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Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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Bava Basra 10

BAVA BASRA 9 & 10 - these Dafim have been dedicated anonymously l'Iluy Nishmas Tzirel Nechamah bas Tuvya Yehudah.


(a) (R. Yehoshua ben Levi): Anyone who regularly gives Tzedakah, he will merit to have children with Chachmah, wealth, and that know Agadah (non-legal teachings).
1. Chachmah - for (the above verse) says, "Yimtza Chayim";
2. Wealth - it says, they (will be able to give) Tzedakah;
3. Agadah - it says here "V'Chavod", and it also says "Kavod Chachamim Yinchalu" (people that expound Agadah are greatly respected).
(b) (Beraisa - R. Meir) Question: If Hash-m loves the poor why doesn't he feed them?
(c) Answer (R. Meir): To allow people to give Tzedakah and escape Gehinom.
(d) Turnusrufus asked this of R. Akiva, and received the same answer.
1. Turnusrufus: Just the contrary! This is like a king who put his servant in jail and commanded not to feed him, and someone fed him - the king will be angry!
i. You are called his servants - "Ki Li Venei Yisrael Avadim".
2. R. Akiva: This is like a king who was angry at his son and put him in jail and commanded not to feed him, and someone fed him - the king will send that man a gift!
3. We are called His children - "Banim Atem la'Sh-m Elokeichem".
4. Turnusrufus: You are called slaves and children - when you do His will, you are children; when not, you are slaves;
i. Now, you are not doing His will, you are slaves!
5. R. Akiva: "Paros la'Ra'ev Lachmecha";
i. The verse speaks of a time such as now, when "V'Aniyim Merudim Tavi Vayis" - and it says "Paros la'Ra'ev Lachmecha"!
(e) (R. Yehudah b'Rebbi Shalom): Just as a person's income is fixed on Rosh Hashanah for the year, his losses (expenditures) for the year are fixed then;
1. If he merits, his expenditures will be for Tzedakah; if not, Romi will take the money ("V'Aniyim Merudim").
2. R. Yochanan Ben Zakai saw in a dream that his nephews would lose 700 Dinarim in the year. He pressed them to give Tzedakah; he got them to give all but 17 of the 700. On the night before Yom Kipur, officers of the Kaiser came. (His nephews feared that they would take a great sum.)
i. R. Yochanan Ben Zakai: Don't worry, they will only take the last 17 Dinarim.
ii. After he explained how he knew, his nephews asked why he didn't tell them of the dream.
iii. R. Yochanan Ben Zakai: In order that you will give for the sake of the Mitzvah, without knowing that you stand to lose the money anyway.
(f) Rav Papa was alighting a ladder; his leg slipped, he was about to fall. He lamented that he was about to die from being cast to the ground, similar to death by stoning, the punishment for desecration of Shabbos or idolatry.
1. Chiya bar Rav mi'Dift: Perhaps a poor person came to you and you did not give him!
2. (Beraisa - R. Yehoshua ben Korchah): Seeing someone who needs Tzedakah and overlooking him is like idolatry:
i. It says "Bliya'al" regarding refraining from lending money, just as it says regarding idolatry.
(g) (Beraisa - R. Elazar b'Rebbi Yosi): All Tzedakah and Chesed that Yisrael do in this world causes great Shal-m with Hash-m and advocating angels.
(h) (Beraisa - R. Yehudah): Great is Tzedakah, for it brings the redemption close.
(i) R. Yehudah: Ten hard things were created in the world: a mountain is hard, but iron can cut it; iron is hard, but fire melts it; fire is hard, but water extinguishes it; water is hard, but the clouds bear it; clouds are hard, but wind scatters them; wind is hard, but the body contains it; the body is hard, but fear breaks it; fear is hard, but wine dispels it; wine is hard, but sleep negates its effect;
1. Death is harder than all of these, and "U'Tzdakah Tatzil mi'Maves".
(j) (R. Dosta'i b'Rebbi Yanai): Hash-m's ways are unlike those of people!
1. If one gives a big gift to a mortal king, he is unsure if the king will accept it;
2. Even if he accepts it, the giver is not sure if he will get to see the king.
3. But one who gives a Perutah to Tzedakah, he receives the Divine Presence - "B'Tzedek Echezeh Fanecha".
(k) R. Elazar would give a Perutah to Tzedakah before praying - "B'Tzedek Echezeh Fanecha".
(l) Question: What does the continuation mean - "Esbe'ah v'Hakitz Temunasecha?
(m) Answer (Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak): This refers to Chachamim, who deny themselves sleep in this world, and Hash-m Masbi'a (satiates) them with His presence in the world to come.
(n) (R. Yochanan): "Malve Hash-m Chonen Dal" - if not for the verse, it would be forbidden to say such a thing!
1. Hash-m considers Himself to be like a borrower (who is like a slave) to one who gives Tzedakah.
(o) (R. Chiya bar Aba): "Lo Yo'il Hon b'Yom Evrah u'Tzdakah Tatzil mi'Maves"; it also says "Lo Yo'ilu Otzeros Resha u'Tzdakah Tatzil mi'Maves";
1. Question: Why must it mention two Tzedakos?
2. Answer: One saves him from a harsh death, one saves him from judgment in Gehinom.
3. Question: Which saves from judgment in Gehinom? 4. Answer: The one in which it says "Evrah" - "Yom Evrah ha'Yom ha'Hu".
i. Giving without knowing to whom he gives, in a way that the receiver does not know from whom he receives, this saves from a harsh death.

(p) Question: How may one accomplish this?
(q) Answer: He gives to the pouch of Tzedakah.
(r) Question (Beraisa - R. Eliezer): To merit male children, a person should distribute his money to the poor;
1. R. Yehoshua says, he should make his wife joyful before relations;
2. R. Eliezer ben Yakov says, a person should not give a Perutah to the Tzedakah pouch unless the one appointed over it is as trustworthy as R. Chanina ben Tradyon.
(s) Answer: Indeed, the counsel to give to the pouch of Tzedakah is when someone as trustworthy as R. Chanina ben Tradyon is appointed over it.
(a) (R. Avahu): Moshe asked Hash-m what will glorify Yisrael; Hash-m answered, "Ki Sisa (every Yisrael will give a half-Shekel)."
(b) (R. Avahu): People asked Shlomo how great is the power of Tzedakah.
1. Shlomo: "Pizar Nasan la'Evyonim Tzidkaso Omedes la'Ad".
2. (R. Aba): We may learn from "Maromim Yishkon...(because) Lachmo Nitan".
(c) (R. Avahu): People asked Shlomo who is (primarily) a person of the world to come.
1. Shlomo: "V'Neged Zekenav Kavod".
2. R. Yehoshua's son Yosef left this world and returned; he recounted what he saw.
3. Yosef: I saw an upside-down world - (rich) people on top here are below there, and vice-versa!
4. R. Yehoshua: What you saw is reality! How did Chachamim look?
5. Yosef: Just as important as they are here;
i. They were saying that happy is the one who comes to the world to come and remembers his learning.
6. They also said that no one else has a standing like those (who sanctified Hash-m's name when) killed by the king.
7. Question: To which people did this refer?
i. If to R. Akiva and the other Chachamim killed by the king - even if they were not killed by the king, no one could compare to them!
8. Answer: Rather, it referred to those killed in Lud. (Two brothers who confessed to a false accusation which the king planned to use as a pretext to kill all the Yisraelim.)
(a) (Beraisa - R. Yochanan Ben Zakai) Question: What is the meaning of "Tzedakah Teromem Goy v'Chesed l'Umim Chatas"?
(b) Answer #1 (R. Eliezer): Tzedakah elevates Yisrael, but it is a sin for Nochrim, for they only give to aggrandize themselves;
1. "(Daryavesh gave in order that) l'Chayei Malka u'Vnohi".
2. Question: But one may give Tzedakah this way!
i. (Beraisa): One who says, 'I give this Sela to Tzedakah in order that my son should live', or 'in order that I will merit the world to come" - he is a perfect Tzadik!
3. Answer: That is only by Yisrael, not by Nochrim (for if they do not get their request, they regret the whole matter).
(c) Answer #2 (R. Yehoshua): Tzedakah elevates Yisrael, but it is a sin for Nochrim, for they only give to prolong their reign;
1. (Nebuchadnetzar gave in order that "V'Chata'ach b'Tzidkah Feruk (he will redeem his sin through Tzedakah)...Teheve Archah li'Shlevsach (and he will have serenity for a long time)";
(d) Answer #3 (R. Gamliel): Tzedakah elevates Yisrael, but it is a sin for Nochrim, for they only give to be haughty;
1. Every haughty person falls to Gehinom - "Zed Yahir...b'Evras Zadon" ("Evras" refers to Gehinom, as above).
(e) Answer #4 (R. Eliezer ha'Moda'ai): Tzedakah elevates Yisrael, but it is a sin for Nochrim, for they only give to revile Yisrael.
1. (Nevuzaradan (Nebuchadnetzar's general) said "Ki Chatasem la'Sh-m").
(f) Answer #5 (R. Nechunyah ben ha'Kaneh): Tzedakah and Chesed elevate Yisrael, it is a sin for Nochrim.
(g) R. Yochanan Ben Zakai: R. Nechunyah's answer is the better than my answer and yours, for he explains that Tzedakah and Chesed refer to Yisrael.
(h) Question: How did R. Yochanan Ben Zakai himself answer?
(i) Answer (Beraisa - R. Yochanan Ben Zakai): Just as a Chatas offering atones for Yisrael, Tzedakah atones for Nochrim.
(j) The mother of Shevor Malka sent 400 Dinarim to R. Ami; he did not accept; she sent to Rava, and he accepted, for the sake of Shalom with the king.
1. R. Ami heard of this and was disturbed - doesn't Rava agree "Bi'Vosh Ketzirah Tishavarna" (when the king's merits are used up, he will fall)?!
2. Rava accepted for the sake of Shalom with the king.
3. Question: Isn't R. Ami also concerned for Shalom with the king?
4. Answer: One could accept the money and give it to Nochrim!
5. Question: Indeed, Rava did so!
6. Answer: R. Ami did not hear that.
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