THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
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Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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Bava Metzia, 102
BAVA METZIA 101-105 - Ari Kornfeld has generously sponsored the Dafyomi
publications for these Dafim for the benefit of Klal Yisrael.
1) THE POWER OF ACQUISITION OF RENTED PROPERTY
OPINIONS: The Mishnah (101b) states that when one rents a house, the Zevel
that falls into the Chatzer of the house belongs to the owner and not to the
tenant. The Gemara explains that the Mishnah cannot be referring to when the
tenant is renting the Chatzer (in addition to the house), nor when the Zevel
comes from the tenant's own animals, for in either case the Zevel would
belong to him. The Mishnah also cannot be referring to when the Chatzer is
not rented out and the Zevel is from the animals of the owner, because then
the owner obviously gets it. Rather, asserts the Gemara, the Mishnah is
referring to a case in which the tenant is not renting the Chatzer, and the
Zevel that falls into it is coming from animals owned by other people.
When a Chatzer is rented by a tenant, for whom does the Chatzer acquire
objects of Hefker that fall into it -- the owner or the tenant?
(a) According to Rashi's Girsa in the Gemara, the Mishnah is referring to a
case in which the tenant was *not* renting the Chatzer (but only the house).
Therefore, the Chatzer acquires the Zevel for the owner of the Chatzer. This
implies that if the tenant had rented the Chatzer, then he would have
acquired the Zevel.
From Rashi's version of the Gemara we learn that in the case of a Chatzer
that was rented out, the tenant acquires objects of Hefker that come into
the Chatzer, and the owner of the Chatzer does not acquire them.
(b) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Sechirus 6:5) understands the Gemara differently.
According to the Rambam, the Gemara is explaining the Mishnah to be
discussing a case in which the Chatzer was rented out, and, nevertheless,
the owner of the Chatzer still acquires objects of Hefker that fall into it.
The Rambam maintains that a rented Chatzer is Koneh for the owner, and not
for the tenant. The VILNA GA'ON and the KETZOS HA'CHOSHEN, and other
Acharonim, question the Rambam's ruling from a number of Gemaras in other
places which seem to support the opinion of Rashi (see commentaries to
Choshen Mishpat 313:3). (Y. Marcus)
2) A DISPUTE OVER THE THIRTEENTH MONTH OF THE YEAR
QUESTION: The Mishnah mentions a case in which a tenant agreed to rent a
property "for twelve gold pieces for the year, one Dinar per month," and the
year was made into a leap year with thirteen months. The Gemara explains
that this case involves a contradiction in the terms of the rental.
According to the first phrase ("for twelve gold pieces for the year"), the
tenant should not be required to pay an additional gold piece for the extra
month, since the extra month is part of the entire year. According to the
second phrase ("one Dinar per month"), the tenant should be required to pay
an extra Dinar for the extra month. Rav Nachman (whom the Halachah follows)
rules that the tenant must pay for the extra month, even if he has already
lived there for that extra month. Rav Nachman's reasoning is that since the
property itself (the rented house) belongs to the owner, the owner is
considered to be the one who is "Muchzak" in this case. Since he has a
Chazakah that the house is his, the tenant is not entitled to live there
without paying the additional fee.
Why, though, should the ownership of the property be the deciding factor?
The dispute is not about who owns the house, but rather the dispute concerns
the rental money for the additional month. Since the tenant is in possession
of that money, *he* should be considered "Muchzak" and he should not have to
ANSWER: The KUNTRUS HA'SFEIKOS (at end of Sefer) explains that in any case
of a Safek in which we issue a ruling based on who is "Muchzak," we trace
the Safek back to its origin, to the moment that the Safek began. Then, we
determine who was "Muchzak" at that time. In the case of our case, the Safek
began at the end of the twelfth month. The owner claims that the rental
agreement was for "one Dinar per month." According to his claim, every month
entails a new rental period, and thus the tenant is entitled to enter the
house for the thirteenth month *only* on condition that he pays a thirteenth
payment. According to the tenant's claim -- that the rental agreement was
for "twelve gold pieces for the year," the original rental period (one year)
has not yet terminated; it will end only at the conclusion of the thirteenth
month. Therefore, the dispute between the owner and the tenant is whether or
not the tenant may enter the house for the thirteenth month. Since the
dispute involves the use of the house, the owner is deemed the "Muchzak,"
since he is the one in possession of the house.
(According to this explanation, Rav Nachman's ruling applies only in a case
where the subject of the dispute is *Karka*, such as a house or a field.
Regarding whether his ruling also applies to Metaltelin, see Insights to
103:1, where we mention that Tosfos in our Sugya (103a) and Tosfos in Bava
Basra (61b) argue about this point.) (Y. Marcus)