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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Baba Mezi'a
as it would [still] be suitable for children. But what of the case of Raba, who said that [even] if the garment was embroidered with gold it should be divided?1 Could they here also divide [the garment] in halves? They would surely render it useless! — This presents no difficulty [either], as it would still be suitable for royal children.2 But [there is] the clause in our Mishnah: IF TWO RIDE ON AN ANIMAL [etc.]. Would you say that here also they divide [the animal] in halves? They would surely render it useless! Although it may be granted that in the case of a clean animal [its carcase] may be [cut up and] used for food — what if it is an unclean animal? They would surely render it useless [by slaying it and cutting it up]? It must therefore be said that it is the value [of the animal] that is divided. So here also: it is the value [of the bill that is divided].
Rami b. Hama said: This [decision of our Mishnah] enables [us] to conclude that when one picks up a found object for his neighbour, the neighbour acquires it.3 For if you were to say that the neighbour does not acquire it, this [garment] ought to be regarded as if one half of it were [still] lying on the ground, and [also] as if the other [half] were [still] lying on the ground, so that neither the one [claimant] nor the other should acquire it.4 It must therefore follow that when one picks up a found object for his neighbour, the neighbour acquires it.5 Said Raba: I could still maintain that when one picks up a found object for his neighbour, the neighbour does not acquire it.6 But here [in our Mishnah] the reason [why he does acquire it] is that we say, 'Since he takes possession for himself he may also take possession for his neighbour.'7 You may learn it from [the law] that if one said to a messenger, Go and steal something for me', and he [went and] stole it, he is free,8 but if partners stole [for each other]9 they are guilty. For what reason? Is it not because we say, 'Since he takes possession for himself, he may also take possession for his neighbour'? This proves it!
Said Raba: Now that it has been proved that we base our decisions on the Since argument.10 [it must be assumed that] when a deaf-mute11 and a normal person have picked up a found object, the normal person acquires it by reason of the fact that the deaf-mute has acquired it. [But it is at once objected:] We may grant that the deaf-mute acquires it because a rational person has lifted it up for him,12 but how does the normal person acquire it? — I must therefore say: The deaf-mute acquires it; the normal person does not acquire it.13 And how does the Since [argument] come in here?14 — Since two other deaf-mute persons would acquire [a found object by lifting it up], this [deaf-mute] also acquires it.15 But how is this? Even if you say that when one lifts up a found object for his neighbour the neighbour acquires it, this is [true] only when one lifts it up on behalf of his neighbour. But [in this case] that [normal person] lifted it up on his own behalf; now, if he himself does not acquire it,16 how can he enable others to acquire it? — But say: Seeing that the normal person does not acquire it, the deaf-mute does not acquire it [either]. And if you will argue: In what way does this case differ from that of the two other deaf-mute persons [previously referred to, I will answer you:] There our Rabbis made this provision17 in order that [the deaf-mutes] may not have to quarrel [with persons who may be ready to snatch the object from them], but here [the deaf-mute] will say [to himself]: 'The normal person does not acquire it, how should I acquire it?'18
R. Aha, the son of R. Adda, said to R. Ashi: Whence does Rami b. Hama derive his conclusion?19 If we say [that he derives it] from the first clause [of our Mishnah]. TWO HOLD A GARMENT etc., [the objection would arise that] there one pleads [to the effect]. 'It is all mine, and I lifted up the whole of it,' and the other pleads [to the same effect], 'It is all mine and I lifted up the whole of it!'20 — Therefore [we must say that he derives it] from the clause which reads: ONE OF THEM SAYS IT IS ALL MINE,' AND THE OTHER SAYS, 'IT IS ALL MINE': what need is there again for this? It must therefore be that we are to learn from the additional clause that if one lifts up a found object for his neighbour, the neighbour acquires It — 21 But did we not come to the conclusion that the first clause deals with a case of finding, and that the subsequent clause deals with a case of buying and selling? — We must therefore say that [he derives it] from the second part [of the Mishnah]: IF ONE SAYS, 'IT IS ALL MINE', AND THE OTHER SAYS 'HALF OF IT IS MINE': what need is there again for this? It must therefore be that we are to learn from the additional clause that if one lifts up a found object for his neighbour, the neighbour acquires it. And how do you know that this clause deals with a case of finding? Maybe it deals with a case of buying and selling? And if you will say: If it deals with a case of buying and selling what need is there [for the case] to be stated? [I will answer:] There is a need. For I might have formed the opinion that the one who says, HALF OF IT IS MINE should be considered as the restorer of a lost object,22 and should be free [from taking an oath]. We are thus informed that [he has to swear, as] he may be employing a ruse, in that he might think: If I say 'It is all mine,' I shall have to swear; I will say thus,23 so that I shall be like a restorer of a lost object, and I shall be free [from taking an oath]. Therefore [we must say that he derives it] from this clause: IF TWO RIDE ON AN ANIMAL etc.: what need is there again for this? It must therefore be that we are to learn from the additional clause that if one lifts up a found object for his neighbour, the neighbour acquires it. But perhaps [this clause] is to let us know that a rider also acquires [found property]?24 Therefore [we must say that he derives it] from the last clause: IF BOTH ADMIT [EACH OTHER'S CLAIMS], OR IF THEY HAVE WITNESSES [TO ESTABLISH THEIR CLAIMS], THEY RECEIVE THEIR SHARES WITHOUT AN OATH. To which case does it refer? If it refers to [a case of] buying and selling — is it necessary to state it?25 It must therefore refer to [a case of] finding.26 and this proves that if one lifts up a found object for his neighbour, the neighbour acquires it. And Raba?27 — He will explain [the decision in the last clause of our Mishnah] by the principle [adopted by him]: Since he takes possession of it for himself, he may take possession of it also for his neighbour.28
IF TWO RIDE [etc.]. R. Joseph said: Rab Judah told me,
Baba Mezi'a 8b
'I heard two [laws] from Mar Samuel: If one rides [on an animal] and another leads [it], one of them acquires [the animal], and the other does not acquire it,1 but I do not know [to] which of the two [either decision was meant to apply].' But how is this to be understood?2 If it refers to [two cases, in one of which there was] a man riding [on an animal] by himself and [in the other] there was a man leading [an animal] by himself3 — is there anyone who would say that he who leads an animal by himself does not acquire it?4 If, therefore, it is to be said that one does not acquire [the animal], it can only be said of the one that rides on it!5 — Thus [it must be assumed that] the doubt [expressed] by Rab Judah concerns a case where one rides on an animal, and simultaneously someone else leads it.6 The question then is: Is the rider to be given prefer — ence because he holds it,7 or is perhaps the leader to be given preference because it moves through his action?8 R. Joseph [then] said: Rab Judah said to me, Let us look [into the matter] ourselves.9 For we learnt: He who leads [a team composed of an ox an and ass]10 receives forty lashes,11 and [likewise] he who sits in the waggon [drawn by such a team] receives forty lashes. R. Meir declares him who sits in the waggon free.12 And since Samuel reverses [the Mishnah] and reads: 'And the Sages declare him who sits in the waggon free'13 it follows that [according to Samuel] he who rides [on an animal] by himself does not acquire it, and this would apply with even greater force to one who rides on an animal while someone else leads it!
Said Abaye to R. Joseph: Have you not told us many times [the argument headed by the words]: 'Let us look [into the matter],' and yet you never told us it in the name of Rab Judah?14 [R. Joseph] answered him: Truly, [it is Rab Judah's argument]: I even remember saying to him, 'How can you, Sir, derive the decision regarding [the case of] One who rides [on an animal] from [the case of] one who sits [in the waggon], seeing that he who sits [in the waggon] does not hold the reins, while he who rides [on the animal] does hold the reins?' And he answered me: 'Both Rab and Samuel agree that one does not acquire [an animal] by holding the reins.'15
Some give another version:16 Abaye said to R. Joseph: How do you, Sir, derive the law regarding one who rides [on an animal] from that concerning one who sits [in a waggon pulled by an animal], [seeing that] he who sits [in the waggon] does not hold the reins, [while] he who rides does hold the reins? — [R. Joseph] answered him: Thus Idi learned: One does not acquire [an animal] by holding its reins. It has also been reported: R. Helbo said in the name of R. Huna: One [who buys an animal] may acquire it by taking over the reins from the neighbour [who sells it], but one who finds [an animal] and [one who seizes an animal which was] the property of a proselyte [who died without heirs]17 does not acquire it [in this way]. What is the derivation of the term 'Mosirah' [used for reins]? — Raba said: Idi explained it to me: [It is derived from 'masar', to hand over, and it indicates] the handing over of the reins by one person to another. [Such action] rightly [enables a person who buys an animal] from his neighbour to acquire it, as the neighbour transfers to him in this way [the possession of the animal]. But in the case of a found [animal] and [in that of an animal that was] the property of a proselyte [who died without heirs] — who transferred it to him that he should have a right to acquire it?
An objection was raised: IF TWO RIDE ON AN ANIMAL etc. — whose opinion is that? If I should say that it is R. Meir's,18 [the question presents itself:] If the 'sitter' acquires it, need I be told that the 'rider' acquires it? It must therefore be [said that it is the opinion of the majority of] the Rabbis19 — which would prove that the 'rider' acquires it?20 — Here we deal with one who drives [the animal] with his feet.21 But if so, then it is the same as 'leading'.22 There are two ways of 'leading':23 you might say that the 'rider' has a preference, because he drives it and holds it [at the same time], therefore we are informed [that leading is the same as riding].
Come and hear: If two persons were pulling a camel or leading an ass, or if one was pulling and one was leading,
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