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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Baba Mezi'a
If two 'iskas were arranged but only one bond drawn up, it is to the debtor's disadvantage.1
Raba also said: If a man accepted an 'iska from his fellow, and lost thereon; but then made it good by an effort, yet had not informed him [the investor of the loss], he cannot [then] say to him, 'Deduct the previous loss incurred;'2 because he can retort, 'You took the trouble of making it good to avoid the odium of inefficiency.'3
Raba also said: If two men accept4 an 'iska and make a profit, and one says to the other, 'Come, let us divide now' [before the time for winding up]: then if the other objects [saying], 'Let us earn more profits,' he can legally restrain him [from closing the transaction]. [For] if he claims, 'Give me half the profits,' he can reply, 'The profit is mortgaged for the principal.'5 Whilst if he proposes, 'Give me half the profits and half of the principal,'6 he can answer, '[The parts of the] 'iska are interdependent.'7 Whilst if he proposes, 'Let us divide the profit and the principal, and should you incur a loss I will bear it with you:' he can answer, 'No. The fortune of two is better than that of one.'
MISHNAH. IF A MAN LEASES A FIELD FROM HIS NEIGHBOUR AND REFUSES TO WEED IT, SAYING, WHAT DOES IT MATTER TO YOU, SEEING THAT I PAY YOU YOUR RENTAL?' HIS PLEA IS NOT HEEDED, BECAUSE HE [THE LESSOR] CAN REPLY, 'TOMORROW YOU MAY LEASE IT, AND IT WILL BE OVERGROWN WITH WEEDS.'8
GEMARA. And should he [the tenant] say, 'I will plough it afterwards,'9 he can reply, 'I want good wheat.'10 And should he say, 'I will buy for you wheat from the market,' he can answer, 'I want wheat from my own soil.' Should he reply, 'Then I will weed for you the area necessary for your portion,' he can retort, 'You will bring my land unto disrepute.'11 But we learnt, because IT WILL BE OVERGROWN WITH WEEDS!12 — But [he is not heeded] because he can answer him, 'Once a bung falls out, it is fallen.'13
MISHNAH. IF A MAN LEASES A FIELD TO HIS NEIGHBOUR, AND IT DOES NOT YIELD [A SATISFACTORY CROP]: IF THERE IS ENOUGH TO MAKE A STACK, HE [THE TENANT] IS BOUND TO GO ON WORKING THEREIN.14 SAID R. JUDAH: WHAT STANDARD IS A STACK?15 BUT [THE STANDARD IS] IF THERE IS ENOUGH FOR RESOWING.16
GEMARA. Our Rabbis taught: If a man leases a field from his neighbour, and it does not yield [a satisfactory crop], and there is enough to make a stack, he [the tenant] is bound to go on working therein, because he writes him thus:17 'I will stand, plough, sow, cut, bind, thresh, winnow, and set up a stack before you, and you will come and receive half; whilst I will receive half in return for my labour and expenses.' And how much is meant by, 'enough to make a stack'? — R. Jose son of R. Hanina said: Sufficient for the winnowing fan to stand therein.18 The scholars propounded: What if the winnowing fan protrudes from both sides?19 — Come and hear: R. Abbahu said: I received an explanation thereof from R. Jose son of R. Hanina: Providing that the receiver does not see the sun.20
It has been stated: Levi said: Three se'ahs; the School of R. Jannai said: Two; Resh Lakish said: The two se'ahs mentioned are exclusive of expenses.21
We learnt elsewhere: Wild olives and grapes — Beth Shammai declare them unclean; Beth Hillel, Clean.22 What is meant by 'wild [perize] olives?' — Said R. Huna: Wicked olives [i.e., which yield very little oil]. R. Joseph said: And what verse [warrants this interpretation]? — Also the robbers [perize] of thy people shall exalt themselves to establish the vision; but they shall fail.23 R. Nahman b. Isaac said: It is from this verse: If he beget a son that is a robber [pariz] a shedder of blood.24 And what is the standard of wild olives?25 — R. Eleazar said: Four kabs per loading.26 The School of R. Janna said: Two se'ahs. But there is no dispute: the former treats of a place when one kor is put into the press at a time; the latter, where three kors are put into the press.27
Our Rabbis taught:
If they ascended a tree of feeble strength, or a feeble branch, he is unclean.1 How is 'a tree of feeble strength' defined? — The School of R. Jannai said: If its roots lack sufficient breadth for a quarter [kab] to be hollowed out of it.2 What is the definition of a feeble branch? — Resh Lakish said: That which is hidden in the grip of the hand.3
We learnt elsewhere: If a man travels through grave area4 over [loose] stones that can be moved, if he travels upon a man or beast of feeble strength, he is unclean.5 What is meant by 'a man of feeble strength'? — Resh Lakish said: One whose knees knock together because of the rider upon him. What is meant by 'a beast of feeble strength'? — The School of R. Jannai 'said: If the rider causes it to excrete [through the strain].
The School of R. Jannai said: In respect of prayer and phylacteries [the limit of a burden is] four kabs. What is the reference in respect of prayer? — As it has been taught: If a man bears a burden on his shoulder, and the time for prayer arrives, if it is less than four kabs, he slings it over his back, and prays; if four kabs, he must place it on the ground, and then pray. What is the reference in respect of phylacteries? — As it has been taught: If a man is carrying a load on his head, and phylacteries are on his head [at the same time],6 if the phylacteries are crushed under it, it is forbidden; otherwise, it is permitted. Of what burden was this said? — A burden of four kabs.
R. Hiyya taught: If a man carries out manure on his head, and has phylacteries on his head [at the same time], he must not remove them to the side, nor fasten them to his loins, because such is a contemptuous treatment; but must bind then, on his arm in the place of phylacteries.7 On the authority of the school of R. Shila it was said: Even their wrapper8 may not be placed on the head [as a burden] whilst the phylacteries are being worn. And how much?9 — Said Abaye: Even a sixteenth of a Pumbedithean weight.10
SAID R. JUDAH: WHAT STANDARD IS A STACK? BUT [THE STANDARD IS] IF THERE IS ENOUGH FOR RESOWING. And how much is needed for resowing? — R. Ammi said in R. Johanan's name: Four se'ahs per kor.11 — R. Ammi, giving his own opinion, said: Eight se'ahs per kor. An old man said to R. Mama, son of Rabbah b. Abbuha: I will explain it to you. During R. Johanan's lifetime the land was fertile;12 during that of R. Ammi it was poor.
We learnt elsewhere: If the wind scattered the sheaves,13 we compute how much gleanings it [that field] was likely to provide, and so much must be given to the poor. R. Simeon b. Gamaliel said: The poor must be given the measure for resowing.14 And how much is that? — When R. Dimi came,15 he said in the name of R. Eleazar — others state, in the name of R. Johanan: Four kabs per kor.
R. Jeremiah propounded: Does that mean, for a kor that is sown, or for a kor that is harvested?16 [Further, if it means for a kor that is sown,] is it for hand sowing or by oxen?17 — Come and hear: For when Rabin came, he said in the name of R. Abbahu in the name of R. Eleazar — others say, in the name of R. Johanan: Four kabs for a kor of seed. But the question still remains: for hand sowing or by oxen? The problem remains unsolved.
MISHNAH. IF A MAN LEASES A FIELD FROM HIS NEIGHBOUR, AND IT [THE CROP] IS EATEN BY GRASSHOPPERS, OR BLASTED [BY TEMPEST], IF IT WAS A WIDESPREAD EPIDEMIC,18 HE CAN DEDUCT FROM THE RENTAL; IF IT WAS NOT A WIDESPREAD EPIDEMIC, HE MAY NOT DEDUCT FROM THE RENTAL. R. JUDAH SAID: IF HE LEASED IT ON A MONEY RENTAL,19 THEN IN BOTH CASES HE MAY MAKE NO DEDUCTIONS FROM THE RENTAL.20
GEMARA. How far must it extend to be called a widespread epidemic? — Rab Judah said: E.g., if the greater part of the plain [in which this field lay] was blasted.21 'Ulla said: If four fields, on the four sides thereof, were blasted. 'Ulla said: They propounded in the West [sc. the academies of Palestine]: What if one furrow over the entire length was blasted? What if one furrow was left [unblasted] over their entire length?22 What if pits lay between?23 What if they were separated by a field of fodder?24
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