ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Bava Kama 50
BAVA KAMA 50 (27 Elul) - Dedicated in honor of the Yahrzeit of Chana Susha
bas Reb Dovid Mordechai, by her son, Moshe Wolfson.
(a) Rav Yosef argues with Rabah. In his opinion, Rebbi Yishmael and Rebbi
Akiva agree that a Bor bi'Reshuso is Chayav, and they learn this - from
"Ba'al ha'Bor Yeshalem", implying a pit which has an owner (as we exlained
above according to Rabah in Rebbi Akiva).
(b) According to him, they argue over a Bor bi'Reshus ha'Rabim, whose Chiyuv
Rebbi Yishmael learns from - "Ki Yiftach" and "Ki Yichreh" (as we explained
there according to both opinions).
(c) Rabbi Akiva maintains that both Pesukim are necessary. Had the Torah
only written ...
1. ... "Ki Yiftach ... " - we would have thought that this is where covering
it will suffice, but someone who dug a pit from scratch is obligated to fill
it in (so the Torah writes "Ki Yichreh" to teach us that he is not).
(d) Rebbi Yishmael has a Pasuk for Bor bi'Reshus ha'Rabim as well as for Bor
bi'Reshuso. When he says 'Zehu Bor ha'Amur ba'Torah', he means - 'ha'Amur
ba'Torah Techilah le'Nizakin' (since that is where it writes "Ki Yiftach"
and "Ki Yichreh"), and how can Rebbi Akiva say otherwise?
2. ... "Ki Yichreh ... " - we would have thought that only someone who
*digs* a pit from scratch is Chayav to cover it, but if he only opens it, he
is not liable at all (so the Torah writes "Ki Yiftach" to teach us that he
(a) The author of our Mishnah (which accommodates both kinds of Bor)
according to ...
1. ... Rabah is - Rebbi Akiva.
(b) We ask on Rav Yosef from a Beraisa. The Tana there forbids digging a pit
in the Reshus ha'Rabim which opens into a Reshus ha'Yachid, even though he
is Patur regarding damages - because digging holes underneath the Reshus
ha'Rabim is prohibited.
2. ... Rav Yosef is - Rebbi Yishmael.
(c) The Tana say that someone who digs a pit in the Reshus ha'Yachid ...
1. ... or in the Reshus ha'Rabim, which opens into the Reshus ha'Rabim - is
(d) Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Yehudah disagrees with the last ruling. According
to him - someone who digs right beside the Reshus ha'Rabim, even in the form
of Le'ushin, is Chayav, unless he builds a partition between the Reshus
ha'Rabim and the Le'ushin, or leaves a gap of at least four Tefachim between
2. ... right beside the Reshus ha'Rabim, in the form of Le'ushin
(foundations for building one's house) - is Patur.
(a) Based on the inference 'Ta'ama di'Le'ushin, Ha La'av Le'ushin, Chayav' -
the Seifa (which obligates a Bor bi'Reshuso to pay) with the Reisha (which
(b) According to Rabah, we answer the Kashya - by establishing the Reisha
like Rebbi Yishmael, and the Seifa like Rebbi Akiva.
(c) We cannot answer Rav Yosef in the same way - because according to him,
the Seifa goes like both Tana'im, and the Reisha, like neither.
(d) Rav Yosef finally establishes the entire Beraisa (even the Reisha)
according to both opinions - by establishing the Reisha when he declared
neither his pit nor his field Hefker (in which case, everyone agrees that he
is Patur, because he can ask the Nizak what he is doing in his Reshus).
(a) Rav Ashi maintains that if we can accommodate the Reisha like both
opinions according to Rav Yosef, we can do likewise in the Seifa, according
to Rabah. According to Rabah, the Seifa, which obligates a Bor bi'Reshuso,
can nevertheless go like Rebbi Yishmael - because it speaks when he dug the
Le'ushin very wide, so that they actually protruded into the street (making
it a Bor bi'Reshus ha'Rabim).
(b) In another Beraisa, the Tana obligates someone who digs a pit in his
Reshus ha'Yachid, but which opens into the Reshus ha'Rabim, is Chayav. He
exempts however, someone who digs it in the Reshus ha'Yachid right next to
(c) According to Rabah, the author of the entire Beraisa is Rebbi Yishmael
(who obligates a Bor bi'Reshus ha'Rabim, but exempts a Bor bi'Reshus
ha'Rabim). The problem with this Beraisa, according to Rav Yosef is - that
the Seifa goes like neither Tana (seeing as they both agree that Bor
bi'Reshus ha'Yachid is Chayav).
(d) We reconcile the Beraisa with Rav Yosef's opinion - by establishing the
Seifa by Le'ushin, where he is Patur according to both Tana'im.
(a) Someone who digs a water-hole in the Reshus ha'Rabim is Patur - provided
he 'digs it, opens it and hands it to the public'.
(b) Nechunyah Chofer Boros, Sichin u'Me'oros used to dig water-holes for the
public, open them and hand them to the public.
(c) When the Chachamim declared about him 'Kiyem Zeh Halachah Zu' - they
meant ' ... Af Halachah Zu'.
(a) When they informed Rebbi Chanina ben Dosa that Nechunyah Chofer Boros,
Sichin u'Me'oros's daughter had fallen into a large water-hole ...
1. ... during the first hour - he declared 'Shalom' (because it is possible
to survive for that period of time).
(b) What actually happened to her was - that she was saved by a ram led by
an old man (whom we know was actually Avraham Avinu leading the ram of the
2. ... during the second hour - he declared 'Shalom' (because the
possibility to survive remains).
3. ... during the third hour - he declared that she must have been saved
(because it is impossible to survive that long in a deep pit.
(c) Rebbi Chanina ben Dosa knew what happened (not because he was a prophet,
but) - because he figured that his daughter would not die by the means that
her father used expending such great efforts on behalf of K'lal Yisrael (I
suspect that he either knew what happened or that Hashem acted upon his
decree, but that, in his supreme modesty, he chose to cover it up).
(d) Nevertheless, it was possible for Nechunyah Chofer Boros, Sichin
u'Me'oros's son died of thirst (se Tosfos DH 'Davar') - because his death
was not by exactly the same means, but by a variation of it.
(a) We learn from the Pasuk "u'Sevivav *Nis'arah* Me'od" - that Hashem is
stringent with Tzadikim to the thickmess of a hairsbreadth.
(b) Alternatively, we derive this principle from the Pasuk in Tehilim "Keil
Na'arotz be'Sod Kedoshim, *Rabah ve'Nora al Kol Sevivav*").
(c) Rebbi Chanina learns from the Pasuk "ha'Tzur Tamim Pa'alo, Ki Chol
Derachav Mishpat" - that Hashem's ways comprize justice, and he does not
turn a blind eye to one's sins (and someone who says that He does, will find
his body up for grabs [for encouraging others to sin).
(d) Rav Chana (or Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeni) learns from the Pasuk Ki Sisa
"Erech Apayim" - that even though Hashem does not overlook sins, He does
give everyone a chance and wait before punishing him (even Resha'im - see
(a) The Beraisa says - that clearing stones from one's property into the
Reshus ha'Rabim is prohibited.
(b) That Chasid refered to a certain man as an empty person - because he
found the latter clearing stones from his property into the street.
(c) The man mocked him - because he didn't understand what he meant when he
asked him why he removing stones from a domain that was not his to a domain
(d) The Chasid was vindicated however - when some time later, he was forced
to sell his field, and, whilst walking in the street, he tripped over the
very stones that he had placed in the street. That was hen he realized how
right the Chasid had been.
(a) The Tana of our Mishnah obligates a person who digs a pit in the Reshus
ha'Rabim, should an ox fall into it - irrespective of its shape.
(b) A 'Bor' is a round pit ten Tefachim deep ...
1. ... a Si'ach - is a trench,
(c) Even though one is Chayav for any of these, the Torah chose to write
specifically "Bor" (which by definition, is ten Tefachim deep - to teach us
that one is not Chayav for Miysah on any pit that is less than ten Tefachim
(whatever the shape).
2. ... a Me'arah - is a cave,
3. ... Charitzin - are square ditches,
4. ... Ne'itzin are - triangular ditches (that are wide on top but narrow at
(d) One is liable to pay for an ox that fell into a pit of less than ten
Tefachim - if it resulted in injury, but not if it died (because a pit of
less than ten Tefachim does not normally kill).
(a) Rav confines the damage of Bor to the Havla (the vapor in the pit), but
not to the Chavatah (the knock on the ground) - since that is caused by
public ground which he did not create.
(b) Shmuel says - 'le'Havlo, ve'Kol Shekein le'Chavto' (because the Chavatah
is a direct result of his actions, whereas the Havla is indirect).
(c) Despite the fact that according to Shmuel, the Chiyuv caused by the
Chavatah is more obvious than that of the Havla (as we just explained),
Shmuel knows that one is Chayav for the Havla too - because the Torah
obligates Bor even if the floor of the pit is laid out with wads of
cotton-wool (in which case the damage can only have been caused by the
(d) The practical ramifications of the Machlokes between Rav and Shmuel
are - where the Mazik placed an obstacle in the street, and someone tripped
over it and hurt himself on the ground (where there is no Havla, only
Chavatah [See Tosfos DH 'li'Shmuel']).
(a) Shmuel interprets the Pasuk "ve'Nafal Shamah Shor ... " loosely. Rav
derives his opinion from there - because the word "ve'Nafal" implies that he
fell, and not that he tripped over something and knocked himself.
(b) Our Mishnah states 'Mah Bor, she'Yesh Bo Kedei Le'hamis, Af Kol ... '.
According to Shmuel, 'Af Kol ... ' comes to include an obstacle which is
more than ten Tefachim tall. According to Rav, it comes to include - the
other shape pits, which in fact, the Tana goes on to list.
(c) Having taught us that one is Chayav for ...
1. ... a pit, the Tana nevertheless finds it necessary to add a trench - to
teach us that even though it is longer than a pit, there is Havla even when
it is only ten Tefachim deep.
2. ... a trench, he needs to add a cave - to teach us that although it is
larger than a trench, nevertheless there is Havla even when it is only ten
3. ... a cave, he needs to add a square ditch - to teach us the same
Chidush, despite the fact that it is not covered like a cave.
4. ... a square ditch, the Tana nevertheless needs to add a triangular
ditch - to teach us the same Chidush, despite the fact that it is
(a) Our Mishnah exempts the owner of a pit less than ten Tefachim deep into
which an ox fell and died. The reason that we initially attribute to the
P'tur is - that there is no Chavatah, even though there is Havla (a Kashya
on both Rav and Shmuel, since it appears from here that one is not Chayav
for Havla at all).
(b) We resolve this Kashya - by ascribing the P'tur to the fact that there
is no Havla either.
(c) And the reason that he is nevertheless Chayav for Nezikin, should the
animal suffer injuries but not death is - because although a pit of less
than ten Tefachim does not contain sufficient Havla to kill, it does contain
sufficient Havla to injure (We seem to have known all along that such a
distinction exists by Chavatah, but assumed it to be illogical with regard
to Havla - see Tosfos beginning of 51a).
(a) Rav Nachman declared T'reifah an ox that fell into a canal (for watering
the field) and which the owner Shechted - because of 'Risuk Evarim' (an
animal whose limbs are crushed - one of the T'reifos, which is the result of
a fall from a height).
(b) It was the man's own fault for not attending the Beis-Hamedrash more
regularly. Had he done so, he would have learned that 'Risuk Eivarim' can be
checked by waiting twenty-four hours, and then getting the animal to try and
stand up. He would have known that it is Kasher if he succeeded in doing so,
and he would have waited twenty-four hours to try and save his animal.
(c) The canal - was one Amah, or six Tefachim, deep, hence the (more
commonly known) name 'Amas ha'Mayim'.
(d) According to Rav Nachman, our Mishnah exempts a pit of less than ten
Tefachim from Miysah - because it does not have sufficient Havla, even
though there is sufficient Chavatah to kill (like Rav).