ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Bava Metzia 52
BAVA METZIA 51-55 - Mrs. Estanne Abraham-Fawer has dedicated two weeks of
Dafyomi study material to honor the second Yahrzeit of her father, Reb
Mordechai ben Eliezer Zvi (Weiner, who passed away 18 Teves 5761). May the
merit of supporting and advancing the study of the Talmud be l'Iluy
(a) Our Mishnah gives the Shiur of a deficient Sela as *not* constituting
Ona'ah - because our Tana begins with a whole coin, working his way down the
scale to inform us (exclusively) up to how much a slightly deficient coin is
not considered Ona'ah; whereas the Tana of the Beraisa begins with a fully
deficient coin, and works its way up the scale to inform us (inclusively) up
to which point a badly deficient is Ona'ah. In fact, the deficient coin in
question is Ona'ah.
(b) The apparent discrepancy between our Mishnah and the Mishnah which
discusses the Shiur of Ona'ah by an object is - that the Tana'im in our
Mishnah argue over the Shiur Ona'ah of a coin, whereas in the Mishnah
regarding an object, the Shiur is given S'tam as a sixth without a
(c) Rabah establishes the author of the latter as Rebbi Shimon. Abaye
reconciles the two Mishnahs, even if the author of that Mishnah is Rebbi
Meir or Rebbi Yehudah - by differentiating between a deficient *coin*, which
cannot be spent so readily, and which one is therefore not so easily Mochel,
and a Talis, which is useful, and for which one is sometimes prepared to pay
more (even though for food one would not do so [see Tosfos DH 'Ashik
(d) The adage 'Ashik le'Gabach, ve'Shavi li'K'reisach' means - 'Pay more for
your back (clothes), but only the value for your stomach (food)'.
(a) One assesses a slightly deficient coin that is not subject to Ona'ah -
at its full value (as if it was whole).
(b) One may no longer retain a deficient Sela - once it weighs less than a
Shekel (i.e. less than half its weight and half its size).
(c) The reason for the difference between a deficient Sela that is the size
of a Shekel and one that is less is - because as long as it is the
equivalent of a Shekel, people will recognize it as a deficient Sela (since
it is too thick to be mistaken for a Shekel; whereas once it reaches less
than that, they will take it to be a Shekel (which is not its legal tender).
(a) The Beraisa permits retaining a Dinar until it reaches a quarter. Abaye
interprets this as a quarter of a Shekel (and not of a Dinar) - because
there is no reason to differentiate between the Shiur of a deficient Sela
and that of a deficient Dinar. Note, that the half-Dinar is sometimes known
as a Sela Medinah.
(b) Rava extrapolates this from the word 'Rova' - which implies a quarter of
a Shekel (see Tosfos DH 've'Lo'), whereas Revi'a would have meant a quarter
of a Dinar, since that is the coin in question.
(c) The Tana finds it necessary to present the deficient Dinar as a fraction
of a Shekel - to teach us that a worn-down Shekel can become a Dinar.
(d) This concurs with a statement of Rebbi Ami ...
1. ... who permits one to retain a Dinar that comes from a Shekel.
2. ... but not one that comes from a Sela.
(a) With a coin that has reached the stage of 'Kedei Ona'ah' - one can do
nothing other than make a hole in it and use it as a necklace for one's son
(b) One may not however, sell it to a merchant, to a Charam or to a Harag -
because they are likely to cheat others with it, presenting it to them at
its full value (the latter two because even if people are aware of the fact
that they are being cheated, they will be too scared to refuse.
(c) A Harag is a murderer. 'A Charam' is - an Anas (someone who uses
strong-arm tactics to force people to enter into a transaction with him.
(a) The Beraisa adds 'Pachos mi'Ch'dei Isar, Asur'. This cannot mean that if
a Sela depreciated to more than an Isar less than a Shekel, or a Dinar to
more than an Isar less than half a Dinar - because we just learned that the
moment the Sela depreciates to less than a Shekel, or the Dinar to less than
half a Dinar (even by the smallest fraction), the owner may no longer retain
(b) So Abaye establishes the Beraisa when it depreciated to an Isar more
than K'dei Ona'ah (according to the respective opinions of Rebbi Meir and
Rebbi Yehudah), and the Beraisa is coming to teach us - that he is not
permitted to spend it at its full value (see Tosfos DH 'Amar Abaye').
(c) The problem Rava has with this explanation is - that this too is
forbidden the moment it reaches even a fraction over Yoser mi'Ch'dei Ona'ah.
(d) So Rava explains - that the Beraisa is coming to teach us that if the
Sela deteriorated by an Isar per Dinar it is forbidden (a S'tam Beraisa like
(a) Another Beraisa states that if one designated a depreciated Sela to use
as a weight it becomes subject to Tum'ah - because whereas money is not
subject to Tum'ah, Keilim are.
(b) As long as it depreciated up to two Dinrim and no more, the owner is
permitted to keep it, as we learned earlier. Should it depreciate further -
he must cut it in half (to prevent it from being mistaken for a Shekel
(c) According to Rav Huna, should it depreciate less than that, he also cuts
it in half. Rebbi Ami maintains - that he may keep it.
(a) We learned in the Beraisa on the previous Amud, 'Yeser al Kein Mochrah
be'Shavyah' which Rav Huna interprets to mean - that if it has not yet
depreciated to the amount of K'dei Ona'ah (according to the respective
opinions of the Tana'im in our Mishnah), he may sell it according to its
current value (but not at its full price).
Rebbi Elazar (who, according to some, is quoted by Rav Huna) reconciles the
latter Beraisa with the Beraisa that we learned earlier, permitting the use
of such a coin as a necklace for one's son or daughter - by establishing the
current Beraisa when he bored the hole at the side, making it possible to
file down the hole and re-use it as a coin, whereas the earlier Beraisa
speaks when he bored the hole in the middle.
(b) The same Tana continues 'Ad Kamah Tipaches vi'Yehei Rashai le'Kaymah?
be'Sela ad Shekel'. According to Rav Huna, it would indeed become forbidden
to retain before it reached the Shiur of a Shekel - had it depreciated bit
by bit. But the Beraisa is speaking when it fell into the fire and
depreciated all at once.
(c) Another Beraisa forbids using a forbidden coin as a weight or throwing
it on to the pile of broken silver vessels - or using it to make a necklace
for his son or daughter.
(d) Besides grinding it down or cutting it up - he can also melt it down or
throw it into the Salt Sea.
(a) The problem with the earlier Mishnah, which gives the purchaser time to
show the article to a merchant to retract - is that the Tana does not seem
to allow him the extended time of Erev Shabbos for villagers, like it does
in the current Mishnah.
(b) Abaye establishes that Mishnah by a Tallis in a town. A Tallis in a
village - will have the same Din as that of a coin, as recorded in the
(c) Rava learns the earlier Mishnah as we learned it until now. He does not
differentiate by a Tallis between a town and a village - because, he says,
every merchant and many other people know the price of a Tallis (so nobody
ever needs to wait for Friday to find out the price), whereas when it comes
to coins, outside the market, it is only bankers who have that expertise.
(a) We learned in our Mishnah that if the purchaser recognized the coin then
he should accept it even after twelve months. The problem with this
statement is - that we just ruled that one either has the time it takes to
show a banker or until Erev Shabbos to retract, but no longer.
(b) Rav Chisda therefore explains that our Mishnah comes to teach Midas
Chasidus (that it is a good thing to return it, but not that he is obligated
to do so). The problem with this from the Seifa 'Ein Lo Alav Ela Tar'umos'
now is - who has the complaints? The Chasid! It is better not to practice
Midas Chasidus and not to have complaints (which will only cause him to give
his fellow Jew a bad name). The one whose coin the Chasid accepted! Why in
earth should he want to complain.
(c) What the Tana therefore means is - that the latter would have complaints
if he were dealing with someone who was not a Chasid, and who refused to
accept the coins after the allotted time period had elapsed.
(a) Rav Papa extrapolates from our Mishnah, which talks about a Nefesh
Ra'ah - that this is the title that a person who is fussy not to accept a
slightly imperfect coin (provided it can be used as currency) earns for
(b) This corroborates Chizkiyah, who says 'Ba le'Portah Partah be'Shavyah.
Ba le'Chalelah, Mechalelah be'Yafah'. 'Ba le'Portah Partah be'Shavya'
means - that if someone wishes to transfer a deficient Sela of Ma'aser
Sheini into P'rutos in Yerushalayim, in order to purchase his day to day
needs, he must asses it according to its current value (and not as if it was
a perfect coin).
(c) This cannot be an intrinsic Chidush - because we already know it from
the Beraisa that we cited on top of the Amud.
(d) Chizkiyah is coming to each us - that in spite of that, should he come
to redeem Ma'aser Sheini with an imperfect Sela of Chulin, he assesses it
according to its full value.
(a) When we ask 'Lemeimra de'Savar Chizkiyah de'Mezalzelin be'Ma'aser
Sheini', we mean - that ir seems from here that we redeem Ma'aser for the
exact cost of the Ma'aser (even a little less in this case, since we are
redeeming it on the full value of a deficient coin).
And when we say 'T'rei Zilzulei Lo Mezalzelinan', we mean - that although we
have already been Mezalzel the Ma'aser once, by accepting a deficient coin
as a coin (and not considering it as an Asimon), we are not Mezalzel it a
second time, by considering the coin to be a perfect one. Note, having just
concluded that Chizkiyah anyway holds 'Lo Mezalzelinan', it is unclear why
we need to say this. Rabbi Kornfeld Sh'lita explained that we need to say
it, to explain Chizkiyah's Chidush, which would otherwise be obvious.
Nevertheless, the Lashon appears misleading.
(b) Chizkiyah says - that one redeems Ma'aser Sheini that is worth less than
a P'rutah on an old coin that he has already used to redeem other Ma'aser of
(c) And he concludes 'le'Fi she'I Efshar le'Adam le'Tzamtzem Ma'osav' - by
which he means that the owner can safely rely that some of the coin remains
free to redeem with because a person would not finish the coin completely,
for fear that he will pay too little and the Ma'aser will remain unredeemed.
But this clashes with what he said earlier, that the owner even redeems for
less than the price.
(d) To reconcile the two statements of Chizkiyah, we now explain 'Mechalehah
be'Yafah' to mean - that just as in his first statement, he requires the
Sela of Ma'aser to be assessed according to its current value, so too in the
case of someone who wishes to redeem Ma'aser Sheini with a Sela that is
Chulin, he redeems it for its current value.