Sep 042016

Shmuel lists 3 people who can demand land that they are owed – even if it’s valued higher now because its value increased – and then need to return the value of the increase to the other.  A contradictory statement of Shmuel is brought and it is reconciled.  When one steals and item and it increases in value while in his possession, the increase goes to him and even to those who he sells it to or to his inheritors.  Rava asks a question based on this regarding a non Jew.  Cases are brought where some sort of change happens to the item and the gemara determines whether this is a significant change that would enable the robber to acquire the item or not.  Based on the mishna, the gemara concludes that if one steals oxen and uses them to work his field and then returns them as they were when he stole them, he is not obligated to compensate the owner for the use of the animal as he fulfilled his obligation to return them.  However in an exceptional case where someone is consistently doing this and abusing the system, he would be obligated.

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