POINT BY POINT SUMMARY
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!
1) A DIVIDING WALL
(a) (Mishnah): Partners that want to make a Mechitzah
(divider) in the yard build the wall in the middle.
2) DAMAGE DUE TO LOSS OF PRIVACY
(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;
(c) Similarly, in a garden - in a place where people make a
wall, one neighbor can force the other;
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.
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
3) ATTEMPTED PROOFS
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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(d) Question: But it says 'similarly' (implying, for the same
(e) Answer: This refers to (area needed for each of) the
(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
(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
(k) Question #4 (Mishnah): We only split a yard if each
partner will receive four Amos.
2. Answer: No - that only shows that loss of privacy to
the masses (that walk nearby) is damage.
(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
(o) Answer: We are more stringent by loss of privacy in a
(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.