THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
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Bava Basra, 60
BAVA BASRA 60 - sponsored by Harav Ari Bergmann of Lawrence, N.Y., out of
love for the Torah and for those who study it.
1) ADDING ROOM IN A HOUSE
QUESTION: The Mishnah teaches that a person living in a jointly-owned
Chatzer cannot made additions to his house, but he may build a room within
his house or an attic atop his house. The Gemara explains that the room may
be built only by dividing a pre-existing room, but not by adding an
additional room. The attic, or upper story ("Aliyah"), may be built with an
"Apsa" (an apse). The RASHBAM explains that an Apsa refers to a small room
on the side of a house which has a lower roof than the rest of the house.
His source is the Mishnah later (61a) which implies that an Apsa is a
"Yatzi'a," meaning a side-room. How, though, is this related to an upper
story? The Rashbam explains that when the Mishnah says that one may build an
upper story on the house, it is referring back to the previous sentence
which says that one may build an additional room by dividing a pre-existing
room into two (with a vertical partition). The Mishnah means that after
dividing a room into two, he may divide the additional room (that he has
just made) with a horizontal partition, thus making a two-story Apsa.
Why does the Rashbam explain that the person divides only the back room? It
should be just as permitted to make a second story with the entire house!
The Rashbam seems to derive this from the words of the Gemara which explain
that the Aliyah was over the Apsa, but not over the entire house. Our
question, though, can be asked on the Gemara -- why does the Gemara itself
allow only a division to be made over the Apsa? (MAHARSHA, RASHASH)
(a) The YISHUV DA'AS (of Rav Chaim Kanievsky, shlit'a, in KOVETZ MEFARSHEI
MAHARSHA) explains that it is true that the Halachah of our Mishnah would
apply even if the person divides the height of his entire house. However, a
person does not normally lower the ceiling of his living quarters, because
the ceiling was not built higher than necessary in the first place.
Therefore, he would only divide the ceiling of the extra room that he built
for the guests (which is considered temporary quarters) and could be used
even with a lower ceiling.
The ARUCH (Erech Apsa) and the RASHBA explain that the Apsa mentioned in our
Gemara *is* referring to a second story (a normal Aliyah), as is the Apsa
mentioned later (61a; see RABEINU GERSHOM there).
2) MOVING ONE'S WALL AWAY FROM "RESHUS HA'RABIM"
QUESTION: If a person moved his wall -- that was adjacent to Reshus
ha'Rabim -- away from Reshus ha'Rabim into his own property, and then he
decided to move his wall back to its original location, Rebbi Yochanan does
not permit him to do so. His reasoning is because the public has already
attained permission to walk through that area and, consequently, it has
become public property. However, he *is* allowed to extend protrusions
("Zizim") from his wall into the area that the wall used to cover. The
Gemara implies that even if he did not build these Zizim originally, he is
allowed to add them even after the public has started walking there.
If the public has already attained rights to the area by walking through it,
then why is it permitted for the owner to extend Zizim from the wall into
the public property? (KOVETZ SHI'URIM)
ANSWER: The KOVETZ SHI'URIM answers that when a person withdraws his wall
into his own property, it is as if he is saying that the public may acquire
only what he wants to offer to them. We assume that the person was only
offering the public the rights to walk in that area, but not the rights to
prevent him from extending his Zizim into that area. (It seems that it is
permitted to add protrusions only above the height of a walking person so
that the people walking there will not be impeded.)