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Bava Basra 5

BAVA BASRA 3-5 - sponsored by Harav Ari Bergmann of Lawrence, N.Y., out of love for Torah and those who study it.

1) [line 1] RUNYA, AKFEI RAVINA ME'ARBA RUCHOSAV - Runya's property was encircled by Ravina on all four sides (Ravina owned the fields surrounding the field of Runya)

2) [line 1] HAV LI KEMAH D'GADRI - give me [a share in] the amount that it cost me to erect the fence

3) [line 2] HAV LI LEFI [DEMEI] KANIM BEZOL - give me [a share in the amount] according to what it would cost to erect a fence made out of inexpensive reeds

4) [line 4] HAVAH KA GADAR DIKLEI - he (Runya) was harvesting dates
5) [line 5] ARISEI - sharecropper
6) [line 5] KIVURA D'AHINEI - a cluster of dates
7) [line 6] RAMA BEI KOLA - he yelled at him (lit. lifted his voice)
8) [line 6] D'MEINACH NICHA LACH - it is agreeable to you (to have the fence)
9) [line 7] IZA B'ALMA - just goats

10) [line 8] (LAV) L'ACHLUYEI BAYA - all I need is somebody to yell at them (and there is no need to erect a fence just to keep out goats)

11) [line 9] V'LO GAVRA BA'IS D'MEICHLI LAH? - And do you not need [to hire] a person to yell at them (to keep out the goats)?

12) [line 11] ZIL PAISEI B'MAI D'IPAYEIS - go appease him with the amount that he agreed to accept (i.e. the amount it costs to hire a guard)

13) [line 12] DA'INENA LACH DINA K'RAV HUNA ALIBA D'REBBI YOSI - [otherwise] I will issue a ruling in accordance with Rav Huna's view of Rebbi Yosi's opinion (i.e. that you are obligated to pay a share in the fence that was erected)

14) [line 13] RUNYA ZAVAN AR'A A'MEITZRA D'RAVINA - Runya acquired land on the border of Ravina's land

15) [line 14] LI'SLUKEI - to remove him [from the land and buy the land himself]

16) [line 14] DINA D'VAR MEITZRA
When a person sells a field, the owner of the neighboring field has the first rights to buy it. If the owner sells it to someone else, then the neighbor has the right to take the field from him by paying the purchase price. This is an enactment of the Chachamim based on the verse, "v'Asisa ha'Yashar veha'Tov" (Devarim 6:18).

17) [line 16] ARBA'AH L'TZALA, ARBA'AH L'TZALELA - This is an allegory which Rav Safra was telling Ravina to justify his ruling in favor of Runya, preventing Ravina from exercising his right of Bar Meitzra. It is explained in different ways: (a) "Four [loaves of bread] for the poor tanner, four [loaves of bread] for the rich tanner" -- i.e. the poor tanner needs as much to eat as the rich tanner, and since the law of Bar Meitzra is based on the verse, "v'Asisa ha'Yashar veha'Tov" (see previous entry), which obliges a person to act with kindness towards his neighbor, the requirement to do "ha'Yashar veha'Tov" itself requires you, Ravina, to let Runya buy the land so that he will be able to support himself and his family from the income that it will provide (RASHI 1st explanation, RABEINU GERSHOM); (b) "[the poor tanner must pay] four [Zuz] to buy the leather, [and he must pay] four [Zuz] to the leather-workers (to make the shoes)," and thus his profit on the finished item is very little, and therefore you, Ravina, should do a kindness and let Runya buy the land in order to support himself and his family from the income that it will provide (RASHI, 2nd explanation); (c) Ravina had three fields which bordered the field for sale, and Runya had one field which bordered the field for sale, and thus Ravina assumed that his right of Bar Meitzra was greater than Runya's right. Rav Safra told him that "four [Zuz must be paid to the leather-worker] for [processing] a large piece of leather, and four [Zuz must be paid to the leather-worker] for [processing] a small piece of leather" -- i.e. the law of Bar Meitzra teaches that it takes as much effort to work a small field (one field) as it takes to work a large field (two adjacent fields), and therefore the owner of the neighboring field is entitled to buy the field first, and thus as long as Runya owns a neighboring field (regardless of the size), he is just as entitled to the right of Bar Meitzra as Ravina is (RABEINU TAM).

18) [line 21] TIKRAH - roof beam
19) [line 23] HA'KOVE'A ZEMAN L'CHAVEIRO - one who specifies a time for his fellow man [to repay a loan]

20) [line 24] PERA'TICHA B'SOCH ZEMANI - I paid you back within my time (before the payment date arrived)

21) [line 25] U'LEVAI! - if only!
22) [line 26] B'GAV ZIMNEI - within his allotted time
23) [line 26] ZIMNIN D'MISRAMU LEI ZUZEI - sometimes he unexpectedly obtains some money


24) [line 1] KI HEICHI D'LO LITARDAN - in order that I should not be bothered (to pay the loan at a later date)

25) [line 6] KOL SAFA V'SAFA ZIMNEI HU - after each row of stones is laid, it is time for him to pay his share

One who comes to collect payment from the property of orphans may not collect without an oath. A creditor who wishes to collect his loan from the debtor's estate (that has been inherited by his sons -- lit. orphans) needs to take an oath attesting to the fact that he has not previously collected any of the loan from the debtor's property (Kesuvos 105a).

27) [last line] MAH LI L'SHAKER?
The words "Mah Li l'Shaker" literally mean, "Why should I lie?" This concept is a legal device with which a person's claim is believed because had he wanted to lie, there was a lie that he could have used that would have been more readily believed by Beis Din. However, if a person's believability in Beis Din is based upon a Mah Li l'Shaker and there are witnesses who testify against his claim, the witnesses are believed.

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