Translation:Shulchan Aruch/Choshen Mishpat/125

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Paragraph 1- If Reuven owed a maneh to Shimon or had Shimon’s deposit in his possession and tells Levi to bring this maneh to Shimon, Reuven cannot take it back from Levi because “bring” is the equivalent of saying “acquire” and soon as the money reaches Levi’s possession, Levi has acquired it for Shimon. Therefore, if either the borrower or lender dies, they would give the money to Shimon’s inheritors. Nevertheless, Reuven would be responsible for the money until it gets to Shimon. The same would apply if Reuven said “pick up this maneh for so and so” or “this maneh should be for so and so,” which would all be like “bring” and has the statue of “acquire.” If, however, Reuven said “return this to so and so” it would not be like “bring” and would not have the status of “acquire.” If Levi returned the maneh to Reuven and Reuven subsequently became poor and did not have with what to pay Shimon back, causing Shimon a loss, Levi would be required to pay because he was negligent by returning the maneh to Reuven. If he returned the money due to an unavoidable accident, where people intimidated him to something he had to do forcing him to go back, he would be exempt. There are those that say that when Levi returns the maneh to Reuven, both Levi and Reuven would be responsible until the entire debt reaches Shimon. If Reuven has money in Shimon’s possession and he told Levi to accept them from Shimon, and Levi went and accepted them, and subsequently Shimon told Levi to return all the money he accepted for Reuven because he paid back in error and if he does not return it he will deny another debt that Shimon owed Levi, and Levi tells Reuven I did not accept your money in order to cause myself a loss so he wants to return the money and Reuven tells him not to, because he has already performed his mission and acquired the money for Reuven, Reuven is in the right.

Paragraph 2- This that in the case of a deposit he cannot take back the deposit from Levi, is only where the guardian has been established as a fraudster, in which case it is to the owner’s benefit to have the item removed from the guardian. If, however, the guardian was not established as a fraudster, the guardian can take the item back. If the owner appointed someone as a messenger to bring him the deposit, since he has demonstrated that it is to his benefit to have the item given to the messenger, the guardian cannot take the item back. Even if the owner simply directed the messenger to the guardian, in which case the guardian would still be responsible if he gave him the deposit, or where the owner did not direct the messenger but the messenger was someone trusted by the owner and the owner would deposit with him daily, the guardian cannot take back the item.

Paragraph 3- If the messenger tells the lender that he has the money that the borrower sent for his debt but he wants to keep the money for a debt the messenger has against the lender, and the lender admits that he has that debt, there are no other properties the messenger can collect this debt from and the repayment time had arrived, the lender does not have the power to object to the sender and say he caused him a loss by giving the money to someone who would not produce them because the sender can say even had he not given the money the messenger would still have been able to take the money from him via “Rav Nassan” since the lender has no other properties. If the lender has other properties, however, the sender can force the messenger to give the money back to the lender because so long as he does not give it the sender would not be exempt from his debt. The messenger would then go ahead and collect his debt from the lender. All the more so in a case where the lender does not admit that he owes the messenger money would the messenger be obligated to give him the money, even if the lender does not have other properties.

Paragraph 4- If the sender died and did not leave properties, the sole litigation would be between the messenger and the lender who was the intended recipient. Even if the messenger accepted the money from the sender with witnesses, because he can tell the lender he paid him back with a heses oath, he is believed with a heses oath to say I am holding on to the money as payment from the debt you owe me since neither the sender nor his inheritors are making a claim on the money. There are those that say that if the messenger wants to retain the money for the debt or deposit owed to him by the lender he is not able to do so.

Paragraph 5- When is it true that “bring” has the status of “acquire”? With respect to a loan or deposit. With respect to a gift, however, it would not have the status of “acquire.” Thus, if one said “bring a maneh to so and so that I am gifting to him,” he can retract so long as the recipient has not taken possession. If the recipient was poor and did not have 200 zuz, it has the status of a vow and the donor cannot retract.

Paragraph 6- If the donor says “give 100 to so and so as a gift,” there are those that say that it is not like “acquire” and the donor can retract so long as it did not reach the recipient, unless he said “acquire it for him” in which case the messenger will have acquired it for him and the recipient will have acquired it, assuming it was in the messenger’s possession. If, however, the money was not yet in the messenger’s possession, he will not have acquired it for the recipient. Notwithstanding the foregoing, even if the money was not in the messenger’s possession, once it reaches his possession he will have acquired the money on behalf of the recipient so long as the donor did not retract before it entered the messenger’s possession.

Paragraph 7- There are those that say that “give” does have the status of “acquire” when used for a gift, so long as the donor gives the item to the messenger and says give this item to so and so. If, however, the messenger did not originally receive the item with intent to acquire for the recipient, and only later did the donor say to give it to so and so, the messenger would not acquire the item on behalf of the recipient, unless all three parties are present, even if the messenger was holding the item in his hand when the donor says to give it because that was not the purpose it entered into his possession originally for. If, however he says “acquire it for him” while the item is in the messenger’s possession, he would acquire it on behalf of the recipient, even if it did not originally enter the messenger’s possession for this purpose. Even if the item was not in the messenger’s possession when the donor said “acquire it for him,” but he lifted it later with the intention of acquiring it for the recipient, the recipient would acquire it, even outside the presence of the donor and recipient. If, however, the donor did not say “acquire”, the recipient would not acquire the item, even if the item was in the messenger’s courtyard.

Paragraph 8- If Reuven told Shimon to bring a maneh to Levi that he is giving to him as a gift and Shimon went to give it to Levi and discovered that Levi died and the donor was healthy and died in the recipient’s lifetime, he should give it to the recipient’s inheritors because there is a mitzvah to comply with the deceased’s instructions. If the recipient died in the donor’s lifetime, he should return it to the sender’s inheritors, even though the donor subsequently died.

Paragraph 9- If the donor was dying at the time he gave the gift and the recipient had already died at the time the messenger received the maneh, he must return the gift to the sender’s inheritors. If, however, the recipient was alive when the maneh was given to the messenger, he should give it to the recipient’s inheritors, even if the recipient had died while the donor was still alive and even if the recipient’s inheritors were born after the donor had died, because the words of a dying person are considered written and handed over and the donor cannot retract so long as he does not become healthy. If he becomes healthy, he can retract, even if the recipient already received the gift.

Paragraph 10- Notwithstanding the foregoing, so long as he has not been made aware that the donor was cured, the messenger must perform his mission. If the donor dies, the money will remain with the recipient and if he is cured the recipient will return it to the donor.