Wednesday, August 15, 2007

kinyanei kesef

According to R’ Yochanan, the Torah recognizes kinyanei kesef, i.e. paying for something completes a purchase, but the Chachamim made a takanah that a sale is not complete until meshicha, i.e. until the purchaser claims his property. Does this takana uproot kinyanei kesef, or is it an additional level of kinyan on top of kinyanei kesef?

The Rambam in Hil Terumos (9:10) writes that if a Yisrael purchases a cow from a Kohein using kesef, even though meshicha was not yet done, the cow cannot be fed terumah.
ייראה לי, שאם מכר הכוהן פרתו לישראל, ולקח הדמים--אף על פי שעדיין לא משך הלוקח, הרי זה אסור להאכילה תרומה: שדין תורה מעות קונות, כמו שיתבאר בהלכות מקח וממכר. ואם מכר ישראל לכוהן--אף על פי שנתן הדמים, לא תאכל בתרומה עד שימשוך
It seems from the Rambam that at least l’chumra kinyanei kesef are effective.

Yet, the Rambam writes in Hil Me’ila (6:16) that if someone takes money from hekdesh and buys something with it, there is no issur me’ila until the sale is completed with a meshicha.
קנה בה חפץ, ולא משך--אם מן הגוי, מעל; ואם מישראל, לא מעל.

Achronim ask: Why with respect to terumah does the Rambam hold that kinyanei kesef are chal l’chumra, but with respect to me’ila the issur is not chal until the meshicha is done, l’kula?


  1. Could it be that with terumah the only focus is the ownership of the cow -- if it belongs to the kohen or yisrael, which will determine whether the cow can eat terumah. Therefore, since min ha-torah, kesef is koneh, you have be choshesh le-chumrah.

    With meilah, however, the issue is fundamentally one of hanaah. Being motzi mereshus is simply a manifestation of that. Thus, until he actually can benefit from it he is not moeil. I dont want to get into the whole issurim derabanan impacting whether you are neheneh min ha-torah but I'm sure you know the whole story (e.g. with kidushei kesef issur hanah mederabanan, like chametz the morning of erev pesach).

  2. Sounds good. IIRC R' Shimon in Sha'rei Yosher and the Achiezer try out similar approaches - me'ila depends on a heter histamshus, not a kinyan.
    Maybe I should have spelled it out, but what bothers me is yesterday I posted R' Chaim's chiddush that me'ila is an issur gezel. If so, shouldn't the opposite of what you wrote be true? - i.e. hana'ah is a manifestation of kinyanei gezeila, not that the gezeila (or hotza'ah m'reshus) is a manifestation of an issur hana'ah.

  3. I was thinking that is what you were getting at. It really more fundamentally gets to the nature of the two types of meilah -- hanaah and pegam vs. hotzaas reshus (again making it sound like that one may be chilul hekdesh and one may be gezel hekdesh) -- just one of the sugyos that makes this whole chakira of R'Chaim not so pashut (dont get wrong, I love the R'Chaim and it seems to be emes la-amito, but looking more of the sugyos there are some nuances to work out).

  4. Mike S.7:00 AM

    However, you really can't be choshesh for a kinyan l'chumrah in meilah, since you have to bring an asham.