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לקראת סיום מסכת עירובין






 

Steinsaltz

And that one, the middleman, is exempt because his work is not performed for him. The Gemara asks: What are the circumstances of this case? If the middleman said to them: Your wages are incumbent upon me, his wages are indeed upon him, as the one who hired the workers bears full responsibility. As it is taught in a baraita: With regard to one who hires a laborer to perform work in his own field, and the employer inadvertently showed the laborer a field belonging to another in which he should work, the employer must give the laborer his full wages; and in addition, the employer goes back and takes from the owner of the field in which he worked the value of the benefit that owner received from the laborer. The employer is entitled to claim from the owner of the field the profit that owner gained from the work, but not the entire wages of the laborer. This indicates that one who says: Your wage is incumbent upon me, is responsible for the arrangement.

The Gemara explains: No, it is necessary to state this halakha where the middleman said to them: The obligation to pay your wages is incumbent upon the employer, in which case they share responsibility for the payment and neither violates the prohibition.

The Gemara relates: Yehuda bar Mareimar would say to his attendant: Go hire workers for me and say to them: Your wages are upon the employer. Yehuda bar Mareimar instructed the attendant to do this in order to avoid violating the prohibition of delaying payment of wages. Mareimar and Mar Zutra would hire workers for each other for the same reason.

Rabba bar Rav Huna said: Those marketplace workers of Sura do not violate the prohibition by Torah law of delaying payment of wages, in the event that they do not pay their employees immediately. This is because everyone knows that they rely on the market day to earn their money, and the employees are aware that they will not be paid on the same day that they worked. But he certainly violates the prohibition by rabbinic law of: Do not delay, if he withholds payment any later than the market day.

§ The mishna teaches that an hourly laborer collects his wages all night and all day. Rav says: An hourly laborer who worked by day collects his wages all that day, while an hourly laborer who worked by night collects his wages all that night. And Shmuel says: An hourly laborer who worked by day indeed collects his wages all that day, but an hourly laborer by night collects his wages all that night and all the following day.

We learned in the mishna: An hourly laborer collects his wages all night and all day. This is apparently a conclusive refutation of Rav. The Gemara answers: Rav could have said to you that he teaches the mishna disjunctively in the following manner: An hourly laborer by day collects his wages all day, while an hourly laborer by night collects his wages all night.

We learned in the mishna: If he was a weekly laborer, a monthly laborer, a yearly laborer, or a laborer for a Sabbatical cycle of seven years, if he left upon the completion of his work in the day, he collects his wages all day; if he left at night, he collects his wages all night and all day. This indicates that one who finishes his work at night can be paid throughout the following day as well.

The Gemara replies: Rav could have said to you that it is a dispute between tanna’im, as it is taught in a baraita: An hourly laborer by day collects his wages all day, while an hourly laborer by night collects his wages all night; this is the statement of Rabbi Yehuda. Rabbi Shimon says: An hourly laborer by day collects his wages all day, while an hourly laborer by night collects his wages all night and all day.

The baraita continues. From here the Sages stated: Anyone who withholds the wages of a hired laborer violates these five negative prohibitions and one positive mitzva. He violates the prohibition of: “Do not oppress your neighbor” (Leviticus 19:13), and the prohibition of: “Do not steal” (Leviticus 19:13), and the prohibition of: “You should not oppress a hired laborer who is poor” (Deuteronomy 24:14), and the prohibition of delaying payment of wages (Leviticus 19:13), and he has not fulfilled the positive mitzva of: “On the same day you shall give him his wages” (Deuteronomy 24:15), and he has violated the prohibition of: “The sun shall not set upon him” (Deuteronomy 24:15).

The Gemara asks: But these five prohibitions do not all take effect at the same time, since those that are applicable by day are not in effect by night, while those that are applicable by night are not relevant by day. How can he be in violation of them all? Rav Ḥisda said: It means merely that the general concept of withholding the wages of a hired laborer includes all these prohibitions and one positive mitzva.

§ The Gemara asks: What is defined as oppression and what is defined as stealing, and what is the difference between them? Rav Ḥisda said: If he told him: Go and return, go and return (see Proverbs 3:28), avoiding paying him while saying that he will pay him at some point, this is oppression. If he says to him: You have money owed to you in my possession but I will not give it to you, this is stealing.

Rav Sheshet objects to this from a baraita: What is the type of oppression for which the Torah obligated him to bring an offering? It is similar to the case of one who had been entrusted with money as a deposit, where he then denies that he accepted it, thereby keeping the money. This contradicts Rav Ḥisda’s claim that oppression is referring to one who admits that he owes him. Rather, Rav Sheshet said that the difference is as follows: If he said to him: I gave it to you, this is defined as oppression. If he tells him: You have money owed to you in my possession but I am not giving it to you, this is defined as stealing.

Abaye objects to this: What is the type of stealing for which the Torah obligated him to bring an offering? We require it to be similar to the case of one who had been entrusted with money as a deposit, where he then denies that he accepted it, thereby keeping the money. That is unlike the example of stealing given by Rav Ḥisda and Rav Sheshet, where the party withholding the money concedes that he owes it. Rather, Abaye said: If he said to him: I never hired you, this is oppression; if he claimed: I gave it to you, this is stealing.

The Gemara asks: And according to Rav Sheshet, what is different about oppression that he raised a difficulty against Rav Ḥisda concerning it, and what is different about stealing that he did not raise a difficulty, although Abaye’s question was similar to his. The Gemara explains: Rav Sheshet could have said to you: Stealing means that he first stole from him by stating that he will not give him the money, and later denied owing it.

The Gemara challenges: If so, then even with regard to oppression as well, the case can be that he first conceded that he owes the wages and then later denied it. Why does Rav Sheshet say that the case must be where the employer said to the laborer: I gave it to you? The Gemara responds: How can these cases be compared? Granted, there it is written: “And if he deals falsely with his neighbor in a matter of deposit, or of pledge, or of robbery” (Leviticus 5:21), which by inference indicates that he admitted to him at the outset. But with regard to oppression is it written: Or by oppression? It is written: “Or he oppressed,” which does not refer back to his previous denial but is referring to the actual sin, indicating that he had already oppressed him.

Rava said: There is no need for such an artificial distinction, as oppression is the same as stealing, and no practical difference exists between the two categories. And why, then, did the verse divide them into two categories? It did this so that he will violate two prohibitions, stealing and oppression.

MISHNA: Whether referring to a person’s wages that he receives or the renting of an animal or the renting of utensils, are all subject to the prohibition of: “On the same day you shall give him his wages” (Deuteronomy 24:15), and are subject to the prohibition of: “The wages of a hired laborer shall not remain with you all night until the morning” (Leviticus 19:13). When does he transgress these prohibitions? He transgresses them when the one owed the money claimed the payment from him. If he did not claim his payment from him the other does not transgress the prohibitions. If the one who owes the money transferred his payment by leaving instructions with a storekeeper or with a money changer to pay him, he does not transgress the prohibitions.

The mishna discusses other related halakhot: If a hired laborer requests payment at the proper time and the employer claims he already paid him, the laborer takes an oath that he did not receive his wages and then takes the wages from the employer. If the time had passed, he does not take an oath and take the wages. If there are witnesses who testify that he claimed the money from him at the proper time, he takes an oath and takes the money.

One who hires a gentile who resides in Eretz Yisrael and observes the seven Noahide mitzvot [ger toshav] is subject to the prohibition of: “On the same day you shall give him his wages,” but is not subject to the negative mitzva of: “The wages of a hired laborer shall not remain with you all night until the morning.”

GEMARA: The Gemara asks: Whose opinion is expressed in the mishna? It is not that of the first tanna of the baraita, who interprets the phrase: “From your brothers” (Deuteronomy 24:14), and it is not Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Yehuda. The Gemara clarifies: What is this baraita that is referred to here? The Gemara explains: As it is taught in a baraita:

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)
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