On yesterday’s daf (=page) we learned of Shmu’el‘s prohibition of geneivat da’at – of deceiving others. On today’s daf, theGemara relates a number of stories about Shmu’el that illustrate this ruling, and then continues with other examples of deception that are forbidden.
Rabbi Me’ir taught:
A man should not urge his friend to dine with him when he knows that his friend will not do so. And he should not offer him many gifts when he knows that his friend will not accept them. And he should not open for a guest casks of wine which are to be
sold by the shopkeeper (and would, in any case, be opened), unless he informs the guest of it. And he should not invite him to anoint himself with oil if the jar is empty.
Similarly, the Gemara quotes a baraita:
Our Rabbis taught: A man should not sell to his neighbor shoes made of the hide of an animal which died, representing them as made of the hide of a living animal which was slaughtered, for two reasons: first, because he is deceiving him, and secondly, because of the possible danger. A man should not send to his neighbor a barrel of wine with oil floating at the mouth of it. It once happened that a man sent his friend a barrel of wine, and there was oil floating at the mouth of the barrel. He went and invited some guests to partake of it. When they came and he found that it was only wine he went and hanged himself.
Regarding misrepresenting the type of shoes being sold, the Sefer Ha-Hasidim (No. 454) teaches that it is inappropriate to give the shoes that belonged to a man who died as charity to a pauper because of the danger involved. This teaching has led to the popular custom that people do not wear the shoes of someone who died. Nevertheless, the aharonim have pointed out that the source of concern about danger relates not to the shoes of a person who died, but to shoes that are made of hide taken from an animal that died, lest some residue of poison remains.