ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Bava Basra 55
(a) Rav Huna bar Avin sent to the Beis-Hamedrash - that if Reuven purchased
a field from a Nochri, and Levi came and acquired it, the field belongs to
(b) And what's more, he concluded - Ravin, Rebbi Ila'a and all the Rabbis
agree with this.
(c) Ukvan bar Nechemyah taught Rabah three Halachos in the name of Shmuel.
Ukvan bar Nechemyah was - the Resh Galusa (the exilarch).
(d) The first was 'Diyna de'Malchusa Diyna', the second 'Arisusa de'Parsa'i
ad Arba'in Sh'nin', which besides possibly, that the Persians extended the
Chazakah of three years to forty, might mean - that once a Nochri owned a
field for forty years, he becomes the established owner, and a Jew who
purchases from him adopted that ownership (even without a Sh'tar). This is
based on a royal decree (and is an off-shoot of the previous ruling of
(a) Shmuel's third ruling concerned the Zaharuri - wealthy men, who would
pay the King's men the land tax for the fields that they had confiscated
from the poor landowners, because they could not afford to pay it.
(b) Shmuel ruled - that the money that the Zaharuri paid the king's men,
firmly acquired the land on their behalf.
(c) This ruling does however, extend to fields whose owners had not paid
their *head* tax - since head tax is purely a personal liability. Either the
tax men will seize the culprit until he pays, or he manages to run away; but
either way, his fields do not become Meshubad.
(d) Rav Huna B'rei de'Rav Yehoshua disagrees with this last statement. He
says - that even barley in a jar (that has already been detached from the
ground [or any other Metaltelin for that matter]) is Meshubad towards paying
the head tax and Karka certainly is.
(a) Huna bar Nasan queried Rav Huna B'rei de'Rav Yehoshua's ruling from the
inheritance of a Bechor (i.e. the extra portion that he inherits from his
father) - which he is only entitled to take from property that his father
had in his possession when he died (not from property to which his father
was entitled but had yet to claim).
(b) Based on the fact that whatever is Meshubad to the king is considered
the king's, he asks that, according to Rav Huna B'rei de'Rav Yehoshua - the
Din of Yerushas Bechor will no longer apply to anyone living in Persian
controlled areas, who has not paid his head tax (seeing as everything he
owns is Meshubad to the king.
(c) Rav Ashi retorted - that he could have asked the same Kashya without Rav
Huna B'rei de'Rav Yehoshua, from those who did not pay their *land* tax
(whose property is Meshubad to the king according to all opinions).
(d) So he answers both Kashyos by establishing the inheritance of a Bechor -
by those who had paid their respective taxes before their deaths, and whose
property was therefore not Meshubad to the king.
(a) Rav Huna B'rei de'Rav Yehoshua's Kashya is not really a Kashya anyway,
because we could answer it very simply - by establishing the Din of Yerushas
Bechor in those countries where Persian law is not practiced (since the
Pasuk is not bound to any particular location, so where it applies, it
applies, and where it doesn't, it doesn't).
(b) Huna bar Nasan told Rav Ashi that Rava's Sofrim told him that the
Halachah was like Rav Huna B'rei de'Rav Yehoshua. Rav Ashi commented - that
this was incorrect, and that they only said that because they had themselves
purchased fields by paying the head taxes of poor people who had been unable
to pay, and they now wanted to substantiate their 'purchases'.
(a) A Pardeches, says Rav Ashi, is obligated to pay whatever he can towards
the sum total of taxes placed on the town. A 'Pardeches' is - an idle man
who neither works nor studies Torah.
(b) His obligation to participate however, is not absolute. He is ...
1. ... Chayav - when two conditions are met: 1. that he has been charged
more tax than he can possibly pay and the townspeople intervene on his
behalf, and save him from having to pay; 2. that, seeing as the total sum is
fixed, they now have to pay more as a result.
(c) ... in which case, he is Patur from paying anything - because it is his
Mazel (min ha'Shamayim) that let him off the hook.
2. ... Patur - even if the second condition is fulfilled, only it is not
because the townspeople intervened on his behalf that he is absolved, but
because the tax-collectors forgot him or took pity on him ...
(a) According to Rav Asi Amar Rebbi Yochanan, a Meitzar and a Chatzav divide
with regard to Nechsei ha'Ger, but not with regard to Pe'ah and Tum'ah. A
Meitzar is a border, a Chatzav - a tree or a plant whose roots grow straight
down, and which Yehoshua used to divide Eretz Yisrael.
(b) When Rav Asi says that they ...
1. ... divide with regard to Nechsei ha'Ger, he means - that if either of
them divides two fields belonging to a Ger who died, whoever is Machzik the
one, does not acquire the other.
(c) When Ravin arrived from Eretz Yisrael, he quoted Rebbi Yochanan
differently. According to him - a Meitzar and a Chatzav divide a field even
with regard to Pe'ah and Tum'ah as well.
2. ... do not divide with regard to Pe'ah, he means - that should one of
them divide between two fields, the owner is only Chayav to leave one corner
of the field as Pe'ah.
(a) We learned in the Mishnah in Pe'ah that a Nachal, a Shelulis, a public
and private road and a public and private path divide with regard to Pe'ah.
The definition of ...
1. ... 'a Nachal' is - a valley of hard virgin soil (like the Nachal Eisan
in the Parshah of Eglah Arufah).
2. ... 'a Sh'lulis' is - a pool of rain water.
1. A public road is at least sixteen Amos wide - whereas a private one is at
(c) A private path divides between two fields if it is used in winter as
well as in summer. The significance of the fact that it is used in winter
too is - that people do not tend to walk in the rest of the valley then,
because they will spoil the furrows or interfere with the seeds, they do
however, walk on the paths.
2. A road (Derech) is for traffic - whereas a path (Sh'vil) is for walking.
(d) Despite the fact that the Tana has taught us that a private path
divides, he nevertheless mentions a public one, and although he has listed
paths, he chooses to insert a private (and even a public) road (though in
the reverse order) - because of the principle 'Lo Zu, Af Zu' (each
subsequent case is a bigger Chidush than the previous one).
(a) In a case where, in the winter season, someone enters a field where
there is a corpse and he doesn't know whether he touched it or not, he is
Tamei - because, seeing as people do not tend to walk in the fields in the
winter (as we explained earlier), a field has the Din of a Reshus ha'Yachid,
to which we apply the principle 'Safek Tum'ah bi'Reshus ha'Yachid, Tamei'.
(b) In the Mishnah in Taharos, Rebbi Eliezer rules that if the field is
situated in a valley, and the person is not even sure whether he entered
that particular field, he is Tahor - because of a 'S'fek S'feika': a. Maybe
he did not even enter the field that contained the corpse, and b. even if he
did, maybe he didn't touch the corpse.
(c) The Rabbanan (who consider entering and touching as one Safek) rule -
that he is Tamei.
(d) When Rav Asi Amar Rebbi Yochanan says that a Meitzar and a Chatzav do
not divide with regard to Tum'ah - he means that it is considered one field,
in which case, in the circumstances we just described, the person will be
Tamei, even according to Rebbi Eliezer.
(a) Although Ravin Amar Rebbi Yochanan said earlier that a Meitzar and a
Chatzav divide with regard to Pe'ah and Tum'ah, he concedes however, that
they do not divide with regard to the area of Halachah - of Shabbos, as we
will now see.
(b) This ruling concerns a Beraisa, where the Tana Kama states that if
someone who carries out half a G'rogeres (a dried fig) into a Reshus
ha'Rabim, and then carries out another half-G'rogeres ...
1. ... in one He'elam (without remembering in the middle that it was
Shabbos) - he is Chayav a Chatas.
(c) The significance of a G'rogeres in this regard is - that this is the
Shiur for which one is Chayav on Shabbos for performing any of the Melachos
with regard to a food.
2. ... in two Ha'alamos - he is Patur.
(d) According to Rebbi Yossi, he might even be Patur for carrying out the
two half-G'rogeres in *one* He'elam -if he carries them into two different
Reshus ha'Rabims (because Rebbi Yossi holds that Reshuyos, like Ha'alamos,
divide the Melachah).
(a) According to Rabah, Rebbi Yossi only considers the divided Reshus
ha'Rabim to be two Reshuyos if they are divided by a Chiyuv Chatas - by
which he means a Reshus ha'Yachid.
(b) Abaye maintains that a Karmelis (such as an open valley) will suffice,
but not a Pisla - which is nothing more than a piece of wood or a post that
is not ten Tefachim high and four by four Tefachim on top (that extends
across the field). Unlike a Karmelis, from which one may not carry into
another Reshus mi'de'Rabbanan, from a Pisla (which is a 'Makom Petur), one
(c) In the opinion of Rava, even a Pisla will suffice to exempt from a
Chatas, according to Rebbi Yossi (since it is no worse than a Meitzar or
Chatzav, which we will discuss shortly).
(a) 'Rava le'Ta'ameih', we conclude. When Rava says 'Reshus Shabbos
ki'Reshus Gitin', he is referring to - a man who lends his wife his Chatzer
in order to receive her Get, and when he throws her the Get, it lands on a
Pisla in the Chatzer.
(b) His wife is not divorced - because, since a Pisla is considered a
Reshus, we apply the principle that a man who lends someone one Reshus, does
not automatically lend him a second Reshus (even though it is situated
inside the first one).
(c) In keeping with his latest statement, Rava (in disagreement with Ravin
Amar Yochanan [whom we quoted earlier]), rules that a Meitzar and a Chatzav
divide even with regard to Shabbos as well. They are arguing over - whether
Rebbi Yossi will consider a Reshus ha'Rabim divided by a Meitzar or a
Chatzav two Reshuyos, to render someone who carries two half-Shiurim in one
He'elam into either side of the Meitzar or Chatzav; (Ravin holds that it is
not, and he will therefore be Chayav, whereas Rava holds it is, and he will