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 8
1) TAXES EXEMPTIONS FOR CHACHAMIM AND ORPHANS
(a) Rav Nachman bar Rav Chisda imposed a tax on Chachamim.
2) REDEEMING CAPTIVES
(b) Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak: You transgressed Torah, the
prophets and Kesuvim (the Writings)!
1. Torah - "Af Chovev Amim Kol Kedoshav b'Yadecha" -
Moshe requested, even when You endear nations and
allow them to rule over Yisrael, the Kedoshim of
Yisrael are in Your hand (to protect them);
(c) Rav Papa imposed a tax on city residents, including
orphans, to dig a new well.
i. (Rav Yosef): "V'Hem Tuku l'Raglecha" - these
are Chachamim, who go from city to city, from
province to province to learn Torah.
2. The prophets - "Gam Ki Yisnu va'Goyim Atah
ii. "Yisa Midabrosecha" - in order to engage in
i. (Ula): (The word Yisnu) in this verse is
Arame'ic (it means 'they will learn'); Hash-m
promises, if all of Yisrael will learn (while
in exile), He will gather them speedily.
3. Kesuvim - "Minda Velo va'Halach (various taxes) La
Shalit Lemirma Aleihom (the king will not be able to
impose on them)";
ii. "Va'Yachelu Me'at mi'Masa Melech Sarim" - if
only some learn, the king will not conscript
them for his work.
i. (Rav Yehudah): "Minda" is the king's tax;
"Velo" is the head tax, and "Halach" is a tithe
of yearly animals and produce.
(d) Question (Rav Shisha brei d'Rav Idi): Perhaps they will
not find water (and the money was wasted - others can
pardon this, orphans cannot)!
(e) Answer (Rav Papa): I will collect the money; if we don't
find water, I will return their money.
(f) (Rav Yehudah): Everyone must contribute towards doors for
the walls, even orphans, but not Chachamim, for they do
not need protection.
1. Everyone must contribute towards digging wells for
water, even Chachamim;
(g) In famine years, Rebbi opened his storehouse (of food) to
anyone who learned written Torah, Mishnah, Gemara,
Halachah or Agadah, but not to an ignoramus.
2. This is only if they hire others to dig, but if they
dig themselves, Chachamim are exempt (it is beneath
1. R. Yonason ben Amram forced his way in and requested
food; he denied having learned even written Torah.
(h) This is consistent with what Rebbi said (elsewhere), that
all punishments come to the world on account of
2. Rebbi: If so, why should I support you?
3. R. Yonason: Please support me, just as Hash-m feeds
dogs and ravens.
4. Rebbi gave him, and later regretted having given his
food to an ignoramus.
5. R. Shimon (his son): Perhaps it was your Talmid R.
Yonason, who never wants to benefit from his Torah!
6. Rebbi investigated, and found that this was so; he
announced that all could take food (so no one would
have to benefit from Torah).
1. The Kaiser imposed a tax on the city of Tiverya in
order to buy a crown. The ignoramuses asked Rebbi
that Chachamim should also pay, threatening to leave
otherwise; Rebbi refused, and half of them left.
(i) (Mishnah): Someone who has lived in the city 12 months is
considered a resident...
2. The Kaiser pardoned the city from half the original
demand. The remaining ignoramuses asked that
Chachamim should also pay, threatening to leave;
Rebbi refused, and they all left, except for one
launderer. The kings' officers impose the entire tax
on him; he left, and the Kaiser totally pardoned the
3. Rebbi: This teaches that punishments only come on
account of ignoramuses.
(j) Contradiction (Beraisa): A caravan of donkey-drivers or
camel-drivers who lodged in a city (that became an Ir
ha'Nidachas (a city that is destroyed because most of the
people served idolatry)) and were enticed to serve
idolatry, they are stoned, their heirs inherit their
money (like individuals who served idolatry);
1. If they were in the city for 30 days (and were
enticed with it), they are killed by the sword and
their property is destroyed (like residents of the
(k) Answer (Rava): By Ir ha'Nidachas, it says "Yoshevei
(those that stay in)" the city - after 30 days, one is
considered to be staying there;
1. Regarding other matters, one is not considered to be
(a resident) of the city until 12 months.
(l) Question: Is it really true that regarding other matters,
one is not considered to be (a resident) of the city
until 12 months?!
2. (Beraisa): If one vows not to benefit from people of
a city, he is forbidden to benefit from people that
have lived there for 12 months;
i. If he vows not to benefit from Yoshevei ha'Ir,
he is forbidden to benefit from people that
have lived there for 30 days.
1. (Beraisa): After (living in a city for) 30 days, one
must contribute to the Tamchuy (food for the poor of
the city); after three months, he must give (money)
to the Kupah (for the poor); after 6 months, he must
contribute for their clothes; after 9 months, he
must contribute for their burial; after 12 months,
contribute for planks (used to support the wall).
(m) Answer (Rav Asi): Indeed, the Mishnah says that after 12
months he is a resident regarding planks.
(n) (Rav Asi): Everyone must contribute for planks, even
orphans, but not Chachamim, for they do not need
(o) (Rav Papa): Everyone must contribute for the following,
even orphans, but not Chachamim (they do not need
protection): the wall, a guard who rides around the wall,
someone to watch the weapons.
1. The general rule is: orphans must contribute to
anything they benefit from.
(p) Rabah imposed Tzedakah on the orphans of Bar Meryon.
1. Abaye: But Rav Shmuel bar Yehudah taught, we do not
impose Tzedakah on orphans, even to redeem captives!
2. Rabah: I did so for their prestige.
(a) The mother of Shevor Malka (the Persian king) sent money
to Rav Yosef to use for a 'big Mitzvah'.
1. Rav Yosef: What is a big Mitzvah?
2. Abaye: Since Rav Shmuel bar Yehudah taught, we do
not impose Tzedakah on orphans, even to redeem
captives, this implies that redeeming captives is a
(b) Question (Rava): What is the source that redeeming
captives is a big Mitzvah?
3) COLLECTORS OF TZEDAKAH
(c) Answer (Rabah bar Mari): "Whoever deserves to die (on his
bed) will die (thusly, whoever deserves to die) by the
sword (will die) by the sword, by hunger through hunger,
1. (R. Yochanan): The latter punishments in the verse
are harsher than the earlier ones.
2. We can show that the sword is harsher than death
from a verse, or from reasoning:
i. Reasoning: the body is not disgraced through
(normal) death, it is disgraced by the sword.
3. We can show that the hunger is harsher than the
sword from a verse, or from reasoning:
ii. A verse - "It is dear to Hash-m ha'Mavsah
(normal death) of his Chasidim".
i. Reasoning: One who starves suffers prolonged
4. Captivity is the worst, for it includes all of them.
ii. A verse - "Better were Chalelei Cherev
(a) (Beraisa): (At least) two people must be present when
collecting for the Kupah, three are needed to distribute
it to the poor.
1. Two are needed to collect, for two are needed to
impose any authority over the congregation;
(b) Three people must be present when collecting for the
Tamchuy, three are needed to distribute it;
2. Three are needed to distribute, for this is like
judgement of monetary cases and requires a Bais Din
(to say that a certain person is entitled to
1. Because it is distributed (the same day, just) as it
is collected, we want that they should be ready to
distribute it immediately (without having to find
(c) The Tamchuy is distributed each day, the Kupah is
distributed every Erev Shabbos.
1. The Tamchuy is for all poor people, the Kupah is
only for poor people of that city.
(d) People of the city may fix the measures, prices and wages
as they see fit, and to enforce this with fines.
2. People of a city may change the (distribution of
the) Tamchuy to be like the Kupah, or vice-versa, or
to use the money for anything they want.
(e) Question: The Beraisa said 'two are needed to impose any
authority over the congregation' - what is the source of
(f) Answer (Rav Nachman): "V'Hem (plural) Yikchu Es
(g) Inference: One person may not collect because of the
verse, but he is believed; this supports R. Chanina.
1. (R. Chanina): Rebbi once appointed two brothers over
the Kupah (even though they are only believed like
(h) Question: Why is collecting considered imposing
(i) Answer (Rav Nachman): The collectors may take a security
for the Tzedakah a person must give, even on Erev
(j) Question (R. Yitzchak bar Shmuel): "U'Fakadti Al Kol
Lochatzav" - this applies even to collectors of Tzedakah!
(k) Answer: It is permitted to take security from someone
estimated to be wealthy, not from someone who is not.
1. Rava forced Rav Noson bar Ami to give 400 Zuz to
(l) "Veha'Maskilim Yazhiru k'Zohar ha'Rakia" - this is one
who judges a case properly;
1. "U'Matzdikei ha'Rabim ka'Kochavim l'Olam va'Ed"
refers to collectors of Tzedakah.
(m) (Beraisa): "Veha'Maskilim Yazhiru k'Zohar ha'Rakia" -
this is one who judges a case properly and collectors of
1. "U'Matzdikei ha'Rabim ka'Kochavim l'Olam va'Ed"
refers to teachers of young children.
(n) Question: What will be the radiance of Chachamim?
2. Question: What kind of teachers does it refer to?
3. Answer (Rav): It refers to people such as Rav Shmuel
i. Rav once found Rav Shmuel Shilas in the garden,
he asked why he was not supervising the
children as he always does.
ii. Rav Shmuel Shilas: I have not abandoned them
for 13 years, and even now I am thinking about
(R. Chananel - overseeing) them.
(o) Answer (Ravina): "V'Ohavav k'Tzeis ha'Shemesh
(p) (Beraisa): The two people collecting Tzedakah are not
allowed to separate from (and lose sight of) each other;
1. One may go to the gate (to collect) and another to a
store (if they can see each other).
(q) If a collector of Tzedakah finds money in the market, he
should not put it in his own wallet (lest people think he
is stealing Tzedakah money), rather, he puts in the
1. When he gets home, he may take what he found.
(r) (Beraisa): If collectors of Tzedakah have no poor people
to give to, they may exchange the (copper) coins with
other people (for silver coins, which do not rust), they
may not exchange with their own money;
1. If collectors of the Tamchuy have no poor people to
give to, they may sell the food to other people,
they may not buy it themselves.
(s) We do not count Tzedakah coins two by two, rather one by
(t) (Abaye): Originally, Rabah would not sit on the
mattresses of the synagogue, because they were bought
with Tzedakah money;
1. After he heard the Beraisa that permits changing the
money to any other usage, he sat on them.
(u) (Abaye): Originally, Rabah had two Tzedakah wallets, one
for the poor of his city, one for poor people from
1. After he heard Shmuel tell Rav Tachlifa bar Avdimi
to have one wallet and to stipulate (with the givers
that you will give to whoever comes), he also kept
one wallet and stipulated.
2. (Rav Ashi): I do not need to stipulate, anyone who
gives, he gives on condition that I will distribute
it as I see fit.