Talmud Tips

For the week ending 5 November 2016 / 4 Heshvan 5777

Bava Metzia 37 - 43

by Rabbi Moshe Newman
The Color of Heaven Artscroll

Rav Kahana said, “A person prefers to have one ‘kav’ of his own produce to nine ‘kavim’ belonging to someone else.”

This is one explanation cited in the gemara on our daf to explain the statement of the Tana Kama in the mishna: “If one gives his fruit to another person to guard them, even if they begin to rot the guard may not touch (sell) them.” Rav Kahana reasons that since the owner personally toiled to succeed in bringing them into existence, the fruits that he produced are especially dear to him. Therefore, he would prefer having them rather than “nine times” such items that came from someone else. (Rashi)

(A tangential note: The word “kav” is a measure mentioned in the Torah in Melachim II 6:25. It is equal to four “lug”, and is somewhat more than a liter in volume. The measure of a “revi’it” that we often speak about as the size of a “kiddush cup”, or the amount of liquid drink that requires an “after-blessing”, is one-quarter of a lug, or one-sixteenth of a kav.)

  • Bava Metzia 38a

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