הבית נשבע בנקיטת חפץ ודבר זה תקנת חכמים הוא כדי שלא ילך השכיר בפחי נפש במה דברים אמורים בששכרו בעדים ולא ידעו כמה פסק לו ותבעו בזמנו אבל אם שכרו שלא בעדים או שתבעו אחר זמנו ישבע בעה"ב היסת שלא קצץ לו אלא מה שכבר נתן לו או שלא נשאר לו אצלו אלא זה שאמר לו הילך כדין כל הטענות:

8

The following rules apply when a person gives a garment to a tailor to mend, and a difference of opinion arises concerning the payment due the tailor. The tailor says: "You promised me two zuz," and the owner says: "I promised to pay only one."

As long as the garment is in the possession of the tailor, and he would be able to claim that he purchased it, the tailor is given the opportunity of taking an oath while holding a sacred object and collecting the amount he claims. He may claim up to the amount of the article's worth as his wage. Once the garment has departed from his possession, or in a situation when we would not presume that he is the owner and he cannot claim that he purchased the garment, we follow the principle: "A person who wishes to expropriate money from a colleague must prove his claim." If he does not bring proof of his claim, the owner of the garment is required to take a sh'vuat hesset if he denies owing the tailor anything more than he paid him or a Scriptural oath if he admits a portion of the tailor's claim, as is the law with regard to other claims. Such a situation is not governed by the special leniencies granted with regard to the laws applying to a worker.

ח

הנותן טליתו לאומן אומן אומר ב' קצצת לי והלה אומר לא קצצתי אלא אחד כל זמן שהטלית ביד האומן אם יכול לטעון שהיא לקוחה בידו הרי האומן נשבע בנקיטת חפץ ונוטל ויכול לטעון שהיא בשכרו עד כדי דמיה ואם יצאת טלית מתחת ידו או שאין לו בה חזקה ואינו יכול לטעון שהיא לקוחה בידו המוציא מחבירו עליו הראייה ואם לא הביא ראייה ישבע בעל הטלית היסת או שבועת התורה אם הודה במקצת כדין כל הטענות שאין זה כדין השכיר:

9

When a worker comes to take an oath, we do not deal severely with him, nor is he required to take an oath with regard to other claims based on the principle of gilgul sh'vuah. Instead, he takes an oath that he did not receive payment and collects his due.

We are not lenient with any other people who come to take oaths, with the exception of a worker. In his case, we are lenient and invite him to take the oath, saying: "Do not cause yourself exasperation. Take the oath and collect your due."

Even when his wage is only a p'rutah, if the owner claims to have paid him already, he should collect it only after taking an oath. Similarly, whenever a person takes an oath and collects his due, even if the claim is only one p'rutah, he may not collect it unless he takes an oath resembling one required by Scriptural Law.

ט

שכיר הבא להשבע אין מחמירין עליו ואין מגלגלין עליו כלל אלא נשבע שלא נטל ויטול ולכל הנשבעין אין מקילין חוץ מן השכיר שמקילין עליו ופותחין לו תחלה ואומרים לו אל תצער עצמך השבע וטול אפילו היה שכרו פרוטה אחת ובעה"ב אומר נתתיה לא יטול אלא בשבועה וכן כל הנשבע ונוטל אפילו לא יטעון אלא פרוטה אחת לא יטול אותה אלא בשבועה כעין של תורה:

Sechirut - Chapter 12

1

When workers are performing activities with produce that grows from the

earth,' but the work required for it has not been completed, and their actions bring the work to its completion, the employer is commanded to allow them to eat from the produce with which they are working. This applies whether they are working with produce that has been harvested or produce that is still attached to the ground.

This is derived from Deuteronomy 23:25, which states: "When you enter the vineyard of your colleague, you may eat grapes as you desire," and ibid.:26, which states: "When you enter the standing grain belonging to your colleague, you may break off stalks by hand." According to the Oral Tradition, we learned that these verses are speaking solely about a paid worker. For if the owner of the produce did not hire him, what right does the person have to enter his colleague's vineyard or standing grain without his permission? Instead, the interpretation of the verse is that when you enter the domain of your employer for work, you may eat.

א

הפועלים שהן עושין בדבר שגדולו מן הארץ ועדיין לא נגמרה מלאכתו בין בתלוש בין במחובר ויהיו מעשיהן גמירת המלאכה הרי על בעה"ב מצוה שיניח אותן לאכול ממה שהן עושין בו שנאמר כי תבא בכרם רעך וגו' וכתוב כי תבא בקמת רעך מפי השמועה למדו שאין הכתוב מדבר אלא בשכיר וכי אילו לא שכרו מי התיר לו שיבא בכרם רעהו בקמה שלו שלא מדעתו אלא כך הוא אומר כי תבא לרשות בעלים לעבודה תאכל:

2

What are the differences in the application of this mitzvah between a person who performs work with produce that has been reaped and one who works with produce that is still attached to the ground? A person who performs work with produce that has been reaped may partake of the produce as long as the work necessary for it has not been completed. Once the work necessary for it has been completed, he may not eat. By contrast, a person who performs work with produce that is still attached to the ground - e.g., a harvester of grapes or a reaper of grain - may not partake of the produce until he has completed his work.

For example, a person harvests grapes and puts them into a large basket. When the basket is filled, it is taken away and emptied in another place. According to Scriptural Law, the worker may eat only when the basket has been filled. Nevertheless, in order to prevent the owner from suffering a loss, the Sages ruled that the workers may eat while they are walking from one row to another and while they are returning from the vat, so that they will not neglect their work to sit down and eat. Instead, they were granted permission to eat while they are performing their work, so that they will not neglect it.

ב

מה בין העושה בתלוש לעושה במחובר שהעושה בתלוש אוכל בדבר עד שלא נגמר מלאכתו ומשתגמר מלאכתו אסור לו לאכול והעושה במחובר כגון בוצר וקוצר אינו אוכל אלא כשיגמור עבודתו כגון שיבצור ויתן בסל עד שימלאנו וינפץ הסל למקום אחר ויחזור ויבצור וימלאנו ואינו אוכל אלא עד אחר שימלא הסל אבל מפני השב אבידה לבעלים אמרו חכמים שיהיו הפועלין אוכלין בהליכתן מאומן לאומן ובחזירתן מן הגת כדי שלא יבטלו ממלאכתן וישבו לאכול אלא אוכלין בתוך המלאכה כשהן מהלכין ואינן מבטלין:

3

When a person neglects his work and eats or eats when he has not completed his work, he transgresses a negative commandment, as Deuteronomy 23:26 states: "You shall not lift a sickle against your colleague's standing grain."

According to the Oral Tradition, it is explained that as long as the worker is involved in reaping, he should not lift a sickle in order to partake of the produce himself. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.

Similarly, a worker who carries home produce with which he had worked or who takes more than he can eat himself and gives to others transgresses a negative commandment, as ibid.:28 states: "You may not place in your containers." The violation of these two prohibitions is not punishable by lashes, because a person who ate when one should not have or took produce home is liable to make financial restitution.

ג

המבטל ממלאכתו ואכל או שאכל שלא בשעת גמר מלאכה הרי זה עובר בל"ת שנאמר וחרמש לא תניף וגו' מפי השמועה למדו שכל זמן שהוא עוסק בקצירה לא יניף חרמש לאכילתו וכן כל כיוצא בזה וכן פועל שהוליך בידו ממה שעשה או שלקח יתר על אכילתו ונותן לאחרים עובר בלא תעשה שנאמר ואל כליך לא תתן ואין לוקין על שני לאוין אלו שאם אכל או הוליך חייב לשלם:

4

A person who milks an animal, one who makes butter, and one who makes cheese may not partake of that food, for it is not a product of the earth.

When a person hoes around onion heads and garlic heads, even though he removes small ones from the larger ones, or the like, he may not partake of them, because this activity does not constitute the completion of the task.

Needless to say, watchmen over gardens, orchards and fields where any crops are grown - e.g., cucumber gardens and gourd gardens - may not partake of the produce growing there at all.

ד

החולב והמחבץ והמגבן אינו אוכל מפני שאינן גידולי קרקע המנכש בבצלים ובשומין אף על פי שתולשין קטנים מבין הגדולים וכל כיוצא בזה אינו אוכל מפני שאין מעשיהם גמר מלאכה ואין צ"ל שומרי גנות ופרדסים וכל דבר המחובר כמקשאות והמדלעות שאן אוכלין כלל:

5

A person who separates dates and figs at have already been harvested and are stuck together] may not partake of them, for the work that obligates the performance of the mitzvah of tithing has been completed.

A person who works with wheat and the like after they have been tithed - e.g., a person was hired to remove pebbles from grain, to sift the kernels or to grind them - may partake of them, for the work that obligates the performance of the mitzvah of challah has not been completed. When, however, a person kneads dough, bastes loaves or bakes, he may not partake of the food, because the work that obligates the performance of the mitzvah of challah has become completed. And a worker may not partake of produce except when the work that obligates the performance of the mitzvah of tithing or challah has not been completed.

ה

הבודל בתמרים ובגרוגרות אינו אוכל מפני שנגמרה מלאכתן למעשר העושה בחטים וכיוצא בהן אחר שעשו כגון ששכרן לבור צרורות או לנפח אותן או לטחון הרי אלו אוכלין שעדיין לא נגמרה מלאכתן לחלה אבל הלש והמקטף והאופה אינו אוכל מפני שנגמרה מלאכתן לחלה ואין הפועל אוכל אלא מדבר שעדיין לא נגמרה מלאכתו לחלה ולמעשר

6

If the cakes of figs belonging to a person become broken up, his barrels of wine become open, or his gourds become cut, and he hires workers to tend to the produce, they may not partake of it, for the work necessary for them has been completed and they have become obligated to be tithed. Indeed, they are tevel. If, however, the owner did not notify the workers, he must tithe the produce and allow them to partake of it.

Workers may not partake of the crops in a field that was consecrated to the Temple treasury. This is derived from Deuteronomy 23:25, which speaks of "your colleague's vineyard."

ו

נתפרסו עגוליו ונתפתחו חביותיו [ונחתכו דלועיו] ושכרן לעשות בהן הרי אלו לא יאכלו שהרי נגמרו מלאכתן ונקבעו למעשר והרי הן טבל ואם לא הודיען מעשר ומאכילן אין הפועלים אוכלין בשל הקדש שנאמר בכרם רעך:

7

When a person hires workers to work with produce that is neta reva'i, they may not partake of it. If he did not inform them that it was neta reva'i, he must redeem it, and allow them to partake of it.

ז

שכר פועלין לעשות בנטע רבעי שלו הרי אלו לא יאכלו ואם לא הודיעם פודה ומאכילן:

8

Workers who reap, thresh, winnow, separate unwanted matter from food, harvest olives or grapes, tread grapes, or perform any other tasks of this nature are granted the right to partake of the produce with which they working by Scriptural Law.

ח

הקוצר והדש והזורה והבורר והמוסק והבוצר והדורך וכל כיוצא במלאכות אלו הרי הם אוכלין מן התורה:

9

Watchmen for vats, grain heaps and any produce that has been separated from the ground, for which the work that obligates tithing has not been completed may partake of the produce because of local convention. They are not granted this privilege according to Scriptural Law, because a watchman is not considered to be one who performs an action.

If, however, a person works with his limbs whether with his hands, his feet or even with his shoulders, he is entitled to partake of produce according to the Torah.

ט

שומרי גתות וערמות וכל דבר התלוש מן הקרקע שעדיין לא נגמרה מלאכתן למעשר אוכלין מהלכות מדינה שהשומר אינו כעושה מעשה אבל אם עשה באיבריו בין בידיו בין ברגליו אפילו בכתפיו הרי זה אוכל מן התורה:

10

A worker who is working with figs may not partake of grapes. One who is working with grapes may not partake of figs. These laws are derived from Deuteronomy 23:25, which states: "When you enter the vineyard of your colleague, you may eat grapes."

When a person is working with one vine, he may not eat from another vine. Nor may he partake of grapes together with other food; he should not partake of them together with bread or salt. If, however, the worker set a limit concerning the quantity that he may eat, he may eat the produce with salt, with bread or with any other food that he desires.

