ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Bava Basra 30
BAVA BASRA 29 & 30 - anonymously dedicated by an Ohev Torah and Marbitz
Torah in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel.
(a) Reuven, who had sold Shimon all the fields that he had purchased from
Bei bar Sisin, refused to give Shimon one particular field, even though it
was also called 'de'Bei bar Sisin', on the grounds that - although it was
called 'de'Bei bar Sisin', that was not because he had purchased it from Bei
(b) Rav Nachman placed that field in the possession of Shimon. Rava
disagreed with Rav Nachman, on the basis of the S'vara - 'ha'Motzi
me'Chavero Alav ha'Re'ayah', in which case, the field ought to remain with
the original owner.
(c) Both Rava and Rav Nachman appear to have switched their opinions from
their previous Machlokes (regarding the case of 'Ana be'Shechuni Gava'i
Hava'i') - where Rav Nachman placed the disputed property in the domain of
the original owner, whereas Rava placed it in the domain of the purchaser.
And in the current case, they reverse their rulings.
(d) We resolve the apparent discrepancy ...
1. ... in Rava, by making a distinction between the first case - where it is
the purchaser who currently owns the property, whereas in the second case -
the property is still under the jurisdiction of the original owner.
(e) In both of the above cases - we rule like Rav Nachman, because the
Halachah is generally like him in money-matters.
2. ... in Rav Nachman, by going after the purchaser in the case of Bei bar
Sisin - since the field is called 'Bei bar Sisin', just as the seller
specified, but after the seller in the first case - because the Chazakah is
not better than the Sh'tar that he ought to have produced, and which he
would have had to substantiate, had the seller demanded it (there too,
Shimon had to substantiate his claim, seeing as Reuven queried it).
(a) When Reuven claimed that he was unable to make a Mecha'ah, because he
had been overseas ('Ana be'Bati Bera'i Hava'i') during the three years that
Shimon was making a Chazakah on his house, Shimon countered - that he had
witnesses who had seen him in town for thirty days of each of the years of
(b) And Reuven countered Shimon's claim - with the claim that he was so busy
selling his merchandise and buying fresh goods that he had not even been
aware that Shimon had been on his land.
(c) Alternatively, we might explain 'Ana be'Bati Bera'i Hava'i' to pertain
to a time of war, where it would have been more difficult to get news from
one place to another. This interpretation is preferable to the previous
one - because if Reuven had merely gone overseas, as we thought originally,
then the Chazakah would most likely have taken effect, since just as a
Mecha'ah she'Lo be'Fanav tends to spread from one person to another, and
from one country to another, so too, will the news that Shimon is making a
Chazakah of Reuven's field, in which case, Reuven would have known about
Shimon's Chazakah, and he ought to have made a Mecha'ah.
(d) Rava justified Reuven's claim - since it is quite normal for a
businessman to be as involved as that.
(a) When Shimon claimed that he had purchased his field from Levi, who
claimed that he had purchased it from Reuven - the latter countered that,
since Shimon agreed that the field had been his, and that he didn't buy it
from him, 'La'av Ba'al Devarim Didi At' (he must return the field to him,
and he was not his disputant (i.e. if anyone had a claim against him it was
Levi, but not Shimon).
(b) Shimon did not claim that he had eaten the fruit for three years -
because he was claiming with the Sh'tar that he had received from Levi, and
not with the power of Chazakah.
(c) Rava justified Reuven's claim, and would have done the same had his
claim been based on Chazakah - seeing as it was Chazakah which did not have
the backing of a Ta'anah (since Shimon had not the least proof that the
field had belonged to Levi at the time when he bought it from him.
(d) Despite the fact that Reuven's right to the field was based on Shimon's
testimony, we cannot believe the latter on the basis of a 'Migu' (because he
could have said that he purchased the field directly from Reuven) - because,
since he admitted that the field had originally belonged to Reuven, we apply
the principle 'Hoda'as Ba'al-Din ke'Me'ah Eidim Dami', and (since he did not
claim that Levi purchased the field from Shimon in his presence), he further
admitted that he had not the slightest proof that Levi did indeed buy the
field from Shimon, nor did he even have witnesses that he had worked the
field for even one day.
(a) When Reuven claimed that Levi, from whom Shimon had purchased his field
on which he since made a Chazakah, had stolen the field from him - Shimon
countered that he had witnesses who had heard him (Reuven) instruct Levi to
sell the field to him.
In the current case, Shimon's Chazakah does not help him to acquire Reuven's
field - because it is a Chazakah she'Ein Imah Ta'anah (as we explained
earlier), due to the fact that when Shimon claims (not that he bought the
field from him, but) that he purchased it from Levi, whom Reuven knows to be
a Ganav, he does not even need to make a Mecha'ah, and does not therefore
lose out for failing to do so. This is because even if Shimon had a Sh'tar
it would be useless in such circumstances, and a Chazakah cannot be more
effective than the Sh'tar that it comes to replace.
(b) Reuven justified what he said - with the S'vara that he preferred to
make a Din Torah with Shimon than with Levi ('ha'Sheini No'ach Li, ha'Rishon
(c) We learned in a Mishnah in Kesuvos, that if after Reuven claims Shimon's
field to be his, it is discovered that he actually signed on the Sh'tar as
one of the witnesses, Admon justifies his action on the same basis as Rava
in the current case ('ha'Sheini No'ach Li ... '). The Chachamim disagree.
They say - 'Ibad es Zechuso' (that by signing on the Sh'tar, Reuven lost all
rights to the field).
(d) We reconcile Rava with the Chachamim, by restricting their ruling to
their case, where Reuven went as far as signing on the Sh'tar (a positive
act) - whereas in the case of Rava, where the discrepancy is confined to
mere words, they will concede to the S'vara of 'ha'Sheini No'ach Li ... '.
(a) When Reuven claimed that Levi, from whom Shimon had purchased his field,
had stolen it from him, Shimon countered that he had witnesses who had heard
him say 'Zavnah Neheli'! - meaning that Reuven actually asked Levi to sell
him the field, proving that the field cannot have been his at the time.
(b) When Reuven justified that statement with the words 'Izbun Dina'i', he
meant that he preferred to pay a small sum in order to retrieve his field,
to spare himself the unpleasantness of having to take Levi to Beis-Din (with
all the Machlokes and bitterness that this would involve).
(a) When Reuven challenged Shimon's rights to his field, Shimon replied that
he had bought it from Levi and that he had subsequently made a Chazakah.
When Reuven claimed that he had a Sh'tar proving that he had purchased the
very same field from Levi four years ago - he countered that when he spoke
of a Chazakah, he did not meant just three years, but many years (more than
(b) Rava justified Shimon's claim - on the grounds that people tend to do
that (to refer to a Chazakah, when they really meant any amount of years).
(c) We would otherwise have thought that Shimon's claim ought to be
disqualified - because, as we will learn shortly, if a litigant presents an
argument that clashes with an earlier one, we follow his first argument and
ignore the second one.
(a) Rava then goes on to confine his initial ruling - to where Shimon's
Chazakah goes back seven years, three years before the date on Reuven's
Sh'tar. Less than that, he would lose the field to Reuven - because Levi's
sale to Reuven is effectively a powerful Mecha'ah, and should have warned
Shimon to guard his Sh'tar (until such time as he succeeds in extracting
Reuven's Sh'tar from his Reshus).
(b) What gives rise to the mistaken theory that Shimon only needs to prove
the last three years of his Chazakah, but that he is believed on the
previous four - is Rava's phraseology 'Avid Inash de'Kari li'Shenei Tuva
Sh'nei Chazakah' (which would seem to b e superfluous if Shimon had
witnesses for all seven years)
(c) This theory cannot be correct however - because, as we explained
earlier, a Chazakah cannot be more effective than the Sh'tar that it comes
to replace, and if he had a Sh'tar on only the last three years, he would
certainly not acquire the field, in view of Reuven's Sh'tar, which predates
(d) And the reason that Rava said 'Avid Inash ... ' is - to teach us that
Shimon's second statement does not contradict his first one, and is