An order for produce cannot be placed until a market price has been established. Once a market price has been established, an order can be placed. Even though the person receiving the order does not have the desired produce, his colleague does.

What is implied? If the market price for wheat was fixed at four se'ah per sela, a purchaser may place an order of 100 se'ah and pay 25 sela. Even if the seller gives the purchaser the 100 se'ah of wheat later, at a time when a se'ah of wheat is selling for a sela, there is no interest involved at all. This applies even when the seller did not own any wheat at the time the order was placed.

When does the above apply? When the seller did not have in his possession any of the type of produce he sold. If, however, the seller had that type of produce in his possession, even if the work necessary to bring it to the market has not been completed, he may sell a produce order even though a market price has not been established. What is implied? If a farmer was one of the first to harvest, he may sell an order of grain even though the grain is still in the grainheap.

A person can sell an order for wine once the grapes have been reaped and placed in the vat. He can sell an order for oil, when it has been placed in the vat. An order for lime can be placed when it is lowered into the oven. And an order for earthenware vessels can be placed when the balls of clay are made.

When is that necessary? When using white clay. But if dark clay is used, an order for utensils to be made from it can be placed even if the balls have not been made, for that clay is readily available. Even if one person does not possess it, another does. Similarly, an order for fertilizer may be placed throughout the year, even though the seller does not possess fertilizer himself, because it is continuously available.


אֵין פּוֹסְקִין עַל הַפֵּרוֹת עַד שֶׁיֵּצֵא הַשַּׁעַר. יָצָא הַשַּׁעַר פּוֹסְקִין. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין לָזֶה יֵשׁ לָזֶה. כֵּיצַד. הָיָה הַשַּׁעַר לַחִטִּים קָבוּעַ לַשּׁוּק אַרְבַּע סְאִין בְּסֶלַע הֲרֵי זֶה פּוֹסֵק עִמּוֹ עַל מֵאָה סְאִין וְנוֹתֵן לוֹ חָמֵשׁ וְעֶשְׂרִים סְלָעִים. וְאִם יִתֵּן לוֹ מֵאָה סְאָה שֶׁל חִטִּים אַחַר זְמַן בְּעֵת שֶׁיִּהְיוּ הַחִטִּים סְאָה בְּסֶלַע אֵין בָּזֶה רִבִּית כְּלָל אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה לַמּוֹכֵר חִטִּים כְּלָל בְּעֵת שֶׁפָּסַק. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּשֶׁלֹּא הָיָה לוֹ כְּלוּם מֵאוֹתוֹ הַמִּין בְּעֵת שֶׁפָּסַק עָלָיו. אֲבָל אִם הָיָה לַמּוֹכֵר מֵאוֹתוֹ הַמִּין כְּלוּם אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁעֲדַיִן לֹא נִגְמְרָה מְלַאכְתּוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר לִפְסֹק עָלָיו אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁעֲדַיִן לֹא יָצָא הַשַּׁעַר. כֵּיצַד. הָיָה הוּא תְּחִלָּה לַקּוֹצְרִים הֲרֵי זֶה פּוֹסֵק עַל הַחִטִּים אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁעֲדַיִן הֵן גָּדִישׁ. וּפוֹסֵק עַל הַיַּיִן מִשֶּׁיִּבְצֹר הָעֲנָבִים וְיִתְּנֵם בְּעָבִיט וְעַל הַשֶּׁמֶן מִשֶּׁנָּתַן זֵיתִים בַּמַּעֲטָן וְעַל הַסִּיד מִשֶּׁיְּשַׁקְּעֶנָּה בַּכִּבְשָׁן. וְכֵן פּוֹסֵק עַל כְּלֵי חֶרֶשׂ מִשֶּׁיַּעֲשֶׂה הַיּוֹצֵר בֵּיצִים שֶׁלָּהֶן. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּשֶׁהָיָה עֲפָרָן לָבָן אֲבָל עֲפָרָן שָׁחוֹר פּוֹסֵק עַל הַכֵּלִים הַנַּעֲשִׂין מִמֶּנּוּ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא נַעֲשׂוּ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא מָצוּי לַכּל וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין לָזֶה יֵשׁ לָזֶה. וְכֵן פּוֹסֵק עִמּוֹ עַל הַזֶּבֶל כָּל יְמוֹת הַשָּׁנָה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין לוֹ זֶבֶל מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא מָצוּי תָּמִיד:


Whenever all that is necessary to complete a product is one or two tasks, an order can be placed with a seller. When three or more tasks are necessary, an order cannot be placed unless the market price has been issued. For since more than three tasks are necessary to complete the product, it is as if the person does not possess that type of substance at all, and as if it has not come into existence as of yet.

What is implied? When a grain heap must be a) placed in the sun to dry, b) threshed, and c) winnowed, the owner may not accept an order unless a market price has already been issued. If it was dry, and all that was necessary was that it be threshed and winnowed, he may accept an order.

If balls of clay lack shaping, drying, being placed in the kiln, being fired and being removed, the owner may not accept an order. If they are dry, and all that was necessary was that they be placed in the kiln and fired, he may accept an order. This applies when it is the custom of the buyer to remove the utensils from the kiln. If the seller is the one who removes them, they are considered to require the performance of three tasks. The owner may not accept an order unless a market price has already been issued. Similar principles apply in all analogous situations.


כָּל דָּבָר שֶׁהוּא מְחֻסַּר מְלָאכָה אַחַת אוֹ שְׁתַּיִם פּוֹסֵק עִמּוֹ עָלָיו. הָיָה מְחֻסַּר שָׁלֹשׁ מְלָאכוֹת אֵינוֹ פּוֹסֵק אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן יָצָא הַשַּׁעַר שֶׁכֵּיוָן שֶׁהוּא מְחֻסַּר שָׁלֹשׁ מְלָאכוֹת הֲרֵי זֶה כְּמִי שֶׁאֵין לוֹ מֵאוֹתוֹ הַמִּין כְּלוּם וּכְמוֹ לֹא בָּא לָעוֹלָם עֲדַיִן. כֵּיצַד. גָּדִישׁ שֶׁהָיָה מְחֻסַּר הַנָּחָה בַּשֶּׁמֶשׁ שֶׁיִּבַשׁ וְדִישָׁה וּזְרִיָּה אֵינוֹ פּוֹסֵק עָלָיו אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן יָצָא הַשַּׁעַר. הָיָה יָבֵשׁ וְאֵינוֹ מְחֻסָּר אֶלָּא דִּישָׁה וּזְרִיָּה פּוֹסֵק עָלָיו. בֵּיצִים שֶׁל יוֹצֵר שֶׁהָיוּ מְחֻסָּרִין לְפִיפָה וְיִבּוּשׁ וְהוֹלָכָה לַכִּבְשָׁן וּשְׂרֵפָה וְהוֹצָאָה אֵינוֹ פּוֹסֵק עֲלֵיהֶן. הָיוּ יְבֵשִׁין וְאֵינָן מְחֻסָּרִין אֶלָּא הוֹלָכָה לַכִּבְשָׁן וּשְׂרֵפָה פּוֹסֵק עֲלֵיהֶן. וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיֶה דֶּרֶךְ הַלּוֹקֵחַ לְהוֹצִיא אוֹתוֹ מִן הַכִּבְשָׁן. אֲבָל אִם הָיָה הַמּוֹכֵר הוּא שֶׁמּוֹצִיא הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ מְחֻסָּרִין שָׁלֹשׁ וְאֵינוֹ פּוֹסֵק עֲלֵיהֶן עַד שֶׁיֵּצֵא הַשַּׁעַר. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:


When a person who is going to milk his goats, shear his sheep or remove honey from his beehive meets a colleague, it is permissible for one to tell the other: "What I will milk from my goats is sold to you," "What I will shear from my sheep is sold to you," or "What I will remove from my beehive is sold to you." It is, however, forbidden for one to tell the other: "This and this amount of milk which I will milk from my goats is sold to you at this and this price," "This and this amount of wool that I will shear from my sheep is sold to you at this and this price," or "This and this amount of honey that I will remove from my beehive is sold to you at this and this price" unless he takes an order at the market price. Similar principles apply in all analogous situations.


הַהוֹלֵךְ לַחֲלֹב אֶת עִזָּיו וְלִגְזֹז אֶת רְחֵלָיו וְלִרְדּוֹת אֶת כַּוַּרְתּוֹ וּמְצָאוֹ חֲבֵרוֹ וְאָמַר לוֹ מַה שֶּׁעִזַּי חוֹלְבוֹת מָכוּר לְךָ מַה שֶּׁרְחֵלַי גּוֹזְזוֹת מָכוּר לְךָ מַה שֶּׁכַּוַּרְתִּי רוֹדָה מָכוּר לְךָ הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר. אֲבָל אָמַר לוֹ מַה שֶּׁעִזַּי חוֹלְבוֹת כָּךְ וְכָךְ מָכוּר לְךָ בְּכָךְ וְכָךְ. מַה שֶּׁרְחֵלַי גּוֹזְזוֹת כָּךְ וְכָךְ מָכוּר לְךָ בְּכָךְ וְכָךְ. מַה שֶּׁכַּוַּרְתִּי רוֹדָה כָּךְ וְכָךְ מָכוּר לְךָ בְּכָךְ וְכָךְ אָסוּר אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן פָּסַק עִמּוֹ כַּשַּׁעַר שֶׁבַּשּׁוּק. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:


Orders cannot be placed based on the market price of towns, because it is not firmly established, only on a market price established in a large city. If new wheat was being sold in a city at four se'ah for a sela and older wheat at three se'ah for a sela, an order may not be placed until an equal price is established for both the new and the old grain.

If wheat sold by gatherers was selling at four se'ah for a sela and wheat sold by a householder at three, one may place an order from a gatherer at the price of the gatherers. An order from a householder at the price of the gatherers may not be placed unless the price for householders is established [at the same rate].


אֵין פּוֹסְקִין עַל שַׁעַר שֶׁל עֲיָרוֹת מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵין הַשַּׁעַר קָבוּעַ אֶלָּא עַל שַׁעַר שֶׁבַּמְּדִינָה. הָיוּ הַחִטִּים הַחֲדָשׁוֹת בַּמְּדִינָה אַרְבַּע סְאִין בְּסֶלַע וִישָׁנוֹת שָׁלֹשׁ בְּסֶלַע אֵין פּוֹסְקִין עַד שֶׁיֵּצֵא הַשַּׁעַר לֶחָדָשׁ וְלַיָּשָׁן. הָיוּ חִטִּין שֶׁל לְקוּטוֹת אַרְבַּע סְאִין בְּסֶלַע וְשֶׁל בַּעַל הַבַּיִת שָׁלֹשׁ פּוֹסֵק לַלְּקוּטוֹת כְּשַׁעַר לְקוּטוֹת וְלֹא יִפְסֹק לְבַעַל הַבַּיִת עַד שֶׁיִּקְבַּע הַשַּׁעַר לְבַעַל הַבַּיִת:


Once a market price has been established, it is permissible to place an order even for a high rate of exchange.

What is implied? Wheat was being sold at four se'ah for a sela and a purchaser placed an order that a seller would later give him wheat at a low rate of exchange. If the price of wheat was later established at ten se'ah for a sela, the seller must give him ten se'ah as is the market price, for he placed an order at the high rate of exchange.

If the purchaser gave the seller money without making a stipulation and without placing an order for the high rate of exchange, and the price of the produce fell, the seller may give the purchaser the produce at the price that the produce was worth when the money was paid. If a person reneges on his commitment, he receives the adjuration mi shepara.

When does the above apply? When a person is placing an order for himself. When, however, a person is acting as an agent, either for the buyer or the seller, either the purchaser receives at the lower price or the seller must return the funds. When an agent was involved, the purchaser is not required to receive the adjuration mi shepara if he retracts because of the agent's error. For he will say: "I charged you with improving my position, not with undermining it," as explained above.


כֵּיוָן שֶׁנִּקְבַּע הַשַּׁעַר מֻתָּר לִפְסֹק עַל הַשַּׁעַר הַגָּבוֹהַּ. כֵּיצַד. הָיוּ הַחִטִּים נִמְכָּרוֹת אַרְבַּע סְאִין בְּסֶלַע וּפָסַק עִמּוֹ שֶׁיִּתֵּן לוֹ הַחִטִּים כַּשַּׁעַר הַזּוֹל אִם עָמְדוּ אַחַר כֵּן עֶשֶׂר סְאִין בְּסֶלַע נוֹתֵן לוֹ עֶשֶׂר סְאִין כַּשַּׁעַר שֶׁהָיָה בַּשּׁוּק שֶׁהֲרֵי פָּסַק עִמּוֹ בְּשַׁעַר גָּבוֹהַּ. נָתַן לוֹ הַמָּעוֹת סְתָם וְלֹא פָּסַק עִמּוֹ בַּשַּׁעַר הַגָּבוֹהַּ וְהוּזְלוּ נוֹתֵן כַּשַּׁעַר שֶׁהָיוּ שָׁוִין כְּשֶׁנָּתַן לוֹ הַמָּעוֹת. וּמִי שֶׁחָזַר מְקַבֵּל מִי שֶׁפָּרַע. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּפוֹסֵק עַל דַּעַת עַצְמוֹ. אֲבָל אִם הָיָה שָׁלִיחַ לַאֲחֵרִים בֵּין הַמּוֹכֵר בֵּין הַלּוֹקֵחַ אֵינוֹ נוֹטֵל אֶלָּא כַּשַּׁעַר הַזּוֹל אוֹ מַחְזִיר אֶת הַדָּמִים וְאֵינוֹ מְקַבֵּל מִי שֶׁפָּרַע בְּשָׁלִיחַ שֶׁהֲרֵי הַמְשַׁלֵּחַ אוֹמֵר לְתַקֵּן שְׁלַחְתִּיךָ וְלֹא לְעַוֵּת כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

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.


The following laws apply when wheat was being sold at four se'ah per sela, the seller took the money and promised to give the purchaser five se'ah for a sela. If the seller possesses wheat at that time, it is permitted. If the seller does not possess wheat, or even if he is owed a debt of wheat by others and he takes the money on condition that he collects what he is owed and gives it to the purchaser, it is forbidden. The rationale is that at the time of the transaction, the wheat has not yet been collected, and it is as if it does not exist. Hence, it is as if he fixed a time for a later delivery and reduced the price because of the postponement.


הָיוּ הַחִטִּים נִמְכָּרוֹת אַרְבַּע סְאִין בְּסֶלַע וְנָטַל אֶת הַדָּמִים וְנָתַן לוֹ חָמֵשׁ בְּסֶלַע אִם יֵשׁ לוֹ חִטִּים מֻתָּר. הָיוּ לוֹ חִטִּים חוֹב אֵצֶל אֲחֵרִים וְנָטַל הַמָּעוֹת עַד שֶׁיִּגְבֶּה חִטָּיו וְיִתֵּן לוֹ אָסוּר שֶׁהֲרֵי הֵן מְחֻסָּרִין גְּבִיָּה וּכְאִלּוּ אֵינָם וַהֲרֵי זֶה כְּקוֹבֵעַ לוֹ זְמַן וְהוֹזִיל לוֹ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמַּקִּיפוֹ:


When wheat is selling at four se'ah for a sela in the large cities and six se'ah per sela in the villages, it is permitted to give a merchant a sela so that he will bring six se'ah from a village by a particular date. The wheat must, however, be considered to be in the possession of the purchaser. Thus, if is lost or stolen on the way, the purchaser suffers the loss.

It is forbidden for a distinguished person to carry out such a transaction. And if the transaction involves several types of merchandise, it is forbidden for all people to carry out such transactions. The rationale is that such types of merchandise are not continuously found in villages, in contrast to produce that is.


הָיוּ הַחִטִּים בַּמְּדִינָה אַרְבַּע סְאִין בְּסֶלַע וּבַכְּפָרִים שֵׁשׁ בַּסֶּלַע הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר לִתֵּן סֶלַע לְתַגָּר כְּדֵי שֶׁיָּבִיא שֵׁשׁ סְאִין מִן הַכְּפָר. וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיוּ בִּרְשׁוּת הַלּוֹקֵחַ. אִם אָבְדוּ בַּדֶּרֶךְ אוֹ נִגְנְבוּ אָבְדוּ לוֹ. וְאָדָם חָשׁוּב אָסוּר לַעֲשׂוֹת זֶה. ובְּמִינֵי סְחוֹרָה אָסוּר לְכָל אָדָם לְפִי שֶׁאֵין מִינֵי סְחוֹרָה מְצוּיִין כְּפֵרוֹת:


When donkey-drivers enter a city where the market-price is four se'ah for a sela, it is permitted for them to lower the price and sell wheat to their acquaintances or their brokers at five se'ah a sela in return for money given them at the outset, as soon as they enter the city, before they open their sacks and sell to others. The rationale is that they are not selling to them at the lower price because they gave them the money immediately and will not collect the produce until later, but because they inform them concerning the market price and offer them assistance.


הַחַמָּרִין שֶׁנִּכְנְסוּ לָעִיר וַהֲרֵי הַחִטִּים אַרְבַּע סְאִין בְּסֶלַע. הוֹזִילוּ וּמָכְרוּ לְמַכִּירֵיהֶן אוֹ לְסַפְסָרֵיהֶן חָמֵשׁ בְּסֶלַע בַּמָּעוֹת שֶׁנָּתְנוּ לָהֶן תְּחִלָּה כְּשֶׁיִּכָּנְסוּ לָעִיר עַד שֶׁיִּפְתְּחוּ שַׂקֵּיהֶן וְיִמְכְּרוּ לְכָל אָדָם הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר שֶׁאֵין אֵלּוּ מוֹכְרִין לָהֶם בְּזוֹל מִפְּנֵי שֶׁנָּתְנוּ מָעוֹת עַתָּה וְלֹא יִקְחוּ אֶלָּא לְאַחַר זְמַן אֶלָּא מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמּוֹדִיעִין לָהֶם אֶת הַשַּׁעַר וּמְסַעֲדִין אוֹתָם:


The following rules apply when a person who is transporting his produce from one place to another place meets a colleague who tells him: "Give me your produce and I will give you produce that I possess in return at your destination." If the purchaser possesses such produce at that place, the transaction is permitted. If not, it is forbidden.

Slightly different laws apply when a person was transporting merchandise from place to place and a colleague told him: "Give me the merchandise and I will pay you the price it would be worth at your destination." If the seller is responsible for the merchandise until it reaches that destination, the transaction is permitted. If the purchaser is responsible, it is forbidden.


הַמּוֹלִיךְ פֵּרוֹתָיו מִמָּקוֹם לְמָקוֹם מְצָאוֹ חֲבֵרוֹ וְאָמַר לוֹ תְּנֵם לִי וַאֲנִי אַעֲלֶה לְךָ פֵּרוֹת שֶׁיֵּשׁ לִי (בְּמָקוֹם פְּלוֹנִי) בְּאוֹתוֹ מָקוֹם. אִם יֵשׁ לוֹ שָׁם מֻתָּר וְאִם לָאו אָסוּר. הָיָה מוֹלִיךְ סְחוֹרָה מִמָּקוֹם לְמָקוֹם אָמַר לוֹ תְּנֵם לִי וַאֲנִי אַעֲלֶה לְךָ דָּמֶיהָ כְּמוֹ שֶׁשָּׁוֶה בְּאוֹתוֹ מָקוֹם אִם הָיְתָה בִּרְשׁוּת הַמּוֹכֵר עַד שֶׁהִגִּיעַ לְשָׁם מֻתָּר וְאִם הָיְתָה בִּרְשׁוּת לוֹקֵחַ אָסוּר:


It is permissible for a person to give the owner of a garden payment for ten specific cucumbers or for ten specific watermelons, even though they are small and he stipulated that he would give them to him when they grow to full size. The rationale is that the seller leaves them and they grow by themselves. If he cut them off now, others would not grow in their place. Similar laws apply in all analogous cases where the seller will not suffer any loss or detriment by selling in advance.


הַנּוֹתֵן לְבַעַל הַגִּנָּה דְּמֵי עֲשָׂרָה קִשּׁוּאִין אֵלּוּ דְּמֵי עֲשָׂרָה אֲבַטִּיחִים אֵלּוּ וַהֲרֵי הֵן קְטַנִּים וְהִתְנָה עִמּוֹ שֶׁיִּתְּנֵם לוֹ לִכְשֶׁיַּגְדִּילוּ הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר שֶׁהֲרֵי הוּא מַנִּיחָן וְהֵם גְּדֵלִים מֵאֲלֵיהֶן וְאִלּוּ קִצְּצָן עַתָּה כְּשֶׁהֵן קְטַנִּים לֹא הָיוּ בָּאִים אֲחֵרִים תַּחְתֵּיהֶן. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה מִדָּבָר שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ הֶפְסֵד וְלֹא חִסָּרוֹן עַל הַמּוֹכֵר: