Reading Assignment - Class #24

Please read mitzvot #336 –337.  Consider the following questions:

 

Mitzvah #336:

1.       In sales of moveable goods for cash, the rabbis ruled that the buyer does not own the goods until the buyer takes possession.  Why did the rabbis institute that rule?

 

2.      Try to describe the different ways a buyer can take ownership of moveable property by taking possession of them.

a.      What are the mechanisms by which ownership to real property changes?

b.      What are the mechanisms by which ownership of moveable goods changes?

c.       Does it matter if moveable goods are located on property owned by the buyer?  Why should that be so?

d.      When does ownership transfer if the goods are in a vessel that belongs to the buyer?  (This depends on where the vessel is located.)

e.      When does ownership of goods change hands in a barter transaction? 

f.        Sometimes it is hard to tell if a transaction is a cash sale or if it is a barter transaction.  Why is that a problem?

 

3.      Consider the following cases:

1.  A buyer agrees to buy land from a seller.  The buyer pays for the land.  Who owns the land? 

2.  A buyer agrees to buy a backpack from a seller.  The buyer takes possession of the backpack by picking it up.  Who owns the backpack?  Does the seller take ownership of anything? 

3.  A buyer agrees to buy a backpack from a seller.  The buyer pays for the backpack but has not yet touched the backpack.  Who owns the backpack? 

4.  Two people agree to trade a pair of shoes for a backpack.  The person who wants the shoes takes possession of the shoes by picking them up.  Who owns the shoes? Who owns the backpack? 

5.  Two people agree to trade a pair of shoes for a watermelon.  The person who wants the shoes takes possession of the shoes by picking them up.  Who owns the watermelon?  Who owns the shoes? 

6.  Two people agree to trade a pair of shoes for a watermelon.  The person who wants the watermelon takes possession of the watermelon by picking it up.  Who owns the watermelon?  Who owns the shoes? 

7.  Someone wants to trade a specific pile of coins for a pair of shoes.  The coins are the type of coins generally accepted as currency.  The party who wants the shoes takes possession by picking them up.  Who owns the coins? 

8.  Someone wants to trade a specific pile of coins for a pair of shoes.  The coins have had their imprints removed.  The party who wants the shoes takes possession by picking up the shoes.  Who owns the coins? 

 

4.      Look at the extensive list of questions for further study at the end of this mitzvah/essay.  What result would you get in each case?  Is there an argument in favor of a different result?

 

Mitzvah #337:  NOTE – The Feldheim translation of this mitzvah/essay is confusing.  The key prohibition here is not to overcharge in a sales transaction.  The translation sometimes calls that “cheating” or “defrauding.”   

1.        What behavior does this mitzvah prohibit? 

2.      In which transactions does the harmed party have legal recourse?  What is that recourse?

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