The following rule applies when a person hires workers and tells them: "Get up early and work late." In a place where it is not customary for workers to get up early and work late, he cannot compel them to keep the times he desires. In a place where it is customary for an employer to provide his workers' meals, he must provide their meals. If it is customary for him to provide dried figs, dates and the like for the workers, he must. Everything follows the local custom.


הַשׂוֹכֵר אֶת הַפּוֹעֲלִים וְאָמַר לָהֶם לְהַשְׁכִּים וּלְהַעֲרִיב מָקוֹם שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ שֶׁלֹּא לְהַשְׁכִּים וְשֶׁלֹּא לְהַעֲרִיב אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְכוּפָן. מָקוֹם שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ לָזוּן יָזוּן. לְסַפֵּק בִּגְרוֹגָרוֹת אוֹ בִּתְמָרִים וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן לְפוֹעֲלִים יְסֻפַּק הַכּל כְּמִנְהַג הַמְּדִינָה:


When a person hires a worker and tells him: "I will pay you like any other worker in the city," we check the lowest wage paid and the highest wage paid and arrive at an average.


הַשּׂוֹכֵר אֶת הַפּוֹעֵל וְאָמַר לוֹ כְּאֶחָד וְכִשְׁנַיִם מִבְּנֵי הָעִיר רוֹאִין הַפָּחוּת שֶׁבַּשְּׂכִירוּת וְהַיָּתֵר שֶׁבַּשְּׂכִירוּת וּמְשַׁמְּנִין בֵּינֵיהֶן:


The following rules apply when a person tells his agent: "Go out and hire workers for me for three zuz," and the agent hires them for four. If the agent told them: "I am responsible for your wage," he must pay them four. He receives three zuz from the employer, and forfeits one zuz of his own.

If he told them: "The employer is responsible for your wages," the employer should pay them according to the local custom. If there are some in that city who are hired at three and others at four, he is not required to pay them more than three. They have, however, justified complaints against the agent.

When does the above apply? When it cannot be determined that they invested extra effort in their work. If, however, it is obvious that they invested extra effort in their work, and it is worth four zuz, the employer must pay them four. For had the agent not told them four, they would not have worked harder and produced work that is worth four.

If the employer told the agent: "Hire workers for me at four," and the agent goes and hires them at three, they receive no more than three. This applies even when their work is worth four. For they accepted the lower amount. They do, however, have a complaint against the agent.

If the employer told the agent three zuz, and the agent hires them for four, but the workers say: "We will work for what the employer says," their intent is that the employer will pay them more than four zuz. Therefore, we evaluate their work. If it is worth four, they should receive four zuz from the employer. If the value of their work is not obvious or it is not worth four, they may be paid only three.

If the employer told the agent to hire workers at four zuz, and he hired them at three, but they say: "We will work for what the employer says," they may be paid only three. This applies even if their work is worth four, for they heard the agent say three and agreed.


אָמַר לִשְׁלוּחוֹ צֵא וּשְׂכֹר לִי פּוֹעֲלִים בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה וְהָלַךְ וּשְׂכָרָן בְּאַרְבָּעָה אִם אָמַר לָהֶם הַשָּׁלִיחַ שְׂכַרְכֶם עָלַי נוֹתֵן לָהֶם אַרְבָּעָה וְנוֹטֵל מִבַּעַל הַבַּיִת שְׁלֹשָׁה וּמַפְסִיד אֶחָד מִכִּיסוֹ. אָמַר לָהֶם שְׂכַרְכֶם עַל בַּעַל הַבַּיִת נוֹתֵן לָהֶם בַּעַל הַבַּיִת כְּמִנְהַג הַמְּדִינָה. הָיָה בַּמְּדִינָה מִי שֶׁנִּשְׂכַּר בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה וּמִי שֶׁנִּשְׂכַּר בְּאַרְבָּעָה אֵינוֹ נוֹתֵן לָהֶם אֶלָּא שְׁלֹשָׁה וְיֵשׁ לָהֶם תַּרְעֹמֶת עַל הַשָּׁלִיחַ. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים כְּשֶׁאֵין מְלַאכְתָּן נִכֶּרֶת אֲבָל הָיְתָה מְלַאכְתָּן נִכֶּרֶת וַהֲרֵי הִיא שָׁוָה אַרְבָּעָה נוֹתֵן לָהֶם בַּעַל הַבַּיִת אַרְבָּעָה שֶׁאִלּוּ לֹא אָמַר לָהֶם שְׁלוּחוֹ אַרְבָּעָה לֹא טָרְחוּ וְעָשׂוּ שָׁוֶה אַרְבָּעָה. אָמַר לוֹ בַּעַל הַבַּיִת שְׂכֹר לִי בְּאַרְבָּעָה וְהָלַךְ הַשָּׁלִיחַ וְשָׂכַר בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֲרֵי מְלַאכְתָּן שָׁוָה אַרְבָּעָה אֵין לָהֶם אֶלָּא שְׁלֹשָׁה שֶׁהֲרֵי קִבְּלוּ עַל עַצְמָן וְיֵשׁ לָהֶם תַּרְעֹמֶת עַל הַשָּׁלִיחַ. אָמַר לוֹ בַּעַל הַבַּיִת בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה וְהָלַךְ הַשָּׁלִיחַ וְאָמַר לָהֶם בְּאַרְבָּעָה וְאָמְרוּ הֲרֵינוּ כְּמַה שֶּׁאָמַר בַּעַל הַבַּיִת אֵין דַּעְתָּם אֶלָּא שֶׁיִּתֵּן בַּעַל הַבַּיִת יֶתֶר עַל אַרְבָּעָה לְפִיכָךְ שָׁמִין מַה שֶּׁעָשׂוּ אִם שָׁוָה אַרְבָּעָה נוֹטְלִין אַרְבָּעָה מִבַּעַל הַבַּיִת וְאִם אֵינוֹ יָדוּעַ אוֹ אֵינוֹ שָׁוֶה אֵין לָהֶם אֶלָּא שְׁלֹשָׁה. אָמַר לוֹ בַּעַל הַבַּיִת בְּאַרְבָּעָה וְהָלַךְ הַשָּׁלִיחַ וְאָמַר לָהֶם בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה וְאָמְרוּ לוֹ כַּמָּה שֶׁאָמַר בַּעַל הַבַּיִת אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁמְּלַאכְתָּן שָׁוֶה אַרְבָּעָה אֵין לָהֶם אֶלָּא שְׁלֹשָׁה שֶׁהֲרֵי שָׁמְעוּ שְׁלֹשָׁה וְקִבְּלוּ עֲלֵיהֶם:


When a person hires workers and the workers hoax the employer or the employer hoaxes the workers, all they have is complaints against each other.

When does the above apply? When the workers did not go to the appointed place. Different rules apply, however, if donkey drivers went to the appointed place and did not find any grain, workers went to a field and found that the ground was wet, or the employer hired workers to irrigate his field and they discovered that it was filled with water. If the owner checked the area that required work on the previous evening and saw that the workers were necessary, the workers are not entitled to any reimbursement. What could the owner have done? If, however, he did not check the land where he wants the work to be performed beforehand, he must pay them as an idle worker. For a person who comes carrying a burden cannot be compared to someone who comes empty-handed, nor can a person who performs labor be compared to someone who does not.

When does the above apply? When they did not begin doing work. If, however, the worker began doing his work different rules apply. A worker may quit his work even in the middle of the day. This is derived from Leviticus 25:55: "The children of Israel are servants to Me" - i.e., to Me alone. They are not servants to servants.

What is the law that applies to a worker who quits after having started work? We evaluate the work that he performed and he is paid that amount. If he is a contractor, we evaluate the work that still must be performed. Whether the price of labor was low at the time he was hired or it was not low, whether it was reduced afterwards or whether it was not reduced, we evaluate the work that must be performed.

What is implied? A person agreed to harvest standing grain for two selaim. He harvested half of the grain, but left half unharvested. Similarly, a person agreed to weave a garment for two selaim. He wove half of the garment, but left half unwoven. If the remainder would cost six dinarim to complete, the original contractor is paid a shekel or he is given the option of completing his work. If the remainder was worth only two dinarim, the owner need not pay the contractor more than a sela, because he did not perform more than half the work.

When does the above apply? With regard to work that does not involve an immediate loss. If, however, the work involves an immediate loss - e.g., he hired the workers to remove flax from the vat, or he hired a donkey to bring flutes for a funeral or for a wedding or the like - neither a worker nor a contractor may retract unless he is held back by forces beyond his control -e.g., he became ill or a close relative died. If the worker is not held back by forces beyond his control, and he retracts, the owner may hire others on their account or deceive them.

What is meant by deceiving them? He tells them: "I agreed to pay you a sela; take two so that you will complete your work." Afterwards, he is not required to give them anything more than he originally agreed. Moreover, even if he gave them two, he can compel them to return the additional amount.

What is meant by hiring others on their account? He hires other workers who complete their task so that he will not suffer a loss. Whatever he must add to pay these later workers beyond the amount the first workers agreed upon, he may take from the first workers.

To what extent are the first workers responsible? For their entire wage. Moreover, if they have property that is in the employer's possession, the employer can use that property to hire workers to complete their work until he pays each worker 40 or 50 zuz a day although he originally hired the worker at three or four zuz.

When does the above apply? When there are no workers available to hire at the wage to be paid the original workers. If, however, such workers are available and the original workers tell the employer: "Go out and hire from these to complete your work so that you will not suffer a loss," whether a worker or a contractor is involved, the employer has only complaints against them. To determine the wage that should be paid, we follow these guidelines: For a worker, we calculate the work he already performed and for a contractor, we calculate the work that must be performed.


הַשּׂוֹכֵר אֶת הַפּוֹעֲלִים וְהִטְעוּ אֶת בַּעַל הַבַּיִת אוֹ בַּעַל הַבַּיִת הִטְעָה אוֹתָם אֵין לָהֶם זֶה עַל זֶה אֶלָּא תַּרְעֹמֶת. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּשֶׁלֹּא הָלְכוּ. אֲבָל הָלְכוּ הַחַמָּרִין וְלֹא מָצְאוּ תְּבוּאָה. פּוֹעֲלִים וּמָצְאוּ שָׂדֶה כְּשֶׁהִיא לָחָה. אוֹ שֶׁשָּׂכַר לְהַשְׁקוֹת הַשָּׂדֶה וּמְצָאוּהָ שֶׁנִּתְמַלְּאָה מַיִם. אִם בִּקֵּר בַּעַל הַבַּיִת מְלַאכְתּוֹ מִבָּעֶרֶב וּמָצָא שֶׁצְּרִיכָה פּוֹעֲלִים אֵין לַפּוֹעֲלִים כְּלוּם מַה בְּיָדוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹת. וְאִם לֹא בִּקֵּר נוֹתֵן לָהֶם שְׂכָרָן כְּפוֹעֵל בָּטֵל שֶׁאֵינוֹ דּוֹמֶה הַבָּא טָעוּן לְבָא רֵיקָן וְעוֹשֶׂה מְלָאכָה לְבַטֵּל. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּשֶׁלֹּא הִתְחִילוּ בִּמְלָאכָה. אֲבָל אִם הִתְחִיל הַפּוֹעֵל בַּמְּלָאכָה וְחָזַר בּוֹ אֲפִלּוּ בַּחֲצִי הַיּוֹם חוֹזֵר שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כה נה) "כִּי לִי בְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל עֲבָדִים" וְלֹא עֲבָדִים לַעֲבָדִים. וְכֵיצַד דִּין הַפּוֹעֵל שֶׁחָזַר בּוֹ אַחַר שֶׁהִתְחִיל. שָׁמִין לוֹ מַה שֶּׁעָשָׂה וְנוֹטֵל. וְאִם קַבְּלָן הוּא שָׁמִין לוֹ מַה שֶּׁעָתִיד לַעֲשׂוֹת. בֵּין שֶׁהוּזְלוּ בְּעֵת שֶׁשְּׂכָרָן בֵּין לֹא הוּזְלוּ בֵּין שֶׁהוּזְלָה מְלָאכָה אַחַר כֵּן בֵּין לֹא הוּזְלָה שָׁמִין לוֹ מַה שֶּׁעָתִיד לַעֲשׂוֹת. כֵּיצַד. קִבֵּל מִמֶּנּוּ קָמָה לִקְצֹר בִּשְׁתֵּי סְלָעִים קָצַר חֶצְיָהּ וְהִנִּיחַ חֶצְיָהּ. בֶּגֶד לֶאֱרֹג בִּשְׁתֵּי סְלָעִים אָרַג חֶצְיוֹ וְהִנִּיחַ חֶצְיוֹ. שָׁמִין לוֹ מַה שֶּׁעָתִיד לַעֲשׂוֹת. אִם הָיָה שָׁוֶה שִׁשָּׁה דִּינָרִין נוֹתֵן לוֹ שֶׁקֶל אוֹ יִגְמְרוּ אֶת מְלַאכְתָּן. וְאִם הָיָה הַנִּשְׁאָר יָפֶה שְׁנַיִם דִּינָרִין אֵינוֹ נוֹתֵן לָהֶן אֶלָּא סֶלַע שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא עָשׂוּ אֶלָּא חֲצִי מְלָאכָה. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּדָבָר שֶׁאֵינוֹ אָבוּד אֲבָל בְּדָבָר הָאָבוּד כְּגוֹן פִּשְׁתָּנוֹ לְהַעֲלוֹת מִן הַמִּשְׁרָה אוֹ שֶׁשָּׂכַר חֲמוֹר לְהָבִיא חֲלִילִין לְמֵת אוֹ לְכַלָּה וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן אֶחָד פּוֹעֵל וְאֶחָד קַבְּלָן אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לַחְזֹר בּוֹ אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן נֶאֱנַס כְּגוֹן שֶׁחָלָה אוֹ שָׁמַע שֶׁמֵּת לוֹ מֵת. וְאִם לֹא נֶאֱנַס וְחָזַר בּוֹ שׂוֹכֵר עֲלֵיהֶן אוֹ מַטְעָן. כֵּיצַד מַטְעָן. אוֹמֵר לָהֶם סֶלַע קָצַצְתִּי לָכֶם בּוֹאוּ וּטְלוּ שְׁתַּיִם עַד שֶׁיִּגְמְרוּ מְלַאכְתָּן וְלֹא יִתֵּן לָהֶם אֶלָּא מַה שֶּׁפָּסַק תְּחִלָּה וַאֲפִלּוּ נָתַן לָהֶם הַשְּׁתַּיִם מַחְזִיר מֵהֶן הַתּוֹסֶפֶת. כֵּיצַד שׂוֹכֵר עֲלֵיהֶן. שׂוֹכֵר פּוֹעֲלִים אֲחֵרִים וְגוֹמְרִים מְלַאכְתָּן שֶׁלֹּא תֹּאבַד וְכָל שֶׁיּוֹסִיף לְאֵלּוּ הַפּוֹעֲלִין הָאֲחֵרִים עַל מַה שֶּׁפָּסַק לָרִאשׁוֹנִים נוֹטֵל מִן הָרִאשׁוֹנִים. עַד כַּמָּה עַד כְּדֵי שְׂכָרָן שֶׁל רִאשׁוֹנִים. וְאִם הָיָה לָהֶם מָמוֹן תַּחַת יָדוֹ שׂוֹכֵר לְהַשְׁלִים הַמְּלָאכָה עַד אַרְבָּעִים וַחֲמִשִּׁים זוּז בְּכָל יוֹם לְכָל פּוֹעֵל אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁשָּׂכַר הַפּוֹעֵל שְׁלֹשָׁה אוֹ אַרְבָּעָה. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים שֶׁאֵין שָׁם פּוֹעֲלִים לִשְׂכֹּר בִּשְׂכָרָן לְהַשְׁלִים הַמְּלָאכָה אֲבָל יֵשׁ פּוֹעֲלִים לִשְׂכֹּר בִּשְׂכָרָן וְאָמְרוּ לוֹ צֵא וּשְׂכֹר מֵאֵלּוּ לְהַשְׁלִים מְלַאכְתְּךָ וְלֹא תֹּאבַד בֵּין שׂוֹכֵר בֵּין קַבְּלָן אֵין לוֹ עֲלֵיהֶן אֶלָּא תַּרְעֹמֶת וְשָׁמִין לַשּׂוֹכֵר מַה שֶּׁעָשָׂה וְלַקַּבְּלָן מַה שֶּׁעָתִיד לַעֲשׂוֹת:


When a person hires a worker, but [the worker] is then taken to perform the king's service, the worker need not be paid for a full day's work. Instead, the employer should pay him only for the work he performed.


הַשּׂוֹכֵר אֶת הַפּוֹעֵל וְנֶאֱחָז לַעֲבוֹדַת הַמֶּלֶךְ לֹא יֹאמַר לוֹ הֲרֵינִי לְפָנֶיךָ אֶלָּא נוֹתֵן לוֹ שְׂכַר מַה שֶּׁעָשָׂה:

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 person hires a worker to irrigate his field from a particular river, and that river dried up in the middle of the day. If the river does not ordinarily dry up, the workers need only be paid for the work they performed.

Similarly, if the inhabitants of the city frequently dam the river, and they stop its flow in the middle of the day, the workers need only be paid for the work they performed. The rationale is that the workers know the pattern of this river. If, however, the river often dries up on its own accord, the employer must pay the workers their entire wage. For it was his responsibility to inform them.

If a person hires workers to irrigate a field and it rains and completes the watering of the field, the workers need only be paid for the work they performed. If a river rises and irrigates the field, they should be paid their entire wage. From heaven, they were granted help.

When does the above apply? With regard to a worker. Different rules apply, however, when a person stipulates with a sharecropper that if he waters a field four times a day, he will receive half the crop, in contrast to other sharecroppers who water the field twice a day and receive a fourth of the crop. If rain comes and he does not have to draw water to irrigate the crop, he still receives half the crops, as he stipulated. The rationale is that a sharecropper is considered to be a partner, not a worker.


הַשּׂוֹכֵר אֶת הַפּוֹעֵל לְהַשְׁקוֹת אֶת הַשָּׂדֶה מִזֶּה הַנָּהָר וּפָסַק הַנָּהָר בַּחֲצִי הַיּוֹם אִם אֵין דַּרְכּוֹ לְהַפְסִיק אֵין לָהֶן אֶלָּא שְׂכַר מַה שֶּׁעָשׂוּ. וְכֵן אִם דַּרְכּוֹ שֶׁיַּפְסִיקוּ אוֹתוֹ בְּנֵי הָעִיר וְהִפְסִיקוּהוּ בַּחֲצִי הַיּוֹם אֵין לָהֶן אֶלָּא שְׂכַר מַה שֶּׁעָשׂוּ שֶׁהֲרֵי יָדְעוּ הַפּוֹעֲלִים דַּרְכּוֹ שֶׁל נָהָר. וְאִם דַּרְכּוֹ לְהַפְסִיק מֵאֵלָיו נוֹתֵן לָהֶם שְׂכַר כָּל הַיּוֹם מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהָיָה לוֹ לְהוֹדִיעָם. שְׂכָרָן לְהַשְׁקוֹת הַשָּׂדֶה וּבָא הַמָּטָר וְהִשְׁקָה אֵין לָהֶן אֶלָּא מַה שֶּׁעָשׂוּ. בָּא הַנָּהָר וְהִשְׁקָה נוֹתֵן לָהֶן כָּל שְׂכָרָן. מִן הַשָּׁמַיִם נִסְתַּיְּעוּ. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּפוֹעֵל. אֲבָל מִי שֶׁפָּסַק עִם אֲרִיסוֹ שֶׁאִם יַשְׁקֶה שָׂדֶה זוֹ אַרְבַּע פְּעָמִים בְּיוֹם יִטּל חֲצִי הַפֵּרוֹת וְכָל הָאֲרִיסִין שֶׁהֵן מַשְׁקִין שְׁתֵּי פְּעָמִים אֵינָן נוֹטְלִין אֶלָּא רְבִיעַ הַפֵּרוֹת וּבָא הַמָּטָר וְלֹא הֻצְרַךְ לִדְלוֹת וּלְהַשְׁקוֹת נוֹטֵל חֲצִי הַפֵּרוֹת כְּמוֹ שֶׁפָּסַק עִמּוֹ שֶׁהָאָרִיס כְּשֻׁתָּף וְאֵינוֹ כְּפוֹעֵל:


The following rules apply when a person hires a worker to perform work for an entire day and he completes it in half the day. If the employer has another task that is as - or less - difficult, he may have the worker perform it for the remainder of the day. If he does not have a task for him to perform, he should pay him as an idle worker. When the worker is one who digs, labors in the field or performs heavy labor of this nature and hence will become ill if he does not work, the employer must pay him his entire wage even if he is idle.


הַשּׂוֹכֵר אֶת הַפּוֹעֵל לַעֲשׂוֹת מְלָאכָה כָּל הַיּוֹם וְשָׁלְמָה הַמְּלָאכָה בַּחֲצִי הַיּוֹם אִם יֵשׁ לוֹ מְלָאכָה אַחֶרֶת כְּמוֹתָהּ אוֹ קַלָּה מִמֶּנָּה עוֹשֶׂה שְׁאָר הַיּוֹם. וְאִם אֵין לוֹ מַה יַּעֲשֶׂה נוֹתֵן לוֹ שְׂכָרוֹ כְּפוֹעֵל בָּטֵל. וְאִם הָיָה מִן הַחוֹפְרִים אוֹ עוֹבְדֵי אֲדָמָה וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן שֶׁדַּרְכּוֹ לִטְרֹחַ הַרְבֵּה וְאִם לֹא יַעֲשֶׂה בִּמְלָאכָה יֶחֱלֶה נוֹתֵן לוֹ כָּל שְׂכָרוֹ:


When a person hires a worker to bring him an object from one place to another, and the worker goes to the designated place but cannot find the object specified, the employer is obligated to pay him his entire wage.

If a person hires a worker to bring rods to use as supports for a vineyard, but the worker can not find them, and hence does not bring them, the employer must pay the worker his wage.

If he hired him to bring cabbage or prunes for a sick person, the worker went and when he returned, the sick person either died or recovered, the employer should not tell the worker: "Take what you brought as your payment." Instead, he must pay him the entire wage he promised him. Similar principles apply in all analogous situations.


הַשּׂוֹכֵר אֶת הַפּוֹעֵל לְהָבִיא לוֹ שְׁלִיחוּת מִמָּקוֹם לְמָקוֹם וְהָלַךְ וְלֹא מָצָא שָׁם מַה יָּבִיא נוֹתֵן לוֹ שְׂכָרוֹ מָשְׁלָם. שְׂכָרוֹ לְהָבִיא קָנִים לַכֶּרֶם וְהָלַךְ וְלֹא מָצָא וְלֹא הֵבִיא נוֹתֵן לוֹ שְׂכָרוֹ מָשְׁלָם. שְׂכָרוֹ לְהָבִיא כְּרוּב וּדוֹרְמַסְקְנִין לַחוֹלֶה וְהָלַךְ וּמְצָאוֹ שֶׁמֵּת אוֹ הִבְרִיא לֹא יֹאמַר לוֹ טל מַה שֶּׁהֵבֵאתָ בִּשְׂכָרְךָ אֶלָּא נוֹתֵן לוֹ כָּל שְׂכָרוֹ. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:


When a person hires a worker to perform work in his own field, but shows him a field belonging to a colleague and has him perform work there, he must pay him his entire wage. Afterwards, he may require his colleague to reimburse him for the benefit he received from this work.


הַשּׂוֹכֵר אֶת הַפּוֹעֵל לַעֲשׂוֹת עִמּוֹ בְּשֶׁלּוֹ וְהֶרְאָהוּ בְּשֶׁל חֲבֵרוֹ נוֹתֵן כָּל שְׂכָרוֹ וְחוֹזֵר וְלוֹקֵחַ מֵחֲבֵרוֹ מַה שֶּׁנֶּהֱנָה בְּזוֹ הַמְּלָאכָה:


When a person hires a worker to work together with him with straw, stubble and the like, he is not given the option of telling the worker: "Take what you did as your payment." If, however, he made such an offer, and the worker agreed, he is not given the option of changing his mind and telling the worker: "Take your wage and I will take my straw."


הַשּׂוֹכֵר אֶת הַפּוֹעֵל לַעֲשׂוֹת עִמּוֹ בְּתֶבֶן וְקַשׁ וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן וְאָמַר לוֹ טל מַה שֶּׁעָשִׂיתָ בִּשְׂכָרְךָ אֵין שׁוֹמְעִין לוֹ. וְאִם מִשֶּׁקִּבֵּל עָלָיו אָמַר לוֹ הֵילָךְ שְׂכָרְךָ וַאֲנִי אֶטּל אֶת שֶׁלִּי אֵין שׁוֹמְעִין לוֹ:


An ownerless object discovered by a worker belongs to him. This law applies even when the employer told him: "Work for me today." Needless to say, it applies if he told him: "Hoe for me."

If, however, he hired him to take possession of ownerless objects - e.g., a river dried up and he hired him to collect the fish in a nearby marsh -whatever he finds, even a wallet filled with silver coins, belongs to the owner.


מְצִיאַת הַפּוֹעֵל לְעַצְמוֹ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאָמַר לוֹ עֲשֵׂה עִמִּי מְלָאכָה הַיּוֹם. וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר אִם אָמַר לוֹ עֲדֹר עִמִּי הַיּוֹם. אֲבָל אִם שְׂכָרוֹ לִלְקֹט מְצִיאוֹת כְּגוֹן שֶׁחָסַר הַנָּהָר וּשְׂכָרוֹ לִלְקֹט הַדָּגִים הַנִּמְצָאִין בַּאֲגַם הֲרֵי מְצִיאָתוֹ לְבַעַל הַבַּיִת וַאֲפִלּוּ מָצָא כִּיס מָלֵא דִּינָרִין: