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Ketubot, Daf Tzadi Tet, Part 1
Reading for Sunday, March 19
Today’s sugya continues to discuss the case of a person who sends an agent to do one thing, and the agent does another.
ואיכא דאמרי: הא לא תיבעי לך, היכא דאמר ליה זיל זבין לי ליתכא, וזבין ליה כורא – דודאי מוסיף על דבריו הוי, כי תיבעי לך – דאמר ליה זיל זבין לי כורא, ואזיל וזבין ליה ליתכא, מאי?
There are those who say: This, you did not need to ask [for a ruling], where [he said to his agent,] “Go and sell for me a letekh” and [the latter] sold for him a kor, since [in this case the agent] was undoubtedly adding to his instructions.
If you have a question, it is where he said to the agent, “Go and sell for me a kor” and he sold for him only one letekh.
The Talmud now adjusts the question. If the person sold more than he was told to sell, clearly the sale for the part that he was supposed to sell is valid. But what if he sold less than he was supposed to sell? Is the sale for that part valid?
מי אמרינן, א”ל: דטבא לך עבדי לך, דאי לא מצטרכי לך זוזי לא מצית הדרת ביה, או דלמא אמר ליה: לא ניחא לי דליפשו שטרי עילואי?
Do we [in such a case] say that [the agent] might tell the man, “I have done what is good for you, for [had I sold the full kor, and] you were no longer in need of money you could not have retracted,” or perhaps [the owner] could say to him, “I do not want so many documents held against me.”
There are two possible ways of imagining the reaction to a case where the agent sells too little. First of all, the agent could say to the owner that he has done him a favor. For if the owner sells too much and then decides he did not want to sell so much goods, he would not be able to retract his sale. Alternatively, the owner could say that he does not want to sell his goods in halves. He does not want so many sale documents to be accredited to his name.