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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Baba Bathra
We must suppose therefore that there were no witnesses, and the ruling stated is that the word of the workman is to be taken;1 since he is able to plead that he has bought it,2 his word is taken as to his payment. — [To which Abaye answers]: No. The case, in fact, is one in which there were no witnesses [to the original transfer], but we suppose that the owner has not seen it [in the hands of the workman].3
R. Nahman b. Isaac raised an objection [against Rabbah's opinion from the following]: A CRAFTSMAN HAS NO HAZAKAH, from which we infer that other persons have hazakah [in such a case]. In what circumstances? If there are witnesses [who saw the article transferred], why have other persons hazakah?4 We must suppose therefore [that the rule applies to the case] where there are no witnesses,5 and yet it is laid down that a craftsman has no hazakah! This refutation of Rabbah is decisive.
Our Rabbis have taught: If a man receives another person's articles [of clothing] instead of his own from the workshop [where they have been sent for repair etc.], he may use them until the other comes and claims them.6 If they have become exchanged in the house of a mourner or at a party he must not use them, [but must keep them on one side] until the other comes and claims them. Why should the ruling in these two cases be different?7 — Rab said: I was sitting before my uncle8 and he said to me, It is no unusual thing for a man to say to the workman, Sell my garment for me.9
R. Hiyya the son of R. Nahman said: This rule holds good only where the workman himself [gave him the coat], but not if it was given him by his wife or his sons.10 And even so he must not use it11 unless the workman says, Here is a garment,' but if he says, 'Here is your garment,' he must not use it, because this is not his garment.
Abaye said to Raba: Come and I will show you a trick of the sharpers of Pumbeditha. A man will say [to his tailor], 'Give me back my cloak [that I gave you to repair].' The other will deny all knowledge of the matter.12 'But,' the owner will say, 'I can bring witnesses [to declare] that they saw it in your possession'. 'That was a different one,' he will reply. The owner will then say to him, 'Bring it out and let us see.' To which he will reply. 'To be sure! I don't bring it out.'13 Raba said to him: That is very clever of him,14 seeing that
Baba Bathra 46b
the rule laid down1 is that the owner must see it [in the hands of the craftsman].2 Said R. Ashi: If he [the owner] is clever, he will procure a sight of it by saying to the tailor, The reason why you are keeping back the coat is because I owe you money, is it not? Why not then bring it out and have it valued so that you can take what is yours and I can take what is mine?3 R. Aha b. R. Awia said to R. Ashi: The tailor can say to him, I do not require your valuation, it has already been valued by the people before you.4
A METAYER HAS NO HAZAKAH. Why so, seeing that at first he took only half [the produce]5 and now [for three years] he has taken the whole?6 — R. Johanan said: We are speaking here of hereditary metayers.7
R. Nahman said: A metayer who instals other metayers8 in his place has hazakah, because a man will not usually allow metayers to be installed in his field and say nothing.
R. Nahman b. R. Hisda sent [an inquiry] to R. Nahman b. Isaac [saying]. Would our teacher [be so good as to] instruct us, whether a metayer can testify [to the title of his employer]11 or not. R. Joseph was sitting before him, and said to him: Samuel has definitely laid down that a metayer may so testify. But it has been taught that he may not testify? — There is no conflict of opinion. In the one case [we suppose] that there is produce on the land, in the other that there is no produce on the land.12
Our Rabbis taught: A surety may testify on behalf of the borrower,14 provided that the borrower has other land [besides that which is being claimed from him.]15 A lender may testify on behalf of a borrower,14 provided that the borrower has other land [besides that which is being claimed from him].16 A first purchaser may testify on behalf of a second purchaser,17 provided that the latter has other land18 [besides that which is being claimed from him].19
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