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Mishnayos Bava Metzia Perek 8 Mishnah 2

בבא מציעא פרק ח׳ משנה ב׳


There is one who borrowed a cow. He borrowed it for half of the day and rented it for the other half of the day; or he borrowed it for today and rented it for tomorrow; or he rented one cow and borrowed another one from the same person. And in one of the first two cases, the cow died and it is not clear during which period the cow died. Or in the last case, one of the cows died and it is not clear whether it had been the borrowed cow or the rented cow. If the lender then says: The borrowed cow is the one that died; or: It died on the day that it was being borrowed; or: It died during the period in which it was being borrowed, so that, according to his claim, the borrower is liable to pay for the cow, and the other one, the borrower, says: I do not know what happened, the borrower is liable to pay. If the renter says: The rented cow is the one that died; or: It died on the day that it was being rented; or: It died during the period in which it was being rented, and the other one, the owner of the cow, says: I do not know what happened, the renter is exempt. If this owner says with certitude: The borrowed cow is the one that died, and that renter says with certitude: The rented cow is the one that died, then the renter takes an oath that the rented cow is the one that died, and he is then exempt from liability. If this one says: I do not know what happened, and that one says: I do not know what happened, then they divide the disputed amount. The bailee is liable to pay for only half the value of the cow.

הַשּׁוֹאֵל אֶת הַפָּרָה, שְׁאָלָהּ חֲצִי הַיּוֹם וּשְׂכָרָהּ חֲצִי הַיּוֹם, שְׁאָלָהּ הַיּוֹם וּשְׂכָרָהּ לְמָחָר, שָׂכַר אַחַת וְשָׁאַל אַחַת, וָמֵתָה, הַמַּשְׁאִיל אוֹמֵר שְׁאוּלָה מֵתָה, בַּיּוֹם שֶׁהָיְתָה שְׁאוּלָה מֵתָה, בַּשָּׁעָה שֶׁהָיְתָה שְׁאוּלָה מֵתָה, וְהַלָּה אוֹמֵר אֵינִי יוֹדֵעַ, חַיָּב. הַשּׂוֹכֵר אוֹמֵר שְׂכוּרָה מֵתָה, בַּיּוֹם שֶׁהָיְתָה שְׂכוּרָה מֵתָה, בַּשָּׁעָה שֶׁהָיְתָה שְׂכוּרָה מֵתָה, וְהַלָּה אוֹמֵר אֵינִי יוֹדֵעַ, פָּטוּר. זֶה אוֹמֵר שְׁאוּלָה וְזֶה אוֹמֵר שְׂכוּרָה, יִשָּׁבַע הַשּׂוֹכֵר שֶׁשְּׂכוּרָה מֵתָה. זֶה אוֹמֵר אֵינִי יוֹדֵעַ וְזֶה אוֹמֵר אֵינִי יוֹדֵעַ, יַחֲלֹקוּ:


המשאיל אומר שאולה מתה – and you are liable for its unavoidable accidents.

איני יודע – lest it died while rented out, and am exempt from the unavoidable accidents.

חייב – It is not possible to establish our Mishnah as it implies, for we hold that my Maneh is in your hands, and the other says, that he doesn’t know [how the animal died] and he takes an equitable oath (see Shevuot 40b – which is applied, if one who is sued for a debt, denies the latter entirely, in contradistinction to the legal oath which is required when the defendant admits a part of the claim. It being presumed that nobody will go to law unless he has a claim, it is a matter of equity to put the opponent to an oath, to which he may in return put the claimant) that he does not know [how the animal died – if it had been borrowed or tented] and is exempt from payment/penalty. For this reason, we establish in the Gemara (Bava Metzia 98a) that where there is the business of an oath that is Torah mandated between them, such as where [the lender] says to him: I transferred to you two cows, one day as borrowed and the other day as a rental, and both of them (i.e., the cows) died while they were borrowed. And the borrower said to him (i.e., the lender), one of them, yes, at the time while it was borrowed it died. But one of them (i.e., the cows), I don’t know. And this like someone who partially admits to the claim and he is liable for an oath. And because he cannot take an oath, he pays. And it is similar to [the case of] my Maneh is in your hands, and the other responds, How is this? Fifty (i.e., one-half) I know about and fifty (i.e., the other half) I don’t know [anything] about. He is required to take an oath but he is not able to take an oath, and because he is unable to take an oath, he must pay.

ישבע השוכר ששכורה מתה – this also is impossible to establish as it implies. And we hold that if one claimed “wheat” and the other admitted to him “barley,” he is exempt even from the cost of the barley. And that is so – that what he admitted to him was not what the other claimed, and what he claimed he (i.e., the other) did not admit to him. And what place is there for an oath? For this we have established in the Gemara (Bava Metzia 98b – a “rolling oath.” The lender can plea: “Even on your own plea, you must still swear that the animal died naturally, not through your negligence” – which rejects the ruling of Rami bar Hama’s ruling that no oath is imposed at all upon bailees, even when they plead loss, theft, death, etc., unless there is also a partial rejection of the claim. The bailee is bound to swear another oath – that the hired one and not the borrowed one has died is administered. The superimposed oath is Biblical, not Rabbinic. See also Sotah 18a). In that he (i.e., the lender/person who rents out the animal) says to the borrower/renter: Swear to me the oath of the bailees that you are required to swear, that she (i.e., the animal) died naturally, for the deponent’s statement is accepted as true on the ground that, if he had intended to tell a lie, he might have invented one more advantageous to his cause – that he could have taken an other that it died naturally for if he made a claim also that via a rolling oath, that she died while rented out.

יחלוקו – Our Mishnah is [according to] Sumachus, who stated that monies that are placed in doubt should be divided, and it is not the Halakha, for the Halakha is: “He who wants to exact [compensation] from his fellow bears the burden of proof” (see Mishnah Bava Kamma, Chapter 3, Mishnah 11), and the the one appealed to must take an oath that he doesn’t know and is exempt.

המשאיל אומר שאולה מתה. ואתה חייב באונסיה:

איני יודע. שמא שכורה מתה. ופטור אני מן האונסים:

חייב. הא מתניתין לא אפשר לאוקמה כמשמעה, דהא קיימא לן מנה לי בידך והלה אומר איני יודע ישבע שבועת היסת שאינו יודע ופטור. להכי מוקמינן לה בגמרא כגון שיש עסק שבועה דאורייתא ביניהם, כגון דאמר ליה שתי פרות מסרתי לך, חד יומא בשאלה וחד יומא בשכירות, ומתו תרוייהו בעידן שאלה. ואמר ליה שואל, חדא אין, בעידן שאלה מתה, וחדא לא ידענא. והוי ליה מודה במקצת וחייב שבועה, ומתוך שאינו יכול לישבע משלם. ודמיא להך מנה לי בידך ואמר ליה היאך חמשין ידענא וחמשין לא ידענא, הוי ליה מחוייב שבועה ואינו יכול לישבע ומתוך שאינו יכול לישבע משלם:

ישבע השוכר ששכורה מתה. הא נמי לא אפשר לאוקמה כמשמעה, דהא קיי״ל טענו חטים והודה לו בשעורים פטור אף מדמי שעורים, והכי נמי מה שהודה לו לא טענו ומה שטענו לא הודה לו, ומה מקום יש לשבועה זו. להכי מוקמינן בגמרא, דשבועה זו על ידי גלגול, דאמר ליה אשתבע לי שבועת השומרים שאתה חייב לישבע לי דכדרכה מתה, ומגו דמשתבע דכדרכה מתה משתבע נמי על ידי גלגול דשכורה מתה:

יחלוקו. מתניתין סומכוס היא דאמר ממון המוטל בספק חולקים. ואינה הלכה. אלא הלכה המוציא מחבירו עליו הראיה, וישבע הנתבע שאינו יודע ופטור: