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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!

1a) [line 1] [BIRCHAN B'SHEMONEH] MI'"V'HAYAH IM SHAMO'A TISHMA" - (lit. [Moshe] blessed [Yisrael] with eight in [the verse] "v'Hayah Im Shamo'a Tishma") In Parshas Ki Savo, HaSh-m promises (through Moshe Rabeinu, who spoke the words of the Book of Devarim) that if Benei Yisrael study the Torah diligently and keep all of the Mitzvos, they will be showered with bountiful blessings. The first word of the first verse of the verses of blessing (Devarim 28:1-14) begins with the letter "Vav" which is *eight* letters away from the last letter of the last word of the last verse (the letter "Mem").
b) [line 1] V'KILELAN B'ESRIM V'SHTAYIM - (lit. and [Moshe] cursed them with twenty-two) After the verses of blessing, HaSh-m promises that it Benei Yisrael do not study the Torah diligently and do not perform the Mitzvos, they will be utterly destroyed. The first word of the first verse of the verses of destruction ("curses") (ibid. 28:15-68) begins with the letter "Vav," and the last word of the last verse ends with the letter "Heh" (representing the *twenty-two* letters of the Alef-Beis - from Vav until the end and then from the beginning until Heh)

2) [line 4] (SIMAN EIN ME'AYNIN V'EIN GODSHIN B'AGARDEMIN UV'LITRA SHELOSHAH V'ESER NEFESH MISHKALOS MEMACHEK AVEH LO SA'ASU LO (YA'ASEH) [YASH'HEH]) - this is a mnemonic device for remembering the following Beraisa'os that the Gemara brings that discuss matters of weights related to the end of our Mishnah (the first two seem to be interchanged):

1. *Ein Me'aynin* refers to "Tanu Rabanan, Minayin *she'Ein Me'aynin* b'Makom she'Machri'in..." (line 10)
2. *v'Ein Godshin* refers to " Tanu Rabanan, Minayin she'Ein Mochakin b'Makom she'Godshin *v'Ein Godshin* b'Makom she'Mochakin..." (line 6)
3. *b'Agardenim* refers to " Tanu Rabanan, Yiheyeh Lecha, Melamed she'Ma'amidin *Agardemin* l'Midos..." (line 15)
4. *uv'Litra* refers to "Tanu Rabanan, Hayah Mevakesh Mimenu *Litra*..." (line 21)
5. *Sheloshah* refers to "Tanu Rabanan, Hayah Mevakesh Mimenu *Sheloshah* Reva'ei Litra..." (line 23)
6. *v'Eser* refers to "Tanu Rabanan, Hayah Mevakesh Mimenu *Eser* Litrin..." (line 25)
7. *Nefesh* refers to "Tanu Rabanan, *Nefesh* Moznayim Teluyah ba'Avir..." (line 27)
8. *Mishkalos* refers to "Tanu Rabanan, Ein Osin *Mishkelos* Lo Shel Etz..." (Daf 89b, line 5)
9. *Memachek* refers to "Tanu Rabanan, Ein Osin *ha'Machak* Shel Dela'as..." (Daf 89b, line 8)
10. *Aveh* refers to "Tanu Rabanan, Ein Osin Es ha'Machak Tzido Echad *Av* v'Tzido Echad Katzar..." (Daf 89b, line 11)
11. *Lo Sa'asu* refers to "Tanu Rabanan, *Lo Sa'asu* Avel ba'Mishpat..." (Daf 89b, line 22)
12. *Lo (Ya'aseh) [Yash'heh]* refers to "Tanya Nami Hachi, *Lo Yash'heh* Adam Midah Chaseirah..." (Daf 89b, line 38)
3a) [line 10] ME'AININ - [in a place where] they weigh an exact measurement (such as in a place where the practice is not to bend down the scales an extra Tefach for the buyer)
b) [line 10] MACHRI'IN - [in a place where] they bend down [the side of the scale for the buyer, in order to give him more merchandise]

4) [line 13] "LO YIHEYEH LECHA B'VEISCHA EIFAH V'EIFAH, [GEDOLAH U'KETANAH.]" - "You shall not have in your house a measure and a measure, [a large one and a small one]." (Devarim 25:14) - The Gemara interprets the verse as saying, "You will not have [anything] in your house, [because of the sin of having] a measure and a measure, a large one and a small one." The Gemara interprets the preceding verse (Devarim 25:13) in the same manner, "You will not have [anything] in your money-purse, [because of the sin of having] a weight and a weight, a large one and a small one."

5) [line 16] AGARDEMIN - a public official appointed to check the weights and measures being used and to punish those who use deceitful weights and measures

6a) [line 16] MIDOS - weights and measures
b) [line 16] SHE'ARIM - prices
7) [line 16] D'VEI NESI'AH - the members of the house of the Nasi (the Exilarch)
8) [line 20] NAFKA LEI KARNA B'EINEI - a growth of flesh grew in his eye
9) [line 21] RAMA'IN - swindlers
10) [line 22] LITRA - a measure of weight. A Litra is identified with the the Roman Libra, a pound.

11) [line 23] D'MASKENINAN MASKELEI AD HACHI - that we (Beis Din) establish weights in these denominations (to be used as the standard measures in order to prevent errors from occuring, and to prevent intentional fraudulent activity)

12) [line 24] SHEKOL LI SHELOSHAH REVA'EI LITRA ACHAS ACHAS - weigh for me [the 3/4 of a Litra of meat that I want to buy by measuring] three one-quarter-Litra weights (as counter-weights), one at a time

13) [line 25] SHOKEL LITRA U'MENI'ACH REVI'A LITRA IM HA'BASAR - [rather,] he weighs one Litra (as a counter-weight) and he places a one-quarter-Litra weight together with the meat

14) [line 26] V'HACHRI'A - and bend down [the scale one Tefach in favor of the buyer]

15a) [line 27] NEFESH MOZNAYIM - the hollow tube of a balance scale, which constitutes the mechanism by which the scale is attached to the string from which it is suspended from the roof (or by which the scale is held by hand). The hollow tube is attached to the midpoint of the "Kaneh," the horizontal beam of the scale itself, lying with its length across the width of the Kaneh. The string is strung through the hollow tube in order to support the scales and serve as the fulcrum, allowing it to tip freely to either side. Attached to the top of this hollow tube is a "Lashon" ("tongue") which is affixed perpendicular to the Kaneh. Its purpose is to indicate, visually, whether the weights on the two sides of the Kaneh are evenly balanced.
b) [line 28] TELUYAH BA'AVIR SHELOSHAH TEFACHIM - it must be suspended in the air [at least] three Tefachim [from the ceiling]

16) [line 28] GEVOHAH MIN HA'ARETZ SHELOSHAH TEFACHIM - it must be raised above the ground [at least] three Tefachim

17a) [line 28] KANEH - the horizontol beam of the scale, to which the two scales are attached on each of its two far sides
b) [line 28] MISNA - the cord of the scales
18a) [line 29] TZAMARIM - wool dealers
b) [line 29] ZAGAGIN - glass dealers
19) [line 32] TURTENI - silversmiths and goldsmiths


20) [line 1] DIGRUMEI - coppersmiths and ironsmiths (RASHBAM)

21) [line 2] TUM'ASAN - their ability to become Tamei. If the parts of the respective types of scales are not the prescribed sizes, then the scales are not considered Kelim and cannot become Tamei. (TUM'AS KELIM) A utensil is considered "ready" to receive Tum'ah only after it is completely finished. If the artisan only *decided* that the utensil needs no more work, it is considered complete and may become Tamei. In our Sugya, the Gemara states that a scale that is not built with the proper-sized parts is not considered a utensil and cannot become Tamei. (For a further discussion of the principles of Tum'ah and Taharah, see Background to Nazir 54:13.)

22) [line 3] CHUT MOZNAYIM - the rope by which the scale is hung from the ceiling
23) [line 5] MISHKALOS - weights
24a) [line 6] BA'ATZ - (O.F. estain) tin
b) [line 6] AVAR - (O.F. plombe) lead
c) [line 6] GISTERON - an alloyed metal (see Rabeinu Gershom)
25a) [line 8] TZUNMA - stone
b) [line 8] ZECHUCHIS - glass
26) [line 8] MACHAK - (O.F. rastoire) the plane used to smooth down the top of produce in the container

27) [line 9] DELA'AS - a gourd or pumpkin
28) [line 9] KAL - [it is too] light [and it does not smooth down the produce well, and thus the seller will lose out]

29) [line 9] MATECHES - metal
30) [line 10] MACHBID - it weighs [on the produce and removes too much of the produce, and thus the buyer will lose out]

31a) [line 10] ZAYIS - olive-wood
b) [line 11] EGOZ - nut
c) [line 11] SHIKMAH - a sycomore tree (or Egyptian fig)
d) [line 11] ESHKERO'A - (O.F. buis) a type of cedar-wood or box-wood

32) [line 22] "LO SA'ASU AVEL BA'MISHPAT, BA'MIDAH, BA'MISHKAL, UVA'MESURAH." - ""You shall not make a corruption of justice, in measures of length, in weight, and in volume." (Vayikra 19:35) - "Mesurah" is used here as a general term for volume, although it literally means a specific measure of volume (i.e. 1/36th of a Log), as the Gemara describes.

33) [line 25] SHE'LO YATMIN MISHKELOSAV B'MELACH - that one shall not store his weights in salt. According to Rashi in Bava Metzia (61b), and the Rashbam and Rabeinu Gershom here, this refers to the buyer's weights (as it was occasionally the buyer who brought his own weights with which to weigh the merchandise); the salt caused the weights to become heavier than they were labeled. According to other Rishonim (Ritva, Bava Metzia 61b), this refers to the seller's weights; the salt corroded the weights, causing them to become lighter than they were labeled. (One transgresses this prohibition the moment that he stores his weights in salt, even before he uses the weight to cheat someone.)

34) [line 26] SHE'LO YARTI'ACH - (O.F. escume) that one shall not cause it to foam up (when pouring the wine or other liquid into the buyer's vessel, making it appear full when it is not full)

35) [line 27] MESURAH - a measure of volume, equal to 1/36th of a Log

(a) Equivalents of the liquid measures mentioned in our Gemara:

  • 1 Hin (Tarkav) = 12 Lugin = 1 Tarkav (of dry measure; see below)
  • 1 Chatzi ha'Hin = 6 Lugin
  • 1 Shelishis ha'Hin = 4 Lugin = 1 Kav (of dry measure)
  • 1 Revi'is ha'Hin = 3 Lugin
  • 1 Log = 6 Beitzim = 1/4 Kav (of dry measure)
  • 1 Chatzi Log = 3 Beitzim = 1 Toman (of dry measure)
  • 1 Revi'is Log = 1.5 Beitzim
  • 1 Toman* = 1/8 Log = 0.75 (3/4) Beitzah
  • 1 Chatzi Toman = 1/16 Log = 3/8 Beitzah
  • 1 Uchla = 1/32 Log = 3/16 Beitzah
*The MAHARSHA, in explaining the Rashbam, points out that "Toman" is a generic term (which means "one eighth," from "Timna" (eight), in Aramaic) which refers to 1/8 of a Log (or 3/4 of a Beitzah) when used in reference to liquid measures, and to 1/8 of a *Kav* (or 3 Beitzim) when used in reference to dry measures.

(b) Modern-day equivalents:

  • 1 Hin = 3.6, 4.145 or 7.2 ml
  • 1 Log = 0.3, 0.345 or 0.6 ml
37a) [line 31] MIDAH CHASERAH - a weight or measure that is lacking [its specified measure]
b) [line 32] YESERAH - a weight or measure that is more [than its specified measure]

38) [line 32] AVIT SHEL MEIMEI RAGLAYIM - a clay vessel used for the collection of urine

39) [line 33] B'ASRA D'LO CHASIMEI - in a place where they (the goverment authorities) do not stamp [an official seal of approval on measures]

40) [line 36] MEHANDESEI - appointed officials who check the accuracy of weights and measures and punish those who have inaccurate weights and measures

41) [line 37] ZIMNIN D'MIKRI BEIN HA'SHEMASHOS - sometimes it happens [that a person comes to buy merchandise] during Beis ha'Shemashos, at the end of the day [when people are in a hurry to finish their dealings and return home]
b) [line 37] U'MIKRI V'SHAKIL - and it happens that he weighs [with the inaccurate measure]. The Rashbam gives two explanations: (a) this refers to the allowance to keep an inaccurate measure in one's possession when there are officials appointed to inspect for such weights and measures; nevertheless, it is prohibited, because perhaps the inspectors will come during Bein ha'Shemashos and will be in a rush and will not find the inaccurate measure; (b) this refers to when there is an official stamp that is placed on valid measures; nevertheless, it is prohibited to keep such a measure in one's home, lest the buyer be in a rush and use it to measure his merchandise, not noticing that it has no official stamp.

42a) [line 40] AVAL OSEH HU SE'AH - but he is permitted to keep the following types of dry measures in his home: a Se'ah, etc. [see detailed list that follows] b) [line 40] SE'AH / TARKAV / KAV / ROVA / TOMAN / UCHLA (MEASUREMENTS OF DRY VOLUME)

  • 1 Se'ah = 6 Kabin
  • 1 Tarkav* = 3 Kav
  • 1 Chatzi Tarkav = 1.5 Kav
  • 1 Kav = 4 Lugin = 24 Beitzim
  • 1 Chatzi Kav = 2 Lugin = 12 Beitzim
  • 1 Rova [1/4 Kav] = 1 Log = 6 Beitzim
  • 1 Tomen [1/8 Kav] = 3 Beitzim (or 1/2 Log)
  • 1 Chatzi Tomen = 1.5 Beitzim
  • 1 Uchla [1/20 Kav] = 1.2 Beitzim
*(the word Tarkav is a conjunction of the words Trei (two [Kavim]) and Kav (one Kav), yielding three Kavim.)

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