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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Baba Bathra
but at that season [the labourer] was worth a sela'1 [a day] he must not derive any benefit from it.2 If, however, [a man] hires [a labourer to commence work] at once [and to continue through the harvesting season] for a denarius a day, [although] at the harvesting season he was worth a sela', [he] is permitted [to pay in advance and to have the benefit of the difference].3 Now, if you are of the opinion that [if the seller said]. 'I sell you a kor for thirty, [each] se'ah for a sela', '[the buyer] acquires possession of every se'ah as it is measured out, here also, [since mention was made of a 'denarius a day'] every day that has passed4 [should have been regarded as] cut off5 [from the other days of the period that follow] and it should, [therefore], be forbidden to derive any benefit from it.6 Why then [has it been said that if a man hires a labourer to commence work at once and to continue through the harvesting season] for a denarius a day, [although] at the harvesting season he was worth a sela' [he] is permitted [to have the benefit]? Is not this [difference] a reward7 for advancing the money?8 Raba replied: What a logical argument! Has it ever been forbidden to reduce one's hire to the lowest level?9 Wherein [then, lies the reason for] the difference between the first, and the last clause?10 — [In] the first clause, since work does not begin11 at once,12 [the difference between the two rates of wage] appears as a reward for advancing the money;13 [in] the last clause, where work begins at once, [the difference] does not appear as a reward for advancing the money.
AND IT IF WAS ATTACHED TO THE GROUND AND HE PLUCKED [OF IT] ANY QUANTITY, HE HAS ACQUIRED OWNERSHIP. Does he acquire ownership [of all the flax] because he has plucked some of it?14 — R. Shesheth replied: The case dealt with here [refers to a seller] who said [to the buyer], 'Go improve15 for yourself any piece of land, [acquire16 possession of it, and thereby] acquire ownership of all that is upon it.'17
MISHNAH. [IF] ONE SELLS WINE OR OIL TO ANOTHER AND IT HAS BECOME DEARER18 OR CHEAPER,18 — IF THE MEASURE HAS NOT YET BEEN FILLED, [THE BENEFIT OR LOSS IS] THE SELLER'S. AFTER THE MEASURE HAS BEEN FILLED, [THE BENEFIT OR LOSS IS] THE BUYER'S. IF THERE WAS A MIDDLEMAN BETWEEN THEM [AND] THE CASK WAS BROKEN [BEFORE DELIVERY TO THE BUYER], THE LOSS19 IS THE MIDDLEMAN'S. [A SELLER] MUST [IN FAVOUR OF THE BUYER] ALLOW THREE DROPS TO FALL [FROM THE SIDES OF HIS VESSEL INTO THAT OF THE BUYER AFTER THE LIQUID HAS BEEN POURED OUT]. IF HE INCLINED THE VESSEL [AFTER THE THREE DROPS HAVE BEEN ALLOWED TO FALL]. THE ACCUMULATION OF THE REMNANTS [FROM ITS SIDES] BELONGS TO THE SELLER.20 A SHOPKEEPER21 IS NOT OBLIGED TO ALLOW THE THREE DROPS TO FALL. R. JUDAH SAID: ON SABBATH EVE TOWARDS DUSK ONE IS EXEMPT.22
GEMARA. Whose measure was this?23 If it is assumed to have been the measure of the buyer, [why should the benefit or loss be that] of the seller before the measure has been filled? [Surely] it is the buyer's measure!24 If, however, [it is assumed that it was] the seller's measure, [why should the benefit or loss be that] of the buyer after the measure has been filled? [Surely] it is the seller's measure! — R. Elai replied: The measure was the middleman's.25 But since it is taught in the latter clause, IF THERE WAS A MIDDLEMAN BETWEEN THEM AND THE CASK WAS BROKEN THE LOSS IS THE MIDDLEMAN'S, is it not to be inferred that the first clause does not deal with the case of a middleman? — The first clause [speaks of] a measure in the absence of the middleman; the latter clause, of the middleman himself.26
[IF THE VESSEL …] HAS BEEN INCLINED, THE ACCUMULATION OF THE REMNANTS [FROM ITS SIDES] BELONGS TO THE SELLER. When R. Eleazar went up27 he met Ze'iri to whom he said: Is there here a tanna28 whom Rab has taught the Mishnah of measures? He showed him R. Isaac b. Abdimi. The latter said unto him: What is your difficulty? — For [the other replied,] we learnt: [IF THE VESSEL …] HAS BEEN INCLINED, THE ACCUMULATION OF THE REMNANTS [FROM ITS SIDES] BELONGS TO THE SELLER;
Baba Bathra 87b
but have we not [also] learnt: '[If the vessel]1 has been inclined, the accumulation from the remnants [on its sides] is terumah'?2 — He replied unto him: Surely about this it has been said: R. Abbahu said [the accumulation belongs to the seller] because the law of the owner's resignation is applied to it.3
A SHOPKEEPER IS NOT OBLIGED TO ALLOW TO FALL etc. The question was raised: Does R. Judah refer to the [law in the] earlier clause4 to relax it,5 or perhaps [he refers] to the [law in the] latter clause6 to restrict it?7 Come and hear: It has been taught: R. Judah says. A shopkeeper, on Sabbath eve at dusk, is exempt, because a shopkeeper is [at that time] much occupied.8
MISHNAH. IF A PERSON SENDS HIS [LITTLE] SON TO A SHOPKEEPER [TO WHOM HE HAD PREVIOUSLY GIVEN A DUPONDIUM],9 AND [THE SHOPKEEPER] MEASURED OUT FOR HIM OIL FOR ONE ISAR5 AND GAVE HIM THE [OTHER] ISAR, [AND ON HIS WAY HOME THE CHILD] BROKE THE BOTTLE [WHICH HIS FATHER HAD SENT WITH HIM] AND LOST THE ISAR [GIVEN HIM AS CHANGE], THE SHOPKEEPER IS [LIABLE FOR ALL THE LOSSES.]10 R. JUDAH ABSOLVES [THE SHOPKEEPER], SINCE FOR THAT PURPOSE11 [THE FATHER] HAD SENT HIM [THE CHILD]. BUT THE SAGES AGREE WITH R. JUDAH THAT IN THE CASE WHEN THE BOTTLE WAS IN THE HAND OF THE CHILD, AND THE SHOPKEEPER MEASURED OUT INTO IT, THE SHOPKEEPER IS ABSOLVED.
GEMARA. One can well understand that, in [the case of] the isar and the oil, the dispute [in our Mishnah between the Rabbis12 and R. Judah] depends on the following [views]. The Rabbis maintain that [the father] has sent [the child merely] to inform [the shopkeeper of what he required],13 and R. Judah14 maintains that [the father] has sent [the child] in order that [the shopkeeper] should send him [back with the things]; but, [as regards the] breaking of the bottle, [why should the Rabbis lay the responsibility on the shopkeeper]? It is a loss, [surely], for which its owner15 was well prepared!16 — R. Hoshaia replied: Here we deal with an owner [who is also] a seller of bottles, and in the case when the shopkeeper took [the bottle] for the purpose of examining it;17 [in such a case the shopkeeper18 assumes responsibility] in accordance with [a decision given by] Samuel. For Samuel said: He who takes a vessel from the artisan to examine it, and an accident happens [while it is] in his hand, is liable.19 Does this mean that [the decision] of Samuel is [not generally accepted, but is a matter of dispute between] Tannaim?20 [Surely this is not very likely]! — But, said both Rabbah and R. Joseph, [the Mishnah] here [deals] with [the case of] a shopkeeper who sells bottles.21 And R. Judah follows his own reasoning,22 and the Rabbis follow their own reasoning.23 If so,24 explain the last clause: THE SAGES AGREE WITH R. JUDAH THAT IN THE CASE WHEN THE BOTTLE WAS IN THE HAND OF THE CHILD, AND THE SHOPKEEPER MEASURED OUT INTO IT, THE SHOPKEEPER IS ABSOLVED. But surely you said [that the Rabbis maintained the view that the father] had sent [the child merely] to inform him?25 — But, said both Abaye b. Abin and R. Hanina b. Abin, here we deal with a case
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