Bava Batra, Chapter Five, Mishnah Ten

 

Introduction

Mishnah ten deals with the proper maintenance of weights and measures to ensure that the purchaser does not receive less than he bought.

 

Mishnah Ten 

1)                     The wholesaler must clean out his measures once every thirty days and the householder once every twelve months.

a)                                           Rabban Shimon ben Gamaliel says:  “The rule is just the opposite.”

2)                     The shopkeeper must clean out his measures twice in the week and polish his weights once a week and clean out his scales after every weighing.

 

Explanation

The Torah (Leviticus 19:35-36) forbids falsifying weights and commands a person to keep properly weighed and maintained weights and measures.  Our mishnah is concerned with the proper maintenance of weights and measures.  According to the anonymous opinion in section one, a wholesaler who uses his measures frequently must clean them out once every thirty days.  This is to prevent the buildup on the sides of the containers which will reduce the amount purchased.  A householder, who uses his measure less frequently, need clean them out only once a year.  Rabban Shimon ben Gamaliel holds that the opposite is true.   According to him the more frequently one uses the measures, the less buildup will accumulate.  Therefore, a householder must clean them out once every thirty days and a wholesaler only once a year.  A shopkeeper, who uses his weights frequently, must clean them out twice a week.  In addition he must once a week polish his weights so that they don’t grow heavier and clean out his scales after every use so that they don’t accumulate buildup.

 

Questions for Further Thought:

·                      Section three:  Is this clause according to Rabban Shimon ben Gamaliel or according to the anonymous taught opinion in section one?

 

 

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