ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Bava Basra 83
BAVA BASRA 82-85 - Sponsored by a generous grant from an anonymous donor.
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(a) Rav Yosef (who gave the maximum distance between two trees in a vineyard
as less than eight Amos) was not impressed with Abaye's Kashya (from the
Mishnah in Kil'ayim), because he relied on an incident that took place in
Dura di'Re'usa - which means 'town of shepherds'.
(b) Rav Yehudah ruled there, when a man purchased three trees with a space
of less than eight Amos between each two trees - that the seller should make
sure that there was sufficient room for the ox and its accessories to pass.
(c) Rav Yosef did not understand what he meant, until he learned a Beraisa.
To explain the Mishnah in 'Lo Yachpor', which forbids a person to plant a
tree within four Amos of his friend's pit, the Tana there states that the
four Amos was the distance needed to work the vineyard.
(d) In spite of Rebbi Meir and Rebbi Shimon, who, in the very same Mishnah
in Kil'ayim, permit the planting of seeds in a vineyard where there is a
space of eight Amos between the rows (like Rav Yosef) - Abaye queries Rav
Yosef on the basis of the Tana Kama - because his ruling is based on an
incident (and what therefore practical Halachah) which carries a lot of
(a) We just cited the Mishnah where Rebbi Shimon (and Rebbi Meir) gives the
maximum distance of one row of vines and the other as less than eight Amos.
We know that the minimum Shiur is four Amos - from another Mishnah in
Kil'ayim, where Rebbi Shimon specifically states - that a vineyard whose
rows are planted less than four Amos apart, is not a vineyard.
(b) The Chachamim disagree with him however. They consider it a vineyard
nonetheless - because the excess trees stand to be removed (and we have a
principle 'Whatever stands to be uprooted is considered as if it has already
(a) We know that the minimum Shiur of the Tana Kama of Rebbi Yehudah (in the
Mishnah in Kil'ayim) is eight Amos - from a S'vara; if the minimum Shiur of
Rebbi Shimon is half the amount of the maximum Shiur, presumably the same
will be the case according to the Chachamim.
(b) According to Rava - the minimum space allowed between two rows in a
vineyard is four Amos, and the maximum, sixteen.
(c) Rava adopts the two extremes (like the smallest Shiur of Rav Yosef) -
based on the incident in Dura de'Reusa, and the largest of Rav Nachman (whom
he himself quoted earlier) - based on the incident in Tzalmon.
(d) Rava is following - the opinion of the Chachamim (the Tana Kama of Rebbi
Yehudah), who argue with Rebbi Shimon with regard to the maximum Shiur, but
not, in his opinion, with regard to the minimum Shiur.
(a) In the Beraisa that we quote in support of Rava, the Tana grants someone
who purchases three trees, the land in between and the trees. By 'trees' -
he means saplings.
(b) He then goes on to cite three cases where the purchaser of three trees
does not acquire the ground; when the trees are planted within four Amos of
each other or more than sixteen Amos or - when he purchased the trees
independently (in three separate sales).
(c) Rebbi Yirmiyah asks whether one measures the above measurements from the
narrow part of the tree or from the wide part. This does not refer to the
trunk up to the point where the branches grow and the tips of the branches
respectively, but - to the trunk of the tree after it has risen above the
roots and the foot of the trunk next to the roots (where it is much wider).
(d) Rav Gevihah from Bei Kasil resolves this She'eilah from a Mishnah in
Kil'ayim, which rules - that one measure a grafted vine ([see Rabeinu
Gershom, also Tosfos DH 'ha'Rekuvah'] in connection with the minimum
four-Amah space that determines what is a vineyard) - from the knot in the
vine (not lower down, where it is very wide, and not higher up, where it is
narrow), but from the middle. And that is how one measures all trees in this
(a) He then asks what the Din will be in a case where someone purchased a
tree with three 'Badei Ilan'. This cannot refer to someone who purchased
three branches, one on each of three trees, and he asks whether we go after
the branches, and he acquires the ground too, or after the tree, and he
doesn't - because in that case, since the owner retains the majority of the
tree's branches, it is obvious that he did not sell the purchaser the
(b) The She'eilah therefore is - when he sold him a tree with three low
branches that are four Amos apart, and which earth had partially covered in
a way that they now resembled three trees. Do we go after the tree (seeing
as all the branches feed from it [in which case he will not acquire ground),
or after the branches (and he will).
(c) Once again, Rav Gevihah resolves the She'eilah from a Mishnah in
Kil'ayim, where, in a case where someone bends three branches of three vines
and transplants them in the ground, after they took root, Rebbi Eliezer
b'Rebbi Tzadok rules - that as long as there is a distance of between four
and eight Amos (like Rebbi Meir and Rebbi Shimon) between each 'vine', it is
considered a vineyard of six vines.
(d) What connects Rebbi Yirmiyah's current She'eilah with Rebbi Eliezer
b'Rebbi Tzadok's Halachah is - the fact that in the former case, like in the
latter, the respective branches all feed from the same root (here, like
there, and they are nevertheless considered to be two trees)
(e) A vineyard consists of - five vines ('two opposite two, and the fifth
going out like a tail').
(a) Rav Papa asks what the Din will be if Reuven sells Shimon two trees in
his field and one on the border.
Shimon might not acquire the ground -
because the third tree is not exactly in the same domain as the other two.
(b) Then he asks what the Din will be if he sells him two trees in his field
and the third one in Levi's field.
For this She'eilah to have any meaning,
Rav Papa must assume in the previous She'eilah - that the border is not
consider a division, and that the purchaser does acquire the ground in
between. Therefore he suggests that, in this case, where the third tree
really is in a different domain, perhaps he does not.
(c) The outcome of the two She'eilos is - 'Teiku'.
(a) Rav Ashi asks whether a water-pit, a stream, a road or a cluster of
palm-trees will divide the three trees. By a road - he means a small street
of between four and sixteen Amos (because one sixteen Amos wide [a Reshus
ha'Rabim] is certainly considered a division.
(b) The significance of the sequence of ...
1. ... Rav Papa's She'eilos and those of Rav Ashi is - that the latter
presumes that the former cases are not considered a division.
(c) We query the She'eilah that Hillel (not Hillel ha'Zaken) asked Rebbi
regarding a cedar-tree that grew among the three trees that Shimon bought -
on the grounds that Shimon acquired the ground at the time of the sale, and
the cedar that subsequently grew there, grew in his ground.
2. ... Rav Ashi's four She'eilos - follows the same pattern; each ensuing
She'eilah presumes that the previous case is not considered a division.
(d) Hillel's She'eilah must therefore have been - what the Din will be if
there was a cedar in the field at the time of the sale, to which Rebbi
replied - that the purchaser acquires both the ground and the cedar (as we
learned on the previous Amud 'Kanah Karka ve'es ha'Ilanos' [see Rashbam
there and Ritva here]).
(a) According to Rav, Shimon acquires the ground even if the three trees are
growing in a straight row. According to Shmuel however - they must be
growing in the shape of a triangle ...
(b) ... because otherwise, it is easy for Reuven to plow the space in
between them (in which case, he would not have automatically sold the ground
with the trees).
(c) If, as we just concluded, the criterion for acquiring the ground is the
fact that it is difficult for the owner to plow the ground in the middle, we
suggest that if Shimon purchased three large thorn-bushes from Reuven, he
would also acquire the ground, taking into account the difficulty of plowing
in between the bushes. And if that were so - it would make no difference
whether the bushes were growing in the shape of a triangle or in a straight
row, seeing as Reuven would not plow even there, for fear of getting
scratched by the thorns.
(d) We refute this suggestion however, on the grounds - that the S'vara of
not being able to plow in between the trees is only one of two criteria for
acquiring the ground; the other one being that the trees are valuable (which
thorn-bushes are not).
(a) Regarding the sale of certain limbs of a large species of animal (a cow
or a bull), our Mishnah states that if Reuven sells Shimon ...
1. ... the head - the legs are not automatically included in the sale, and
(b) Local custom overrides this ruling.
2. ... the lungs - the liver is not automatically included in the sale, and
(c) The Halachah will differ with regard to the sale of a small species of
animal (a sheep or goat), inasmuch as if he sold him ...
1. ... the head - the legs would automatically be included in the sale, but
2. ... the lungs - the liver would automatically included in the sale, but
(a) The Tana then lists four Dinim concerning the validity of a sale. If
Reuven sold Shimon ...
1. ... superior wheat, and it turns out to be inferior - Shimon has the
right to retract.
(b) A case where Reuven sold Shimon olive-trees, which turn out to be
sycamore, or vice-versa - belongs to the last category, and both parties
have the right to retract.
2. ... inferior wheat, and it turns out to be superior - Reuven has the
right to retract. Note, that Ona'ah with regard to the seller means that he
is unaware of the selling-price of the article.
3. ... what he promised him, be it inferior or superior wheat - neither has
the right to retract.
4. ... Shechamtis and it turned out to be white wheat, or vice-versa - both
have the right to retract.
(c) The previous case (as well as where he sold him wine and it turned out
to be vinegar) belongs to that category too, and not to the first category
in the Mishnah - because whenever both articles are salable, only where some
people who prefer the one, and others, the other, it becomes a matter of
Mekach Ta'us, rather than Ona'ah.
(d) The number 'four' comes to stress that there are four categories - and
not to preclude anything in particular (as it usually does).
(a) The first case (superior and inferior) is not one of Mekach Ta'us (a
false sale), but of Ona'ah. The principle that governs who is able to
retract is - that the one who is cheated is permitted to retract.
(b) The distinction between this Din of Ona'ah and a regular case, where
only the price is involved is - that whereas in the latter case, the person
who was 'cheated' may reclaim the difference in price (as Rava rules in
Perek ha'Zahav), in the former, he has the additional right to cancel the
(c) Where Reuven gave Shimon ...
1. ... inferior wheat, as he promised him, but then the price of wheat went
down, we might have thought that Shimon can retract - because he can argue
that he really wanted to buy superior wheat, only he referred to the goods
as 'inferior', because that is the natural thing for a purchaser to do.
(d) 'Shechamtis' means - a reddish color wheat (as will be explained in the
2. ... superior wheat, as he promised him, but then the price of wheat went
up, we might have thought that Reuven can retract - because he can argue
that he really intended to sell inferior wheat, only he referred to the
goods as superior, because that is the natural thing for a purchaser to do.