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Steinsaltz

due to its poor quality. In other words, he was eager to sell not due to financial pressure, but because he wanted to get rid of this low-value field. His persistent demands for every last dinar are due to his fear that the buyer will change his mind and cancel the transaction.

The Gemara discusses a similar case. It is obvious that if one wants to sell his property for one hundred dinars but does not find a buyer, and in actuality he sells property for two hundred, and goes in and goes out for money, the buyer has not acquired the field, as it is clear that the seller performed the transaction due to financial straits. But if he wants to sell his property for one hundred and does not find a willing buyer, and the case was that if he troubled himself he would find one, and instead he did not trouble himself and sells property for two hundred, and then he goes in and goes out for money, what is the halakha? Is he considered like one who sells a field due to its poor quality or not? No answer was found, and therefore the Gemara states that this dilemma shall stand unresolved.

§ The mishna teaches that if one hired a donkey driver or a potter and they reneged, and the goods would be lost, he may hire other workers at a higher price at the former’s expense, or deceive them to make them agree to return to work. The Gemara asks: Up to what amount may he hire at their expense? Rav Naḥman said: Up to their wages, i.e., if the first workers did part of the work and the employer had not yet paid them, he may add the amount he owes the original workers to the new workers’ wage.

Rava raised an objection to Rav Naḥman: But it was taught in a baraita that he can hire at their expense for up to forty or fifty dinars. Rav Naḥman said to him: When that baraita is taught it is with regard to a case where the bundle has come into his possession, i.e., the original worker left his tool kit with the employer. In this situation, the employer has more financial leverage, as he can sell the contents of the bundle to cover even higher costs.

MISHNA: With regard to one who rents a donkey to lead it on a mountain but he led it in a valley, or one who rents a donkey to lead it in a valley but he led it on a mountain, even if this path is ten mil and that one is also ten mil, and the animal dies, he is liable. With regard to one who rents a donkey to lead it on a mountain but he led it in a valley, if it slipped and injured itself he is exempt, but if it died of heatstroke he is liable, as it was the walk in the hotter valley that caused its death. With regard to one who rents a donkey to lead it in a valley but he led it on a mountain, if it slipped he is liable, because this was caused by the mountainous terrain, but if it died of heatstroke he is exempt. If it suffered from heatstroke due to the ascent, he is liable.

With regard to one who rents a donkey and it became ill or was seized for public service [angarya], the owner can say to the renter: That which is yours is before you, and he is not required to reimburse the renter or to supply him with another donkey. If the animal died or its leg broke, the owner is obligated to provide the renter with another donkey.

GEMARA: The Gemara asks: What is different about the first clause, where the tanna does not distinguish between the various ways in which the animal might have died, as he rules that the renter is always liable, and what is different about the latter clause, where he does distinguish between whether the animal was injured through slipping or heatstroke?

The Gemara answers: A Sage from the school of Rabbi Yannai said: The first clause is referring to a case where it died on account of the air, as we say that the air of the mountains killed it and we can equally say that the air of the valley killed it. A change in weather such that the animal is exposed to weather conditions he is unaccustomed to can be lethal. Rabbi Yosei bar Ḥanina said: The mishna is referring to a case where it died on account of exhaustion [uvtzena], as it can be assumed that this was caused by the weather. Rabba said: The mishna is speaking of a case where a snake bit it, as this is just as likely to happen in one place as it is in the other.

Conversely, Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: In accordance with whose opinion is this statement of the first clause of the mishna? It is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Meir, who says: Anyone who diverges from the intention of the employer by acting against their agreement

Talmud - Bavli - The William Davidson digital edition of the Koren No=C3=A9 Talmud
with commentary by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz Even-Israel (CC-BY-NC 4.0)
אדם סלומון
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