1

When a person gives a gift to a colleague, the recipient does not acquire it until he takes possession through one of the legal processes by which a purchaser takes possession of a purchase.

If the giver desires to give him movable property, the recipient must lift up the article, perform meshichah on an article that one would not ordinarily lift up, or acquire that article through one of the other means through which movable property is acquired.

If he is giving him landed property or servants, the recipient does not acquire them until he manifests ownership over them as a purchaser would, or until a legal document recording the gift reaches his hand.

A verbal statement is not sufficient. The recipient does not acquire the gift, and either one of them still has the option of retracting.

א

הַנּוֹתֵן מַתָּנָה לַחֲבֵרוֹ אֵין הַמְקַבֵּל זוֹכֶה בָּהּ אֶלָּא בְּאֶחָד מִן הַדְּרָכִים שֶׁהַקּוֹנֶה זוֹכֶה בָּהֶן בְּמִקָּחוֹ. אִם מִטַּלְטְלִין רוֹצֶה לִתֵּן לוֹ עַד שֶׁיַּגְבִּיהַּ אוֹ שֶׁיִּמְשֹׁךְ דָּבָר שֶׁאֵין דַּרְכּוֹ לְהַגְבִּיהַּ אוֹ יִקְנֶה בְּאֶחָד מִשְּׁאָר הַדְּבָרִים שֶׁהַמִּטַּלְטְלִין נִקְנִין בָּהֶן. וְאִם קַרְקַע אוֹ עֲבָדִים נָתַן לוֹ עַד שֶׁיַּחְזִיק כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁמַּחְזִיק הַלּוֹקֵחַ אוֹ עַד שֶׁיַּגִּיעַ שְׁטַר מַתָּנָה לְיָדוֹ. אֲבָל בִּדְבָרִים לֹא זָכָה הַמְקַבֵּל אֶלָּא כָּל אֶחָד מֵהֶן עֲדַיִן יָכוֹל לַחְזֹר בּוֹ:

2

When, by contrast, a creditor forgoes a debt to a colleague or gives him an object that previously had been entrusted to the recipient for safekeeping, such a gift is made final by a verbal statement alone. Nothing further is necessary, as we have explained.

ב

מָחַל לַחֲבֵרוֹ חוֹב שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ עָלָיו. אוֹ נָתַן לוֹ הַפִּקָּדוֹן שֶׁהָיָה מֻפְקָד אֶצְלוֹ. הֲרֵי זוֹ מַתָּנָה הַנִּקְנֵית בִּדְבָרִים בִּלְבַד. וְאֵין צָרִיךְ דָּבָר אַחֵר כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

3

Similarly, if a person tells a colleague: "You owe me a maneh. Give it to this person," the intended recipient acquires it. Neither has the option of retracting. This applies whether he gave the recipient the maneh in payment for a debt he owed him, or whether he gave it to him as a gift. And it applies whether the maneh had been given to the person to whom the giver charged with making the gift as a loan or it had been entrusted to him for safekeeping, as we have explained.

ג

וְכֵן הָאוֹמֵר לַחֲבֵרוֹ מָנֶה שֶׁיֵּשׁ לִי בְּיָדְךָ תְּנֵהוּ לָזֶה קָנָה. וְאֵין אֶחָד מֵהֶן יָכוֹל לַחְזֹר בּוֹ. בֵּין שֶׁנָּתַן הַמָּנֶה בְּחוֹב שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ אֶצְלוֹ בֵּין שֶׁנְּתָנוֹ לוֹ מַתָּנָה בֵּין שֶׁהָיָה חוֹב אֶצְלוֹ בֵּין שֶׁהָיָה פִּקָּדוֹן אֶצְלוֹ כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

4

Just as with regard to buying and selling, witnesses are necessary only to reveal the truth of the situation when there are claims and denials, so too, with regard to the waiver of obligations and gifts, witnesses are necessary only because of liars.

ד

כְּשֵׁם שֶׁאֵין צְרִיכִים עֵדִים לְעִנְיַן מִקָּח וּמִמְכָּר אֶלָּא לְגַלּוֹת הַדָּבָר בִּלְבַד אִם הָיְתָה שָׁם טַעֲנָה וּכְפִירָה. כָּךְ בִּמְחִילוֹת וּמַתָּנוֹת אֵין צְרִיכִין עֵדִים אֶלָּא מִפְּנֵי הַמְשַׁקְּרִים:

5

Just as a seller must define the property that he sells, as we have explained, so too, a person who gives a gift must define what he is giving.

What is implied? If a person writes a deed to a colleague which states: "Land from my property is given to you," or he writes: "All of my property is acquired by you with some exceptions," since he did not identify the property he was giving, and the recipient did not know what he was receiving, the recipient does not acquire anything. The recipient may not demand of the giver: "Give me the least valuable of your properties." Instead, he acquires nothing unless the giver defines the place that he is giving him.

Different rules apply, however, if the giver tells the recipient: "I am giving you a portion worth such and such in this and this field." Since he defined the field, even though he did not define the portion of the field, the recipient may collect a portion of that value from the least valuable portion of the field.

ה

כְּשֵׁם שֶׁמּוֹכֵר צָרִיךְ לְסַיֵּם הַמִּמְכָּר כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ כָּךְ הַנּוֹתֵן. כֵּיצַד. הַכּוֹתֵב לַחֲבֵרוֹ קַרְקַע מִנְּכָסַי נְתוּנָה לְךָ. אוֹ שֶׁכָּתַב לוֹ כָּל נְכָסַי קְנוּיִין לְךָ חוּץ מִמִּקְצָתָן. הוֹאִיל וְלֹא סִיֵּם הַדָּבָר שֶׁנָּתַן לוֹ וְאֵינוֹ יָדוּעַ לֹא קָנָה כְּלוּם. וְאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לוֹמַר לוֹ תֵּן לִי פָּחוּת שֶׁבִּנְכָסֶיךָ עַד שֶׁסִּיֵּם לוֹ הַמָּקוֹם שֶׁנָּתַן לוֹ. אֲבָל אִם אָמַר לוֹ חֵלֶק כָּךְ וְכָךְ בְּשָׂדֶה פְּלוֹנִית הוֹאִיל וְסִיֵּם הַשָּׂדֶה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא סִיֵּם הַחֵלֶק נוֹטֵל אוֹתוֹ חֵלֶק מִן הַפָּחוּת שֶׁבְּאוֹתָהּ שָׂדֶה:

6

The following rules apply whenever a person gives a gift within the context of a conditional agreement. Whether the condition was stipulated by the giver or by the recipient, should the recipient take possession of and acquire the gift, the gift becomes binding when the condition is fulfilled. If the condition is not fulfilled, the gift is nullified and the recipient must return the benefit that he derived. This applies provided that the condition was stated in the proper manner.

ו

כָּל הַנּוֹתֵן מַתָּנָה עַל תְּנַאי. בֵּין שֶׁהִתְנָה נוֹתֵן בֵּין שֶׁהִתְנָה הַמְקַבֵּל. וְהֶחֱזִיק הַמְקַבֵּל וְזָכָה בָּהּ. אִם נִתְקַיֵּם הַתְּנַאי נִתְקַיֵּם הַמַּתָּנָה וְאִם לֹא נִתְקַיֵּם הַתְּנַאי בְּטֵלָה הַמַּתָּנָה וְיַחְזִיר פֵּרוֹת שֶׁאָכַל. וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיֶה הַתְּנַאי כָּרָאוּי:

7

We have already explained that with regard to all conditional agreements concerning gifts, purchases and sales, it is necessary that the condition be restated, that the positive dimension of the condition be stated before the negative, that the condition precede the deed, and that the condition is one that is possible to fulfill. If any one of these factors is lacking, the condition is nullified, and it is as if it had never been stated.

ז

כְּבָר בֵּאַרְנוּ שֶׁכָּל תְּנָאִין שֶׁיֵּשׁ בְּמַתָּנוֹת אוֹ בְּמִקָּח וּמִמְכָּר צָרִיךְ שֶׁיִּהְיֶה תְּנַאי כָּפוּל. וְהֵן קוֹדֵם לְלָאו. וּתְנַאי קוֹדֵם לְמַעֲשֶׂה. וְיִהְיֶה תְּנַאי שֶׁאֶפְשָׁר לְקַיְּמוֹ. וְאִם חָסֵר אֶחָד מֵאֵלּוּ הַתְּנָאִין בָּטֵל וּכְאִלּוּ אֵין שָׁם תְּנַאי:

8

Whenever a person uses the expression: "conditional on the following," it is as if he said that the transaction will take effect retroactive to the present time"; he does not have to restate the condition. Some of the geonim have ruled in this manner. And this is also my opinion.

My teachers ruled that there is no need to restate the condition or state the positive dimension of the condition first, except in cases of divorce and consecration. There is no proof to substantiate this approach.

ח

וְכָל הָאוֹמֵר עַל מְנָת כְּאוֹמֵר מֵעַכְשָׁו דָּמִי וְאֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לִכְפּל הַתְּנַאי. כָּךְ הוֹרוּ מִקְצָת הַגְּאוֹנִים וְלָזֶה דַּעְתִּי נוֹטָה. וְרַבּוֹתַי הוֹרוּ שֶׁאֵין צָרִיךְ לִכְפּל הַתְּנַאי וּלְהַקְדִּים הֵן לְלָאו אֶלָּא בְּגִטִּין וּבְקִדּוּשִׁין בִּלְבַד. וְאֵין לְדָבָר זֶה רְאָיָה:

9

Whenever a person gives a gift on the condition that it be returned, the gift is valid. The gift is valid whether the condition was made to return the article immediately, that it be returned after a specific time passes, that it remain as a gift for the entire lifetime of either the giver or the recipient, or that it remain as a gift for the entire lifetime of another person.

The above applies both with regard to movable property and landed property. The recipient may derive benefit from the gift for the entire time that it is his.

ט

הַנּוֹתֵן מַתָּנָה עַל מְנָת לְהַחְזִיר הֲרֵי זוֹ מַתָּנָה. בֵּין שֶׁהִתְנָה לְהַחְזִיר מִיָּד בֵּין שֶׁהִתְנָה לְהַחְזִירָהּ לִזְמַן קָצוּב. אוֹ כָּל יְמֵי חַיָּיו שֶׁל אֶחָד מֵהֶם. אוֹ כָּל יְמֵי חַיָּיו שֶׁל פְּלוֹנִי. הֲרֵי זוֹ מַתָּנָה בֵּין בְּמִטַּלְטְלִין בֵּין בְּקַרְקַע. וְאוֹכֵל פֵּרוֹת כָּל זְמַן הַמַּתָּנָה:

10

When a person tells a colleague: "I am giving you this ox as a gift on the condition that you return it," if the recipient consecrates the ox and then returns it, it is consecrated, and he has fulfilled his obligation to return it.

If, however, the giver tells the recipient: "I am giving it to you on the condition that you return it to me," the ox is not consecrated. For implied in the condition stated by the owner is that he return to him an article that will be fitting for him to use. The same applies in all analogous situations.

י

הָאוֹמֵר לַחֲבֵרוֹ שׁוֹר זֶה אֲנִי נוֹתֵן לְךָ בְּמַתָּנָה עַל מְנָת שֶׁתַּחְזִירֵהוּ. הִקְדִּישׁוֹ וְהֶחֱזִירוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה מֻקְדָּשׁ וּמֻחְזָר. אָמַר לוֹ עַל מְנָת שֶׁתַּחְזִירֵהוּ לִי אֵינוֹ קָדוֹשׁ. שֶׁלֹּא הִתְנָה עָלָיו אֶלָּא שֶׁיַּחְזִיר דָּבָר הָרָאוּי לוֹ. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

11

It is forbidden for a Jew to give a gentile a gift without charge. He may, however, give such a gift to a resident alien, as implied by Deuteronomy 14:21: "Give it to the stranger in your gates to eat or sell it to a gentile."

To a gentile, it must be sold; it may not be given. To a resident alien, by contrast, it may be sold or given. The reason for the distinction is that we are obligated to sustain a resident alien, as implied by Leviticus 25:35: "A stranger or a resident, he shall live among you."

יא

אָסוּר לְיִשְׂרָאֵל לִתֵּן לְעַכּוּ''ם מַתְּנַת חִנָּם. אֲבָל נוֹתֵן הוּא לְגֵר תּוֹשָׁב. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יד כא) "לַגֵּר אֲשֶׁר בִּשְׁעָרֶיךָ תִּתְּנֶנָּה וַאֲכָלָהּ אוֹ מָכֹר לְנָכְרִי", בִּמְכִירָה וְלֹא בְּמַתָּנָה. אֲבָל לְגֵר תּוֹשָׁב בֵּין בִּמְכִירָה בֵּין בִּנְתִינָה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאַתָּה מְצֻוֶּה לְהַחְיוֹתוֹ. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כה לה) "גֵּר וְתוֹשָׁב וָחַי עִמָּךְ":

12

When a person gives a gift to a Canaanite servant or a married woman, it is acquired by the husband or the owner. There is, however, a distinction between their powers of acquisition. The servant's master acquires the article itself, while the husband acquires merely the right to the benefit from the article.

יב

הַנּוֹתֵן מַתָּנָה לְעֶבֶד אוֹ לְאִשָּׁה קָנָה הַבַּעַל וְהָאָדוֹן. אֶלָּא שֶׁהָאָדוֹן קוֹנֶה לַגּוּף וְהַבַּעַל קוֹנֶה אוֹתָהּ לְפֵרוֹת:

13

Even if a person gives a gift to a married woman on the condition that her husband have no authority over it, or to a servant on the condition that his master have no authority over it, the master or the husband acquires it.

If, however, one gives a gift to a married woman or to a servant and the giver stipulates that the gift itself may be used for only this or this purpose, the master or the husband does not acquire it.

יג

נָתַן מַתָּנָה לְאִשָּׁה עַל מְנָת שֶׁאֵין לְבַעְלָהּ רְשׁוּת בָּהּ. וּלְעֶבֶד עַל מְנָת שֶׁאֵין לְרַבּוֹ רְשׁוּת בּוֹ. קָנָה הָאָדוֹן וְקָנָה הַבַּעַל. אֲבָל הַנּוֹתֵן מַתָּנָה לְאִשָּׁה אוֹ לְעֶבֶד וְהִתְנָה עִמָּהֶן הַנּוֹתֵן בְּגוּפָהּ שֶׁל מַתָּנָה שֶׁתִּהְיֶה לְכָךְ וְכָךְ. לֹא קָנָה הָאָדוֹן וְלֹא קָנָה הַבַּעַל:

14

What is implied? When a person gives a gift to a married woman and tells her: "This money is given to you as a gift on the condition that you use it for clothing, that you use it for beverages or that you do with it what you desire without the permission of your husband," the husband has no authority over it.

Similarly, if a person told a servant: "This money is given to you as a gift on the condition that you use it for food and drink, that you use it to obtain your freedom/1 or that you do with it what you desire without the permission of your master," the master has no authority over it. The same principles apply in all analogous situations.

יד

כֵּיצַד. הַנּוֹתֵן מַתָּנָה לְאִשָּׁה וְאָמַר לָהּ הֲרֵי הַמָּעוֹת הָאֵלּוּ נְתוּנִים לְךָ בְּמַתָּנָה עַל מְנָת שֶׁתִּלְבְּשִׁי בָּהֶן אוֹ עַל מְנָת שֶׁתִּשְׁתִּי בָּהֶם וְתַעֲשִׂי מַה שֶּׁתִּרְצִי בְּלֹא רְשׁוּת הַבַּעַל. לֹא קָנָה הַבַּעַל. וְכֵן אִם אָמַר לְעֶבֶד עַל מְנָת שֶׁתֹּאכַל בָּהֶן וְתִשְׁתֶּה בָּהֶן. עַל מְנָת שֶׁתֵּצֵא בָּהֶם לְחֵרוּת. אוֹ עַל מְנָת שֶׁתַּעֲשֶׂה בָּהֶם כָּל מַה שֶּׁתִּרְצֶה בְּלֹא רְשׁוּת אָדוֹן שֶׁלְּךָ. לֹא קָנָה הָאָדוֹן. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

15

When a person gives all his possessions to a servant as a gift, the servant acquires himself, and he becomes a free man. He then acquires all the other property.

If, however, the master retains for himself even the slightest amount of property - even movable property, the servant does not acquire anything.

The rationale is that the deed is not a complete bill of freedom, for the master retains some connection to the bill of transfer. Therefore, the servant is not freed, and since he is not freed, he does not acquire anything.

טו

הַנּוֹתֵן כָּל נְכָסָיו לְעַבְדּוֹ קָנָה עַצְמוֹ וְיָצָא בֶּן חוֹרִין וְקָנָה שְׁאָר הַנְּכָסִים. וְאִם שִׁיֵּר כָּל שֶׁהוּא אֲפִלּוּ מִטַּלְטְלִין לֹא קָנָה כְּלוּם שֶׁאֵין זֶה גֵּט חֵרוּת גָּמוּר שֶׁהֲרֵי שִׁיֵּר בּוֹ בְּגֵט וּמִתּוֹךְ שֶׁלֹּא נִשְׁתַּחְרֵר לֹא קָנָה כְּלוּם: