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Steinsaltz

With regard to anyone who deposits an item with another, it is with the awareness that at times, the bailee’s wife and his children will safeguard the item that he deposits it. Therefore, I was within my rights to give the deposit to my mother.

Let us say to his mother: Go and pay. She can say: My son did not tell me that the money is not his so that I should bury it, which is the optimal method to safeguard money.

Let us say to the bailee: Why did you not say to her that the money is not yours? He can say: All the more so that my omission of this information was preferable, as when I say to her that the money is mine, she is even more careful with it.

Rather, Rava said: The bailee takes an oath that he gave the money to his mother, and his mother takes an oath that she placed the money in the chest and it was stolen, and the bailee is exempt from payment.

The Gemara relates: There was a certain steward who acted on behalf of orphans, who purchased an ox for the orphans and passed it to the cowherd. This ox did not have molars and other teeth with which to eat, and the ox died because it was unable to eat the standard food of oxen. Rami bar Ḥama said: How should judges rule in this case?

Let them say to the steward: Go pay for the dead ox. But he can say: I gave it to the cowherd with the expectation that he would care for it.

Let us say to the cowherd: Go pay for the dead ox. He can say: I placed the ox with other oxen and I threw food before it. We did not know that it did not eat.

The Gemara asks: After all, the cowherd is a paid bailee of the orphans. Therefore, he was required to examine the situation and ascertain if the ox was eating. The Gemara answers: If there was loss for the orphans, indeed, the cowherd would be liable to pay. And with what are we dealing here? It is a case where there is no loss incurred by the orphans, as they found the previous owner of the ox, who sold it to them, and the orphans took their money back from him after discovering that the ox had this deficiency.

The Gemara asks: Rather, who then claims compensation from the cowherd? The previous owner of the ox claims compensation from the steward: He should have informed us that the ox was not eating. The Gemara answers: What would we inform the previous owner? He knows that it is a mistaken transaction, as he would be aware that the ox had no teeth. The Gemara explains: This is a case with regard to a trader who buys from here and sells to there and does not know the condition of the ox. Therefore, the trader takes an oath that he did not know about the ox’s defect, and the cowherd pays the value of the meat of the ox based on the cheapest price available in the market.

The Gemara relates: There was a certain man who deposited hops, used in the production of beer, with another. The bailee himself had a pile of hops. The bailee said to his brewer: Cast hops in the beer from this pile. The brewer went and cast from the other pile, the pile of the one who deposited the hops, into the beer. Rav Amram said: How should judges rule in this case?

Let us say to the bailee: Go pay. But he can say: I said to him, i.e., the brewer: Cast hops from this pile, and I am not at fault.

Let us say to the brewer: Go pay. He can say: The bailee did not say to me: Cast hops from this pile and do not cast hops from that pile. I thought he was merely giving advice, and I did not know that he was insistent that I refrain from using the other hops.

The Gemara comments: And if the hops of the bailee were closer to where he and the brewer were located than those that were deposited with him, the bailee should be liable. As, if the brewer delayed bringing the hops for the period of time that it would take to bring the bailee hops from his own pile and he did not yet bring them to him, it is assumed that the bailee understood that the brewer had gone to bring the more distant, deposited, hops. By not objecting, the bailee revealed that he was amenable to brewing the beer from the deposited hops. The Gemara answers: This is a case where he did not delay bringing the hops, or alternatively, the two piles were equidistant from him.

The Gemara asks: Ultimately, what loss is there? But doesn’t the bailee profit in this case? Let the bailee give the owner beer equal to the value of the hops that he took from the deposit and no one loses. Rav Sama, son of Rava, said: The Gemara is referring to a case where the beer ferments and becomes vinegar. Therefore, it is impossible to take the value of the hops from the beer. Rav Ashi said: It is referring to a case where the hops were mixed with thorns and did not enhance the beer.

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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