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Bava Basra 23

BAVA BASRA 20-25 - sponsored by Harav Ari Bergmann of Lawrence, N.Y., out of love for the Torah and for those who study it.

1) [line 1] UMNEI - blood-letters
2) [line 1] ORVEI - ravens
3) [line 2] SALKEI (A'BEI) [V'YASVEI B']TA'ALEI - they would go up and sit in the date-palms

4) [line 3] APIKU LI KORKOR ME'HACHA - Get these ravens away from here [by keeping the blood letters away from my trees]! (he called the ravens "Korkor" based on the sound that they make)

5) [line 6] V'HA ACHZIK LEHU - but they can claim that they had gained the rights to work there through a Chazakah (that is, no one protested when they started to work there, and thus they attained the right to work there)

6) [line 7] EIN CHAZAKAH L'NEZIKIN - a Chazakah does not work for an activity that causes damage
Even though Ein Chazakah l'Nezikin was said only with regard to activities that cause severe damage (such as setting up something that makes a lot of smoke, or setting up a bathroom), Rav Yosef claimed that he was extremely sensitive and that the damage being caused by the blood-letters (that is, either the blood that the ravens were splattering around him (TOSFOS), or the loud noise that the ravens were making (BI'UR HA'GRA CM 155:116) was akin to him like smoke or a bathroom.

7) [line 8] B'KURTA - with regard to smoke [from a furnace]
8) [line 9] D'ANINA DA'ATAI - I am an Istenis, an extremely fastidious, sensitive individual

9) [line 11] SHOVACH - a dovecote

(a) Equivalents of length and distance used in the Gemara:

  • 1 Parsah = 8000 Amos = 30 Ris = 4 Mil
  • 1 Mil = 2000 Amos = 7.5 Ris
  • 1 Ris = 266.66 Amos
  • 1 Amah = 2 Zerasos = 6 Tefachim
  • 1 Zeres = 3 Tefachim
  • 1 Tefach = 4 Etzba'os
(b) Modern-day equivalents:
1 Amah = approximately 0.456, 0.48 or 0.576 meter, depending upon the differing Halachic opinions
1 Mil = approximately 912, 960 or 1152 meters, depending upon the differing Halachic opinions
(a) Equivalents of volume used in the Gemara:
  • 1 Kor (= 1 Chomer) = 30 Se'in
  • 1 Lesech = 15 Se'in
  • 1 Eifah = 3 Se'in
  • 1 Se'ah = 6 Kabin
  • 1 Tarkav (= 3 Kabin) = 12 Lugin
  • 1 Kav = 4 Lugin
  • 1 Log (= 1 Rova) = 4 Revi'iyos = 6 Beitzim
  • 1 Beitzah = 2 k'Zeisim
(b) Modern-day equivalents:
1 k'Zayis = approximately 0.025, 0.0288 or 0.05 liters, depending upon the differing Halachic opinions.
1 Kor = 216, 148.83 or 432 liters, depending upon the differing Halachic opinions
(c) A Beis Arba'ah Korin is a parcel of land in which four Kor of grain is normally planted. The area of a Beis Arba'ah Korin is 300,000 square Amos, approximately 62,382, 69,120 or 99,532.8 square meters, depending upon the differing Halachic opinions.

12) [line 14] MELO SHEGER HA'YONAH - the distance that a dove flies in one stretch

13) [line 17] EIN PORSIN NISHBIN L'YONIM - we may not spread nets for catching doves

14) [line 18] YISHUV - a settlement

15) [line 18] 30 RIS
(a) See above, entry #10.
(b) Modern-day equivalents:
30 Ris = approximately 3648, 3840 or 4608 meters, depending upon the differing Halachic opinions

16) [line 19] MEISHAT SHAITEI TUVA - they fly very far
17) [line 19] KERESAIHU B'CHAMISHIM AMAH MALYA - they fill up their stomachs within fifty Amos

18) [line 20] U'MEISHAT SHELOSHIM RIS, V'SU LO? - And they fly up to thirty Ris (see entry #10), and not more?

19) [line 21] UV'YISHUV - and near a settlement [we may not spread nets for catching doves]

20) [line 22] YISHUV KERAMIM - a settled area [containing a string] of vineyards

21) [line 23] YISHUV SHOVCHIN - a settled area [containing a string] of dovecotes

22) [line 28] TO'ANIN L'YORESH V'TO'ANIN L'LOKE'ACH - we (Beis Din) make a claim on behalf of an heir (from whom someone is making a claim in court), and we make a claim on behalf of a buyer

23) [line 29] HA'BA MACHMAS YERUSHAH - one who comes [to uphold his claim on a piece of land that he received] because of an inheritance [against the claim of another party who claims that the land belongs to them]

24a) [line 31] ZIZIN - roof beams [that jut out into the public domain]
b) [line 31] GEZUZTERA'OS - balconies

25) [line 34] ACHULEI ACHIL BENEI RESHUS HA'RABIM GABEI - (lit. the people who use the public domain forgo in his favor) the seven elders of the town council (who have the right to decide such matters - TOSFOS) have forgone [and ceded the land] in his favor

26) [line 36] PEYUSEI PAISEI - he has appeased (with or without monetary compensation)

27) [line 37] SHAVIK - to pardon [him] and allow [him the right to use the public domain]


28) [line 1] NIPOL - a young bird; fledgling

(a) When there is a doubt as to the source of a certain item, i.e. from where it comes or to which group it belongs, the Torah informs us that we may resolve the doubt according to certain set rules. Among these rules are "Halech Achar ha'Rov" (assume that an item comes from the largest group) and "Halech Achar ha'Karov" (assume that an item comes from the nearest group). For example, a bird is found on Yom Tov, and we are in doubt as to whether it is Muchan, i.e. the owner planned to eat it on Yom Tov (and it is not Muktzah), or a different bird (which is Muktzah). If the majority of the birds at hand are Muchanos, we consider this bird Muchan, also, and it may be slaughtered. Similarly, if it is found closer to the Muchanos, it is likewise deemed Muchan.
(b) The source for Halech Achar ha'Rov is the verse, "Acharei Rabim l'Hatos" (Shemos 23:2, Chulin 11a). Halech Achar ha'Karov is learned from Parshas Eglah Arufah (Devarim 21:1-9, see Background to Bava Metzia 30:6). The Torah states that the city that is *closest* to the dead body is the one that must bring an Eglah Arufah, since the murderer probably came from that city.
(c) When these two rules lead to differing conclusions, as in our Mishnah, the Amora'im contemplate whether we follow the Rov or the Karov. Their conclusion is that the Rov outweighs the Karov, and we follow that conclusion.

30) [line 8] "V'HAYAH HA'IR HA'KEROVAH EL HE'CHALAL, [V'LAKCHU ZIKNEI HA'IR HA'HI EGLAS BAKAR...]" - "And it shall be, that the city that is closest to the slain man, [the elders of that city shall take a heifer...]" (Devarim 21:3) - See Background to Bava Metzia 30:6, "Eglah Arufah."

31) [line 10] NEFISHA - [that have] more [people]
32) [line 17] MEDADEH - [the small bird is] hopping about

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