POINT BY POINT SUMMARY
Prepared by Rabbi P. Feldman
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
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Previous daf Bava Basra 3
BAVA BASRA 3-5 - sponsored by Harav Ari Bergmann of Lawrence, N.Y.,
out of love for Torah and those who study it.
1) DAMAGE DUE TO LOSS OF PRIVACY IS PROHIBITED
(a) Version #2: We are thinking that 'Mechitzah' means
division, as in "Mechetzas ha'Edah";
2) MATERIALS USED FOR BUILDING WALLS
1. Once the partners agree to divide, they must build a
wall! This teaches that loss of privacy is
(b) Question: Why not say that Mechitzah means wall, as in
the following Beraisa?
1. (Beraisa): If the Mechitzah of a vineyard breaks, we
tell the owner to repair it. If it breaks again, we
tell him to repair it;
(c) Answer: If so, the Mishnah should have said 'they build
it', not 'they build the wall'!
i. If he decided not to repair it, the grapes and
grain become forbidden; he must pay for the
2. Summation of question: The Mishnah says that they
wanted to build a wall - if not, they could not
force each other; this teaches that loss of privacy
is not considered damage!
(d) Counter-question: But if Mechitzah means division - the
Mishnah should have said 'that want to divide', not 'that
want to make a division'!
(e) Answer: It is the way of people to say 'Come, let us make
(f) Question: If loss of privacy is considered damage - even
if they don't want, they should be able to force each
(g) Answer (Rav Asi): The Mishnah refers to a small yard -
they only divide if they want to.
(h) Question: Is the Chidush that they may divide if they
want? Another Mishnah teaches that!
(i) (Mishnah): When the partners want, they may divide, even
a small yard (or field...)
(j) Answer: One might have thought, a Mesifas suffices - our
Mishnah teaches that they must build a proper wall.
(k) Question: Once we must teach our Mishnah, why do we need
(l) Answer: The end of that Mishnah must teach partners in a
Sefer (Torah, prophets or Kesuvim) may not split it, even
if they want.
(m) Question: If our Mishnah refers to a small yard - even if
they wanted to divide, they can always retract!
(n) Answer (Rav Asi): The case is, they made an acquisition
(o) Question: Such an acquisition, of words(where there is no
transfer of ownership), is not binding!
(p) Answer #1: The acquisition was that Reuven will get the
north half, Shimon the south half.
(q) Answer #2 (Rav Ashi): Each one made a Chazakah in his
(a) (Mishnah): They build as the local custom, with Gevil,
Gazis, Kefisin, and Levenim.
3) HOW WIDE THE WALL MUST BE
(b) Gevil are uneven stones; Gazis are even stones - "These
are heavy stones, the size of Gazis"; Kefisin are
half-bricks; Levenim are bricks.
1. Version #1 - Question (Rabah brei d'Rava): How do we
know that Gevil are uneven stones, and the extra
Tefach is because they jut out?
(c) (Abaye): We learn from our Mishnah that a Tefach of
plaster is needed between half-bricks.
2. Perhaps they are half-stones; the extra Tefach is
for plaster between the halves, just as we give one
extra Tefach for half-bricks, for the plaster
between the halves!
3. Counter-question (Rav Ashi): How do you know that
Kefisin are half-bricks?
4. Answer: You must have a tradition for this -
similarly, a tradition teaches that Gevil are uneven
5. Version #2 - Question (R. Acha brei d'Rav Avya): How
do we know that Kefisin are half-bricks, and the
extra Tefach is for the plaster between the halves?
6. Perhaps they are uneven stones (Rashi - bricks); the
extra Tefach is because they jut out, just as we
give one extra Tefach for uneven stones!
7. Counter-question (Rav Ashi): How do you know that
Gevil are uneven stones?
8. Answer: You must have a tradition for this -
similarly, a tradition teaches that Kefisin are
1. Version #1: This is only regarding plaster - with
Richsa (a cement of small stones and mud), more is
2. Version #2: This is only regarding Richsa - with
plaster, less is needed.
(a) Question: Is it really true that a four Amos wall must be
five Tefachim wide to endure?
1. But the Traksin (the wall in the Hiechal between the
Kodesh and Kodshei ha'Kodoshim) was 30 Amos tall and
only six Tefachim wide, and it endured!
(b) Answer: The required width is not a fixed fraction of the
height - six Tefachim suffices for 30 Amos.
(c) Question: Why was there no Traksin in the second Mikdash?
(d) Answer: Six Tefachim suffices for 30 Amos, not for more.
(e) Question: How do we know that the second Mikdash was
taller than the first?
(f) Answer: "Gadol Yihyeh Kavod ha'Bayis ha'Zeh ha'Acharon
(g) (Rav or Shmuel): The height will be greater.
(h) (The other of Rav and Shmuel): It will last longer.
4) DESTROYING A SYNAGOGUE TO BUILD A NEW ONE
1. Both are true,
(i) Question: They should have made a wall of 30 Amos, and
the rest a curtain!
(j) Answer: Six Tefachim suffices for 30 Amos only if the
wall reaches a ceiling.
(k) Question: They should have made a wall as high as it can
stand without a ceiling, and the rest a curtain!
(l) Answer (Abaye): A tradition teaches that the entire
divider must be either a wall or a curtain.
1. The first Mikdash shows that a wall is permitted;
the Mishkan shows that a curtain is permitted.
(m) Question: The thicknesses listed in the Mishnah - is this
with the plaster or without it?
(n) Answer (Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak): Presumably, with - if
without, the Mishnah should teach how much must be
allotted for it!
(o) Rejection: Really, additional width must be given for the
plaster; the Tana omitted it because it is less than a
(p) Question: But regarding bricks, it teaches that each must
give a Tefach and a half (the Tana did not omit the half
(q) Answer: A half Tefach for each neighbor is together a
Tefach; the combined width for the plaster is less than a
(r) Question (Mishnah): The beam (to permit carrying in an
alley) must be wide enough to hold half a brick of three
Tefachim. (This shows that the brick is three Tefachim
without the plaster!)
(s) Answer: That Mishnah speaks of bigger bricks (that are a
full three Tefachim); our Mishnah speaks of bricks that
are three Tefachim with the plaster.
1. Support: That Mishnah says, a brick of three
Tefachim, implying that there are smaller bricks.
(a) (Rav Chisda): We may not destroy a synagogue before
building another one.
5) KING HEROD (HURDUS)
(b) Opinion #1: This is because we are concerned for
negligence (they will not build a replacement).
(c) Opinion #2: This is because we need a place to pray until
replacement is built.
(d) Question: What is the difference between these opinions?
(e) Answer: There already is another place to pray.
(f) In the area of Mereimar and Mar Zutra, they had one
synagogue for summer (with much ventilation) and another
for winter. They destroyed and rebuilt the summer one in
winter, and the winter one in summer.
(g) Question (Ravina): If they already have money to build
another, are we concerned for negligence?
(h) Answer (Rav Ashi): We are concerned that the money will
(justifiably!) be used to redeem captives.
(i) Question (Ravina): If bricks and ceiling beams are ready
to be assembled, are we concerned?
(j) Answer (Rav Ashi): We are concerned that they will have
to be sold in order to redeem captives.
(k) Question (Ravina): If so, even if the new synagogue is
built, we should be concerned that it will be sold to
(l) Answer (Rav Ashi): People do not sell residences (to
1. Rav Chisda's law is only if we do not see cracks -
if we see cracks, we destroy and build.
(m) Question: (Bava ben Buta counseled Herod to destroy and
rebuild the Mikdash) - according to Rav Chisda, this is
2. Rav Ashi saw cracks in the synagogue of Masa
Nachsiya - he destroyed it and moved his bed there
(to make people zealous to build the new one) until
(it was completed, even) the gutter pipe was
(n) Answer #1: He saw cracks in it.
(o) Answer #2: (According to Opinion #1): We are not
concerned that a king will reconsider.
1. (Shmuel): If the kingdom says it will uproot a
mountain, it will do so, it will not retract.
(a) Herod was a slave of the Chashmonai kings; he desired a
certain girl from the royal family. He heard a voice from
Heaven saying 'Any slave that rebels today will succeed'.
He killed all his masters, except for that girl. She
understood that he intended to marry her; she went up to
the roof, and proclaimed that she, the last true member
of the house of Chashmonai, is about to kill herself;
anyone claiming to be from the house of Chashmonai (i.e.
Herod and his seed) is really a slave.
(b) Herod preserved her corpse in honey for seven years.
1. Version #1: This was to satisfy his lust with her
(c) Herod knew that Chachamim expound "Mi'Kerev Achecha you
will appoint a king" (disqualifying himself), so he
killed them; he only left Bava ben Buta, as a counselor.
2. Version #2: This was to make people think that he
had married her (to justify his claim to reign).