Bava Metzia 79 - 85
- When the renter of an animal is responsible for its death or loss
- When the owner must replace the rented animal or ship which can no longer function
- What is considered a deviation on the part of the renter
- The level of responsibility of a contractor working on his home and that of one who rents an animal
- When the owner is in the service of the one renting from him
- What constitutes a commitment to guard item brought into his home
- The level of responsibility of one guarding an object he found
- The mover who breaks the barrels he is carrying
- Responsibility of employee re hours of work and of employer to provide him with food
- Rebbi Elazar ben Shimon's career as a detective for the government
- The relationship of Rabbi Yochanan and Reish Lakish
- The sufferings which Rabbi Elazar and Rebbie accepted on themselves
- The efforts of Rebbie to bring back to Torah the wayward descendants of great sages
- Rabbi Chiya's unique dissemination of Torah
The Great Disseminator
- Bava Metzia 85b
Rabbi Chiya undertook a mission to ensure that Torah study would never be forgotten among Jews.
He planted flax from which he made nets to capture deer. Those deer would be slaughtered, their flesh given to poor orphans and their skins converted into parchments upon which he would write the five books of the Chumash. These he brought to a community where there was no Torah study and he would teach each one of five children one of the five scrolls. He would also teach orally each one of six youngsters one of the six orders of the Mishna. Upon completion of this education he would instruct each of these young pupils to teach the others what he had learned, promising to return to see if they succeeded.
Why was it necessary for Rabbi Chiya to go to the bother of planting and trapping when he could simply have purchased the parchment he needed?
Maharsha explains that Rabbi Chiya was determined that every step of the way be done purely for Heaven's sake with none deriving any profit. This eliminated the possibility of buying parchment. Even the meat of the animal whose skins he used for parchment was donated to needy orphans. Only with such meticulous attention to every detail of the operation could he be certain that Heaven would bless his efforts with success.
What the Sages Say
"A single coin in an empty barrel makes a lot of noise."
A folk saying quoted by the Sage Ulla
- Bava Metzia 85b