ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Bava Metzia 50
BAVA METZIA 50 (27 Teves) - in honor of the memory of Hagaon ha'Gadol Rav
Pinchas Hirschprung, well-known and much loved Rav of Montreal, Talmid of
Hagaon Rav Meir Shapiro (founder of the Dafyomi cycle), on the day of his
Yahrzeit. Dedicated by his son, Rav Yitzchak Hirschprung, may he be blessed
with long years and all that he needs.
(a) We ask whether less than a sixth according to the Rabbanan of Rebbi
Tarfon is considered Mechilah immediately or only after he has had time to
show the article to a merchant ... . The ramifications of this She'eilah
are - when the purchaser is Mochel immediately, whether he can still retract
within the specified time or not.
(b) We try to prove that it must be considered Mechilah immediately (and he
can no longer retract), because if it was only after he has had time to show
the article to a merchant ... , There would be any difference between less
than a sixth and a sixth.
(c) We refute this proof however, by establishing the difference between the
two - as being that, by a sixth, he has the option of demanding his money
back, whereas by less that a sixth, that option is not open to him (even if
both can retract up to the specified time limit).
(a) We learned in our Mishnah that when the merchants of Lud heard that
Rebbi Tarfon gave the purchaser all day to retract, they relented and
reverted to the opinion of the Rabbanan. When we suggest that less than a
third according to Rebbi Tarfon, is presumably equivalent to less than a
sixth according to the Rabbanan, we mean - that it is considered Mechilah
(and not Ona'ah).
(b) We try to prove from here that the Mechilah must take place only after
the time it takes to show the article to a merchant ... - because then they
would stand to lose by all cases of up to a third, where according to the
Rabbanan, the purchasers would have the specified time to retract, whereas
Rebbi Tarfon gives them all day.
(c) But if the Mechilah was immediate - according to the Rabanan up to a
sixth, and according to Rebbi Tarfon, up to a third, why did they retract?
(d) We answer this Kashya by reestablishing the amount between a sixth and a
third according to Rebbi Tarfon like a sixth (rather than less than a sixth)
according to the Rabbanan. He then argues with them - inasmuch as,
according to them, more than a sixth is Bitul Mekach (and both parties may
retract), whereas according to him, it is Ona'ah (and it is only the
purchaser who is permitted to retract [which is the reason that they went
back to the Rabbanan]).
(a) If as we just concluded, Rebbi Tarfon only argues with the Rabbanan in
that they consider between a sixth and a third Bitul Mekach and he considers
it Ona'ah - then why were the merchants of Lud initially happy?
We refute the proof that the Rabbanan's Shiur of Bitul Mekach must be
forever (explaining the merchants happiness even if the Rabbanan gave Bitul
Mekach the same Shiur as Ona'ah) by establishing their Machlokes by exactly
a Sh'tus - which Rebbi Tarfon considers Mechilah (where the purchaser cannot
retract), and the Rabanan, Ona'ah (where he can).
(b) We are about to ask what the Shiur of Bitul Mekach regarding the
purchaser, according to the Rabbanan - whether it is the time he needs to
ask a merchant ... , or whether he can retract forever.
(c) We try to resolve the She'eilah and answer the Kashya simultaneously -
by attributing the merchants' happiness to the fact that according to the
Rabbanan, by more than a sixth, the purchaser can retract forever, and
according to Rebbi Tarfon, only up to the time prescribed by the Tana in
the case of Ona'ah.
(d) And the reason that the merchants of Lud reverted to the Chachamim when
Rebbi Tarfon told them the purchaser had all day to retract (besides the
fact that his Shiur is not then really that different from the Rabbanan's to
make it an advantage [as we will explain shortly]) is - because Ona'ah of
more than a sixth is not common (and is therefore offset by Rebbi Tarfon's
prolonged Shiur for retracting in the case of Ona'ah).
(a) We ask what the Shiur of Bitul Mekach is according to the Rabbanan.
Assuming that the Shiur is the same as that of Ona'ah, the difference
between Ona'ah and Bitul Mekach will be - the fact that by Ona'ah, it is
only the person who has been cheated who may retract, whereas by Bitul
Mekach, either party may.
(b) We try to resolve the She'eilah from the fact that the merchants of Lud
reverted to the Chachamim when Rebbi Tarfon told them the purchaser had all
day to retract - which would be fine as long as the Rabanan's Shiur by Bitul
Mekach is the same as that of Ona'ah. But if it was forever, like the other
side of the She'eilah, why would they have retracted (seeing as Bitul Mekach
would then be to their advantage, according to Rebbi Tarfon)?
(c) Even assuming that the Rabanan's Shiur by Bitul Mekach is the same as
that of Ona'ah, the merchants chose to revert to the Rabbanan, seeing as
they still had the advantage of Sh'tus according to Rebbi Tarfon (which is
Mechilah, as we explained above) - because that is a minor advantage
(compared to the shorter time-limit by Ona'ah), since it is relatively easy
to keep their profits at just under a Sh'tus.
(d) We reject the above resolution on the grounds - that a. Bitul Mekach is
uncommon (in which case the advantage of Sh'tus (which is Mechilah according
to Rebbi Tarfon, but Ona'ah according to the Rabbanan, as we explained
earlier), and b. the advantage of a day over forever is minimal, since most
people find out the price within the day anyway.
(a) Rava issues a final ruling regarding all three Dinim. The Shiur that he
give regarding ...
1. ... Pachos mi'Sh'tus - is straightway.
(b) Rava presents the basic Halachah of Ona'ah - as 'Koneh u'Machzir
2. ... Sh'tus - the time it takes to show the object to a merchant or to a
3. ... Yeser al Sh'tus - the time it takes to show the object to a merchant
or to a family member.
(c) He cites the Halachah differently than the Beraisa that we quoted
above - because it is the opinion of Rebbi Nasan, about whom Chazal have
said 'Dayan Hu ve'Nachis le'Umka de'Dina' (intimating that the Halachah is
always like him).
(d) This is the opinion of Rebbi Nasan in the Beraisa that follows. The Tana
who argues with him (giving him the option of retracting completely from the
deal) is Rebbi Yehudah ha'Nasi.
(a) The Tana of our Mishnah permits the purchaser to retract up to the time
that he could show the object to a merchant ... . Rav Nachman comments on
this - that the time-limit imposed by the Mishnah is confined to the
purchaser, but the seller may retract forever
(b) The grounds on which he makes such a distinction are - that (unlike the
purchaser) the seller has nothing to show a merchant.
(c) We try to support Rav Nachman from the merchants of Lud who reverted to
the opinion of the Rabbanan when they heard Rebbi Tarfon give the Shiur as
the whole day - in which case, assuming that they could retract forever, it
is only the purchasers who would gain from Rebbi Tarfon's extended Shiur.
But if the seller had the same Shiur as the purchaser, then why did they
revert to the Rabbanan, seeing as on account of Rebbi Tarfon's extension,
they gained as much as the purchasers?
(d) We reconcile the merchants of Lud even with the contention that the
seller is subject to the same time-limit as the purchaser - by bearing in
mind that the merchants of Lud were astute businessmen, who rarely needed to
retract. Consequently, the extended time-limit gave the purchasers an
advantage which they did not share.