Whenever a person pays money, but does not perform meshichah on the produce, although the purchaser does not acquire the movable property, as we have explained, the person who retracts - whether the purchaser or the seller - is considered not to have conducted himself in a Jewish manner. He is liable to receive the adjuration referred to as mi shepara. Even if the purchaser only made a deposit, if either of the parties involved retracts, that party is eligible to receive the adjuration referred to as mi shepara.


מִי שֶׁנָּתַן הַדָּמִים וְלֹא מָשַׁךְ הַפֵּרוֹת. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא נִקְנוּ הַמִּטַּלְטְלִין כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. כָּל הַחוֹזֵר בּוֹ בֵּין לוֹקֵחַ בֵּין מוֹכֵר לֹא עָשָׂה מַעֲשֵׂה יִשְׂרָאֵל וְחַיָּב לְקַבֵּל מִי שֶׁפָּרַע. וַאֲפִלּוּ נָתַן הָעֵרָבוֹן כָּל הַחוֹזֵר מְקַבֵּל מִי שֶׁפָּרַע:


What does receiving the adjuration referred to as mi shepara involve? He is cursed in court and told: "May He who exacted retribution from the generation of the flood, the generation who were dispersed, the inhabitants of Sodom and Amorah, and the Egyptians who drowned in the sea, exact retribution from a person who does not keep his word."

After this curse is administered, the seller should return the money.


וְכֵיצַד מְקַבֵּל מִי שֶׁפָּרַע. אוֹרְרִין אוֹתוֹ בְּבֵית דִּין וְאוֹמְרִין מִי שֶׁפָּרַע מֵאַנְשֵׁי דּוֹר הַמַּבּוּל וּמֵאַנְשֵׁי דּוֹר הַפַּלָּגָה וּמֵאַנְשֵׁי סְדוֹם וַעֲמוֹרָה וּמִמִּצְרַיִם שֶׁטָּבְעוּ בַּיָּם הוּא יִפָּרַע מִמִּי שֶׁאֵינוֹ עוֹמֵד בְּדִבּוּרוֹ. וְאַחַר כָּךְ יַחְזְרוּ הַדָּמִים:


The following laws apply when a purchaser pays - either completely or partially - for movable property that he desires to purchase and then retracts and the seller tells him, "Come and collect your money." The money is considered to be an entrusted object. If it is stolen or lost, the seller is not responsible for it.

If, however, the seller retracts, the money is considered to be within his domain, and he is responsible for it even though he tells the purchaser, "Come and collect your money." This applies until he receives the adjuration mi shepara and tells the purchaser afterwards: "Come and collect your money."


הַנּוֹתֵן דְּמֵי הַמִּטַּלְטְלִין אוֹ מִקְצָת הַדָּמִים וְחָזַר בּוֹ הַלּוֹקֵחַ וְאָמַר לוֹ הַמּוֹכֵר בֹּא וְטֹל מְעוֹתֶיךָ. הֲרֵי הַמָּעוֹת אֶצְלוֹ כְּמוֹ פִּקָּדוֹן. וְאִם נִגְנְבוּ אוֹ אָבְדוּ אֵינוֹ חַיָּב בְּאַחֲרָיוּתָן. אֲבָל אִם חָזַר בּוֹ הַמּוֹכֵר הֲרֵי הַמָּעוֹת בִּרְשׁוּתוֹ וְחַיָּב בְּאַחֲרָיוּתָן. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁחָזַר בּוֹ וְאָמַר לַלּוֹקֵחַ בּוֹא וְטֹל אֶת שֶׁלְּךָ. עַד שֶׁיְּקַבֵּל עָלָיו מִי שֶׁפָּרַע וְיֹאמַר לוֹ אַחַר כָּךְ בּוֹא וְטֹל אֶת שֶׁלְּךָ:


When a person is owed a debt by a colleague and tells him: "Sell me this jug of wine for the debt that you owe me," and the seller agrees, it is considered as if the purchaser paid the money at that time. If either party retracts, he is liable to receive the adjuration mi shepara.

Moreover, if he sold him landed property in exchange for the debt, neither party is allowed to retract. This applies even if the money given as a loan is no longer in the seller's possession at the time of the sale.


מִי שֶׁהָיָה לוֹ חוֹב אֵצֶל חֲבֵרוֹ וְאָמַר לוֹ מְכֹר לִי חָבִית שֶׁל יַיִן בַּחוֹב שֶׁיֵּשׁ לִי אֶצְלְךָ וְרָצָה הַמּוֹכֵר. הֲרֵי זֶה כְּמִי שֶׁנָּתַן הַדָּמִים עַתָּה. וְכָל הַחוֹזֵר בּוֹ מְקַבֵּל מִי שֶׁפָּרַע. לְפִיכָךְ אִם מָכַר לוֹ קַרְקַע בְּחוֹבוֹ אֵין אֶחָד מֵהֶן יָכוֹל לַחְזֹר בּוֹ וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין מְעוֹת הַמַּלְוֶה מְצוּיוֹת בִּשְׁעַת הַמֶּכֶר:


When a person purchases landed property, servants or other movable property from a colleague, a price is agreed upon, and the purchaser leaves collateral in place of the money, the transaction is not completed. Either of the two can retract; he is not even liable to receive the adjuration mi shepara.


הַלּוֹקֵחַ מֵחֲבֵרוֹ קַרְקַע אוֹ עֲבָדִים אוֹ שְׁאָר מִטַּלְטְלִין וּפָסְקוּ הַדָּמִים וְהִנִּיחַ מַשְׁכּוֹן עַל הַדָּמִים לֹא קָנָה. וְכָל הָרוֹצֶה לַחְזֹר מִשְּׁנֵיהֶם חוֹזֵר וְאֵינוֹ חַיָּב לְקַבֵּל מִי שֶׁפָּרַע:

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 rules apply when a verbal agreement alone was concluded with regard to the sale, a price was established, and the purchaser made a mark on the article so that he will have a sign that it is his. Even though the purchaser did not pay any money at all, if either of the parties retracts after the purchaser made the mark, he is liable to receive the adjuration mi shepara.

Moreover, if it is the accepted local business custom that making a mark constitutes a binding act of contract, by making that mark, the purchaser completes the transaction. Neither can retract, and the purchaser is liable to pay the price agreed to.


מָכַר לוֹ בִּדְבָרִים בִּלְבַד וּפָסְקוּ הַדָּמִים. וְרָשַׁם הַלּוֹקֵחַ רשֶׁם עַל הַמִּקָּח כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיֶה לוֹ סִימָן יָדוּעַ שֶׁהוּא שֶׁלּוֹ. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא נָתַן מֵהַדָּמִים כְּלוּם כָּל הַחוֹזֵר בּוֹ אַחַר שֶׁרָשַׁם מְקַבֵּל מִי שֶׁפָּרַע. וְאִם מִנְהַג הַמְּדִינָה הוּא שֶׁיִּקְנֶה הָרשֶׁם קִנְיָן גָּמוּר נִקְנָה הַמִּקָּח. וְאֵין אֶחָד מֵהֶן יָכוֹל לַחְזֹר בּוֹ. וְיִהְיֶה זֶה חַיָּב לִתֵּן דָּמִים:


It is a clear fact that this law applies only when the mark is made in the presence of the seller, or if the seller says: "Mark your purchase." For this indicates that he has agreed to transfer ownership, as explained with regard to chazakah and meshichah.


דָּבָר בָּרוּר הוּא שֶׁאֵין דִּין זֶה אֶלָּא בְּשֶׁרָשַׁם בִּפְנֵי הַמּוֹכֵר. אוֹ שֶׁאָמַר לוֹ הַמּוֹכֵר רְשֹׁם מִקָּחֲךָ. שֶׁהֲרֵי גָּמַר לְהַקְנוֹתָן כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ בַּחֲזָקָה וּבִמְשִׁיכָה:


When a person agrees to a transaction with a verbal commitment alone, it is appropriate for him to keep his word even though he did not take any money at all, did not make a mark on the article he desired to purchase, nor leave security. If either the seller or the purchaser retracts, although they are not liable to receive the adjuration mi shepara, they are considered to be faithless, and the spirit of the Sages does not derive satisfaction from them.


הַנּוֹשֵׂא וְנוֹתֵן בִּדְבָרִים בִּלְבַד הֲרֵי זֶה רָאוּי לַעֲמֹד לוֹ בְּדִבּוּרוֹ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא לָקַח מִן הַדָּמִים כְּלוּם וְלֹא רָשַׁם וְלֹא הִנִּיחַ מַשְׁכּוֹן. וְכָל הַחוֹזֵר בּוֹ בֵּין לוֹקֵחַ בֵּין מוֹכֵר אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינוֹ חַיָּב לְקַבֵּל מִי שֶׁפָּרַע הֲרֵי זֶה מִמְּחֻסְּרֵי אֲמָנָה וְאֵין רוּחַ חֲכָמִים נוֹחָה הֵימֶנּוּ:


Similarly, if a person promised to give a colleague a gift and failed to do so, he is considered to be faithless.

When does the above apply? With regard to a small gift, because the recipient will depend on the promise that he was given. With regard to a large gift, by contrast, the giver is not considered to be faithless if he retracts, because the recipient does not believe that he will give him these articles until he transfers ownership through a formal kinyan.


וְכֵן מִי שֶׁאָמַר לַחֲבֵרוֹ לִתֵּן לוֹ מַתָּנָה וְלֹא נָתַן הֲרֵי זֶה מִמְּחֻסְּרֵי אֲמָנָה. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּמַתָּנָה מוּעֶטֶת שֶׁהֲרֵי סָמְכָה דַּעְתּוֹ שֶׁל מְקַבֵּל כְּשֶׁהִבְטִיחוֹ. אֲבָל בְּמַתָּנָה מְרֻבָּה אֵין בָּהּ חֶסְרוֹן אֲמָנָה. שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא הֶאֱמִין זֶה שֶׁיִּתֵּן לוֹ דְּבָרִים אֵלּוּ עַד שֶׁיִּקְנֶה אוֹתָן בִּדְבָרִים שֶׁקּוֹנִין בָּהֶן:


The following rule applies when a person gave money to a colleague to purchase landed property or movable property, and the agent left his colleague's money in his domain and went and purchased the object for himself with his own money. The purchase he performed is concluded; he is, however, considered to be a man of deceit.


הַנּוֹתֵן מָעוֹת לַחֲבֵרוֹ לִקְנוֹת לוֹ קַרְקַע אוֹ מִטַּלְטְלִין וְהִנִּיחַ מְעוֹת חֲבֵרוֹ אֶצְלוֹ וְהָלַךְ וְקָנָה לְעַצְמוֹ בִּמְעוֹתָיו מַה שֶּׁעָשָׂה עָשׂוּי וַהֲרֵי הוּא מִכְּלַל הָרַמָּאִין:


If the agent knows that the seller has affection for him and honors him and would sell the article to him, but not to the person who charged him with purchasing it, the agent is permitted to buy it for himself. He must, however, return and notify the one who sent him. If he is afraid that another person will come and purchase the article before him, he may purchase the article for himself and then notify the one who sent him.


הָיָה יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁזֶּה הַמּוֹכֵר אוֹהֵב אוֹתוֹ וּמְכַבְּדוֹ וּמוֹכֵר לוֹ וְאֵינוֹ מוֹכֵר לִמְשַׁלְּחוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר לִקְנוֹת לְעַצְמוֹ. וְהוּא שֶׁיַּחֲזֹר וְיוֹדִיעוֹ. וְאִם מְפַחֵד שֶׁמָּא יָבוֹא אַחֵר וִיקַדְּמֶנּוּ לִקְנוֹת הֲרֵי זֶה קוֹנֶה לְעַצְמוֹ וְאַחַר כָּךְ מוֹדִיעוֹ:


Several Rabbinic authorities have ruled that if the agent purchased the article for himself using the money entrusted to him by his colleague after considering it to be a loan, he is considered to have purchased the article for himself. We accept his claim: "I considered the money that I was given to be a loan."

I differ and maintain that this ruling is not true. Instead, the purchase belongs to the principal, as will be explained with regard to the laws of an investment partnership.


הוֹרוּ מִקְצָת הַמּוֹרִים שֶׁאִם קָנָה לְעַצְמוֹ בִּמְעוֹת חֲבֵרוֹ אַחַר שֶׁזְּקָפָן עָלָיו מִלְוֶה הֲרֵי קָנָה לְעַצְמוֹ. וּמְקַבְּלִין מִמֶּנּוּ כְּשֶׁאָמַר זָקַפְתִּי אוֹתָם הַמָּעוֹת עַל עַצְמִי בְּמִלְוֶה. וַאֲנִי אוֹמֵר שֶׁאֵין דִּין זֶה דִּין אֱמֶת. אֶלָּא הַמִּקָּח שֶׁל מְשַׁלֵּחַ כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּדִין הָעֵסֶק:


The following rules apply when three people give money to one agent to purchase an article for them: If the monies were mixed together, and the agent used only a portion of the money to purchase the article, the article is considered the property of all the purchasers, and they divide ownership of it according to their share of the money. This applies even if the intent of the agent was that the article be purchased by only one of them.


שְׁלֹשָׁה שֶׁנָּתְנוּ מָעוֹת לְאֶחָד לִקְנוֹת לָהֶם הַמִּקָּח. אִם הָיוּ הַמָּעוֹת מְעֹרָבוֹת וְקָנָה בְּמִקְצָת הַדָּמִים אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהָיְתָה כַּוָּנַת הַשָּׁלִיחַ שֶׁזֶּה שֶׁקָּנָה לְאֶחָד מֵהֶן הֲרֵי הַמִּקָּח שֶׁל כֻּלָּן וְחוֹלְקִין אוֹתוֹ לְפִי מְעוֹתֵיהֶן:


If the money of one of the partners was bound up and sealed, and that money was used to complete the purchase, the partner whose funds were used alone acquires ownership. This applies even if the agent intended that the article be acquired by all the partnership as a joint enterprise.


הָיוּ מָעוֹת שֶׁל אֶחָד מֵהֶן צְרוּרִין וַחֲתוּמִין אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהָיָה בְּלֵב הַשָּׁלִיחַ הַזֶּה שֶׁיַּקְנֶה הַמִּקָּח לְכֻלָּן לֹא קָנָה אֶלָּא זֶה שֶׁנִּקְנָה הַמִּקָּח בִּמְעוֹתָיו בִּלְבַד: