ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Bava Basra 89
BAVA BASRA 89 - dedicated on the occasion of the Shloshim of Reb Dovid Tuvia
ben Harav Yechiel Mechel Halevi (David Kramer), by the Lomdei Daf Ha'Yomi in
White Oak, Maryland (Jack Delman, Howie Feldman, Yitz Gedalowitz, Shlomo
Katz, Jay Levine, Rabbi Sanders, Kenneth Schor, Raanan Shames, and Sheldon
Meth). David was a founding member of the White Oak Daf Ha'Yomi, a frequent
Magid Shiur, and an integral part of its continuation for over 10 years.
David was also a pillar of the White Oak community for over 25 years. May
his memory serve as a blessing for all of Klal Yisrael!
(a) One may not compress the contents of the measure when it is customary to
heap them, or vice-versa - even with the consent of the purchaser or the
(b) We learn this from the Pasuk "Eifah Sheleimah ... Yih'yeh Lach". From
the word "va'Tzedek", we learn - that this is forbidden even if the seller
deducts from the price, or the purchaser adds to the price, to compensate
any loss caused by the change.
(c) Assuming that the seller was permitted to compress the measure and
deduct from the price - he would need to deduct a third, because the Shiur
of Gedishah is a third of the regular volume.
(d) Following exactly the same pattern, we learn from the continuation of
the Pasuk ...
1. ... "Even Sheleimah ... Yih'yeh" - that one may not add goods after the
weighing in a town where the Minhag is to tip the scales during the course
of the weighing or vice-versa.
2. ... " ... va'Tzedek" - that this is forbidden even with the consent of
the other party.
(a) Rav Yehudah mi'Sura learns from the Pasuk "Lo Yih'yeh Lecha ...
1. ... *be'Veischa* ... Eifah va'Eifah, Gedolah u'Ketanah" - that someone
who uses false measures will ultimately end up with nothing in his house.
(b) The Beraisa Darshens from the Pasuk "Even Sheleimah va'Tzedek *Yih'yeh
Lach*" - that Beis-Din are obligated to appoint inspectors to inspect the
weights and measures of the town, and to punish the transgressors.
2. ... *be'Kischa" ... Even va'Aven, Gedolah u'Ketanah" - that someone who
uses false weights will end up with an empty purse.
(c) The Tana does not consider this necessary when it comes to price
control, in order to penalize those who raise their prices - because those
who do will simply find their customers buying elsewhere.
(d) Nevertheless, the B'nei Nesi'ah - used to send their inspectors round to
check on that too.
(a) A 'horn of flesh' grew on Karna's eye - because, when Shmuel instructed
him to announce the previous distinction between Midos and She'arim, he
announced instead that Beis-Din must appoint inspectors for both.
(b) Shmuel chose specifically that punishment - because it was a play on his
(c) Karna, on the other hand, based his ruling on Rami bar Chama Amar Rebbi
Yitzchak, who ruled that way because of the swindlers (see Rabeinu Gershom
[who it seems, were on the increase in his days])
(d) When the Beraisa rules that one fulfills the request of the purchaser to
sell a Litra, half Litra or a quarter of a Litra, the Tana means - either
that this is the minimum size weights that Chazal instituted (and that if a
purchaser wished to buy less than that, the seller should use coins); or
that they fixed the weights and measures using these denominations as
opposed to a third and a fifth of a Litra (see Rabeinu Gershom).
(a) One weighs three-quarters of a Litra - by placing a Litra weight on the
scales and a piece of meat weighing a quarter of a Litra to offset the extra
(b) Another Beraisa rules that even if a purchaser insists that the seller
weighs him ten Liters at a Litra a time - the seller is entitled to weigh
him the ten Litras all at once.
(c) The reason for both of these rulings is - because to weigh three times a
quarter of a Litra or ten times one Litra would entail a number of
Hachra'os, when the purchaser is only entitled to one.
(a) When the Tana of the Beraisa gives the measurement of the arm and the
two strings of the scales with which one weighs metals, as twelve Tefachim -
he means that the arm is four Tefachim and so are each of the strings which
hold the actual scales.
(b) The minumum length of the 'Nefesh' (the metal tube that runs from the
ceiling to the arm, through which the cord that holds the arm [the 'Lashon'
runs]) is - three Tefachim.
(c) And the scales must be at least three Tefachim from the ground.
(d) The reason for these two measurements is - to prevent the scales and the
arm and from touching the ground and the ceiling (respectively) in the in
the course of the measuring (thereby interfering with the measuring
(a) The scales of wool-merchants and glaziers must be at least two Tefachim
from the ceiling and two Tefachim from the ground. The Shiur of the arm and
the two strings is - nine Tefachim (three Tefachim the arm, and three
Tefachim each of the strings).
(b) The Shiur of the arm and the strings combined of a storekeeper and of a
private person is six Tefachim. The minimum distance from the ceiling and
the floor respectively is - one Tefach.
(c) The scales of a silver and gold-smith must be at least three
finger-breadths from the ceiling and three finger-breadths from the floor -
though the Tana does not know how long the length of the arm and the two
(a) When Rebbi Mani bar Patish says (with regard to the scales) 'Just as
they said concerning the Isur, so too, did they say concerning Tum'ah', he
means - that whatever is the Shiur of the various parts of the scales as
taught by the Beraisa that we just learned, is also the Shiur that renders
them subject to Tum'ah.
(b) We query the need for his statement however, from a Mishnah in Keilim,
where the Tana states that the string by which the scales of a store-keeper
and a private person hangs from the ceiling - is subject to Tum'ah if it is
a Tefach long (rendering Rebbi Mani's ruling superfluous, because we assume
that the different parts of the scales follow the same scale as is listed in
the Beraisa [see Rashash]).
(c) We reconcile Rebbi Mani with the Mishnah in Keilim however - by pointing
out that the Tana does not discuss the arm of the scale or the short strings
(which are attached to the scales themselves), and which Rebbi Mani bar
Patish comes to complement.
(a) The Tana forbids scales of tin, lead, Gistron (a mixture of metals) or
any other kind of metal - because they erode.
(b) Besides glass, one may make the scales - out of stone.
(c) Another Beraisa forbids forming a smoothening-rod out of ...
1. ... a pumpkin - because it is too light to enter the pile (in which case
it removes too little [so the seller loses out]).
2. ... metal - because it is too heavy, and removes too much (and the
(a) The flattening-rod may not be formed in such a way that one side is
thick and the other, thin - because that indicates that the owner uses the
thin end (which enters deep into the produce to smoothen it well) when
selling, and the thick end (which does not enter the produce properly and
cannot therefore smoothen it) when he purchasers.
(b) The sort of rod that one should use is - one that is either thin at both
ends or thick (according to the Minhag).
(c) When the Tana of the Beraisa says that one should not flatten the heap
1. ... in one go - he means that one should not smoothen it in one go
quickly, because then the job is not done properly and the seller loses
(d) One should flatten the heap - in one go but gently, or in two go's, half
at a time.
2. ... little by little, he means that he should not smoothen it too
thoroughly, bit by bit, because then, he will smoothen it excessively,
causing the purchaser a loss.
(a) Raban Yochanan ben Zakai was in a quandary whether to teach these
Halachos or not. Perhaps, he thought, one should ...
1. ... not do so - because it puts ideas into the heads of the swindlers
(b) He decided to teach them after all, says Rav Shmuel bar Rav Yitzchak -
based on the Pasuk in Hoshe'a "Ki Yesharim Darkei Hashem, ve'Tzadikim
Yeilchu Bam, u'Resha'im Yikashlu Bam" (The ways of Hashem are straight [and
they must be taught at all costs, in order that] the Tzadikim go on them,
and the Resha'im [let them] stumble over them').
2. ... nevertheless go ahead and teach them - so that the swindlers should
not assume that we are not aware of their tricks.
(a) The Pasuk writes "Lo Sa'asu Avel ba'Mishpat, ba'Midah, ba'Mishkal
u'va'Mesurah". We know that "ba'Midah" refers to the measuring of land and
not of a measuring-vessel to measure liquids - because that is what
(b) The Torah is coming to teach us ...
1. ... here (with the word "ba'Midah") - that one may not measure for one
partner (or brother) in the summer and for the other one in the winter,
using the same measuring -rope, because it (the rope) contracts in the
summer and expands in the winter (or because, as Rabeinu Chananel explains,
the ground contracts in the winter and cracks and expands in the summer).
(c) 'Mesurah' actually refers to the measure of - one thirty-sixth of a Lug
(a sixth of an egg-volume).
2. ... when it writes "ba'Mishkal", which means literally 'with weights' -
that one is forbidden to tip ones weights with salt (to make them heavier).
3. ... when it writes "ba'Mesurah" (which, as we already explained, refers
to the measuring of liquids) - that one may not pour the liquid into the
purchaser's containers quickly, since that produces froth.
(d) We learn from 'Mesurah' - that if the Torah is particular about cheating
someone by an amount of less that a hundredth of a Lug, how much more so
when it comes to larger amounts ... a Hin, half a Hin and a third of a Hin
... which will cheat the purchaser of larger amounts than that.
(a) There are ...
1. ... twelve Lugin in a Hin.
(b) The smallest measures in the list are Tomen and Uchla. Uchla will be
dealt with later. Bearing in mind that it is also an eighth of a Kav, a
Tomen is equivalent to - half a Lug (or three egg-volumes).
2. ... four Lugin in a Kav (since there are three Kabin in a Hin).
(a) Rav Yehudah Amar Rav forbids keeping a short measure in one's house -
even if one designated for use as a chamber-pot (since it can always be
washed out and used, perhaps momentarily, for its original purpose).
(b) Rav Papa restricts the prohibition to two conditions, one of them that
it is not a place where the king's inspectors do not stamp the weights and
measures (because if it was, the purchaser would not agree to the seller
using them to weigh his purchase); the other - that the inspectors do not
walk around constantly checking the weights and measures (because if they
would, he would be afraid to use a faulty weights or measures).
(c) We reject the second condition however - on the grounds that sometimes,
the purchaser comes to buy on Friday afternoon in the middle of the Shabbos
preparations and, in the rush, the seller knows he can get away with using a
faulty weight without getting caught, or it is the purchaser himself who, in
his haste, fails to realize that the measure is faulty.
(d) A corroborating Beraisa - also forbids keeping a weight that weighs more
than it ought to in one's house.
(a) The current Beraisa lists the solid measures that one is permitted to
keep in one's house: 'Sa'ah, Tarkav, Chatzi Tarkav, Kav, Chatzi Kav, Rova,
Tomen, Uchla va'Chatzi Uchla'. There are six Kabin in a Sa'ah.
(b) The Tana omits ...
1. ... Chatzi Sa'ah - because that is equivalent to a Tarkav (two Kabin plus one Kav [which is already mentionaed).
(c) We know that the Tomen is an eighth of a Kav, and not of a Log - because
it follows 'Rova' which (as opposed to Revi'is, which refers to Revi'is
ha'Lug) is a Rova ha'Kav.
2. ... Chatzi Rova - because that is equivalent to a Tomen, which is an eighth of a Kav.
(d) Three egg-volumes constitute a Tomen - one and a half, half a Tomen?
(a) The Tana gives an Uchla as a fifth of a Revi'a (Rova) - meaning a fifth
of a quarter of a Kav (which is equivalent to a fifth of a Log).
(b) This constites - one and a fifth egg-volumes.
(c) Half a Tomen (one a half egg-volumes) is - a fifth more than an Uchla
(one and a fifth).