When a person enters into a partnership agreement without making any stipulations, he should not deviate from the local custom followed with regard to that merchandise. He should not take the merchandise and travel to another place, enter into a partnership with other individuals, be involved with other merchandise, sell it on an extended payment plan unless it is ordinarily sold in such a manner, nor should it be entrusted to others unless a stipulation to that effect was made at the outset or he did so with the consent of his colleague.

If a partner transgresses, and performs one of the above activities without the knowledge of his colleague, but when he informs him afterwards of what he did the other partner agrees, he is not liable. A kinyan is not necessary to formalize a partner's consent to any of the above matters; a verbal commitment is sufficient.


הַמִּשְׁתַּתֵּף עִם חֲבֵרוֹ בִּסְתָם לֹא יְשַׁנֶּה מִמִּנְהַג הַמְּדִינָה בְּאוֹתָהּ הַסְּחוֹרָה. וְלֹא יֵלֵךְ לְמָקוֹם אַחֵר וְלֹא יִשְׁתַּתֵּף בָּהּ עִם אֲחֵרִים וְלֹא יִתְעַסֵּק בִּסְחוֹרָה אַחֶרֶת וְלֹא יִמְכֹּר בְּהַקָּפָה אֶלָּא דָּבָר שֶׁדַּרְכּוֹ לְהִמָּכֵר תָּמִיד בְּהַקָּפָה וְלֹא יַפְקִיד בְּיַד אֲחֵרִים אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הִתְנוּ בַּתְּחִלָּה אוֹ שֶׁעָשָׂה מִדַּעַת חֲבֵרוֹ. עָבַר וְעָשָׂה שֶׁלֹּא מִדַּעַת חֲבֵרוֹ וְאַחַר כָּךְ הוֹדִיעוֹ וְאָמַר לוֹ עָשִׂיתִי כָּךְ וְכָךְ וְהִסְכִּים לְמַעֲשָׂיו הֲרֵי זֶה פָּטוּר. וְאֵין כָּל הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלּוּ צְרִיכִין קִנְיָן אֶלָּא בִּדְבָרִים בִּלְבַד:


When one of the partners transgresses and sells merchandise on credit, takes it on a sea voyage, travels with it to another place, does business with other merchandise at the same time, or the like, he alone is liable to pay for any loss that occurs because of his activity. If he profits from his activity, the profit should be split between the partners according to their stipulations regarding profit.

For this reason, the following rules apply when a person gives a colleague money to purchase wheat as part of a partnership agreement and the partner purchases barley, or he gives him money to purchase barley and he purchases wheat: if there is a loss, it is suffered by the one who transgressed. If there is a profit, it is split.

Similarly, if somebody entered into partnership with another person using funds belonging to the partnership, if there is a loss, he suffers it alone. If there is a profit, it is split. If, however, he entered into a partnership with another person with his own money: if there is a loss, he suffers it alone. If there is a profit, he alone receives the profit. If a stipulation was made between the partners, everything is concluded according to that stipulation.


אֶחָד מִן הַשֻּׁתָּפִין שֶׁעָבַר וּמָכַר בְּהַקָּפָה אוֹ פֵּרַשׁ בַּיָּם אוֹ הָלַךְ לְמָקוֹם אַחֵר אוֹ שֶׁנָּשָׂא וְנָתַן בִּסְחוֹרָה אַחֶרֶת. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בְּאֵלּוּ הַדְּבָרִים כָּל פְּחָת שֶׁיָּבוֹא מֵחֲמַת שֶׁעָבַר חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּם לְבַדּוֹ וְאִם הָיָה שָׁם שָׂכָר הַשָּׂכָר לָאֶמְצַע כְּמוֹ שֶׁהִתְנוּ בֵּינֵיהֶם בַּשָּׂכָר. לְפִיכָךְ הַנּוֹתֵן מָעוֹת לַחֲבֵרוֹ בְּתוֹרַת שֻׁתָּפוּת לִקַּח בָּהֶן חִטִּים לִסְחוֹרָה וְהָלַךְ וְקָנָה שְׂעוֹרִים אוֹ שֶׁנָּתַן לוֹ מָעוֹת לִקְנוֹת שְׂעוֹרִים וְקָנָה חִטִּים. אִם פָּחֲתוּ פָּחֲתוּ לְזֶה שֶׁעָבַר וְאִם הוֹתִירוּ הוֹתִירוּ לָאֶמְצַע. וְכֵן אִם הָלַךְ וְנִשְׁתַּתֵּף עִם אַחֵר בְּמָמוֹן הַשֻּׁתָּפוּת אִם הִפְסִיד הִפְסִיד לְעַצְמוֹ וְאִם נִשְׂתַּכֵּר הַשָּׂכָר לָאֶמְצַע. אֲבָל אִם נִשְׁתַּתֵּף עִם אַחֵר בַּמָּמוֹן עַצְמוֹ אִם פִּחֵת פִּחֵת לְעַצְמוֹ וְאִם הִרְוִיחַ הִרְוִיחַ לְעַצְמוֹ. וְאִם הִתְנוּ בֵּינֵיהֶן הַכּל לְפִי הַתְּנַאי:


When a person gives a colleague money to purchase produce with the profits to be divided in half, the person given the money is permitted to purchase more of that produce for himself. When he sells the produce, he should not sell the two together. Instead, he should sell the produce owned jointly separately, and his own produce separately.

Similarly, he should not purchase wheat for himself and barley for his colleague.Instead, he should purchase wheat for the entire amount, or barley for the entire amount, so that the funds of them both should be equal in case of loss.


הַנּוֹתֵן מָעוֹת לַחֲבֵרוֹ לִקַּח בָּהֶן פֵּרוֹת לְמַחֲצִית שָׂכָר רַשַּׁאי לִקַּח לְעַצְמוֹ מֵאוֹתוֹ הַמִּין. וּכְשֶׁהוּא מוֹכֵר לֹא יִמְכֹּר שְׁנֵיהֶם כְּאֶחָד אֶלָּא מוֹכֵר אֵלּוּ בִּפְנֵי עַצְמָן [וְאֵלּוּ בִּפְנֵי עַצְמָן]. וְלֹא יִקַּח לְעַצְמוֹ חִטִּים וְלַחֲבֵרוֹ שְׂעוֹרִים אֶלָּא בְּכֻלָּן חִטִּים אוֹ בְּכֻלָּן שְׂעוֹרִים כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיוּ מְעוֹת שְׁנֵיהֶם שָׁוִין בַּחֲבָּלָה:


When one of the partners says: "Let's take the merchandise to this and this place, where it is highly priced, and sell it there," the other partner may prevent him from doing so even if the first partner accepts responsibility for any loss by factors beyond his control or depreciation that may occur. The rationale is that the second partner may tell the first: "I do not desire to give you the money that is in my possession and then have to pursue you and bring you to court to expropriate it from you." Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.


אֶחָד מִן הַשֻּׁתָּפִין שֶׁאָמַר נוֹלִיךְ הַסְּחוֹרָה לְמָקוֹם פְּלוֹנִי שֶׁהִיא בְּיֹקֶר וְנִמְכֹּר שָׁם אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁקִּבֵּל עָלָיו כָּל אֹנֶס אוֹ כָּל פְּחָת שֶׁיָּבוֹא הֲרֵי חֲבֵרוֹ מְעַכֵּב עָלָיו שֶׁהֲרֵי אוֹמֵר לוֹ אֵין רְצוֹנִי שֶׁאֶתֵּן מָעוֹת שֶׁבְּיָדִי וְאֶהְיֶה רוֹדֵף אַחֲרֶיךָ לַדִּין לְהוֹצִיא מִמְּךָ. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:


If one of the partners desires to let the produce age until the time when it is known to sell that produce, his colleague cannot prevent him from doing so. If there is no set time to sell this type of produce, his colleague can prevent him from aging the produce.


אֶחָד מִן הַשֻּׁתָּפִין שֶׁבָּא לְיַשֵּׁן אֶת הַפֵּרוֹת עַד זְמַן הַיָּדוּעַ אֵין חֲבֵרוֹ מְעַכֵּב עָלָיו. וְאִם אֵין זְמַן לְאוֹתָן פֵּרוֹת חֲבֵרוֹ מְעַכֵּב עָלָיו:

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.


When partners evaluated their produce, and then established a partnership with them, the laws of ona'ah apply to each of them. If they mixed their produce together without evaluating it, sold it, and then did business with the profits, they should evaluate the worth of the produce at the time the partnership was established, and appraise the profit or the loss accordingly.


שֻׁתָּפִין שֶׁשָּׁמוּ פֵּרוֹתֵיהֶן וְנִשְׁתַּתְּפוּ בָּהֶן יֵשׁ לָהֶן הוֹנָיָה זֶה עַל זֶה. עֵרְבוּ פֵּרוֹת בְּלֹא שׁוּמָא וּמְכָרוּם וְנָשְׂאוּ וְנָתְנוּ בִּדְמֵיהֶן הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ מְחַשְּׁבִין אֶת הַפֵּרוֹת כַּמָּה הָיוּ שָׁוִין בְּעֵת שֶׁנִּשְׁתַּתְּפוּ וּמְחַשְּׁבִין אֶת הַשָּׂכָר אוֹ הַהֶפְסֵד:


When custom collectors waived a fee from partners, each is granted an equal share. If the collectors say: "We waived the fee because of so and so," he alone is granted the value of the waiver.

The following rules apply when partners were traveling on the road and were attacked by thieves, who sought to steal the merchandise carried by the caravan.If one of the partners saved the goods from being taken, all the partners receive an equal share in what he saved. If he says: "I am saving it for myself," he has saved it for himself alone.


שֻׁתָּפִין שֶׁמָּחֲלוּ לָהֶם מוֹכְסִין מָחֲלוּ לָאֶמְצַע. וְאִם אָמְרוּ מִשּׁוּם פְּלוֹנִי מָחַלְנוּ מַה שֶּׁמָּחֲלוּ מָחֲלוּ לוֹ. הָיוּ בָּאִין בַּדֶּרֶךְ וְעָמְדוּ עֲלֵיהֶן לִסְטִים וְגָזְלוּ אֶת הַשַּׁיָּרָא וְהִצִּיל אֶחָד מִן הַשֻּׁתָּפִין הִצִּיל לָאֶמְצַע (אֲפִלּוּ אֵין יְכוֹלִים חֲבֵרָיו לְהַצִּיל דְּלָא פְּלַג כֵּיוָן דְּלָא אָמַר כְּלוּם). וְאִם אָמַר לְעַצְמִי אֲנִי מַצִּיל (אִם יְכוֹלִים לְהַצִּיל הִצִּיל עַד כְּדֵי חֶלְקוֹ לְעַצְמוֹ וְהַיּוֹתֵר שֶׁלָּהֶם וְאִם אֵין יְכוֹלִין לְהַצִּיל) הִצִּיל לְעַצְמוֹ:


When property is known to belong to the partnership, it is assumed that both partners have a share in its ownership throughout the entire duration of the partnership. This applies even though the property was located in the domain of only one of the partners. The partner in whose domain it is located may not claim that he purchased it from the other partner, or that he gave it to him as a present. In such an instance, we do not follow the principle: When a person desires to expropriate property from a colleague the burden of proof is on him. Instead, the property is assumed to belong to both partners unless one of them brings proof otherwise.


דָּבָר הַיָּדוּעַ לִשְׁנֵי שֻׁתָּפִין אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא בִּרְשׁוּת אֶחָד מֵהֶן אֵינוֹ יוֹצֵא מֵחֶזְקָתוֹ שֶׁל שֵׁנִי כָּל יְמֵי הַשֻּׁתָּפוּת וְאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לִטְעֹן שֶׁלְּקָחוֹ מִמֶּנּוּ אוֹ שֶׁנְּתָנוֹ לוֹ בְּמַתָּנָה וְנֹאמַר לָאַחֵר שֶׁהַמּוֹצִיא מֵחֲבֵרוֹ עָלָיו הָרְאָיָה אֶלָּא הֲרֵי הוּא בְּחֶזְקַת שְׁנֵיהֶם עַד שֶׁיָּבִיא הָאַחֵר רְאָיָה:


When one of the partners desires to dissolve the partnership without the knowledge of his partner, he should divide the assets in the presence of three people. They may even be unlearned people, provided they are trustworthy and able to evaluate property. If a partner divides the assets in the presence of fewer than three people, his actions are of no consequence.

When does the above apply? When he divides produce. If, however, the partnership's assets were money, the money is considered as if it had been already divided. The partner may therefore divide the money outside the presence of a court and then deposit his colleague's share with the court for safe-keeping.

When does the above apply? When all the money is of one currency and of equal value. If, however, some coins are new and others old - and needless to say if some are considered desirable and others considered undesirable - the money is also considered as produce and should not be divided outside the presence of a court of three.


אֶחָד מִן הַשֻּׁתָּפִין שֶׁבָּא לַחֲלֹק שֶׁלֹּא מִדַּעַת חֲבֵרוֹ חוֹלֵק בִּפְנֵי שְׁלֹשָׁה וַאֲפִלּוּ הֵן הֶדְיוֹטוֹת וּבִלְבַד שֶׁיְּהוּ נֶאֱמָנִין וְיוֹדְעִין בְּשׁוּמָא. וְאִם חָלַק לָהּ בְּפָחוֹת מִשְּׁלֹשָׁה לֹא עָשָׂה כְּלוּם. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּשֶׁחָלְקוּ פֵּרוֹת. אֲבָל אִם הָיוּ מָעוֹת הַמָּעוֹת כַּחֲלוּקִים הֵם וְיֵשׁ לוֹ לְחַלֵּק שֶׁלֹּא בִּפְנֵי בֵּית דִּין וּמַנִּיחַ חֵלֶק חֲבֵרוֹ בְּבֵית דִּין. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים כְּשֶׁהָיוּ הַמָּעוֹת כֻּלָּן מַטְבֵּעַ אֶחָד וְשָׁוִין. אֲבָל אִם הָיוּ מִקְצָתָן חֲדָשִׁים וּמִקְצָתָן יְשָׁנִים וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר אִם הָיוּ מִקְצָתָן יָפוֹת וּמִקְצָתָן רָעוֹת הֲרֵי הֵן כְּפֵרוֹת וְאֵין חוֹלְקִין אוֹתָם אֶלָּא בְּבֵית דִּין:


It is forbidden for a person to enter into partnership with a gentile, lest his colleague be obligated to take an oath to him and he swear in the name of his false deity.

We have already explained in the appropriate place that it is forbidden to do business with produce that grows in the Sabbatical year, nor with firstborn animals, nor with animals that are trefah, nor with meat from dead animals, nor with produce that is terumah, nor with crawling or teeming animals. If a person transgresses and invests money belonging to a partnership in these, the profit should be divided among the partners. It appears to me that if he loses, he must bear the loss himself. This ruling is granted because he transgressed.


אָסוּר לְהִשְׁתַּתֵּף עִם עַכּוּ''ם שֶׁמָּא יִתְחַיֵּב לוֹ חֲבֵרוֹ שְׁבוּעָה וְיַשְׁבִּיעוֹ בְּיִרְאָתוֹ. וּכְבָר בֵּאַרְנוּ בִּמְקוֹמוֹ שֶׁאָסוּר לַעֲשׂוֹת סְחוֹרָה בְּפֵרוֹת שְׁבִיעִית [וְלֹא בִּבְכוֹרוֹת] וְלֹא בִּטְרֵפוֹת וְלֹא בִּנְבֵלוֹת וְלֹא בִּתְרוּמוֹת וְלֹא בִּשְׁקָצִים וּרְמָשִׂים. וְאִם עָבַר וְעָשָׂה הַשָּׂכָר לָאֶמְצַע. וְנִרְאֶה לִי שֶׁאִם הִפְסִיד הִפְסִיד לְעַצְמוֹ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁעָבַר:


When one of the members of a partnership or an investment agreement dies, the partnership or the investment agreement is nullified. This applies even if the agreement was originally made for a specific time. The rationale is that the money has already been transferred to the domain of the heirs. The Geonim ruled in accordance with this decision.


אֶחָד מִן הַשֻּׁתָּפִין אוֹ מִן הַמִּתְעַסְּקִין שֶׁמֵּת בָּטְלָה הַשֻּׁתָּפוּת אוֹ הָעֵסֶק אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהִתְנוּ לִזְמַן קָבוּעַ שֶׁכְּבָר יָצָא הַמָּמוֹן לִרְשׁוּת הַיּוֹרְשִׁים. וְכָזֶה הוֹרוּ הַגְּאוֹנִים: