Weekly Daf #48
Bava Basra 79 - 85 - Issue #48
3 - 9 Shevat 5755 / 4 - 10 January 1995
Judy & Peter Sheldon of Chalkwell, England and Sandra & Stephen Seltzer of Roslyn Heights, New York
on the engagement of their children Ella Sheldon and Lev Seltzer
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A Question of Quality
|The Case:||Reuven contracts to sell Shimon good quality wheat. When it arrives, Shimon discovers that he has received poor quality wheat.|
|The Scenarios:||1) Shimon wants to back out of the deal and Reuven wants to hold him to it.||2) Reuven learns that the price of wheat has suddenly shot up and he wishes to back out of the deal so that he can sell at a higher price, but Shimon insists on the sale being final.|
|The Rule:||Shimon may back out because he has been deceived. Reuven cannot back out because he is the victim of market circumstances, not deception. Should the reverse have taken place - Reuven contracts to sell poor quality wheat and Shimon receives good quality - then the reverse will be the rule: Reuven can back out because he is the victim of deception but Shimon cannot back out even if a sudden drop in the price of wheat makes it worthwhile for him to do so.|
|The Problem:||The rule is that if Reuven contracts to sell red wheat to Shimon and it turns out to be white wheat either of them has the right to back out and demand his money back. Why is backing out only a unilateral privilege when quality is the issue and bilateral when it comes to two kinds of wheat?|
|The Resolution:||In regard to quality it is assumed that everyone prefers good quality to poor. When Shimon ordered a good quality and received a poor one he is considered as having been deceived and can nullify the deal. Reuven, on the other hand, was interested in retaining his better quality grain and passing off the poor quality to Shimon. Since he achieved this with his delivery he cannot invalidate the deal. But in regard to two different varieties of grain, some people prefer red and others white. When Reuven and Shimon contract for the sale of red wheat, each of them may subsequently claim that he was not interested in the way the sale turned out - Reuven because he wanted to dispose of red wheat, not white, and Shimon because he wanted to acquire red wheat, not white.|
A tzadik - a righteous man - is compared by King David (Psalm 92:13) to both the date palm and the cedar trees. Just as the date palm yields fruit, so does the tzadik enjoy the fruits of his good deeds in the World to Come. Just as the cedar has the capacity to grow back even when it is chopped, so does the tzadik bounce back from a setback and so does he leave behind posterity like himself when he leaves this world.
General Editor: Rabbi Moshe Newman
Production Design: Lev Seltzer
HTML Design: Eli Ballon, Michael Treblow
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