they [the messengers] swear to the treasurers.1 But if not,2 they must swear to the townspeople, who substitute other shekels in their stead. If they [the shekels] were [subsequently] found or returned by the thieves, both3 are [sacred] shekels,4 yet they are not credited to them for the following year!5 — Said Samuel: This refers to paid bailees; and they swear in order to receive their fees.6 If so, 'they swear to the treasurers'? Surely they should swear to the townspeople!7 — Said Rabbah: [It means this:] They swear to the townspeople in the presence of the treasurers, so that they should not be suspected8 or stigmatised as culpable negligents. But it is taught, 'and they were stolen or lost,' whereas a paid bailee is responsible for loss or theft! And here too, granted that they do not make it good,9 yet they must surely lose their wages!10 — Rabbah replied: 'Stolen' means by armed robbers; 'lost', that their ship foundered at sea.11
R. Johanan said:12 Who is the author of this? R. Simeon, who maintained: Sacred objects for which one [the owner] bears responsibility are subject to overreaching, and oaths are taken on their account.13 Now, that is well before the dividing of the funds; but after that they [the lost shekels] are sacred objects for which no responsibility is borne [by their owners]. For it has been taught: The division is made in respect of what is lost, collected, and yet to be collected!14 — But, said R. Eleazar, this oath was [in pursuance of] a rabbinical enactment, that people might not treat sacred objects lightly.15
NOR DOES A PAID BAILEE MAKE IT GOOD. R. Joseph b. Hama pointed out a contradiction to Rabbah. We learnt, NOR DOES A PAID BAILEE MAKE IT GOOD. But the following contradicts it: If one [sc: the Temple treasurer] engages a [day] worker to look after the heifer,16 or a child,17 or to watch over the crops,18 he is not paid for the Sabbath;19 therefore he is not responsible for the Sabbath.20 But if he was engaged by the week, year, or septennate, he is paid for the Sabbath;21 consequently, he bears the risks of the Sabbath.22 Surely that means in respect to payment?23 No; [it means] that he loses his wage.24 If so, when the first clause states, 'he is not responsible for the Sabbath,' does that too refer to loss of wages? Is he then paid for the Sabbath? But it is stated, 'he is not paid for the Sabbath!' Thereupon he was silent. Said he to him, 'Have you heard aught in this matter?' — He replied: 'Thus did R. Shesheth say: [We deal with the case] where he [the treasurer] acquired it from his hand.25 And thus did R. Johanan say too: It means that he acquired it from his hand.'
R. SIMEON SAID: SACRIFICES FOR WHICH ONE [THE OWNER] BEARS RESPONSIBILITY ARE SUBJECT TO OVERREACHING, THOSE FOR WHICH HE BEARS NO RESPONSIBILITY ARE NOT SUBJECT THERETO. A tanna recited before R. Isaac b. Abba: For sacrifices for which he [the owner] bears responsibility he [a bailee] is liable,26 because I can apply to them the verse, [If a soul sin, and commit a trespass] against the Lord and lie;27 but for those [sacrifices] for which no responsibility is borne, he [a bailee] is not liable, because I read in respect to them, [If a soul sin…] against his neighbour, and lie.28 — Said he to him, 'Whither do you turn?29
Baba Mezi'a 58b
The logic is the reverse.'1 'Then shall I delete it?' he asked? 'No,' he replied, 'It means this: For sacrifices for which he [the owner] bears responsibility he [a bailee] is liable, for these are included in [If a soul sin …] against the Lord, and lie:2 but for those for which he [the owner] bears no responsibility he [a bailee] is not liable, because they are excluded by … against his neighbour and lie.'3
R. JUDAH SAID: ALSO WHEN ONE SELLS A SCROLL OF THE TORAH, AN ANIMAL, OR A PEARL, THERE IS NO LAW OF OVERREACHING. It has been taught: R. Judah said, The sale of a scroll of the law too is not subject to overreaching, because its value is unassessable;4 an animal or a pearl is not subject to overreaching, because one desires to match them.5 Said they [the sages] to him, But one wishes to match up everything!6 And R. Judah?7 — These are particularly important to him [the purchaser]; others are not. And to what extent?8 — Said Amemar: Up to their value.9
It has been taught, R. Judah b. Bathyra said: The sale of a horse, sword, and buckler on [the field of] battle are not subject to overreaching, because one's very life is dependent upon them.10
MISHNAH. JUST AS THERE IS OVERREACHING IN BUYING AND SELLING, SO IS THERE WRONG DONE BY WORDS. [THUS:] ONE MUST NOT ASK ANOTHER, 'WHAT IS THE PRICE OF THIS ARTICLE?' IF HE HAS NO INTENTION OF BUYING. IF A MAN WAS A REPENTANT [SINNER], ONE MUST NOT SAY TO HIM, 'REMEMBER YOUR FORMER DEEDS.' IF HE WAS A SON OF PROSELYTES ONE MUST NOT TAUNT HIM, 'REMEMBER THE DEEDS OF YOUR ANCESTORS,' BECAUSE IT IS WRITTEN, THOU SHALT NEITHER WRONG A STRANGER, NOR OPPRESS HIM.11
GEMARA. Our Rabbis taught: Ye shall not therefore wrong one another;12 Scripture refers to verbal wrongs. You say, 'verbal wrongs'; but perhaps that is not so, monetary wrongs being meant? When it is said, And if thou sell aught unto thy neighbour, or acquirest aught of thy neighbour [ye shall not wrong one another],13 monetary wrongs are already dealt with. Then to what can I refer, ye shall not therefore wrong each other? To verbal wrongs. E.g., If a man is a penitent, one must not say to him, 'Remember your former deeds.' If he is the son of proselytes he must not be taunted with, 'Remember the deeds of your ancestors. If he is a proselyte and comes to study the Torah, one must not say to him, 'Shall the mouth that ate unclean and forbidden food,14 abominable and creeping things, come to study the Torah which was uttered by the mouth of Omnipotence!' If he is visited by suffering, afflicted with disease, or has buried his children, one must not speak to him as his companions spoke to Job, is not thy fear [of God] thy confidence, And thy hope the integrity of thy ways? Remember, I pray thee, who ever perished, being innocent?15 If assdrivers sought grain from a person, he must not say to them, 'Go to so and so who sells grain,' whilst knowing that he has never sold any. R. Judah said: One may also not feign interest in16 a purchase when he has no money, since this is known to the heart only,17 and of everything known only to the heart it is written, and thou shalt fear thy God.18
R. Johanan said on the authority of R. Simeon b. Yohai: Verbal wrong is more heinous than monetary wrong, because of the first it is written, 'and thou shalt fear thy God,' but not of the second. R. Eleazar said: The one affects his [the victim's] person, the other [only] his money. R. Samuel b. Nahmani said: For the former restoration is possible, but not for the latter.
A tanna recited before R. Nahman b. Isaac: He who publicly shames19 his neighbour is as though he shed blood. Whereupon he remarked to him, 'You say well, because I have seen it [sc. such shaming], the ruddiness departing and paleness supervening.'20
Abaye asked R. Dimi: What do people [most] carefully avoid in the West [sc. palestine]? — He replied: putting others to shame.21 For R. Hanina said: All descend into Gehenna, excepting three. 'All' — can you really think so! But say thus: All who descend into Gehenna [subsequently] reascend, excepting three, who descend but do not reascend, viz., He who commits adultery with a married woman, publicly shames his neighbour, or fastens an evil epithet [nickname] upon his neighbour. 'Fastens an epithet' — but that is putting to shame! — [It means], Even when he is accustomed to the name.22
Rabbah b. Bar Hanah said in R. Johanan's name:
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