Elu Metziot shiur #21, 26b-27a

  • Rav Joshua Amaru

YESHIVAT HAR ETZION
ISRAEL KOSCHITZKY VIRTUAL BEIT MIDRASH (VBM)


Introduction to the Study of Talmud
By Rav Josh Amaru

Elu Metziot shiur #21,  26b-27a.

Today's shiur includes the vocabulary list for the shiur itself. If you wish to consult the full cumulative vocabulary list, it is found at
http://www.vbm-torah.org/talmud2/vocab.htm.  
The grammar lessons appear at the end of the vocabulary lists. 

As usual, the citations to the text of the gemara are linked to the online scan of the daf, for those who do not have an open gemara before them.  The gemara can be found on-line at 
http://www.e-daf.com/daf.asp?ID=3077

Key words and phrases are marked in blue, and their translation or explanation can be seen by placing the cursor over them.  Other vocabulary words are marked in red and can be found on the vocabulary list at the end of the shiur.  Particularly important vocabulary words will be underlined and either have a link to the vocabulary list or a pop-up window that will appear if you place the cursor on them. 

Summary of last shiur:  In the last shiur we learned about Rav Nachman's reasoning that when the owner of a lost object is certain that it is in the possession of a companion, he is mityaesh when there is more than one companion, since he has no way of proving who took his property.  We saw that Rava severely qualified this ruling by limiting it to objects worth less than a peruta per companion.  Further, we learned about Rava's analysis of the various mitzvot of  hashavat aveida.      

    This week's shiur will be short, so that you have time for another grammar lesson.  Even if you did not look at previous grammar lessons, take a look at this one.  It deals with certain pronouns and possessives that instead of being separate words, as in English, are attached as suffixes in Aramaic.  After you finish the learning part of the shiur, I recommend you take a stab at the grammar lesson, by clicking here.

Learn the mishna on 26b and the subsequent gemara until "harei elu shelo הרי אלו שלו", near the bottom of the page.  Lines 1-9 in the schematic analysis.

  We may divide the mishna into two sections. The first section relates to money found in a store or a moneychanger.  The second section relates to what seems to be an entirely different situation, of finding money in produce that one has bought.  It is not clear what is the common ground between these two cases, such that they appear in the same mishna.  We will return to this question at the end of the shiur.  

    The mishna teaches us that the identity of the presumed owner of money found in a shop or a bank (the gemara's moneychanger) is determined based upon the money's position. If it is situated in a place where it could only have been dropped by the clerk (e.g.; on the clerk's side of the counter, or between the chair and the table of an open-air moneylender), then the finder must give it to the clerk.  If it is found outside this area, the finder may keep it. 

    In the case of the moneychanger, the mishna seems to have left out one borderline case. With the shop we saw that any money found anywhere in the shop belongs to the finder, unless it is found in the space between the shopkeeper and the counter.  However, in the case of the moneychanger, the mishna merely says that if the money is "in front " of the the moneychanger, then the finder may take it, while if it is between the moneychanger and his table, it belongs to the moneychanger.  What if the money was not on the floor but on the table between the clerk and the customer?  In such a scenario, it seems that there is an even chance that the money is the clerk's and that it belonged to some previous customer (who has since been mityaesh).  In the gemara, R. Elazar addresses this situation and rules that even if the money is lying on the moneychanger's table, the finder may keep it.  The gemara then investigates how R. Elazar knows this.

    The first part of the gemara's statement about the moneychanger seems to count against R. Elazar's ruling.  If the money is found 'in front' of the moneychanger, it belongs to the finder.  'In front' seems to imply that the money is outside of the moneychanger's work area, such that the money on the table is not included.  We could thus conclude that money on the table should belong to the moneychanger. However, the second half of the mishna implies the opposite -  only when the money is between chair and the clerk do we presume that it belongs to the clerk, implying that money on the table belongs to the finder.  Because of this ambiguity, the gemara concludes that such a reading of the mishna could not be the source of R. Elazar's ruling.

    So what is the source of R. Elazar's ruling?  Rava offers two possibilities.  First, let's assume that money on the table belongs to the clerk, against R. Elazar.  The mishna rules that if the money is found between the chair and the moneychanger, the finder must return it.  If in fact the money should be returned even if it is on the table, why does the mishna only state the more limited case?  R. Elazar thus concluded that our assumption is incorrect and the money found on the table belongs to the finder. Alternatively, suggests Rava, R. Elazar's ruling can be derived from the lack of parallelism between the two cases in the mishna. In the case of the shop, the mishna ruled that money found 'in the shop' belongs to the finder, while in the case of the moneychanger, it used the more awkward  formulation 'in front of the moneychanger'.  According to Rava, this usage comes to emphasize that even in the case of a moneychanger, whose money is often found on the table in front of him, money found on the table belongs to the finder.  So long as the money is in front of the moneychanger, including on the table, we cannot assume that it is not from a customer, and as such, belongs to the finder.

Neither the mishna nor the gemara seem to relate to the issue of simanim in the case of money found in the store or at the moneychanger's.  This is striking considering that in the second half of the mishna, the rule regarding money found in produce is a function of whether it has a siman.  Why does it not seem to matter if the money in the store has a siman?  Rashi, s.v. matza ba-chanut מצא בחנות, concludes that the mishna refers only to objects that have no simanim.  Rashi, it appears, understands the last line of the mishna, 'if they were tied in bundle...' to refer to all the cases of the mishna such that if the lost object has a siman, then we would follow the regular rules and announce it. 

    However, most of the Rishonim gloss R. Elazar's statement as, "afilu tzerurim u-munachim al gabei shulchan אפילו צרורים ומונחים על גבי שולחן"; i.e., that even if the money is bound up in a bundle on the table, it belongs to the finder.  In other words, even an item with a siman, when found at the moneychanger's or the shop, is permitted. Our text follows Rashi and leaves out the word "tzrurim צרורים", allowing Rashi to assert that the rule is different when there is a siman.  Why does the siman not make a difference, according to the text that includes the word "tzrurim צרורים"?  The prevailing explanation is that the shop is a place frequented by many people, the majority of whom are not Jewish.  Since under such circumstances, we follow R. Shimon ben Elazar's rule, that even items with a siman are permitted, so too here.   

    Learn now from the bottom of 26b "ha-lokeach peirot...הלוקח פירות" until the mishna on 27a.  Lines 10-15 in the schematic analysis. 

    The gemara now addresses the second half of the mishna, in which money is found in produce that one has received.  Here the mishna distinguishes between whether the money has a siman or not, such that if it has a siman, it must be announced, while if it does not, the receiver of the goods may keep it.  Reish Lakish, in the name of R. Yanai, qualifies the mishna's ruling.  Only when the seller is a merchant does this rule apply.  If one receives produce from a private person, then the money found therein presumably belongs to the seller, and must be returned to him. 

    What is Reish Lakish's reasoning?  Rashi, s.v. be-lokeach min ha-tagar בלוקח מן התגר,"  explains that the merchant himself bought the produce from different people, such that any of them could have lost the money.  However, if the produce came from a private source, then the money was presumably lost by that source, and should be returned to him or her.

    *The 'tana' who repeats this baraita to Rav Nachman should not be confused with the Tanaim of the mishna.  The word 'tana' literally means 'one who learns' or 'one who repeats.'  It is used in two distinct ways. 

    'Tanaim' are the rabbis from the time of the mishna, such R. Akiva, R. Gamliel, R. Meir, etc. and they are often referred to as such in the gemara. They do not seem to have referred to themselves as 'tanaim' but rather as 'chakhamim', sages.  These Tanaim are figures of great scholarship and accomplishment who are the foundation of the whole Oral Law. 

    In the period of the Amoraim, the Oral Law was still not written down.  In order to preserve the law, there existed an institution of people whose role it was to memorize large portions of the oral tradition, for the use of the scholars.  These 'human recording machines' were called 'tanaim', and they were not necessarily scholars in themselves.  They deferred to the scholars of that period, whom we now call Amoraim, as we will see in the gemara. 

    This same qualification was presented by a tana* to Rav Nachman. Rav Nachman, however, objected.  Why should the mishna apply only to produce bought from a merchant?  Reish Lakish's logic should apply even to produce that comes from a private source, since even then, we cannot say that the produce came into contact with only one individual!  Others must have been involved in the processing of this produce, in the threshing, for example.

    The tana understood Rav Nachman's objection to entail the rejection of Reish Lakish's logic,, such that even when we can identify the original owner of the lost money, we rule that the money belongs to the finder, so long as there are no simanim.  He thus asks Rav Nachman "Isamei איסמיה", shall I delete this baraita?  Has this tradition been corrupted?

    Rav Nachman responds that on the contrary, the tradition represented by the baraita is authentic.  We do need to take into consideration the situation where only one person could possibly have lost the money. Under such circumstances, the rule is that the finder must return it to that person.  The mishna did not mention this case, and the baraita comes to add such a case as a qualification of the rule of the mishna. 

    However, the baraita must be re-interpreted.  When it opposed the rule for the merchant to the rule for the private individual, the baraita was not referring to any private individual, however he processes his produce.  Rather, the case of the merchant includes any situation where more than one person could have lost the money amongst the produce.  The 'private individual' refers to a case where there is only one candidate to have lost the money, e.g. when all of the processing was done either by the owner or by his non-Jewish slaves, whose property belongs to him anyway.  In such a case, the finder would in fact have to give the money back to the original owner of the produce.  However, when there are multiple possibilities as to the source of the lost money, we rule like the mishna that the finder may keep it or must announce it, depending upon simanim.

    Summary:  We can now see a common denominator between the two halves of the mishna.  Both deal with cases where there is some indication as to the identity of the owner of the lost object.  The first part of the mishna deals with items found in a place of business.  If the item is found in area that only the shopkeeper has access too, then we presume that the object belongs to him and it must be returned.  In the public area, or even on the counter or table, as the gemara concludes, no such assumption is made and the finder may keep what he finds.  The second part of the mishna deals with money found inside of some purchased item.  Here too there is reason to assume that the money belongs to the previous owner.  The mishna does not make such an assumption and rules according to the general principle of simanim.  In the gemara, we find that such an assumption can be made, but only when it can be ascertained that the money could have come from only one source.

 

Schematic Analysis #21

Schematic analysis from the mishna on 26b until the mishna on 27a. 

Translation of gemara Schematic Analysis Text of gemara 26a-26b.

1.   MISHNAH. If one found [something] in a shop, it belongs to the finder; if [it is] between the counter and the shopkeeper, it is the shopkeeper's.  [If one finds something] in front of the moneychanger, it belongs to the finder; if [it is found] between the the chair and the the moneychanger, it belongs to the moneychanger. 

Mishna.

1.  משנה. מצא בחנות - הרי אלו שלו, בין התיבה ולחנוני - של חנוני. לפני שולחני - הרי אלו שלו, בין הכסא ולשולחני - הרי אלו של שולחני.

2.  When someone who buys produce from one's fellow or has produce sent to him, and he finds money in [the produce], it [the money] belongs to him.  If the coins were bound together [in a bundle], he must take and announce them. 

Continuation of Mishna

2.   הלוקח פירות מחבירו או ששילח לו חבירו פירות, ומצא בהן מעות - הרי אלו שלו. אם היו צרורין - נוטל ומכריז.

3.GEMARA. R. Elazar said: Even if they [the articles found] are lying on the [money-changer's] table [they belong to the finder]. Halakhic Ruling.

3.  גמרא. אמר רבי אלעזר: אפילו מונחין על גבי שולחן.

4. But we learnt in the mishna: "[If one finds something] in front of the moneychanger, it belongs to the finder;" implying that if it was on the table, it belongs to the money-changer.  Difficulty with above ruling derived from the mishna.

4.  תנן: לפני שולחני - הרי אלו שלו, הא על גבי שולחן - דשולחני.

5. Then consider the seifa: "if [it is found] between the the chair and the the moneychanger, it belongs to the moneychanger." Implying that if it is on the table, it is his [the finder's]! Response showing that that opposite conclusion can also be derived from the mishna.

5.  אימא סיפא: בין הכסא ולשולחני - - של שולחני, הא על גבי שולחן - שלו!

6.  Rather, no conclusion can be drawn from this.  Conclusion that the mishna cannot be used to support of critique above ruling.

6.  אלא, מהא ליכא למשמע מינה.

7.  What is the source of R. Elazar's ruling?

Question

7. ורבי אלעזר, הא מנא ליה? -

8.  Said Rava: Our Mishnah was problematic for him. Why use [the language]  "if [it is found] between the the chair and the the moneychanger, it belongs to the moneychanger?" Let it say: 'on the table,'

Alterntively, [why the usage]: "[If one finds something] in front of the moneychanger"?  Say like in the reisha,  "f one found [something] in a shop, it belongs to the finder;"

Explanation based on the language of the mishna

8.  אמר רבא: מתניתין קשיתיה, מאי אריא דתני בין הכסא לשולחני של שולחני? ליתני על שולחן, אי נמי: מצא בשולחנות כדקתני רישא: מצא בחנות - שלו.  

9. So, derive from [the unusual usage] that even if it is lying on the table, it is his. Halakhic ruling.

9.  אלא שמע מינה: אפילו מונחין על גבי שולחן - הרי אלו שלו.

10.When someone who buys produce from one's fellow, etc.  Quote from the mishna

10.  הלוקח פירות מחבירו וכו'.

11.  Reish Lakish said in the name of R. Yanai:  [the mishna] refers only [27a] to one who purchases from a merchant;  but if one buys from a private individual, he is must return [the coins]. Qualification of the mishna's rule.

11. אמר ריש לקיש משום רבי ינאי: לא שנו אלא [דף כז עמ' א] בלוקח מן התגר, אבל בלוקח מבעל הבית - חייב להחזיר.

12.   And so did a tanna recite before R. Nahman: [the mishna] refers only [27a] to one who purchases from a merchant;  but if one buys from a private individual, he is must return [the coins]. Baraita that supports above qualification.

12.  וכן תני תנא קמיה דרב נחמן: לא שנו אלא בלוקח מן התגר, אבל בלוקח מבעל הבית - חייב להחזיר.  

13. R. Nachman said to him: 'Did then the private individual thresh [the grain] himself?  Difficulty with above qualification.

13.  אמר ליה רב נחמן: וכי בעל הבית בעצמו דשן? -

14.  'Shall I then delete it?' he asked.  Question (regarding the provenance of a source.)

14.  אמר ליה: איסמיה?

15.  'No,' he replied; 'interpret the teaching as referring to one whose [grain] was threshed by his non-Jewish slaves and bondswomen. Ukimta of the baraita to resolve above difficulty.

15. אמר ליה: לא,  תתרגם מתניתין כגון שדשן על ידי עבדו ושפחתו הכנענים.

 

 

Selections from Rashi, daf 26b-27a.

Translation

Rashi Text

matza ba-chanut, harei elu shelo, if he finds it in the shop, it belongs to him [the finder] - [the mishna] is referring to something that does not have a siman, such that the person who lost it is mityaesh, since everyone goes in there. 

מצא בחנות הרי אלו שלו - בדבר שאין בו סימן קאי, דההוא דנפל מיניה מיאש, שהכל נכנסים לשם.

be-lokeach min ha-tagar, [with reference to] one who buys from a merchant - since he too bought the grain from many people, and we do not know whose it [the money] is.  Since it has no siman, [we may presume that] the owner has been mityaesh.

בלוקח מן התגר - שאף הוא לקח תבואה זו מאנשים הרבה, ולא ידיע דמאן נינהו, וכיון דלית בהו סימן - נתייאשו הבעלים.
דשן - וכי הוא עצמו דש את התבואה הזאת, הלא פועלים הרבה דשו אותה.

 

Key Gemara Terms

la shanu ela:  lit.  "they did not teach but."  Introduces a qualification to a previous mishna or gemara.

 

לא שנו אלא 

mena lei?:  lit.  from where for him, i.e. what is his source?

מנין לו

מנא ליה

 

General vocabulary

isamei:  shall I delete it?  should the tana delete this baraita from the authorized teaching?

אסיר אותו

 איסמיה (סמי)

dash, dashan:  threshed, threshed them

דש, דשן

la shanu ela:  lit.  "they did not teach but."  Introduces a qualification to a previous mishna or gemara.

לא שנו אלא

mena lei?:  lit.  from where for him, i.e. what is his source?

מנין לו

מנא ליה

tzrurin:  bound together

צרורין

The word 'tana' literally means 'one who learns' or 'one who repeats.'  It is used in two distinct ways. 

    'Tanaim' are the rabbis from the time of the mishna, such R. Akiva, R. Gamliel, R. Meir, etc. and they are often referred to as such in the gemara. They do not seem to have referred to themselves as 'tanaim' but rather as 'chakhamim', sages.  These Tanaim are figures of great scholarship and accomplishment who are the foundation of the whole Oral Law. 

    In the post-mishnaic period, of the Amoraim, the Oral Law was still not written down.  In order to preserve the law, there existed and institution of people whose role it was to memorize large portions of the oral tradition, for the use of the scholars.  These 'human recording machines' were called 'tanaim', and they were not necessarily scholars in themselves.  They deferred to the scholars, whom we now call Amoraim.

תנא