ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Bava Metzia 92
BAVA METZIA 91-95 - Ari Kornfeld has generously sponsored the Dafyomi
publications for these Dafim for the benefit of Klal Yisrael.
(a) The Tana Kama of our Mishnah permits a laborer to eat even a Dinar's
worth of cucumbers - and a Dinar's worth of Kosvos (a species of date), if
that is what he is employed to pick.
(b) Rebbi Elazar Chisma restricts him to the equivalent of his wages. He
derives this from the word "ke'Nafshecha" (written in this regard) - because
this is the word the Torah is using to describe working in a tree, which
contains an element of life-danger (so what the Pasuk is saying is that he
may eat as much as he earns for his work).
(c) The advice that Beis-Din would give the gluttonous laborer is - not to
be so greedy, to avoid shutting the door on future work offers.
(d) The author of this piece of advice is - the Chachamim, who argue with
Rebbi Elazar Chisma, permitting the laborer to eat even more that his
earnings, but add the advice. The Tana Kama does not agree with them
however, making this their bone of contention (because otherwise, they seem
to be saying the same thing).
(a) Alternatively, the Tana Kama and the Chachamim argue over a statement by
Rav Asi, who said - that a laborer who has been hired to pick one bunch of
grapes is permitted to eat it.
(b) The Tana Kama agrees with this. Rebbi Elazar Chisma says - that
irrespective of whether he is hired to pick one bunch of grapes (the Tana'im
of course, are talking about cucumbers and dates) or many bunches, he may ne
ver eat more than his wages worth.
(c) Whereas the Chachamim permit him to eat even as much as a Dinar's worth,
but provided he is a day worker; not if he is hired to pick only one bunch.
(d) Rav Asi also stated that, even if the laborer has only picked one bunch
he is permitted to eat it - even though he is going to pick more. His
Chidush is that he doesn't need to wait until he has placed some fruit into
the owner's basket before eating.
(a) Having issued ...
1. ... the first statement, Rav Asi nevertheless found it necessary to issue
the second one - because we might otherwise have confined his leniency to
where he has been hired to pick only the one bunch. But where he has been
hired to work all day, perhaps he is not allowed to eat before having placed
something into the owner's basket.
(b) As a third alternative, we base the Machlokes between the Tana Kama and
the Chachamim on a Megilas S'tarim (a hidden scroll) that Rav found in Rebbi
Chiya's house. This is based on the fact - that before Rebbi wrote the
Mishnah, committing Torah she'be'Al Peh to paper was prohibited, so the
Talmidim would make their own notes when necessary, and discreetly put them
away of of sight.
2. ... the second statement, Rav Asi still found it necessary to issue the
first one - which we would otherwise have forbidden, seeing as the employer
will then receive nothing.
(c) The statement was by Isi ben Yehudah - who interpreted the Pasuk "Ki
Savo be'Kerem Rei'echa" literally (extending it to anyone who fancied a free
(d) Rav commented on Isi's D'rashah - that, according to Isi, nobody would
have any fruit left on his trees.
(a) The Chachamim hold like Isi, whereas the Tana Kama does not.
(b) We know that it is not the other way round - because the Tana Kama
refers specifically to a 'Po'el'.
(c) The gist of the Chachamim's statement is now - that if even a stranger
is permitted to help himself to the employer's fruit, it stands to reason
that his workers are permitted to eat even more than their wages worth.
(d) When Rav Ashi reported Rav's comment to Rav Kahana, he suggested that
maybe Isi obligated whoever helped himself to fruit to pay for what he ate
with work. Rav would counter that suggestion - by insisting that even so,
the owner would prefer to have his own employees picking his crops, than
every Tom Dick and Harry.
(a) We ask whether what a laborer eats is his own - in which case he is
permitted to give his portion to his wife and children, or Hashem's (who
permitted him to eat) - in which case, he is not.
(b) We try and resolve the She'eilah from the Tana Kama of our Mishnah, who
permits him to eat a Dinar's worth, even though it is more that what he
picked (like Rav Asi) - because this would certainly not be permitted if it
was his own.
(c) We counter this however - by pointing out that it is no more logical for
the Torah to permit a laborer to eat more than his wages even if it is
Hashem's. So either way, it must be a Gezeiras ha'Kasuv.
(d) We try and resolve the She'eilah by making it dependent upon a Machlokes
Tana'im in our Mishnah - namely that of Rebbi Elazar Chisma, who forbids a
laborer to eat more than his wages, and who therefore holds 'mi'Shel
Shamayim Hu Ochel', whereas the Chachamim hold mi'Shelo Hu Ochel' (though we
just seem to have refuted this S'vara).
(e) We conclude however, that both Tana'im hold 'be'she'Lo He Ochel', and
the basis of their Machlokes is how to Darshen "ke'Nafshecha". Rebbi Elazar
Chisma Darshens it as we explained in our Mishnah. The Chachamim explain -
"ke'Nafshecha", 'Mah Nafshecha im Chasamta Patur, Af Po'el Im Chasamta
Patur" (like we learned earlier in the Perek).
(a) The Beraisa rules that if a Nazir laborer asks someone to hand his wife
and children some fruit - he is forbidden to comply with his request.
(b) We try and prove from there - that he must eat mi'Shel Shamayim, because
if it was mi'Shelo, why should we not give it to them?
(c) We counter the proof however, on the grounds - that the reason that we
disregard his instructions might be because of the decree 'Lech Lech Amrin
li'Nezira S'chor S'chor, le'Karma Lo Sikrav' (which in this case means that
we penalize him for taking on work that tempts him to contravene the laws of
(a) And we counter the proof from a similar Beraisa to the previous one,
which says the same about a Po'el - by establishing it by a Po'el who is a
(b) If 'Po'el' is synonymous with Nazir, why does the Tana need to mention
them both? - is not a Kashya, because these are two different Beraisos
learned by two Tana'im, and each Tana uses a different expression for the
(c) In yet another Beraisa, the Tana uses the word 'Po'el', but cites the
Pasuk "ve'el Kelyecha Lo Siten" - which seems to prove that 'mi'Shel
Shamayim Hu Ochel', since the Tana cites this Pasuk (implying that it
d'Oraysa, and not just a K'nas).
(d) We counter this proof too however - on the grounds that, since the Tana
uses a Lashon of 'Po'el', he cites the Pasuk in connection with Po'el (but
neither Po'el nor the Pasuk should be taken literally).
(a) Another Beraisa discusses someone who hires a worker 'Li'ktzos
Te'einim' - which means to dry figs, in order to make 'Ketzi'os' (cakes of
(b) He is Patur from Ma'asering the drying fruit that he eats - on the
grounds that figs that are designated for Ketzi'os only reach the stage of
G'mar Melachah once they become dry.
(c) If he stipulates for himself and his son to eat, he remains Patur from
Ma'asering what he eats. We try and prove from the Tana's ruling that he is
Chayav to Ma'aser what his son eats - that he eats mi'Shel Shamayim (because
if it would be mi'Shelo, he ought to be Patur from Ma'asering even what his
(d) We counter this proof however - by attributing the Chiyuv to the fact
that he stipulated that his son should eat, which looks like a sale, and
which the Rabbanan therefore gave the Din of a sale.
(a) If someone hires a laborer to work in his field of Neta Revai (the fruit
of the fourth year, following the three years of Orlah), the laborer is not
permitted to eat - because Neta Revai can only be eaten within the walls of
(b) In a case where the hirer failed to inform the laborer that the fruit
was Neta Revai, the Tana of the next Mishnah rules that he must redeem the
fruit and give some to the laborer. We try and prove from here that
'be'Shelo Hu Ochel' - because if we held 'mi'Shel Shamayim Hu Ochel', surely
the Torah never granted the laborer a share in what is Asur (so why should
the owner be obligated to redeem the fruit and give some to the laborer).
(c) But we counter this by pointing out - that he is not giving him the
fruit based on the original conditions, but because it looks like a false
sale (because had the laborer known that the fruit was Neta Revai, he would
certainly not have been willing to work. So Chazal obligated the hirer to
compensate the laborer for his loss).
(a) The Tana continues 'Nisparsu Igulav Nispatchah Chaviyosav, Harei Eilu Lo
Yochlu'. In the case of ...
1. ... 'Nisparsu Igulav', the laborer is hired - to press the figs back into
round cakes of figs, as they were before they fell apart.
(b) And he is then forbidden to eat (or drink) as he works - because have
already reached the staged of G'mar Melachah for Ma'asros when ...
2. ... 'Nispatchah Chaviyosav - to re-place the lids on to the barrels, as
they were before.
1. ... the figs were pressed into Igulei Deveilah (round cakes of figs.
(c) There too, the Tana concludes 've'Im Lo Hodi'o, Me'aser ve'Nosen Lo';
and there too, we try to bring the same proof that 'be'Shelo Hu Ochel'. We
cannot simply answer like we answered the previous Kashya 'Mishum de'Mechzi
ke'Mekach Ta'us' - because, whereas in the case of 'Nisparsu Igulav', it
makes sense to say that the laborer did not know that the figs had reached
the stage of G'mar Melachah, how can we say that by barrels of wine, which
the laborer should have known had already passed the stage of G'mar
Melachah, as soon as the owner hired him to replace the lids on to the
2. ... the wine is ready to drink.
(a) Rav Sheishes therefore establishes the Mishnah by barrels of wine,
which, after the lids were removed, were emptied into the wine-pit. However,
this answer is ineffective according to the Rabbanan - who give the Shiur of
G'mar Melachah as 'mi'she'Yarad le'Bor' (in which case the laborer knew that
he was not entitled to any wine).
(b) It *is* effective however, according to Rebbi Akiva, who considers the
G'mar Melachah of wine in a pit as 'mi'she'Yeired le'Bor ve'Yikpeh' -
meaning from the time that the wine ferments, the pits float to the top and
one removes the skins.
(c) We do not expect the laborer to have asked whether the skins had already
been removed or not - because the Tana is speaking when it is normally the
laborer who draws the wine from the pit who does this.
(a) According to Tani Rav Z'vid de'Bei Rebbi Hoshaya, the Tana Kama of the
Beraisa requires 'mi'Yashleh be'Chaviyos ve'Nikpeh' (when the previous
process took place but after it was placed in the barrels). Rebbi Akiva
says - 'from the time that the wine is placed into barrels and has
fermented, at which stage some of the dregs float to the surface and are
(b) Consequently, it is no longer necessary to establish the previous
Beraisa when the wine had been poured back into the pit. We do not expect
the laborer to have asked whether the dregs had not already been removed
from the barrel - because here again, the Tana is speaking in a place where
it is the laborer who closes the barrels who removes the dregs.
(c) The Tana of the above Mishnah permits a laborer to accept money instead
of eating fruit on behalf of himself, his grown-up children, his grown-up
Avadim and his wife - because they are all B'nei Da'as, who know and are
(d) With regard to his young children and Avadim and his animals however, he
is not empowered to stipulate (even with their consent).
(a) From the fact that the above stipulation is not valid on behalf of
Ketanim, assuming that he is feeding them, we prove - that a laborer eats
mi'Shel Shamayim, because otherwise, why should he not be able to stipulate
on their behalf.
(b) We refute this proof however - by changing the case to when he is *not*
(c) And the reason that his condition is valid with regard to Gedolim, but
not to Ketanim (is because Gedolim are B'nei Mechilah whereas Ketanim [whose
Da'as is incomplete] are not).
(d) The Beraisa, which also lists all the above cases, differs from the
Mishnah - inasmuch as it permits the laborer to stipulate even on behalf of
his Avadim Ketanim.
(a) So we revert to our original suggestion, that both Tana'im are speaking
when he is providing them with Mezonos. Initially we presume that ...
1. ... the Tana of the Mishnah forbids stipulating on behalf of Avadim
Ketanim - because he holds 'mi'Shel Shamayim Hu Ochel'.
(b) We counter this however, by establishing both Tana'im by 'mi'Shelo Hu
Ochel'. The Tana of our Mishnah speaks when the laborer is not feeding them,
whereas the Tana of the Beraisa speaks when he *is*.
2. ... the Tana of the Beraisa permits it - because he holds 'be'Shelo Hu
(c) Despite the fact that the Beraisa speaks when he is feeding his young
children, the laborer cannot stipulate on their behalf - because the Torah
did not give the father rights over their pain (mental or emotional, as well
(d) Regarding our Mishnah, we ascribed the fact that the laborer is not
authorized to stipulate on behalf of his Avadim Ketanim to the fact that he
is not feeding them. The problem we have with this is -that those who permit
a man to say to his Eved 'Asei Imi ve'Eini Zancha' ('Work for me but I will
not feed you') - then clashes with our Mishnah, which clearly forbids it.
(a) So we propose that the Machlokes Tana'im is - whether a master can say
to his Eved 'Asei Imi ve'Eini Zancha' (the Beraisa) or not (the Mishnah).
The problem with Rebbi Yochanan, who permits it is - how can Rebbi Yochanan
(who always follows a S'tam Mishnah), ignore our Mishnah and follow a
(b) So we suggest that both Tana'im hold 'mi'Shel Shamayim Hu Ochel', and
when the Tana of the Beraisa says 'Kotzetz', he means - that the employer
will feed them in advance, so that they have no appetite to eat whilst they
(c) The problem this presents is how can the Beraisa then rule 'Aval Lo
al-Yedei Behemto' - in view of the fact that we previously permitted this
with regard to an animal?
(d) So we finally establish that the Beraisa holds 'be'Shelo Hu Ochel'.
According to Rebbi Yochanan, the Tana permits him to stipulate on his Avadim
Ketanim, irrespective of *whether he is feeding them or not"; whereas
according to those who disagree with him (forbidding the master to say to
his Eved 'Asei Imi ve'Eini Zancha'), he speaks specifically when he *is*.
(e) The Tana of Mishnah holds - 'mi'Shel Shamayim Hu Ochel'. Consequently,
he may not stipulate on behalf of his Avadim Cana'anim, even if he is