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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Baba Bathra

Folio 94a

he must pay him [for it] the price1  of wheat!2  — [Of] pulse. a quarter3  [of a kab must be accepted; of] sandy matter less4  than a quarter. And [need he] not [accept] a [full] quarter [of a kab of] sandy matter? Surely it has been taught: [If] one sells fruit to another, [the buyer] must accept, [in the case of] wheat, a quarter [of a Lab of] pulse5  for [each] se'ah; [in the case of] barley, he must accept a quarter [of a kab of] chaff6  for [each] se'ah; [in the case of] lentils, he must accept a quarter [of a kab of] sandy matter7  for [each] se'ah. Now, may it not be assumed that the same law8  [applies not only to lentils but also] to wheat and to barley?9  Lentils are different [from wheat and barley], because they are usually plucked.10  But [since] the reason why lentils [are allowed a full quarter of a kab of sandy matter is] because they are usually plucked while wheat and barley [are] not, infer [then] from this, [that in the case of] wheat and barley [the buyer need] not accept [a full quarter of a kab] of sandy matter!11  — [It may be retorted that a buyer], in fact, must accept [a full quarter of a kab of] sandy matter [in the case also of] wheat and barley12  lentils, [however,] had to be [specifically mentioned].13  Because it might have been thought that, since they are usually plucked, [the buyer] must accept even more than a quarter [of a kab], [the quantity], therefore, had to be [specifically] stated.

R. Huna said: If [the buyer] wishes to sift14  [and, on sifting, the quantity of the refuse is found to be more than what is permitted]. he may sift all of it [and the seller must compensate him for all the refuse, even for the permitted quantities]. Some say, [this is the] law; and others say, [this is a] penalty. Some say [this is the] law, [because] whoever pays money. pays it for good fruit,15  but a person does not take the trouble [to sift, if the refuse only amounts to] a quarter [of a kab for every se'ah;16  if] more than a quarter, a person does take the trouble; and, since he takes the trouble [to start sifting], he takes [a little more] trouble with all of it.17  And others say, [this is a] penalty,18  [because] it is usual [only for] a quarter [of a kab of refuse] to be found [in each se'ah];19  more is not usual; he himself [therefore must have] mixed it. and since he has mixed [at least some of] it, the Rabbis have imposed upon him the penalty [of paying] for all.20

(Mnemonic: Every two bills of Rabin son of R. Nahman [are] overcharge and undertaking.)21

An objection was raised.22  [It has been taught:]23  Every se'ah [of produce] which contains a quarter [of a kab] of another kind shall be reduced24  [in order that it be permitted to be sown].25  Now, it has been assumed that the quarter [in the case] of kilayim26  is [in the same category] as [the quantity of] more than a quarter here,27  and yet it has [only] been taught. 'it shall be reduced',28  [while the rest may be sown. Why, then, in the case of a purchase,29  must compensation be paid for all the refuse]? — No; a quarter [in the case] of kilayim is [in] the same [category] as a quarter here.30  If so,31  why should it be reduced? — On account of the restrictions of the law of kilayim.32  If so,33

To Part b

Original footnotes renumbered.
  1. Because the seller is entitled to include a pebble in the weight of his wheat and to receive for it the price of the wheat; but is not permitted to put in a pebble.
  2. This shows that sandy matter, such as a pebble is, must also be accepted by the buyer. How, then, can it be said that sandy matter need not be accepted?
  3. As R. Kattina said.
  4. But a full quarter need not be accepted.
  5. Pulse usually grows among the wheat.
  6. Chaff cannot be entirely separated from the barley.
  7. Sandy matter is usually mixed up with lentils.
  8. That a quarter of a kab of sandy matter must be accepted by the buyer.
  9. It is assumed that sandy matter was mentioned in the case of lentils because it is usual to find it there just as pulse. e.g.. was mentioned with wheat with which it is usually mixed up; but that in reality the buyer must accept a quarter of a kab of sandy matter, or any refuse, in whatever kind of produce it is found.
  10. And more sandy matter must, therefore, be expected.
  11. Which would confirm the answer given above, in justification of R. Kattina, that of sandy matter, 'less than a quarter'.
  12. The same quantity as that stated in the case of lentils.
  13. That only a quarter of a kab of sandy matter need be accepted.
  14. Suspecting that the refuse amounts to more than a quarter of a kab for each se'ah.
  15. He does not consent to take any refuse in the weight.
  16. Rather than have the trouble of sifting. he accepts the comparatively little refuse.
  17. Once the sifting commences, it is not much more trouble to complete the whole. Hence, the buyer exercises his right and demands compensation for all the refuse.
  18. The compensation is not based on the Biblical law, according to which a person is always assumed to consent to buy fruit together with a certain quantity of refuse.
  19. And the seller must not be penalised for this.
  20. Since he has mixed a portion he is suspected of having mixed the whole.
  21. The mnemonic aids in the recollection of the passages that follow in support of, or objection to R. Huna's law.
  22. To the statement that the buyer may sift the grain in accordance with the law which entitles him to compensation for all the refuse found.
  23. Kil.II. 1.
  24. To less than a quarter.
  25. Two different kinds must not be sown together, in accordance with the prohibition of 'mingled seeds'. (Cf. Lev. XIX. 29.)
  26. [H] 'mingled seed'. V. n. 12.
  27. In the case of a purchase.
  28. The entire se'ah is not disqualified by reason of the excess, and as soon as the excess is reduced (from a 'quarter' to 'less than a quarter') the grain may be sown.
  29. In the case of a purchase also, it should suffice to reduce the 'more than a quarter' of the refuse to a 'quarter'. by the seller's paying of compensation for the excess.
  30. In both eases such a small quantity as a quarter of a kab in a se'ah is disregarded. But if this quantity is exceeded, it might, indeed, have to be removed in its entirety even in the case of kilayim.
  31. That a quarter is disregarded, even in the case of kilayim.
  32. It is a restriction imposed by the Rabbis to prevent people from transgressing the laws of kilayim.
  33. That the restriction is only Rabbinical, and that in accordance with the Biblical law there is no need to reduce.
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Baba Bathra 94b

explain the last clause [of the Mishnah quoted, which reads]. R. Jose says: He shall pick out [all]. This would be correct if you assumed [that a quarter of a kab in kilayim is] like [a quantity of] more than a quarter [of a kab] of refuse. For their1  dispute could [then be said to] depend on [the following principles]. The first Tanna might hold the opinion that a penalty is not imposed on a permitted thing for the sake of a prohibited one, and R. Jose might hold the opinion that a penalty may thus be imposed.2  But if it is said that [a quarter of a kab of kilayim is] like a quarter [of refuse], why should he pick?3  This is the reason of R. Jose. there: Because4  it seems as if he was retaining5  kilayim.

Come and hear! [It has been taught]:6  If two [persons] deposited [money] with one [man], one of them7  a maneh8  and the other7  two hundred zuz, and the one7  says. 'the two hundred zuz are mine', and the other7  [also] says, 'the two hundred zuz are mine one maneh is given to the one,7  and one maneh to the other,7  and the remainder must lie until [the prophet] Elijah comes.9  [Does not this show that one is not penalised by being made to lose the whole10  for the sake of a part?]11  — What a comparison!12  In that case,13  one maneh certainly belongs to the one, and one maneh to the other,14  [but in] this [case],15  who can say that he has not [himself] put it all in?16  Come and hear [a confirmation]17  from the last [clause of the quoted Baraitha which reads]: R. Jose said, 'If so,18  what has the knave lost?19  But all20  must be kept over until Elijah comes. What a comparison!21  In that case22  there is certainly [one] knave [at least].23  but in this case,24  who can say that he has put it in at all?25

Come and hear! [It has been taught]: [If] a bill [of debt] contains [an undertaking to pay] usury, a penalty is imposed [on the lender], and he receives neither the principal nor the interest; these are the words of R. Meir.26  [Does not this prove that a penalty may be imposed on the whole for the sake of its part?] — What a comparison!27  In that case,28  [the lender] had committed the transgression29  from the moment of the writing.30  but in this case,31  who can say that he has put it in at all?32

Come and hear! [an objection] from the last [clause of the quoted Baraitha]: And the Sages say. '[the lender] receives the principal but not the interest'. [Does not this show that a penalty on the whole is not imposed on account of its part]?33  — What a comparison!34  In that case,35  the principal [at least] is certainly a permitted sum; but here, who can say that all has not been put in by him36

Come and hear what Rabin son of R. Nahman learned:37  [In case of the sale of a piece of ground, under certain conditions, though it was found to be bigger than arranged. by an area equal to that of a quarter of a kab per se'ah, the sale is valid; if, however, the difference is greater. then] not only must the surplus38  be returned but all the quarters39  also must be returned. This shows clearly that whenever [a part] has to be returned, all must be returned!40  — What a comparison!

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Original footnotes renumbered.
  1. That of R. Jose and the first Tanna.
  2. Since the prohibition is Biblical.
  3. And thus add one Rabbinical restriction to another: first restriction, reduction to less than a quarter; second restriction, picking out all foreign matter. Even the law requiring reduction is not Biblical, but Rabbinical. Is one Rabbinical restriction not enough that R. Jose must add to it another?
  4. Though Biblically allowed.
  5. Since he began to remove some, he must remove all; otherwise, the remainder might be regarded as if it had been intentionally put in.
  6. B.M. 37a.
  7. Lit., 'this'.
  8. Maneh = 100 zuz.
  9. Elijah the prophet, the herald of the Messianic era who is to make the truth known. The phrase is a technical term meaning 'indefinitely'.
  10. Since only one maneh is retained while the other is returned.
  11. Why. then, has it been said above that 'the Rabbis have imposed … the penalty of paying for all'?
  12. Lit., 'How now!'
  13. Lit., 'there', in the dispute about the maneh and the two hundred zuz.
  14. Hence, the certain maneh must be returned.
  15. The refuse in the produce.
  16. Since the refuse is in a bigger proportion than the usual quantity, the seller may be suspected of having put in at least some, and one suspected of some may be suspected of all.
  17. Of the statement that a penalty may be imposed on the whole for the sake of the part.
  18. I.e., if one maneh is returned.
  19. Since the knave (lit.. 'cheat') who deposited only one maneh gets that maneh back, he loses nothing and, consequently, would never admit the truth.
  20. So here, as a penalty for mixing, compensation must be paid for all the refuse.
  21. V. supra n. 6.
  22. V. supra n. 7.
  23. One of them must be a knave, since only one had deposited the larger sum.
  24. V. supra n. 9.
  25. The existence of the refuse in the produce may be due entirely to natural causes.
  26. B.K. 30b; B.M. 72a.
  27. V. p. 392. n. 6.
  28. Lit., 'there', in the case when usury was mentioned in the bill of debt.
  29. Lit., 'the putting'. 'the laying'; Neither shall ye lay upon him usury. Ex. XXII. 24.
  30. Hence, let him lose the interest as well as the principal.
  31. V. p. 392. n. 9.
  32. V. p. 392. n. 19. Hence he should not be required to pay. as a penalty, for all the refuse.
  33. V. p. 392. n. 5.
  34. V. p. 392. n. 6.
  35. V. n. 2 above.
  36. V. p. 392. n. 10.
  37. Infra 104b.
  38. I.e., the portion of land by which the area is greater than a quarter of a kab per se'ah, viz., the difference between the actual area on the one hand, and the agreed area and a quarter of a kab per se'ah on the other.
  39. I.e., the quarters of a kab per se'ah which, if not exceeded, were not to be returned.
  40. This confirms R. Huna's statement, supra. according to the first explanation, that the return of all the refuse is law, because one does not forego more than a quarter of a kab.
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