סקר
מסכת בבא קמא:





 

Steinsaltz

One requires the knowledge of the owner for the item to be considered returned.

The Gemara asks: If the baraita is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yishmael, why did the tanna in the first clause of the mishna establish the case specifically where the owner did not designate a specific place for the barrel to be stored in the bailee’s house? Even in a case where the owner designated a place for the barrel, the bailee should be exempt because he replaced the barrel.

The Gemara answers: The tanna is speaking utilizing the style: It is not necessary. It is not necessary to state the halakha in a case where the owners designated a place for the barrel, as after the bailee replaced the barrel, that is its place. But even in a case where the owner did not designate a place for the barrel, and after the bailee replaces the barrel that is not its place, we do not require the knowledge of the owners. In both cases, once he replaces the barrel, he is exempt from payment.

The Gemara asks: Say the latter clause of the mishna: If the owners designated a specific place for the barrel, and the bailee moved it and it broke, whether it broke while still in his hand or whether it broke after he replaced the barrel, if he moved it for his purposes he is liable to pay, and if he moved it for its own purposes, he is exempt. We arrive at the opinion of Rabbi Akiva, who says: We require the knowledge of the owners. Since the bailee moved the barrel from its place for his own purposes, he is a robber and is responsible for damages.

The Gemara asks: If the baraita is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Akiva, why did the tanna in the latter clause of the mishna establish the case specifically where the owner designated a particular place for the barrel to be stored in the bailee’s house? Even in a case where the owner did not designate a place for the barrel, the bailee should be liable to pay, because the barrel is not considered to have been returned.

The Gemara answers: The tanna is speaking utilizing the style: It is not necessary. It is not necessary to state the halakha in a case where the owners did not designate a place for the barrel, as the place that the bailee placed the barrel is not its place. But even in a case where the owner designated a place for the barrel, where the place that the bailee placed the barrel is its place, we require the knowledge of the owners for it to be considered as if the bailee returned the barrel.

The Gemara asks: The result of that explanation is that the first clause of the mishna is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yishmael and the latter clause is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Akiva. The Gemara answers: Indeed, it is as Rabbi Yoḥanan says: Anyone who explains to me both clauses of the mishna with regard to a barrel according to the opinion of one tanna I will honor, and carry his garments after him to the bathhouse, and treat him as a servant treats his master.

The Gemara relates that Rabbi Ya’akov bar Abba interpreted the mishna before Rav: The mishna is referring to a case where the bailee took the barrel in order to rob the owner of it, and that is the meaning of the term: For his purposes. Since he intended to rob the owner of the barrel, he must return it to its place. In the first clause of the mishna, where the owner of the barrel did not designate a place for it, anywhere that he places it constitutes a return to its place. In the latter clause of the mishna, where the owner designated a place for the barrel, since the bailee did not return the barrel to that place, it is not considered to have been returned.

Rabbi Natan bar Abba interpreted the mishna before Rav: The mishna is referring to a case where the bailee took the barrel in order to misappropriate it, as one who misappropriates the property of another is responsible for any subsequent damage to it.

The Gemara asks: With regard to what do Rabbi Ya’akov and Rabbi Natan disagree? The Gemara answers: It is with regard to whether misappropriation requires loss: Is one liable for misappropriation only if it results in depreciation of the deposit, or is one liable for misappropriation even if he only intended to damage the deposit but there was no depreciation? The one who says that the bailee took the barrel in order to rob the owner of it holds that misappropriation requires loss. And the one who says that the bailee took the barrel in order to misappropriate it holds that misappropriation does not require loss.

Rav Sheshet objects to that explanation: Does the tanna teach that the bailee took it? It is taught in the mishna: The bailee moved it, indicating that he sought neither to misappropriate it nor to rob the owner of it. Rather, Rav Sheshet said: With what are we dealing here? We are dealing with a case where the bailee moved the barrel to stand upon it and bring fledglings from a nest in a tree. The bailee did not attempt to use its contents. He merely climbed on the barrel. And the tanna of the mishna holds: The legal status of one who borrows without the knowledge of the owners is that of a robber in terms of responsibility. And the entire mishna is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yishmael. And the latter clause is referring to a case where the bailee is responsible because he placed the barrel in a place that is not its designated place.

The Gemara asks: And why doesn’t Rabbi Yoḥanan, who claimed that it is not possible to establish both clauses of the mishna in accordance with the opinion of the same tanna, explain the mishna in that manner? He holds that the term: He placed it, indicates that he replaced it in its designated place. Therefore, the latter clause cannot be explained in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yishmael, and the contradiction remains.

§ It was stated that there is an amoraic dispute between Rav and Levi. One says: Misappropriation requires loss. And one says: Misappropriation does not require loss. The Gemara comments: It may be concluded that it is Rav who says: Misappropriation does not require loss, as it is taught in a baraita: In the case of a shepherd who was herding his flock, which included the animals of others, and he abandoned his flock and went to the city, and a wolf came and devoured an animal, and a lion came and clawed an animal, the shepherd is exempt, as in any case, the attacks occurred through circumstances beyond his control. If he placed his staff and his satchel on the animal that was later attacked, he is liable to pay for the animal. Since he utilized the animal, it is as if he misappropriated it, and therefore he is liable to pay even in a case involving circumstances beyond his control.

And we discussed this baraita: Due to the fact that he placed his staff and his satchel on the animal, is he liable to pay? Didn’t he already remove them? Even if he improperly used the animal, he already removed his staff and satchel, and it is tantamount to returning it to the owners.

And Rav Naḥman says that Rabba bar Avuh said that Rav said: The tanna is referring to a case where the wolf devoured the animal when the staff and satchel were still on the animal. Since the bailee is still using the animal, it is considered his in terms of liability to pay for the damage caused. The Gemara asks: And if the staff and satchel are still on the animal, what of it? But he did not pull the animal and therefore did not acquire it.

And Rav Shmuel bar Yitzḥak says that Rav says: The tanna is referring to a case where the shepherd struck the animal with a staff and it ran before him, which is a form of pulling. The Gemara asks: But by causing the animal to run, he did not cause a loss to the animal. Why is he liable to pay? Rather, must one not conclude from it that Rav holds: Misappropriation does not require loss?

The Gemara rejects that proof: Say that he weakened the animal with a staff, and that is the only reason that he is liable to pay. The Gemara comments: Rav’s language is also precise, as he teaches: Where the shepherd struck the animal with a staff. The reason that he explains that he struck the animal with a staff, as opposed to his hand, is to indicate that the animal was weakened. The Gemara affirms: Learn from it that Rav holds that misappropriation requires loss.

The Gemara comments: And from the fact that Rav holds that misappropriation requires loss, it may be inferred that Levi holds that misappropriation does not require loss. The Gemara asks: What is the reason for the opinion of Levi? Rabbi Yoḥanan says in the name of Rabbi Yosei ben Nehorai: Misappropriation that is stated with regard to a paid bailee is different from misappropriation that is stated with regard to an unpaid bailee. There is no need for the Torah to state the halakha of misappropriation twice. If an unpaid bailee is liable to pay for misappropriation, all the more so is a paid bailee liable to pay. The reason that the Torah repeated this halakha is to teach that a paid bailee is liable to pay for misappropriation even if there is no loss.

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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