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Prepared by Rabbi P. Feldman
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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Bava Basra 2

BAVA BASRA 2 - dedicated by Dovid and Zahava Rubner of Petach Tikva, l'Iluy Nishmas his mother, Mrs. Seren Rubner (Yahrzeit: 8 Nisan). May the light of the Torah shine in their home and the homes of their children, bringing them joy and success in all their endeavors!


(a) (Mishnah): Partners that want to make a Mechitzah (divider) in the yard build the wall in the middle.
(b) They build as the local custom, with uneven stones, even stones, half-bricks or bricks.
1. When they use uneven stones - each gives three Tefachim of his property for the wall;
2. When they use even stones - (each gives) two and a half Tefachim; half-bricks - two Tefachim; bricks - one and a half Tefachim;
3. Therefore - if the wall falls, the area it occupied and the stones belong to both neighbors.
(c) Similarly, in a garden - in a place where people make a wall, one neighbor can force the other;
1. But in a valley - in a place where people don't make a wall, one neighbor cannot force the other;
2. If he wants to build the wall himself, he builds on his side, and makes a Chazis (sign); if the wall falls, the area and stones are his.
3. If they both build the wall, they build in the middle, and make a Chazis on each side;
4. If the wall falls, the area and stones belong to both of them.
(a) Version #1 (Gemara): We are thinking that 'Mechitzah' means wall, as in the following Beraisa.
(b) (Beraisa): If the Mechitzah of a vineyard (separating between it and a grain field) breaks, we tell the owner to repair it. If it breaks again, we tell him to repair it;

1. If he decided not to repair it, the grapes and grain become forbidden; he must pay for the grain.
(c) (Inference): The Mishnah says that they wanted to build a wall - if not, they could not force each other!
1. This teaches that loss of privacy is not considered damage.
(d) Question: Why not say that Mechitzah means division, as in "Mechetzas (the portion of) ha'Edah"; once the partners agree to divide, they must build a wall!
1. This would teach that loss of privacy is considered damage.
(e) Answer: If so, the Mishnah should have said 'that want to divide', not 'that want to make a division'.
(f) Counter-question: But if Mechitzah means wall, the Mishnah should have said 'they build it', not 'they build the wall'!
(g) Answer: Had it said 'they build it', one might have thought, a Mesifas (Rashi - a divider composed of stakes in the ground; Tosfos - a wall with windows) - 'the wall' teaches, they must build a proper wall.
(h) (Mishnah): They build the wall in the middle...
(i) Question: This is obvious!
(j) Answer: We need to hear when one neighbor persuaded the other neighbor to build it.
1. One might have thought, he only agreed to (a thin wall, which entails a loss of) air (circulation and light), not to a thick wall, which diminishes the space he can use in his Chatzer - the Mishnah teaches, this is not so.
(a) (The Gemara tries to prove that loss of privacy is considered damage.)
(b) Question #1 (Mishnah): And similarly in a garden...
(c) Answer: A garden is different, for R. Aba's reason.
1. (R. Aba): It is forbidden to look at another's field when it is laden with crops (on account of Ayin ha'Ra'ah (jealousy can arouse harsh judgment from Heaven)).
(d) Question: But it says 'similarly' (implying, for the same reason)!
(e) Answer: This refers to (area needed for each of) the building materials.
(f) Question #2 (Mishnah): If the wall of a Chatzer fell, they must rebuild it to four Amos.
(g) Answer: A wall that fell is different (Rashi - because they already agreed to have a wall; Tosfos - because they are used to doing things in the Chatzer that require privacy).
(h) Question: (The answer is obvious -) the one that asked, what did he think?
(i) Answer: He thought that the law is the same even if there was never a wall there - the case was given on account of the end of the Mishnah.
1. (End of the Mishnah): (Even if the wall was originally more than four Amos,) we do not force him to rebuild it more than four Amos.
(j) Question #3 (Mishnah): We force partners in a Chatzer to build a Beis Sha'ar (a wall to stop people from looking in through the gate) and door for the Chatzer.
1. This teaches that loss of privacy is considered damage!
2. Answer: No - that only shows that loss of privacy to the masses (that walk nearby) is damage.
(k) Question #4 (Mishnah): We only split a yard if each partner will receive four Amos.
(l) Suggestion: If each will receive four Amos, they divide it - with a wall!
(m) Answer: No, they have a simple divider in between.
(n) Question #5 (Mishnah): One who wants to build a wall opposite his neighbor's window - the wall must be at least four Amos higher than or four Amos lower than the window, and (if it is higher) at least four Amos away from the window.
1. (Beraisa): Four Amos above - so he cannot not crouch down from his wall and look into the window; below - so he will not stand on his wall and see through the windows; four Amos away - so he will not block light.
(o) Answer: We are more stringent by loss of privacy in a house.
(p) Question #6 (Rav Nachman): Reuven's roof overlooks Shimon's yard - he must build a four Amos wall on his roof. (This shows, loss of privacy is damage!)
(q) Rejection: That case is different - Shimon constantly needs to use his yard, he does not know when he must beware, for Reuven goes on his roof at irregular times.
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