If one sells wine and it goes bad, whose responsibility is it? The mishna says the seller is not responsible. However there is a debate among the amoraim about whether this is always the case. What is the minimum measurement for a small house for a young couple or widowed daughter? What about other types of houses? A cowshed? A banquet hall?
What blessing do you make on wine that is sold in the stores, i.e. starting to turn to vinegar? There is a debate whether it’s borei pri hagafen or shehakol. Rav Yosef brings a braita to clarify how we pasken, However, the braita had several interpretations and therefore it was unclear what he meant. If one purchases wine and it goes bad soon after, is the seller responsible to give the buyer new wine? What is the halacha regarding wine that was made from the leftover grapes that had already been used for making wine – is it considered wine or not?
More attempts are brought from tannaitic sources similar to our case to prove Rav Huna’s opinion that if the bad parts mixed in with the produce add up to more than the permitted percentage, one can demand compensation for all of them. However, each comparison as rejected and the gemara explains why each case if different. The gemara tries to analyze what the seller stipulated in the case in the mishna regarding a sale of wine cellar – was it “wine in a cellar,” “wine in this cellar” or “this cellar?” A braita stipulating the halacha in these 3 cases are brought as well as a different version brought by Rav Zevid. These are discussed and reinterpreted in order to fit with the mishna and with each other.
When one sells produce, what percentage of bad produce can we assume will be mixed in and therefore the buyer has no rights to claim compensation from the seller for it. According to Rav Huna, once one goes over that percentage, one has to compensate for all the bad produce – even the percentage that would have been allowed had the seller not gone over. Various sources are brought to either support or contradict Rav Huna – however, they are all rejected as the case can be looked at in various ways.
Rav and Shmuel’s debate is further analyzed. Are there tannaitic sources that prove Shmuel is correct? Is their argument based on a tannatic debate? In a case where the seller needs to compensate the buyer for seeds that were bad, does the seller need to reimburse the buyer for his expenses relating to planting the seeds?
One who buys an item that can be sold for 2 different uses (fruits for planting and fruits for eating/an ox for slaughtering or an ox for plowing) and doesn’t specify for which purpose he/she is buying it for – can one claim that it is not usable for the purposes it was purchased for and get one’s money back or not? Does it depend on if the majority of people purchase this item for one particular use? Or do we say this is a classic case of “the burden of proof relies on the one trying to get the money out of the other” in which case, the buyer is stuck with the item unless he/she can provide proof.
Once needs to keep prices controlled on basic food items in Israel. One also cannot export them if by doing so, it will cause prices to rise in Israel (due to less supply). One cannot leave Israel to go out of Israel unless one cannot afford to buy basic needs. Proof is brought from the book of Ruth (Elimelech and his family leaving Israel). As a result of this, various drashot are brought from the beginning of the book of Ruth as well as drashot on the connection between Boaz and Ivtzan – one of the judges mentioned in the book of Shoftim/Judges. A second explanation of the sins of Elimelech and family is that they should have stayed to help pray for everyone. Various criticisms are brought concerning situations in which the rich should be helping out the poor.
11 braitot are brought which discuss the importance of being honest in measuring and keeping in line with the local customs. What are the measurements for building a balance beam? The measurements depend on what type of item one is measuring. A city needs to set up inspectors for checking that people have accurate weights but there is a debate about whether or not one needs inspectors for controlling prices. Various other details are discussed.
The gemara brings another two possibilities of how to understand the mishna and concludes that the last one is correct – that it is a case where the store owner used the father’s flask for measuring for others and he became a borrower who borrows without asking permission from the owner. The debate in the mishna is – do we view this kind of borrower as a borrower (who does not assume responsibility once the item is return to the place it was borrowed from) or do we treat him like a thief who is responsible until the item is returned to the original owner (or to a safe place). The gemara explains more in details Shmuel’s law that one who picks up an item to purchase is responsible for accidental damages. How often does one need to clean his measuring cups? It depends if he is the wholesaler, a homeowner, or a storekeeper. Details regarding a storekeeper and his weights are discussed – there is a law based on a verse from the Torah that one needs to side a bit on the side of the buyer (and add a bit extra that then exact measurement). How much does one need to add? How much does it depend on the prevalent custom in that area? A discussion of measuring the seriousness of the laws of weights and measurements is discussed as the gemara compares it to illicit relations.
Rav and Shmuel discuss the differences in when the merchandise is acquired if you say I am buying all of it for one price or if you specify how much each measurement (for ex. each se’ah) will cost (even though you are buying many se’ah). Two sources are brought to contradict their opinion but are resolved. The next mishna discusses 3 different halachot – one pertaining to at what point of measuring is neither side allowed to change their mind, the next pertained to a middleman – and is he responsible if the vessel breaks and the merchandise is lost (wine or oil) (exactly what the case is is debatable), and what is the status of drops left in the jug after if it measured out and poured into the buyers utensils? Details of these cases are discussed int he gemara. The next mishna is a case where a father sends a son to the store to buy oil and the utensil breaks, the oil is lost, as is the change that the son received. There is a debate about who is responsible. Based on details in the mishna, the gemara grapples to understand what exactly is the case in the mishna and what is the source of the debate.