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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 12

BAVA BASRA 12 - dedicated by Rabbi Kornfeld's father in memory of his aunt, Malka Gitel bas Reb Yakov Mordechai (Malvina Marmorstein), who took him into her home and raised him like her own child after the Holocaust. Her Yahrzeit is 20 Nisan.


(a) (Beraisa - Rebbi): If he once had an opening to another Mavuy and closed it, they cannot stop him from re-opening it.
(b) (Rava): This is only if he did not remove the doorposts and lintel, but if he did, the others can stop him.
(c) Support (Abaye - Beraisa): A sealed house (i.e. the opening was sealed) receives four Amos when dividing a Chatzer;
1. If he removed the doorposts and lintel, it does not receive four Amos.
(d) If Tum'as Mes is inside a sealed house, only the (interior and) doorway becomes Tamei;
1. If he removed the doorposts and lintel, all around the house is Tamei.
(e) (Rabah bar bar Chanah): If Mavo'os are open to a road leading to another city, and people of this city want to close them, people of the other city can stop them.
1. This is not only if there is no other path between the cities, rather, even if there is another path, on account of Rav Yehudah's law.
2. (Rav Yehudah): It is forbidden to ruin a path which the public has been using.
(f) (Rav Anan): If a Mavuy is open to the public domain, and people of the Mavuy want to put doors there, people of the city can stop them.
(g) Assumption: This is forbidden only within four Amos of the public domain, on account of R. Zeira's law.
1. (R. Zeira): The four Amos adjacent to the public domain are like the public domain.
(h) Rejection: No - R. Zeira's law is regarding what is considered a public domain in regards to Safek Tum'ah;
1. Rav Anan's law is because sometimes the public domain is crowded, and people enter the Mavuy, even past four Amos.
(a) (Mishnah): We divide a field only if each will get (an area fitting to sow) nine Kavim (R. Yehudah says, it suffices if each gets half this amount).
(b) The Tana'im do not argue - each speaks of the smallest area considered a field in his region.
(c) Question: What is the law in Bavel?
(d) Answer #1 (Rav Yosef): The amount a person plows in a day.
1. Question: To which plowing does he refer?
i. If Zara (plowing at the time of sowing, which is easier than Karva, when the field is unseeded) - then Karva will takes more than one day but less than two days (it is wasteful to have to hire workers or rent animals for part of a day)!
ii. If Karva - then Zara will take less than one day (which is wasteful, as above)!
2. Version #1- Answer #1: (Zara takes one day;) he refers to a place where they plow and replow when doing Karva, so this takes two days; (Rashi; Tosfos - in any place, the remainder of the second day of Karva can be spent replowing, it is not wasteful).
3. Answer #2: The case is, the ground is hard, Zara and Karva require the same amount of time.
4. Version #2 - Rashi - Answer #1: (Zara takes one day); the case is, the ground is hard, so it takes two full days for Karva;
5. Answer #2: He refers to a place where they plow and replow when doing Zara, so Zara and Karva require the same amount of time.
(e) Answer #2 (Rav Nachman): If the field is irrigated from a pit, each must get a share that requires one day for irrigation.
(f) (Shmuel's father): When dividing an orchard, each must get (an area fitting to sow) three Kavim.
1. Support (Beraisa - Sumchus): If one says 'I sell you a portion in a vineyard', he must give three Kavim;
2. R. Yosi says, this has no basis!
(g) Question: What is the law in Bavel?
(h) Answer (Rava bar Kisna): Each must give three groups of 12 trees, this requires a full day to hoe.
(a) (Rav Avdimi of Cheifah): After the Churban, prophecy was taken from the prophets and given to Chachamim.
(b) Objection: Are Chachamim unfit to be prophets?!
(c) Answer: He means, even though prophecy was taken from the prophets, it was not taken from Chachamim.
(d) (Ameimar): A Chacham is better than a prophet - "V'Navi Levav Chachmah";
1. We attribute a smaller matter to a greater matter (i.e. the heart of a prophet is less than that of a Chacham).
(e) Support #1 (Abaye): We see that Chachamim still have prophecy - different Chachamim often (independently) say the same Halachah!
(f) Objection (Rava): That is no proof of prophecy, perhaps they have the same Mazel (therefore, they reach the same Halachah)!
(g) Support #2 (Rava): Rather, we learn from the fact that a Chacham sometimes says something that R. Akiva taught (we cannot attribute this to having the same Mazel, R. Akiva was much greater)!

(h) Objection (Rav Ashi): That is no proof, perhaps regarding that teaching, they have the same Mazel!
(i) Support #3 (Rav Ashi): Rather, we learn from the fact that a Chacham sometimes says a Halachah that is a tradition from Moshe from Sinai.
(j) Question: Perhaps he merely guessed the law!
(k) Answer: When he gives a reason, we cannot say he merely guessed. (Rather, we must say that he Hash-m helped him reach the Halachah, akin to prophecy.)
(l) (R. Yochanan): After the Churban, prophecy was taken from the prophets and given to lunatics and children.
(m) Question: What is the case of lunatics with prophecy?
(n) Answer: Like the following.
1. Mar bar Rav Ashi was in the market; he heard a lunatic saying that the (new) head of the academy in Masa Machsiya signs his name 'Tivyomi' (this is how Mar bar Rav Ashi used to sign; he realized that Hash-m wanted him to be the head). He headed there; before he arrived, the Rabanan voted that Rav Acha mi'Difti would be the head. When they heard that Mar bar Rav Ashi was coming, they sent two messengers to ask his opinion.
2. Mar bar Rav Ashi detained the messengers; they sent two more, and Mar bar Rav Ashi kept detaining them until there were ten; he then started expounding (and they chose him to be the head).
i. He waited for ten, for we do not teach laws at Kalah with less than ten Talmidim.
3. Rav Acha mi'Difti: When Hash-m starts acting harshly to a person (such as myself, I was not made the head), He is not quick to reverse this; when Hash-m starts bestowing good to a person (such as Mar bar Rav Ashi), He is not quick to reverse this.
(o) Question: What is the case of children with prophecy?
(p) Answer: Like the case of Rav Chisda's daughter.
1. Rava and Rami bar Chama were in front of Rav Chisda and his daughter; Rav Chisda asked her which she wants to marry. She said that she wants to marry both.
2. Rava: I will marry her after you. (And so it came to pass.)
(q) (Rav Avdimi of Cheifah): Before a person eats, he has two hearts (he is indecisive); after eating, he has only one - "V'Ish Navuv Yilavev" (a hollow person (i.e. before eating) has two hearts);
1. Also, it says (regarding the Altar) "Nevuv Luchos", which is translated 'Chalil Luchin (hollow inside the boards)';
(r) (Rav Huna brei d'Rav Yehoshua): Drinking wine regularly opens even a blocked heart - "V'Sirosh Yenovev Besulos".
(a) (Rav Huna brei d'Rav Yehoshua): Obviously, we give a firstborn his normal and extra portion next to one another.
(b) Question: Do we do this for a Yavam (who also inherits his brother's portion)?
(c) Answer #1 (Abaye): The law is just the same.
1. Question: What is Abaye's reason?
2. Answer: The Torah refers to a Yavam as a firstborn to teach this law.
(d) Answer #2 (Rava): "V'Hayah ha'Bechor" - he is like a firstborn to get a double portion, but not that they are given together.
(e) Reuven bought land bordering his father's land. His father died, and Reuven requested the portion bordering the land he bought.
(f) (Rabah): In a case like this, Kofin Al Midas Sedom (we force people to benefit others if they will not lose themselves).
(g) Objection (Rav Yosef): The brothers can say 'We say that that land is worth more' (whoever wants it will receive a smaller amount).
1. The Halachah follows Rav Yosef.
(h) (Rabah): If there are two fields, and each borders on a river, Kofin Al Midas Sedom (Reuven can demand the field bordering his land; since each field has enough water, Shimon (his brother) cannot claim he prefers that one).
(i) Objection (Rav Yosef): Perhaps one river will dry up! Shimon can demand half of each field.
1. The Halachah follows Rav Yosef.
(j) (Rav Yosef): If both fields border on the same river, Kofin Al Midas Sedom.
(k) Question (Abaye): Shimon can say, I prefer that your fields be disconnected, so you will need a sharecropper for each, so my property will be guarded better!
1. The Halachah follows Rav Yosef; we do not honor such a request.
(l) Version #1 (Rashi): If there are rivers on two adjacent sides of the field, we divide the field (as illustrated in Rashi; each brother gets four shares, the distance of each brother's land from each river is the same).
(m) Version #2 (Tosfos): If there are rivers on two adjacent sides of the field, we divide the field along the diagonal (each brother gets a half bordering on one river).
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