POINT BY POINT SUMMARY
Prepared by Rabbi P. Feldman
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
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Previous daf Bava Basra 35
1) WAYS OF DIVIDING CONTESTED PROPERTY
(a) (Rav Nachman): Reuven and Shimon each claimed 'I
inherited this land (or ship) from my fathers' - Kol
(b) Question: Why is this different than two documents with
the same date (giving the same field to Levi and
1. (Rav): Levi and Yehudah split the property. (Rav
holds like R. Meir, signatures empower a document -
even if one was given first, the signatures of both
take effect at the same moment, the end of the day
(the date on the document). Alternatively, he holds
like R. Elazar, handing over a document in front of
witnesses empowers it, the first document received
acquired the property; we do not know which was
first, and neither is Muchzak, so they divide it.)
(c) Answer: There, we will never know which document was
given first; here, perhaps one will bring witnesses later
(we do not want to give a ruling which may later be
2. (Shmuel): The judges decide (Rashbam - whom the
giver liked more; Tosfos - whom the judges prefer to
(d) Question: Why is Rav Nachman's case different than the
1. (Mishnah): Levi traded his cow for Shimon's donkey,
or sold his slave to Shimon. The cow or slave (was
not in front of us at the time of the sale; later,
we see that it) gave birth. Levi claims, the birth
was before the trade or sale (so the child was not
included), Shimon claims it was after, so he
acquired a pregnant mother, so the child is his).
They divide the value of the child.
(e) Answer: There, each has Drara of money (Rashbam - a true
reason to suspect that it is his, for he owned the mother
at some point; Tosfos - Beis Din would have a doubt even
without their claims);
2) APPLICATIONS OF CHAZAKAH
1. Here, it belongs to one, the other is simply lying.
(f) (Chachamim of Neharde'a): If a third person grabbed the
contested property, he keeps it.
1. (R. Chiya): One who steals from many people
(fighting over the property) is not considered a
(g) Rejection (Rav Ashi): No, he is a thief;
1. R. Chiya meant that one who steals from many people
(e.g. he uses false measures when selling) is unable
to return the theft (he does not know all the people
he stole from).
(a) (Mishnah): The Chazakah is three years, from day to day.
(b) Version #1 - Rashbam - (R. Aba): If the original owner
(Reuven) helped the Machzik (Shimon) carry produce from
the land, Shimon has a Chazakah immediately.
(c) Version #2 - R. Chananel - (R. Aba): If Shimon (the
Machzik) gave Reuven a gift of produce of the land,
Shimon has a Chazakah immediately.
(d) (Rav Zvid): If Reuven claimed that Shimon was renting the
field, Reuven is believed.
1. This is within three years - after this, Reuven is
(e) Question (Rav Ashi): What could Reuven have done to
prevent Shimon's Chazakah (after three years) if he
really was renting it?
(f) Answer (Rav Kahana): He should have made a Macha'ah (told
people that Shimon is only renting it; had Shimon truly
bought it, he would know to continue to guard his
document) before three years passed (from the beginning
or from the last Macha'ah)
(g) Support: If we would not say thusly, why did Chachamim
sanction Mashkanta of Sura?
1. (The lender deducts a fixed amount from the loan for
each year that he eats the produce;) they write, 'At
the end of these (allotted) years, the land reverts
to Ploni (the borrower) for free.'
2. If the lender will hide the document after three
years, he will be believed to say that he bought it
- Chachamim would not sanction the Mashkanta if it
can lead to theft!
3. We must say that the borrower must make a Macha'ah
within (every) three years. (If he does not, he
caused his own loss.)
4. Also here, Reuven should make a Macha'ah within
(every) three years.