The last stitch of the Mishnah in Demai 3:2 reads as follows:

היה עומד ולוקח וראה טען אחר יפה ממנו, מתר להחזיר, מפני שלא משך.

If one is ready to purchase something [but has not yet made an acquisition on them] and finds a better bundle, he may back out, since he has not acquired them. (Translation based on Bartenura.)

How is this different than the following Mishnah in Bava Metzi'a 4:2?

כיצד משך הימנו פירות ולא נתן לו מעות אינו יכול לחזור בו. נתן לו מעות ולא משך הימנו פירות יכול לחזור בו. אבל אמרו מי שפרע מאנשי דור המבול ומדור הפלגה הוא עתיד ליפרע ממי שאינו עומד בדיבורו.

How is this? If one acquired fruit but did not give him payment, he may not back out. If one paid but did not acquire the fruit, he may back out, but [the Rabbis] said, "He Who punished the people of the Generation of the Flood and the Generation of the Dispersion will ultimately punish those who don't stand by their word."

Further, while the Halacha in Demai is technically true, it's only half the story: it doesn't address Chazal's curse. To be fair, it is unclear whether the Mishnah is dealing with a case where the money was given or not, so it is possible that the Mi Shepara wouldn't apply there. However, the first question still stands: either it's dealing with the same case or it's dealing with one even more obvious and is still redundant.

  • I don't understand why it would be redundant. We need all three cases: no money: you're fine; money: mi shepara; meshikha: you're stuck.
    – Double AA
    Apr 20, 2017 at 18:38
  • 1
    Also, the point of the Mishna in Demai is not to teach whether it's ok to retract - taken in context, מתר להחזיר means you don't have to take maaser.
    – Jay
    Apr 20, 2017 at 18:53
  • @DoubleAA You could still infer that from the Mishnah in BM that there's no Mi Shepara: only if you pay do they curse you, but if you don't pay, there's no curse.
    – DonielF
    Apr 20, 2017 at 19:21
  • @Jay If there's a Peirush that explains it that way, I'd love to see it. I still think that Din can be inferred from the earlier part of the Mishnah.
    – DonielF
    Apr 20, 2017 at 19:23
  • @DonielF Again, it's clear from the context of the rest of the mishna, no Peirush necessary. But if you want one, check out the R"Sh who brings a Yerushalmi to that effect as well.
    – Jay
    Apr 20, 2017 at 20:03


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .