Limericks: Bava Metzia perek 4 הזהב

Bava Metzia chapter 4

Is it silver you use to buy gold?
Is it rather the silver that’s sold?
The Nasi first said one
Back when teaching his son
Then he changed his mind when he got old.

“I’ll pay you with new coins my friend”
Can he pay him old coins in the end?
He must do as he said
Lest his friend be misled
Though most people want old coins to spend.

When you take hold of the object, it’s bought
And not when you pay, as we thought.
Lest the seller, a liar
Say “My attic’s on fire
Your wheat burned. The sale was for naught.”

What’s this thing that they call Asimon?
Not those things they once used for the phone.
It’s a ticket you get in
The bathhouse, once let in–
Or a coin still unstamped and unknown.

Rabbi Hiya bar Yosef sold salt.
He was paid, but then wished to default
For the price never fell
It just rose. Must he sell?
“You’ll be cursed if you try now to halt.”

Don’t charge more than a sixth of the price
That is called O’na’ah. It’s a vice.
You can’t charge in your store
Any price so much more
Than the object is worth. Be precise.

If you’re overcharged, can you return
The item whenever? We learn—
Only ‘til you could show
To your friends, who’d say “No!
That is not worth that much, we discern.”

Sadly price gouging happens a lot
If you’re a merchant, or if you are not.
If you know you’ve been tricked
It is your right to pick:
Take your cash, or what you should have got.

That coin you were handed is bad
It is worn away. Well, just a tad.
You can go take it back
You have time, but don’t slack—
Make him own up, that seller, that cad.

Maaser Sheni – eat within the walls
Of Jerusalem. What if they fall?
Can you then redeem
Your tithe? It would seem
That you can. Not according to all!

Teruma is meant for a priest
So don’t eat it all up in a feast
If you eat by mistake
You must pay, and we take
The full sum, plus a fifth (that’s at least!).

A Pruta is not very much.
Do we take you to court over such
A small sum? Yes we do
If the money was due
To the Temple. That you cannot touch!

There is no On’a’ah if it’s land
You are buying. There’s no hand-to-hand
Transaction. So too,
With slaves, we construe
Them as land, as you must understand.

If you promised to donate some flour
To the Temple. But within the hour
The price shot up high
Must you give as much? Why?
It’s the Temple! Now don’t look so sour!

If a convert comes by, you can’t say
“It was ten years ago to the day
That your Dad ate some pork
With a spoon and a fork”
Do not torture or turn him away.

Better to fall in a furnace and burn
Than embarrass your friend, so we learn
From Tamar, who did not
Speak aloud Judah’s rot
Blaming Judah was not her concern.

In your store, don’t hand out nuts and sweets
To the kids who come in seeking treats.
For you’ll give them a knack
To come flocking right back
It’s not fair to the stores on your street.

Extempore Effusions on the Completion of Masechet Bava Metzia: Perek Aleph (שניים אוחזין)

Two are holding a tallis they find
Each one cries out, “This tallis is mine!”
Each guy swears that at least
He owns half the whole piece.
Then they split it. Both parties don’t mind.

Ben Nanas was quite a straight guy
He did not like to make others lie.
Said Ben Nanas, “I’m loathe
To require this oath
One guy’s lying, you cannot deny!”

Nobody in his right mind would dare
To deny, with his creditor there,
That he borrowed a calf.
So he says, “’Twas just half.”
Don’t believe him! Instead, make him swear.

A shepherd would take sheep each day.
And he’d watch them go off on their way
Then return them at night.
He is not in the right
If he says, “I took no sheep today.”

When a shepherd takes sheep he must be
Watched by witnesses, vigilantly.
For all shepherds are liars
With wayward desires
Don’t think they’ll confess sheepishly.

Yochanan says, “We make each guy swear
That the tallis is his, fair and square.
Lest men take stuff they find
And declare, “It is mine.”
Legislate oaths – for scruples are rare.

A person’s more likely to steal,
Than to lie earnestly and with zeal.
Because money can be
Returned regrettably
Words once spoken, though, can’t be repealed.

A borrower and lender both stand
Each one with half a writ in his hand
“You owe me!” “But I paid!”
Are the claims that are made.
Solid proof must the court then demand.

A guy rides in a wagon that’s led
By two species of beasts at the head.
That’s Kilayim! No good
Forty lashes, we should
Beat him with. Or the driver instead?

A man is aboard his own ship
Sailing forth at a nice steady clip
Then some fishies jump in
To the boat, on a whim—
Are they his? Do we “walking yard!” quip?

A man’s field got flooded. The poor
Guy. But guess what else, too, came ashore?
Fish! They landed in trees
“Fetch those fish, if you please,”
Said the man. “They are mine and not yours.”

If you find a Get do not return
It. The woman may not still be spurned.
For the man may have written
It, then said, “I’m smitten
With her now — and for her I yearn.”

Some dude sells his farm to you but—
It was not his! Now you’re in a rut.
The field’s taken back
Do we cut you some slack?
If you farmed it, you get a pay cut.

Reuven betroths his sister with cash
(You can’t do that! Why? Need we rehash?)
Well of course they’re not wed
We are asking instead:
Tell us, who has the rights to the stash?

Shabtai son of Marinus once wrote
A ketubah. He promised a coat
To his bride. Lost forever,
Their Ktubah. “I never
made such a pledge.” Swear on that quote!

If you drop your wife’s Get in the street
And then find it beneath others’ feet.
May the Get still be given
Though it has been ridden
Over by most people you meet?

Rabah once found a Get. Here’s the facts:
In a factory where they make flax
“I’ve a Get,” he proclaimed
Just one man with the name
On the Get worked there. He took it back.

We find loan documents, and they say:
One man borrowed from three guys one day.
We assume he who borrows
(Impoverished, with sorrow)
Has lost. Them to him we relay.

We find loan documents. We agree
That if one man has lent cash to three
We return to the lender,
The likely contender
To own them. Indubitably.