It is forbidden for a worker to suck the juice from grapes, for the verse states: "And you shall eat grapes." Neither the worker's sons nor his wife

may roast the kernels of grain in a fire for him. This is implied by the above verse, which states: "You may eat grapes as you desire." The implication is that you must desire the grapes as they are. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.

י

היה עושה בתאנים לא יאכל בענבים בענבים לא יאכל בתאנים שנאמר בכרם ואכלת ענבים והעושה בגפן זו אינו אוכל בגפן אחרת ולא יאכל ענבים ודבר אחר ולא יאכל בפת ולא במלח ואם קצץ על בעל הבית על שיעור מה שיאכל אוכל אותו בין במלח בין בפת בין בכל דבר שירצה אסור לפועל למוץ בענבים שנאמר ואכלת ענבים ולא יהיו בניו או אשתו מהבהבין לו השבלין באור שנאמר ואכלת ענבים כנפשך ענבים כמות שהן וכן כל כיוצא בזה:

11

It is forbidden for a worker to eat an inordinate amount of the produce with which he is working. This is implied by the above verse, which states: "You may eat... as you desire, to your satisfaction." It is permitted, however, for him to delay eating until he reaches the place of higher quality grapes and eat there.

A worker may eat even a dinar's worth of cucumbers or dates even though he was hired to work only for a silver me'ah. Nevertheless, we teach a person not to be a glutton, so that he will not close the doors in his own face. if a person is guarding four or five grain heaps, he should not eat his fill from only one of them. Instead, he should eat an equal amount from each one.

יא

אסור לפועל לאכול ממה שהוא אוכל אכילה גסה שנאמר כנפשך שבעך ומותר לו למנוע את עצמו עד מקום היפות ואוכל ויש לו לאכול קישות אפילו בדינר וכותבת אפילו בדינר אע"פ ששכרו במעה כסף שנאמר כנפשך שבעך אבל מלמדין את האדם שלא יהיה רעבתן ויהיה סותם את הפתח בפניו היה משמר ד' או ה' ערמות לא ימלא כרסו מאחת מהן אלא אוכל מכל אחת ואחת לפי חשבון:

12

Workers who have not walked both lengthwise and laterally in a vat may eat grapes but may not drink wine, for at that time they are still working solely with grapes. When they have treaded in the vat and walked both lengthwise and laterally, they may eat grapes and drink the grape juice, for they are working with both the grapes and the wine.

יב

הפועלים שלא הלכו שתי וערב בגת אוכלין ענבים ואין שותין יין שעדיין אינן עושין אלא בענבים בלבד ומשידרכו בגת ויהלכו בה שתי וערב יש להן לאכול מן הענבים ולשתות מן התירוש שהרי הן עושין בענבים וביין:

13

When a worker says: "Give my wife and my children what I would eat," or "I will give a small amount of what I have taken to eat to my wife and my children," he is not given this prerogative. For the Torah has granted this right only to a worker himself. Even when a nazarite who is working with grapes says, "Give some to my wife and children," his words are of no consequence.

יג

פועל שאמר תנו לאשתי ובני מה שאני אוכל או שאמר הריני נותן מעט מזה שנטלתי לאכול לאשתי ובני אין שומעין לו שלא זכתה תורה אלא לפועל עצמו אפילו נזיר שהיה עושה בענבים ואמר תנו לאשתי ובני אין שומעין לו:

14

When a worker - and his wife, his children and his slaves - were all employed to work with produce, and the worker stipulated that they - neither he nor the members of his household - should not partake of the produce, they may not partake of it.

When does the above apply? When they are past majority, because they are intellectually mature, responsible for their decisions, and willingly gave up the right the Torah granted them. If, however, the children are minors, their father cannot pledge that they will not eat, for they are not eating from his property or from what the employer grants them, but rather from what they were granted by God.

יד

פועל שהיה עושה הוא ואשתו ובניו ועבדיו והתנה עם הבעה"ב שלא יאכלו ממה שהן עושין לא הוא ולא הם הרי אלו אינן אוכלין בד"א בגדולים מפני שיש בהם דעת והרי מחלו אבל קטנים אינו יכול לפסוק עליהם שלא יאכלו שאינן אוכלין משל אביהן או משל אדוניהם אלא משל שמים:

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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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