ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Bava Basra 62
BAVA BASRA 61-67 - This week's study material has been dedicated by Mrs.
Rita Grunberger of Queens, N.Y., in loving memory of her husband, Reb
Yitzchok Yakov ben Eliyahu Grunberger. Irving Grunberger helped many people
quietly in an unassuming manner and is dearly missed by all who knew him.
His Yahrzeit is 10 Sivan.
(a) Someone was selling a field which measured one hundred Amos from north
to south. Upon selling his field, he specified Yehudah's field as his
western border, and Reuven's field as the field's eastern border, even
though Shimon's field took up half of that side. Initially, Rav ruled - that
the purchaser would acquire half of the field (determined by drawing a line
from the point on the field's eastern side where Reuven's field met
Shimon's, across to the middle of Yehudah's field on his western border).
(b) Even though he intended the purchaser to acquire only half his field, he
would not specify his western border as the half of Yehudah's field that
faced Shimon's - because one does not normally specify half borders in a
(c) If he were to specify Reuven and Shimon's fields in the east, and
Yehudah's in the west, even though Levi's field, which took up half of the
western border together with Yehudah's, faced Shimon's field - then the
purchaser would receive exactly what the seller specified, determined by
drawing a diagonal line from the point where Yehudah's field met Levi's on
his western border, across to the north-eastern tip of the field (where the
outer extremity of Levi's field bordered the outer extremity of the seller's
(a) Rav Kahana and Rav Asi queried Rav's first ruling. Why they asked, if
the seller specified Yehudah's field as the western border, should the
purchaser not acquire the entire western border of the field (like in the
(b) Rav did not reply - a sign that he conceded that they were right (though
this is not a hard and fast rule).
(c) According to Rav's initial ruling, the purchaser would acquire more in
the second case than in the first, because, if the seller meant him to
receive only half the field, he should have written in the Sh'tar 'Yehudah
opposite Shimon' (without mentioning Reuven).
(d) Rabeinu Chananel has a slightly different text. According to him, Rav's
second case comes to explain (not why the seller did not intend to sell more
than half, but) why he did not intend to sell the entire field. Because
then, he ought he to have written - 'Levi opposite Shimon, and Yehudah
(a) Assuming that the seller intends to sell his entire field, and that
Reuven's fields flank his on the east and west, and Shimon's on the north
and south, he needs to specifically write in the Sh'tar - that Reuven flanks
his field on two sides and Shimon, on two sides (better still, if he
specifies who borders him on which sides).
(b) If, in the previous case, the seller merely wrote that he was selling
him his field which was flanked by the fields of Reuven and Shimon - the
purchaser would only acquire half the field (cut diagonally in the shape of
triangle), flanked by Reuven on the east, say, and Shimon on the north.
(c) We ask what the Din will be if his field is flanked by fields that are
owned by many people, and he specified the four owners who bordered the four
corners of his field. If he did not mean to sell him the entire field - then
he meant to sell him one furrow that cuts through the field from the
north-eastern corner to the south-west, and one from the north-west to the
(a) We also ask what the Din will be if the seller specified two opposite
corners 'like a Greek Gam(ma)' (which is the shape of a wall-bracket
[similar to a final 'Chaf']). What he therefore specified - was the fields
that bordered his field on two diagonally-opposite corners, but which also
extended from either corner in both directions (like a Gam[ma]).
(b) This case might be no better than the previous case, in which case the
purchaser will only receive one diagonal strip that joins the two Gam(ma)s.
On the other hand, it might be better that the previous one - because he
referred specifically to all four sides (much like the Zerikah of the blood
of Kodshim, which the Kohanim sprinkled on two diagonally-opposite sides of
the Mizbe'ach, and which the Torah refers to as "Saviv" [surrounding]).
Consequently, he would receive the entire field.
(a) Finally, we ask 'be'Sirugin Mahu' - by which we mean that the seller's
field was flanked by eight fields belonging to eight different owners (two
on each side [Reuven and Shimon on the north, Zevulun and Yisachar on the
south, Yosef and Binyamin on the east and Levi and Yehudah on the west).
(b) The seller wrote in the Sh'tar - that his field was flanked by Reuven on
the north side and Yisachar on the south, by Yosef on the east and Levi on
(c) Even assuming that, in the previous case (of the Gam[ma]), he only
acquires one furrow running through the field, the purchaser might well
acquire the entire field here - because whereas it is not unusual to acquire
one furrow cutting across the field, it is unusual to acquire every second
field in this way.
(d) The outcome of all the She'eilos is - Teiku.
(a) Rav rules that if the seller specifies three of the borders but not the
fourth, the purchaser acquires three sides, but not the fourth, by which he
means - that he does not acquire one furrow that runs along that side.
(b) According to Shmuel, he acquires the fourth side as well; According to
Rav Asi - he only acquires one furrow on each of the three specified sides.
(c) When we say that Rav Asi holds like Rav, we mean - that on principle, he
agrees with Rav that the seller deliberately omitted the fourth side, in
order to retain something for himself.
(d) Only, whereas according to Rav, he means to retain just one furrow - Rav
Asi holds that he means to retain the whole middle section of the field.
(a) Rava rules like Rav, only he qualifies his ruling to where the fourth
side is not absorbed, by which he means that the seller only means to keep
back the one furrow, if it is absorbed by part of the field on the two
adjacent sides (but not if it runs along the entire length or breadth of the
(b) The purchaser will acquire the field however, even according to Rav, and
even if the fourth side is not absorbed in the field - provided that there
is no cluster of date-palms growing on it and that it does not measure nine
Kabin (the minimum size of a field, which make it Chashuv).
(c) If there is a cluster of date-palms growing on an absorbed furrow or if
the furrow measures nine Kabin - then, Rava maintains, Rav will also concede
to Shmuel that the purchaser acquires the entire field.
(d) According to this Lashon - Rava confines Rav's opinion (denying the
purchaser the right to the one furrow) to where there are two detrimental
factors: 1. that the furrow is not absorbed in the two adjacent sides, and
2. that there is neither a cluster of date-palms growing there nor does it
measure nine Kabin.
(a) In the second Lashon, Rava rules like Shmuel, and again, he qualifies
his ruling. This time, it is Shmuel who will concede to Rav that the
purchaser does not acquire the furrow on the fourth side - if it is absorbed
by the two adjacent sides.
(b) And Rava qualifies Shmuel's ruling even in a case where the furrow is
absorbed by the field on the two adjacent sides - where there is either a
cluster of date-palms growing there or it measures nine Kabin, in which case
Shmuel will also concede to Rav.
(c) And when Shmuel concedes to Rav by a furrow which is not absorbed ... ,
he is speaking - even when there is neither a cluster of date-palms growing
on it, nor does it measure nine Kabin.
(d) According to this Lashon - Rava confines Shmuel to where there is
neither of the above detrimental factors apply; but if one of them does, the
latter will agree with Rav that the purchaser will not acquire the furrow on
the fourth side.
(a) Taking into account both Leshonos of Rava, we know that the Halachah is
not like Rav Asi. In a case where the furrow is ...
1. ... absorbed and neither do date-palms grow on it nor does it measure
nine Kabin, we will rule - that the purchaser will acquire the entire field.
(b) The cases that remain a Safek are - either when the furrow is absorbed
by the adjacent sides of the field but there are date-palms growing on it or
it measures nine Kabin, or when it is not absorbed, but neither do
date-palms grow on it nor does it measure nine Kabin.
2. ... not absorbed and in addition, there are either date-palms growing on
it, or it measures nine Kabin, we rule - that the purchaser will not acquire
the row on the fourth side.
(c) Normally we would apply the principle 'ha'Motzi me'Chavero, Alav
ha'Re'ayah' - and the purchaser would not acquire the furrow concerned.
(d) In this case however, we conclude 'Shuda de'Dayna', which means that it
is left to the Beis-Din to decide whether he acquires it or not, based on
their assessment of the seller's attitude (whether he is a generous person
or a miserly type).
(a) Rabah draws a distinction between a case where Reuven who owns a field
in partnership with Shimon who sells 'Palga de'Is Li be'Ar'a' and where he
says 'Palga be'Ar'a de'Is Li'. 'Palga de'Is Li be'Ar'a' implies - that he is
selling him the (full) half that he owns; whereas 'Palga be'Ar'a de'Is Li'
implies - a half of the land that he owns, which is a quarter.
(b) Abaye disagrees. According to him - the word 'Palga' in the phrase
'Palga be'Ar'a de'Is Li' refers to 'de'Is Li' (like it does in the first
(c) Initially, Abaye thought that Rabah's silence constituted admission. He
discovered otherwise however - when he found Sh'taros that had been written
under Rabah's jurisdiction, which followed his initial ruling.
(a) According to Rabah, in a case where Reuven sells Shimon a field,
specifying the western border, but adding that he is retaining for himself
1. ... 'Palga' - he keeps half the field.
(b) In this case too, Abaye disagrees with Rabah, and here too, Rabah
remains silent. Initially, we think - that, according to Abaye, in both
cases, the owner retains a half.
2. ... 'P'sika' - he keeps only nine Kabin (since 'P'sika implies a field
that one can cut out of larger piece of ground, and the minimum size field
is nine Kabin).
(c) According to Rav Yeimar bar Shalmaya however, Abaye holds - that if,
after specifying all four borders (including the border from which he
retains something for himself), he adds 'And these are the borders', then
(we learn from the superfluous Lashon, that) he retains a half. Otherwise,
he only keeps nine Kabin (irrespective of whether he said 'Meitzar Ar'a
de'Minah Palga' or 'Meitzar Ar'a de'Mina P'sika').