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Mishnayos Bava Metzia Perek 5 Mishnah 8

בבא מציעא פרק ה׳ משנה ח׳


A person may lend wheat to his sharecroppers in exchange for wheat, for the purpose of seeding, meaning that he may lend them a quantity of wheat with which to seed the field, and at harvest time the sharecropper will add the amount of grain that he borrowed to the landowner’s portion of the yield. But he may not lend wheat for the sharecroppers to eat and be paid back with an equivalent quantity because this creates a concern about interest, as the price of wheat may rise. As Rabban Gamliel would lend wheat to his sharecroppers in exchange for wheat, for purposes of seeding, and if he lent it at a high price and the price then fell, or if he lent it at an inexpensive price and the price subsequently rose, in all cases he would take it back from them at the inexpensive price. But this was not because this is the halakha; rather, he wanted to be stringent with himself.

מַלְוֶה אָדָם אֶת אֲרִיסָיו חִטִּים בְּחִטִּין לְזֶרַע, אֲבָל לֹא לֶאֱכֹל. שֶׁהָיָה רַבָּן גַּמְלִיאֵל מַלְוֶה אֶת אֲרִיסָיו חִטִּין בְּחִטִּין לְזֶרַע, בְּיֹקֶר וְהוּזְלוּ, אוֹ בְזוֹל וְהוּקְרוּ, נוֹטֵל מֵהֶן כְּשַׁעַר הַזּוֹל, וְלֹא מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהֲלָכָה כֵן, אֶלָּא שֶׁרָצָה לְהַחְמִיר עַל עַצְמוֹ:


חטין בחטין לזרע – It is permissible to lend to a tenant farmer (who tills the owner’s ground for a certain share in the produce, as opposed to a certain rent in kind/חכיר, irrespective of the yield of the crops) a Seah for a Seah (even though this is normally forbidden) specifically when he wants to sow with them, and the reason for this is that in the place where the tenant farmer is, when he gives the seed, if he didn’t have seed to sow the field, the owner would remove him, and when the tenant farmer borrows from the owner, and he sows [the field], when the wheat go up in price, he gives back wheat, this is not a loan, but rather for the tenant farmer, it is like he goes down into it (i.e., the field) from this moment, on the condition that the owner will take the seed first from the part that will arrive to the tenant farmer, and the tenant farmer will take the rest as the payment for his trouble, and on this condition, he will take less that the other tenant farmers according the measure of the seed, and there is no interest here.

שהיה רבן גמלאל – that is to say, for this purposes, it was necessary to teach this Mishnah, for Rabbi Gamaliel was more stringent, for if thing became cheaper, he would take according the cheaper set price, and our Mishnah comes to teach us not the Halakha is as such, but rather that he wished to be more stringent upon himself.

חטין בחטין לזרע. סאה בסאה מותר להלוות לאריס דוקא בשרוצה לזרעו. וטעמו, דבאתרא דאריס הוא שנותן הזרע, אם אין לו זרע לזרוע השדה יסלקנו בעל הבית, וכשלוה האריס מבעל הבית וזורע ובשיוקירו חטין יתן חטין, אין זו הלואה, אלא הרי הוא ביורד לתוכה מעכשיו על מנת שיטול בעל הבית הזרע תחלה מחלק שיגיע לאריס והאריס יטול השאר שכר טרחו, יעל מנת כן ירד שיטול פחות משאר אריסין בשיעור הזרע, ואין כאן רבית:

שהיה רבן גמליאל. כלומר, לכך הוצרך לשנות משנה זו, לפי שהיה רבן גמליאל מחמיר שאם הוזלו נוטל כשער הזול, ואשמעינן מתניתין לא שהלכה בן אלא שרצה להחמיר על עצמו: