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Bava Basra, 11
BAVA BASRA 11 (18 Nisan)  Dedicated by Kenny & Aliza Weinblatt in memory of
their grandfather, Sam (Shmuel Ben Baruch) Silverman Z"L, who was Niftar on
18 Nisan. May all the Zechuyos from this learning provide an Aliyah for his
Neshamah.

1) THE 22 YEARS ADDED TO BINYAMIN HA'TZADIK'S LIFE
QUESTION: The Gemara relates that Binyamin ha'Tzadik saved the life of a
woman and her seven sons by giving them Tzedakah from his own money when
there was nothing left in the public charity funds, and he was rewarded by
having a Divine decree against him annulled, and by having an additional 22
years added to his life.
Why was he given specifically *22* extra years of life?
ANSWERS: (a) The VILNA GA'ON explains that the reason why 22 years were
added to Binyamin ha'Tzadik's life was because the Gemara earlier (9b)
teaches that a person who appeases and encourages a poor person is blessed
with 11 blessings. Binyamin ha'Tzadik appeased the poor woman and her seven
sons when he said that he wished with all his heart that he could help her,
but that the communal funds were depleted. He thereby appeased 8 people (the
woman and her seven sons), and thus he was deserving of 88 blessings (11 X
8). The Chachamim teach (see Sotah 21a) that each blessing is comprised of
three months of added life. 88 blessings times 3 months equals 264 months,
or 22 years.
(b) The TORAS CHAIM writes that Binyamin ha'Tzadik was given an extra 22
years of life to correspond to the 22 letters with which the Torah was
written, because he fulfilled the Torah's dictum, "Whoever saves one life is
considered to have saved an entire world." (A similar reward of 22 years was
granted to Rebbi Yosi, as the Zohar, Parshas Balak, relates.)
(c) The CHASAM SOFER explains that Binyamin ha'Tzadik was rewarded not only
for the eight actual lives that he saved, but also for the lives of their
descendants. This is based on the words of RASHI in Bereishis (4:10), who
explains that Kayin was punished not only for killing his brother, but also
for preventing the lives of his brother's descendants from coming into
existence ("Kol *Demei* Achicha Tzo'akim"). Each of the woman's seven sons
would bear, in the future, at least two children (a boy and a girl) in order
to fulfill the Mitzvah of Piryah v'Rivyah. Hence, Binyamin ha'Tzadik saved
the 8 lives of the woman and her seven sons, plus the 14 lives of the
children of the seven sons. For these 22 lives, Binyamin ha'Tzadik was
rewarded in this world with 22 extra years of life. (See also third
explanation of BEN YEHOYADA.)
(See also MAHARSHA, BEN YEHOYADA, IYUN YAKOV, and EINAYIM LA'MISHPAT.)
2) HALACHAH: FOUR AMOS  NET OR GROSS
QUESTION: The Mishnah states that a jointlyowned courtyard (Chatzer) cannot
be divided among the partners unless each partner will receive, after it is
divided, at least four Amos.
The Mishnah at the beginning of Bava Basra teaches that when neighbors
divide a Chatzer, they build a wall in the middle. The width of the wall
depends on the custom of the place.
Is the area in the Chatzer that the wall takes up included in the minimum
four Amos that each neighbor must receive, or must each neighbor receive
four Amos *after* accounting for the area of the wall? For example, in a
place where the custom is to build a wall six Tefachim (one Amah) wide, does
the minimum size of the Chatzer, in order for it to be divided, have to be
*nine* Amos (so that each neighbor receives a net area of four Amos after
contributing a halfAmah for the wall), or does the minimum size have to be
only *eight* Amos, so that each neighbor receives a gross area of four Amos
(before contributing space for the wall), even though, in the end, each one
will receive only three and a half Amos?
ANSWER: The YAD RAMAH (end of #136) rules that it is logical that the space
that each neighbor receives does *not* include the area on which the wall is
built, because each neighbor must receive at least four Amos of *usable*
Chatzer space. Therefore, each neighbor must receive at least four Amos
*after* the area of the wall has been taken into account. (He brings proof
for this from Sukah 3a.) This is also the view of the RASHBA (in Sukah
there), and the TESHUVOS MAIMONIS (Hilchos Shechenim #14). The EINAYIM
LA'MISHPAT also infers that this is the Halachah from the words of the
RAMBAM (Hilchos Shechenim 2:1). The CHASAM SOFER also infers this from the
words of the Mishnah itself.
A brilliant proof for this has been suggested in the name of RAV YEHOSHUA
LEIB DISKIN zt'l. The Maharil Diskin cites the words of TOSFOS at the
beginning of the Masechta (2a, DH b'Gevil). The Mishnah states that in a
place where the custom is to build a wall with "Gevil" bricks, each neighbor
must give three Tefachim (so that the wall will be a total of six Tefachim
wide). Why does the Mishnah specify that each of the two neighbors must give
three Tefachim? It should say simply that where the custom is to build a
wall with "Gevil" bricks, the wall must be six Tefachim! Tosfos answers that
had it said merely that the wall must be six Tefachim, we might have
mistakenly assumed that it means that each neighbor must give six Tefachim
worth of bricks and space, such that the total width of the wall must be
*twelve* Tefachim. Therefore, the Mishnah specifies that each person gives
only three Tefachim, and thus we know that the total width of the wall is
six Tefachim.
The Maharil Diskin proposes that the words of Tosfos prove that the minimum
area that each neighbor must receive in order for the Chatzer to be divided
does not include the area on which the wall is built. He explains as
follows: Suppose, hypothetically, that the wall that must be built in
between the two neighbors' courtyards had to be 24 Tefachim wide, or 4 Amos.
If the width of the wall *is* included in the minimum area that each
neighbor must receive upon dividing the Chatzer, then how would the Mishnah
express the requirement to build a wall of such width? It would state simply
that the neighbors build a wall of a width of 24 Tefachim, and we would know
that it means that each neighbor contributes 12 Tefachim of space. It would
not need to state explicitly that each neighbor contributes 12 Tefachim,
because there is no room for error; if the Mishnah would state that the wall
must be 24 Tefachim, then we would know that it means a *total* of 24
Tefachim and not that each person must contribute 24 Tefachim (for a wall
with a total width of 48 Tefachim), because then each neighbor would be
receiving *no* courtyard space whatsoever (since the Mishnah here states
that each neighbor receives 4 Amos, which is 24 Tefachim).
Now, let us suppose, hypothetically, that the wall that must be built in
between the two neighbors' courtyards had to be 12 Tefachim wide (or 2
Amos). Again, if the width of the wall *is* included in the minimum area
that each neighbor must receive upon dividing the Chatzer, then how would
the Mishnah express the requirement to build a wall of such width? It would
state simply that the neighbors build a wall of a width of 12 Tefachim, and
we would know that it means that each neighbor contributes 6 Tefachim of
space. We would not think that the Mishnah means that each neighbor must
contribute 12 Tefachim (for a wall of a total width of 24 Tefachim), because
if the Mishnah meant that the wall is to be 24 Tefachim wide, then it would
state simply that they build a wall of 24 Tefachim, and we would know that
it means that each neighbor contributes 12 Tefachim, because of the reason
stated above (i.e. that there is no room for error to think that the Mishnah
means that *each* neighbor is to contribute 24 Tefachim).
Taking this one step further, suppose that the wall had to be six Tefachim
wide (which, in fact, is the Halachah in a place where the custom is to
build with "Gevil"). If the width of the wall *is* included in the minimum
area that each neighbor must receive upon dividing the Chatzer, then how
would the Mishnah express the requirement to build a wall of such width? As
we have shown already, the Mishnah would state simply that the neighbors
build a wall of a width of 6 Tefachim, and we would know that it means that
each neighbor contributes 3 Tefachim of space. It would not need to state
explicitly that each neighbor contributes 3 Tefachim, because there is no
room for error; if the Mishnah would state that the wall must be 6 Tefachim,
we would not think that it means that *each* neighbor gives 6 Tefachim (for
a wall of a total width of 12 Tefachim), because then the Mishnah would say
clearly that the wall must be 12 Tefachim (because, again, we would not err
and think that it means that each one must contribute 12 Tefachim, because
then it would say simply that the wall must be 24 Tefachim, and there is no
room (literally) for error, as explained above).
Therefore, from the fact that Tosfos says that we *would* have mistakenly
thought that each person must give 6 Tefachim had the Mishnah stated that
the wall must be 6 Tefachim, it must be that the wall is *not* included in
the minimum area that each neighbor must receive in order to divide the
Chatzer. Hence, the Mishnah tells us that each person must give 3 Tefachim
when it tells us that the wall must be a total of 6 Tefachim. Extrapolating
to our hypothetical cases, this would mean that if the wall had to be a
total of 12 Tefachim, then the Mishnah would have said that each neighbor
contributes 6 Tefachim. If the wall had to be a total of 24 Tefachim, then
the Mishnah would have said that each neighbor contributes 12 Tefachim. It
would not have said simply to build to a wall of 24 Tefachim, because then
we might have mistakenly thought that it means that each person must
contribute 24 Tefachim of space. The only way we would have thought that
each person must contribute 24 Tefachim  or 4 Amos  of space is if the
space that is used to build the wall is *not* included in the minimum
Chatzer area (i.e. 4 Amos) that each neighbor receives, because otherwise
the neighbors would not be receiving any usable Chatzer!
11b
3) BRING THE DONKEY INTO THE HOUSE
QUESTION: The Gemara (11a) teaches that when a jointlyowned Chatzer is
divided among the owners of the houses that open into the Chatzer, each
owner receives an additional four Amos of space for every doorway that his
house has, in order to give him room to park his donkey when unloading it.
Rav Huna rules that an "Achsadrah" (a structure that is covered by a roof by
is not entirely enclosed by walls), though, does not receive this area of
four Amos. Since it is not enclosed by walls, the owner can have the donkey
enter the Achsadrah and unload it there.
Why does the case of an Achsadrah differ from the case of a doorway that is
eight Amos wide? The Gemara earlier (11a) quotes a Beraisa which teaches
that a doorway that is eight Amos wide receives an area of *eight* Amos (by
four Amos) in the Chatzer. According to Rav Huna, why should a doorway of
eight Amos get an area of eight Amos for unloading? It should receive only
four Amos, like every other doorway, and the owner should have to bring the
donkey into the doorway unload it there! (RA'AVAD cited by the Shitah
Mekubetzes)
ANSWERS: The RA'AVAD answers that a doorway that is eight Amos wide has
doors along that width which will impede the unloading of the donkey there
and damage the merchandise. In addition, the ceiling is low and it is
difficult to unload the donkey there. Because of the doors and the low
ceiling, the owner is not required to bring his donkey into the doorway to
unload it. An Achsadrah, in contrast, has no doors, and thus the owner is
required to bring his donkey into the Achsadrah and unload it there.
The RASHBA questions the Ra'avad's answer. The Gemara says that when a house
has half of a roof, even when the roof is on the outer side of the house
(adjacent to the Chatzer) we required the owner to bring his donkey into the
inner part of the house to unload it there, and we do not give an extra four
Amos to the doorway of that house. There, too, there are two problems  the
doors and the low ceiling, and yet we still require the owner to bring his
donkey into the house!
(b) The RASHBA answers that the different between a house with a wide
doorway and an Achsadrah is that the entire fourth side of the Achsadrah is
completely open with no wall (this is in accordance with the definition of
Achsadrah as given by the RA'AVAD and TOSFOS (DH Hacha), in contrast to the
definition of RASHI who says that an Achsadrah has no walls). Since it is
completely open on one side, the owner does not leave any objects of value
there for lengthy periods of time. Therefore, the owner can easily bring his
donkey into the Achsadrah and unload it there, because there are no objects
there that would impede it. In contrast, a house contains all of the objects
that are normally used in a house, and thus it is not possible to bring
one's donkey into the house to unload it there. (I. Alsheich)
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