1

When a person weighs for a colleague using weights that are less than the weights accepted by the people in that country, or he measures using a measure that contains less than the measure used by people in that country, he violates a negative commandment, as Leviticus 19:35 states: "Do not act deceitfully with regard to a judgment concerning measures, weights and liquid measures."

א

הַשּׁוֹקֵל לַחֲבֵרוֹ מִמִּשְׁקָלוֹת חֲסֵרוֹת מִן הַמִּשְׁקָל שֶׁהִסְכִּימוּ עָלָיו בְּנֵי אוֹתָהּ הַמְּדִינָה. אוֹ הַמּוֹדֵד בְּמִדָּה חֲסֵרָה מִן הַמִּדָּה שֶׁהִסְכִּימוּ עָלֶיהָ. הֲרֵי זֶה עוֹבֵר בְּלֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יט לה) "לֹא תַעֲשׂוּ עָוֶל בַּמִּשְׁפָּט בַּמִּדָּה בַּמִּשְׁקָל וּבַמְּשׂוּרָה":

2

Although a person who measures with an inaccurate measure or weight is a thief, he is not required to make a double payment of the stolen amount. All that is necessary is to give the proper measure of the article that was sold. Lashes are not given for the violation of this transgression, because the thief is obligated to make financial restitution.

ב

אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהַמּוֹדֵד אוֹ הַשּׁוֹקֵל חָסֵר גּוֹנֵב אֵינוֹ מְשַׁלֵּם לוֹ תַּשְׁלוּמֵי כֶּפֶל אֶלָּא מְשַׁלֵּם לוֹ הַמִּדָּה אוֹ הַמִּשְׁקָל. וְאֵין לוֹקִין עַל לָאו זֶה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא חַיָּב בְּתַשְׁלוּמִין:

3

Whoever possesses an imperfect measure or weight in his home or store violates a negative commandment, as Deuteronomy 25:13 states: "You shall not have in your pocket two sets of weights...." One may not even use the imperfect measure as a chamber pot. For even if one does not use the imperfect measure oneself to buy and to sell, another person who does not know that it is imperfect may come and use it as a measure.

Lashes are not administered for the violation of this transgression, because it does not involve a deed.

ג

כָּל מִי שֶׁמַּשְׁהֶה בְּבֵיתוֹ אוֹ בַּחֲנוּתוֹ מִדָּה חֲסֵרָה אוֹ מִשְׁקַל חָסֵר עוֹבֵר בְּלֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כה יג) "לֹא יִהְיֶה לְךָ בְּכִיסְךָ" וְגוֹ'. וַאֲפִלּוּ לַעֲשׂוֹת הַמִּדָּה עָבִיט שֶׁל מֵימֵי רַגְלַיִם אָסוּר. שֶׁאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין זֶה לוֹקֵחַ וּמוֹכֵר בָּהּ שֶׁמָּא יָבוֹא מִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁהִיא חֲסֵרָה וְיִמְדֹּד בָּהּ. וְאֵין לוֹקִין עַל לָאו זֶה שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵין בּוֹ מַעֲשֶׂה:

4

If a standard seal was affixed to all the measures and weights in a city, and the imperfect measure did not have such a seal, it is permitted to leave it for other household purposes.

Similarly, when a sela became blemished at its side, a person should not use it as a weight, nor should he cast it among his pieces of scrap metal, nor should he drill a hole in it and hang it around his son's neck, lest another person come and make it appear as a weight. Instead, one should grind it into powder, cut it into small pieces, pulverize it, or throw it into the Dead Sea.

ד

הָיוּ הַמִּדּוֹת וְהַמִּשְׁקָלוֹת שֶׁל בְּנֵי הָעִיר חֲתוּמוֹת בְּחוֹתָם יָדוּעַ וְזוֹ הַמִּדָּה אוֹ הַמִּשְׁקָל הַחֲסֵרִים בְּלֹא חוֹתָם. הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר לַשְׁהוֹתָם לִשְׁאָר תַּשְׁמִישֵׁי הַבַּיִת. כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה סֶלַע שֶׁנִּפְגְּמָה מִן הַצַּד לֹא יַעֲשֶׂנָּה מִשְׁקָל בֵּין מִשְׁקְלוֹתָיו וְלֹא יִזְרְקֶנָּה בֵּין גְּרוּטוֹתָיו וְלֹא יִקָּבֶנָּה וְיִתְלֶנָּה בְּצַוַּאר בְּנוֹ שֶׁמָּא יָבוֹא אַחֵר וְיַעֲשֶׂנָּה מִשְׁקָל. אֶלָּא אוֹ יִשְׁחֹק אוֹ יַחְתֹּךְ אוֹ יָקֹץ אוֹ יַשְׁלִיךְ לְיָם הַמֶּלַח:

5

If the size of a sela was reduced to the extent that it was halved, it may be used. If it was reduced to less than half or more than half, it should be cut until it becomes a half.

If it was reduced by less than one sixth of its worth, it may be used for buying and selling, but not as a weight. The reason it may be used is that most people will forgo any loss that is less than a sixth.

ה

חָסְרָה וְעָמְדָה עַל מֶחֱצָה יְקַיֵּם. עָמְדָה עַל פָּחוֹת מִמֶּחֱצָה אוֹ עַל יֶתֶר מִמֶּחֱצָה יָקֹץ עַד שֶׁיַּעֲמִידֶנָּה עַל מֶחֱצָה. וְאִם לֹא חָסְרָה אֶלָּא פָּחוֹת מִשְּׁתוּת יְקַיֵּם לָשֵׂאת וְלָתֵת בָּהּ אֲבָל לֹא לְמִשְׁקָל. שֶׁכָּל פָּחוֹת מִשְּׁתוּת רֹב בְּנֵי אָדָם מוֹחֲלִין בּוֹ בְּמַשָּׂא וּבְמַתָּן:

Mishneh Torah (Moznaim)

Featuring a modern English translation and a commentary that presents a digest of the centuries of Torah scholarship which have been devoted to the study of the Mishneh Torah by Maimonides.

6

When a sela is damaged in its center, it may not be sold to a killer or a thief, for they may use it to deceive others. One may, however, place a hole in its center and hang it around a child's neck.

ו

סֶלַע שֶׁנִּפְגְּמָה בָּאֶמְצַע אָסוּר לְמָכְרָהּ לְהַרָג אוֹ לְחַרָם מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמְּרַמִּין בָּהּ אֶת אֲחֵרִים. אֲבָל נוֹקְבָהּ וְתוֹלֶה אוֹתָהּ בְּצַוַּאר הַקָּטָן:

7

A person should make his measures the size of a se'ah, half a se'ah and a quarter of a se'ah, a kav, half a kav, a quarter of a kav, an eighth of a kav and a twenty-fourth of a kav. He should not, however, make a measure of two kabbim, lest it be mistaken for a quarter of a se'ah, which is a kav and a half.

Similarly, with regard to liquid measure, one should make a hin, half a hin, a third of a hin, a quarter of a hin, a log, half a log, a quarter of a log, an eighth of a log and a sixty-fourth of a log.

The Sages did not forbid one from making a third of a hin and a quarter of a hin, although they could be confused with each other, because there were such measures in the Sanctuary from the time of Moses our teacher onward.

ז

עוֹשֶׂה אָדָם מִדּוֹתָיו סְאָה וַחֲצִי סְאָה וְרֹבַע סְאָה. וְקַב וַחֲצִי קַב וְרֹבַע הַקַּב וַחֲצִי הָרֹבַע וּשְׁמִינִית הָרֹבַע. אֲבָל לֹא יַעֲשֶׂה קַבַּיִם שֶׁלֹּא תִּתְחַלֵּף בְּרֹבַע הַסְּאָה שֶׁהוּא קַב וּמֶחֱצָה. וְכֵן בְּמִדּוֹת הַלַּח עוֹשֶׂה הִין וַחֲצִי הִין וּשְׁלִישִׁית הַהִין וּרְבִיעִית הַהִין. וְלוֹג וַחֲצִי לוֹג וּרְבִיעִית וּשְׁמִינִית וְאֶחָד מִשְּׁמוֹנָה בַּשְּׁמִינִית. וְלֹא אָסְרוּ לַעֲשׂוֹת שְׁלִישִׁית הִין וּרְבִיעִית הִין אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁמִּתְחַלְּפִין זֶה בָּזֶה הוֹאִיל וְהָיוּ בַּמִּקְדָּשׁ מִימוֹת משֶׁה רַבֵּנוּ:

8

Whether a person deals with a Jew or a gentile, if he measures or weighs with a measure that is lacking, he transgresses a negative commandment and is obligated to return the difference.

Similarly, it is forbidden to deceive a gentile with regard to an account; instead, one must reckon carefully with him, as Leviticus 25:50 states: "You should reckon with his purchaser."

This applies with regard to a gentile who is under your control; surely it applies to one who is not under your control. A person who performs such deceit is included among those about whom Deuteronomy 25:16 says: "They are an abomination unto God, all who do these things, all who act crookedly."

ח

אֶחָד הַנּוֹשֵׂא וְהַנּוֹתֵן עִם יִשְׂרָאֵל אוֹ עִם עַכּוּ''ם אִם מָדַד אוֹ שָׁקַל בְּחָסֵר עוֹבֵר עַל לֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה וְחַיָּב לְהַחְזִיר. וְכֵן אָסוּר לְהַטְעוֹת אֶת הָעַכּוּ''ם בְּחֶשְׁבּוֹן אֶלָּא יְדַקְדֵּק עִמּוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כה נ) "וְחִשַּׁב עִם קֹנֵהוּ" אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא כָּבוּשׁ תַּחַת יָדֶיךָ. קַל וָחֹמֶר לְעַכּוּ''ם שֶׁאֵינוֹ כָּבוּשׁ תַּחַת יָדֶיךָ. וַהֲרֵי הוּא בִּכְלַל (דברים כה טז) "כִּי תוֹעֲבַת ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ כָּל עשֵֹׁה אֵלֶּה כּל עשֵֹׁה עָוֶל" מִכָּל מָקוֹם:

9

Similar principles apply regarding the measurement of land. If a person deceives a colleague with regard to the measurement of land, he transgresses a negative commandment, as implied by Leviticus 19:35: "Do not act deceitfully with regard to a judgment concerning measures...."

"Measures" refers to the measurement of land. The verse is saying that one should not act deceitfully with regard to any judgment, be it a judgment concerning measures, one of weights or one involving a tiny liquid measure, the size of a mesurah.

ט

וְכֵן בְּמִדַּת הַקַּרְקַע אִם הִטְעָה אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ בִּמְשִׁיחַת הַקַּרְקַע עוֹבֵר בְּלֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יט לה) "לֹא תַעֲשׂוּ עָוֶל בַּמִּשְׁפָּט בַּמִּדָּה". בַּמִּדָּה זוֹ מִדַּת הַקַּרְקַע. וְכֵן הוּא עִנְיַן פָּסוּק זֶה לֹא תַעֲשׂוּ עָוֶל בַּמִּשְׁפָּט לֹא בְּמִשְׁפַּט הַמִּשְׁקָל וְלֹא בְּמִשְׁפַּט הַמִּדָּה אֲפִלּוּ מִדָּה קְטַנָּה כִּמְשׂוּרָה:

10

When the members of a company are exact in their dealings with each other, and they exchange one portion of a sacrificial offering for another, or they borrow food and then return its equivalent, they transgress the prohibition against false measures, false weights and false amounts if they do not return the exact amount. If the exchange takes place on a festival, it is also a transgression of the prohibition against borrowing and repaying on a festival.

י

בְּנֵי חֲבוּרָה הַמַּקְפִּידִים זֶה עַל זֶה שֶׁהֶחְלִיפוּ חֵלֶק בְּחֵלֶק אוֹ לָוָה מִמֶּנּוּ מַאֲכָל וְהֶחְזִיר לוֹ. עוֹבְרִין מִשּׁוּם מִדָּה וּמִשּׁוּם מִשְׁקָל וּמִשּׁוּם מִנְיָן וּמִשּׁוּם לוֹוִין וּפוֹרְעִין בְּיוֹם טוֹב:

11

A person who usurps the property boundaries of a colleague and includes even a fingerbreadth of a colleague's landed property in his own property transgresses. If he acts openly, by the power of force, he is a robber. If he acts with stealth, he is a thief.

If he usurps a colleague's property in Eretz Yisrael, he transgresses two negative commandments: the prohibition against either theft or robbery, and the prohibition against moving a property boundary. One is liable for the transgression of this negative commandment only in Eretz Yisrael, for Deuteronomy 19:14 states: "Do not usurp the property boundaries of a colleague... in the heritage that you will acquire...."

יא

הַמַּסִּיג גְּבוּל רֵעֵהוּ וְהִכְנִיס מִתְּחוּם חֲבֵרוֹ בְּתוֹךְ תְּחוּמוֹ אֲפִלּוּ מְלוֹא אֶצְבַּע. אִם בְּחָזְקָה עָשָׂה הֲרֵי זֶה גַּזְלָן. וְאִם הִסִּיג בַּסֵּתֶר הֲרֵי זֶה גַּנָּב. וְאִם בְּאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל הִסִּיג הַגְּבוּל הֲרֵי זֶה עוֹבֵר בִּשְׁנֵי לָאוִין בְּלָאו גְּנֵבָה אוֹ בְּלָאו גְּזֵלָה וּבְלָאו (דברים יט יד) "לֹא תַסִּיג". וְאֵין חַיָּב בְּלָאו זֶה אֶלָּא בְּאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יט יד) "בְּנַחֲלָתְךָ אֲשֶׁר תִּנְחַל":

12

The punishment for the person who uses false measures is greater than the punishment for licentious sexual behavior, for this is a sin between a person and his colleague, and this is a sin between a person and God.

Whoever denies the mitzvah of just measures is considered as if he denied the exodus from Egypt, which is the first of God's commandments. Conversely, one who accepts the mitzvah of just measures is considered as if he acknowledges the exodus from Egypt, which brought about all of God's commandments.

יב

קָשֶׁה עָנְשָׁן שֶׁל מִדּוֹת יֶתֶר מֵעָנְשָׁן שֶׁל עֲרָיוֹת שֶׁזֶּה בֵּינוֹ לְבֵין הַמָּקוֹם וְזֶה בֵּינוֹ לְבֵין חֲבֵרוֹ. וְכָל הַכֹּפֶר בְּמִצְוַת מִדּוֹת כְּכוֹפֵר בִּיצִיאַת מִצְרַיִם שֶׁהִיא תְּחִלַּת הַצִּוּוּי. וְכָל הַמְקַבֵּל עָלָיו מִצְוַת מִדּוֹת הֲרֵי זֶה מוֹדֶה בִּיצִיאַת מִצְרַיִם שֶׁהִיא גָּרְמָה לְכָל הַצִּוּוּיִין: