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Mechirah - Chapter Eighteen

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Mechirah - Chapter Eighteen


It is forbidden to deceive people with regard to a business deal or to beguile them. This prohibition applies equally to Jews and to gentiles.

If a seller knows that the article he is selling has a blemish, he must notify the purchaser about it. It is even forbidden to beguile a person with false flattery.


אָסוּר לְרַמּוֹת אֶת בְּנֵי אָדָם בְּמִקָּח וּמִמְכָּר אוֹ לִגְנֹב אֶת דַּעְתָּם. וְאֶחָד עוֹבֵד כּוֹכָבִים וְאֶחָד יִשְׂרָאֵל שָׁוִים בְּדָבָר זֶה. הָיָה יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁיֵּשׁ בְּמִמְכָּרוֹ מוּם יוֹדִיעוֹ לַלּוֹקֵחַ. וַאֲפִלּוּ לִגְנֹב דַּעַת הַבְּרִיּוֹת בִּדְבָרִים אָסוּר:


One may not improve the appearance of a man being sold as a servant, nor of an animal, nor of old utensils, by making them appear to be new. One may, however, improve the appearance of new utensils, by polishing them, ironing them and beautifying them as much as necessary.


אֵין מְפַרְכְּסִין אֶת הָאָדָם וְלֹא אֶת הַבְּהֵמָה וְלֹא אֶת הַכֵּלִים הַיְּשָׁנִים כְּדֵי שֶׁיֵּרָאוּ כַּחֲדָשִׁים. אֲבָל מְפַרְכְּסִין הַחֲדָשִׁים כְּגוֹן שֶׁיָּשׁוּף וִיגַהֵץ וִייַפֶּה כָּל צְרָכָיו:


One may not feed a man water in which bran was cooked, which causes his body to swell, making his face appear larger. One may not paint one's face with rouge and the like.

One may not inflate intestines that are being sold in a butchery, nor may one soak meat in water. All practices similar to the above are also forbidden.

One may not sell a gentile meat from an animal that was not ritually slaughtered on the pretense that it was ritually slaughtered, although religiously there is no difference to him whether or not ritual slaughter was performed.


אֵין מְשַׁרְבְּטִין אֶת הָאָדָם בְּמַיִם שֶׁל חֲזָרִין וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּתְפַּח וְיֵרָאוּ פָּנָיו שְׁמֵנִים. וְלֹא צוֹבְעִין אֶת הַפָּנִים בְּשָׁרָק וְכַיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ. וְלֹא נוֹפְחִין אֶת הַקְּרָבַיִם וְלֹא שׁוֹרִין אֶת הַבָּשָׂר בְּמַיִם. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בִּדְבָרִים אֵלּוּ אֲסוּרִין. וְאֵין מוֹכְרִין בְּשַׂר נְבֵלָה לְנָכְרִי בִּכְלַל שְׁחוּטָה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהַנְּבֵלָה אֶצְלוֹ כִּשְׁחוּטָה:


It is permitted to remove the husks from kernels of grain or beans, provided one does not do so only on the top of the grain sack, for doing so creates a false impression that the entire quantity has been husked.

It is permitted for a merchant to distribute roasted seeds and nuts to children and maidservants so that they will frequent his establishment. A merchant may discount the ordinary market price of an item to increase his volume of customers. The other merchants in the market place may not prevent him from doing so, nor is this considered to be deceiving a customer.


מֻתָּר לָבֹר אֶת הַגְּרִיסִין אֲבָל לֹא עַל פִּי הַמְּגוּרָה. שֶׁאֵינוֹ אֶלָּא כְּגוֹנֵב אֶת הָעַיִן וִידַמֶּה שֶׁהוּא הַכּל בָּרוּר. וּמֻתָּר לְחֶנְוָנִי לְחַלֵּק קְלָיוֹת וֶאֱגוֹזִים לְתִינוֹקוֹת וְלִשְׁפָחוֹת כְּדֵי לְהַרְגִּילָן לָבוֹא אֶצְלוֹ. וּפוֹחֵת מִשַּׁעַר שֶׁבַּשּׁוּק כְּדֵי לְהַרְבּוֹת בְּמַקִּיפִין מִמֶּנּוּ. וְאֵין בְּנֵי הַשּׁוּק יְכוֹלִין לְעַכֵּב עָלָיו וְאֵין בָּזֶה גְּנֵבַת הַדַּעַת:


One may not mix two batches of the same species of produce together. This applies when both batches are freshly harvested. Certainly, it is forbidden to mix produce harvested previously with freshly harvested produce. This applies even when previously harvested produce is more expensive than the freshly harvested, because the purchaser may desire to store the produce for an extended time.

An exception was made with regard to wine, and it is permitted to mix stronger wine with lighter wine during the time the wine is fermenting alone, because one improves the flavor of the other. If the flavor of the wine added is distinct, it is permitted to mix them at any time. For whenever an entity is distinct, its presence can be detected by a purchaser. And therefore, mixing it in is permitted.


אֵין מְעָרְבִין פֵּרוֹת בְּפֵרוֹת אֲפִלּוּ חֲדָשִׁים בַּחֲדָשִׁים. וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר יְשָׁנִים בַּחֲדָשִׁים. אֲפִלּוּ הַיְשָׁנִים בְּיֹקֶר וְהַחֲדָשִׁים בְּזוֹל. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהַלּוֹקֵחַ רוֹצֶה לְיַשְּׁנָן. בְּיַיִן הוּא שֶׁהִתִּירוּ לְעָרֵב קָשֶׁה בְּרַךְ בֵּין הַגִּתּוֹת בִּלְבַד מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמַּשְׁבִּיחוֹ. וְאִם הָיָה טַעֲמוֹ נִכָּר מֻתָּר לְעָרֵב בְּכָל מָקוֹם. שֶׁכָּל דָּבָר הַנִּכָּר טַעְמוֹ מַרְגִּישׁ הַלּוֹקֵחַ וּלְפִיכָךְ מֻתָּר לְעָרֵב אוֹתוֹ:


Water may not be mixed together with wine that one intends to sell. When water has been mixed with a person's wine, he should not sell it in a store unless he notifies the customers. He should not sell it to a merchant, even if he notifies him, lest the merchant deceive others. In a place where it is customary to add water to wine, one may do so, provided one does so at the time the wine is fermenting.


אֵין מְעָרְבִין מַיִם בְּיַיִן. וּמִי שֶׁנִּתְעָרֵב לוֹ מַיִם בְּיֵינוֹ לֹא יִמְכְּרֶנּוּ בַּחֲנוּת אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן מוֹדִיעוֹ. וְלֹא לְתַגָּר אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁמּוֹדִיעוֹ, שֶׁמְּרַמֶּה בּוֹ אֲחֵרִים. וּמָקוֹם שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ לְהַטִּיל מַיִם בְּיַיִן יַטִּיל. וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיֶה בֵּין הַגִּתּוֹת:


A merchant may take from five wine vats and store the mixture in one tank. He may take from five granaries and store the mixture in one warehouse, as long as he does not intend to mix the produce.


הַתַּגָּר נוֹטֵל מֵחָמֵשׁ גִּתּוֹת וְנוֹתֵן לְתוֹךְ פִּיטָם אֶחָד. מֵחָמֵשׁ גֳּרָנוֹת וְנוֹתֵן לְתוֹךְ מְגוּרָה אַחַת. וּבִלְבַד שֶׁלֹּא יִתְכַּוֵּן לְעָרֵב:


It is forbidden to mix dregs with either wine or oil. Mixing even the slightest amount is forbidden. One may not even mix the dregs produced yesterday with the dregs produced today.

If, however, one pours wine from one container into another, one may add the dregs to the wine.


אָסוּר לְעָרֵב שְׁמָרִים בֵּין בְּיַיִן בֵּין בְּשֶׁמֶן וַאֲפִלּוּ כָּל שֶׁהוּא. וַאֲפִלּוּ שְׁמָרִים שֶׁל אֶמֶשׁ בִּשְׁמָרִים שֶׁל יוֹם אָסוּר. אֲבָל אִם עֵרָה הַיַּיִן מִכְּלִי אֶל כְּלִי נוֹתֵן שְׁמָרָיו לְתוֹכוֹ:


When a person sells "refined oil" to a colleague, the purchaser refuses to accept any dregs at all. If he sells him oil without mentioning any descriptive term, the purchaser is willing to accept that one and a half log from every 100 log will be dregs. And he accepts the fact that the remainder of the oil will have dregs; thus, it will be murky, with dregs being suspended in the oil in addition to the quantity of dregs that is standard in that locale.


הַמּוֹכֵר לַחֲבֵרוֹ שֶׁמֶן מְזֻקָּק אֵינוֹ מְקַבֵּל שְׁמָרִים. מָכַר לוֹ שֶׁמֶן סְתָם מְקַבֵּל לוֹג וּמֶחֱצָה שְׁמָרִים לְכָל מֵאָה לוֹג. וּמְקַבֵּל בִּשְׁאָר שְׁמָרִים שֶׁמֶן עָכוּר הָעוֹלֶה לְמַעְלָה עַל פְּנֵי הַשֶּׁמֶן יֶתֶר עַל הַשְּׁמָרִים הַיְדוּעִים בְּאוֹתוֹ מָקוֹם:


When does the above apply? When he pays the money in Tishrei, when oil is cloudy, and receives the oil in Nisan according to the measure of Tishrei, which is larger because of the unrefined oil above. If, however, the purchaser takes the measure given in Nisan, which is smaller because the oil has already become clear, he accepts only the measure of dregs mentioned in the previous halachah.


בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים כְּשֶׁנָּתַן לוֹ מָעוֹת בְּתִשְׁרֵי שֶׁהַשֶּׁמֶן עָכוּר. וְלָקַח הַשֶּׁמֶן בְּנִיסָן כְּמִדַּת תִּשְׁרֵי שֶׁהִיא גְּדוֹלָה מִפְּנֵי אוֹתוֹ הַשֶּׁמֶן הַקּוֹפֶה לְמַעְלָה. אֲבָל אִם לָקַח בְּמִדַּת נִיסָן שֶׁהִיא קְטַנָּה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁכְּבָר צָלַל הַשֶּׁמֶן אֵינוֹ מְקַבֵּל אֶלָּא הַשְּׁמָרִים בִּלְבַד:


When a person sells wheat to a colleague, the purchaser accepts that he will receive one fourth of a kav of legumes for every se'ah. When he purchases barley, he accepts that he will receive one fourth of a kav of dried-out kernels for every se'ah. When he purchases lentils, he accepts that he will receive one fourth of a kav of pebbles for every se'ah. When he purchases figs, he accepts that he will receive ten wormy ones for every hundred.

If a person sells any other type of produce to a colleague, the purchaser accepts that he will receive one fourth of a kav of dirty produce for every se'ah.

If the amount of lower quality produce exceeds these measures, the seller must sift the entire batch and give the purchaser sifted and cleaned produce that has no undesirable qualities.


הַמּוֹכֵר חִטִּים לַחֲבֵרוֹ מְקַבֵּל עָלָיו רֹבַע קִטְנִית לְכָל סְאָה. שְׂעוֹרִים מְקַבֵּל עָלָיו רֹבַע נִישׁוֹבוֹת לְכָל סְאָה. עֲדָשִׁים מְקַבֵּל עָלָיו רֹבַע עַפְרוּרִית לִסְאָה. תְּאֵנִים מְקַבֵּל עָלָיו עֶשֶׂר מַתְלִיעוֹת לְכָל מֵאָה. מָכַר לוֹ שְׁאָר פֵּרוֹת מְקַבֵּל עָלָיו רֹבַע טִנוֹפוֹת לְכָל סְאָה. נִמְצָא מֵהֶן יֶתֶר עַל הַשִּׁעוּרִים הָאֵלּוּ כָּל שֶׁהוּא יְנַפֶּה אֶת הַכּל וְיִתֵּן לוֹ פֵּרוֹת מְנֻפִּין וּבְרוּרִין שֶׁאֵין בָּהֶן כְּלוּם:


All of the above applies only in a place where there is no established custom. In a place where there is an established custom, everything follows the established custom.


וְאֵין כָּל אֵלּוּ הַדְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים אֶלָּא בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁאֵין לָהֶם מִנְהָג אֲבָל בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁיֵּשׁ לָהֶם מִנְהָג הַכּל כְּמִנְהַג הַמְּדִינָה:


There are places where it is customary for all produce to be sold when it has been cleaned and sifted, removing all foreign bodies, and for the wines and the oils to be clear, without selling any dregs at all. And there are other places where produce is sold even when there are half dregs, or there is half the amount of sand, straw or another substance in the produce.

Therefore, in such a locale, if a person takes a stone from a colleague's grain heap, he must reimburse the owner as if the stone he took were wheat. For if he had left it there, it would have been sold as part of the measure of wheat.'If one would say, "Let him return the stone," this is forbidden, for it is forbidden to mix even the slightest amount of foreign substances into produce.


יֵשׁ מְקוֹמוֹת שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ שֶׁיִּהְיוּ כָּל פֵּרוֹת מְנֻקִּים וּבְרוּרִים מִכָּל דָּבָר. וְשֶׁיִּהְיוּ הַיֵּינוֹת וְהַשְּׁמָנִים צְלוּלִין. וְלֹא יִמְכְּרוּ הַשְּׁמָרִים כְּלָל. וְיֵשׁ מְקוֹמוֹת שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ אֲפִלּוּ הָיוּ בָּהֶן מֶחֱצָה שְׁמָרִים. אוֹ שֶׁהָיוּ בְּפֵרוֹת מֶחֱצָה עָפָר אוֹ תֶּבֶן אוֹ מִין אַחֵר יִמָּכֵר כְּמוֹת שֶׁהוּא. לְפִיכָךְ הַבּוֹרֵר צְרוֹר מִתּוֹךְ גָּרְנוֹ שֶׁל חֲבֵרוֹ נוֹתֵן לוֹ דְּמֵי חִטִּים כְּשִׁעוּר צְרוֹר שֶׁבֵּרֵר. שֶׁאִלּוּ הִנִּיחוֹ הָיָה נִמְכָּר בְּמִדַּת חִטִּים. וְאִם תֹּאמַר יַחְזִירֶנּוּ הֲרֵי אָמְרוּ אָסוּר לְעָרֵב כָּל שֶׁהוּא:


When a person sells barrels in the Sharon in a place where there is no established custom, the purchaser accepts that out of 100 barrels, he will receive ten that are of inferior quality. Even these must, however, be attractive and fixed with pitch.


הַמּוֹכֵר קַנְקַנִּים בַּשָּׁרוֹן בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁאֵין מִנְהָג מְקַבֵּל לְכָל מֵאָה עֲשָׂרָה פִּיטָסוֹת. וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיוּ נָאוֹת וַעֲשׂוּיוֹת בְּגָפְרִית:

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