Introduction to the Eighth Perek of Bava Metzia

  • Rav Yair Kahn
 
 
 
            This year we will iy"h be sending out shiurim on Masekhet Bava Metzia.  Bava Metzia is both a classic masekhta as well as a difficult one.  It is one of the central tractates in Seder Nezikin which deals with monetary issues.  It covers a wide range of topics.
 
            We will begin with a series of shiurim on the eighth perek, then we will start the first perek.
 
            Perek "Hasho'el" the eighth perek deals with shomrim.  The topics we will deal with over the next few weeks are: 
 
1.  Four Shomrim - An Overview -94a-95a
2.  Responsibility of a sho'el - 96b-95a
3.  The Exemption of shmira be-ba'alim - 95a-95b
4.  Pshiya Be-ba'alim 95a-95b
5.  Unusual cases of she'eila and schirto - 96a
6.  Shlichut Be-ba'alim 96a
7.  Meita Machmat Melakha 96b
8.  The Definition of Ba'alav Imo 97a
 
SOURCES AND QUESTIONS FOR THE FIRST SHIUR:
 
Sources:
1.  Shemot 22:6-14, Rashi's and Rashbam's commentary.
2.  Bava Metzia 94a the mishna and gemara till "gazlan hu" (95a).
3.  93a The mishna and gemara till "ve-dineiham shlosha."
4.  80b The mishna and the first section of the gemara, Rashi s.v. R. Yehuda.
 
Questions:
1.  Which categories of shomrim are not explicit in the Torah?  How were they derived?
2.  Regarding these four categories, do you feel that Torah she-ba'al peh is accurately reflecting Torah she-bikhtav?
3. To which category are the laws of "sokher" comparable?  Which opinion do you find more reasonable?
4. Under which category is "sokher" included in the Torah?  How do you explain the discrepancy between the laws of a "sokher" and its location in the Torah?