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Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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Bava Basra 14

BAVA BASRA 14 & 15 - anonymously dedicated by an Ohev Torah and Marbitz Torah in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel.


(a) Contradiction (Beraisa): He attaches enough extra parchment at each end to wrap it around.
1. Question: To wrap around what?
i. If to wrap around the pole - but one end requires enough to cover the outermost parchment!
ii. If to cover the outermost parchment - but one end requires only enough to wrap around the pole!
(b) Answer #1 (to the contradiction and the question - Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak): He leaves what is needed at each end:
1. At one end, enough to wrap around the pole; at the other, to cover the outermost parchment.
(c) Answer #2 (Rav Ashi): This Beraisa refers to a Sefer Torah;
1. (Beraisa): Other Seforim are wound (on one pole) from the beginning to the end (some explain, from the end to the beginning); regarding a Sefer Torah, we leave it (open) in the middle, and wrap from poles at both ends.
2. R. Eliezer bar Tzadok says, this is how scribes in Yerushalayim used to write Seforim.
(a) (Beraisa): The height of a Sefer Torah should (l'Chatchilah) equal its circumference when rolled.
(b) Question: How big should it be?
(c) Answer (Rebbi): If writing on Gevil (untanned hide), six Tefachim; if using Klaf, (the part of the hide closer to the hair when the hide is cut into two layers, it is thinner than Gevil) I do not know.
(d) Rav Huna wrote 70 Sifrei Torah, only for one of them the height equaled its circumference.
(e) Rav Acha bar Yakov wrote one Sefer Torah on a calf's hide, the height equaled the circumference;
1. Rabanan were envious and Rav Acha died.
(f) Rabanan: R. Ami wrote 400 Sifrei Torah.
1. Rav Hamnuna: Perhaps he wrote "Torah Tzivah Lanu Moshe".
(g) Rabanan: R. Ami planted 400 vineyards.
(h) Rav Hamnuna: Perhaps each was (a minimal vineyard,) two rows of two trees, and a fifth tree in back.
(i) Question (Beraisa - R. Meir): The Aron Moshe made was two and a half Amos in length, its width and height were both one and a half Amos, based on an Amah of six Tefachim;
1. The length and width of each of the Luchos (Tablets) was six Tefachim, each was three Tefachim thick; they were placed next to the Sefer Torah.
2. Together, they occupied 12 Tefachim; of the remaining three Tefachim of the Aron's length, the (thickness of the) walls of the Aron occupied one Tefach (half a Tefach each),
3. The (width of the) Sefer Torah fit in the remaining two Tefachim - "Ein ba'Aron Rak..."
i. 'Ein' and 'Rak' are two exclusions, two exclusions come to include;
ii. We include the Sefer Torah.
4. The width of the Luchos occupied 6 Tefachim; the walls of the Aron occupied one Tefach;
i. Another two Tefachim remained, in order that the Torah (whose length was to the Aron's width) could be removed and put back easily.
(j) R. Yehudah says, the dimensions of the Aron are based on an Amah of five Tefachim;
1. The Luchos occupied 12 Tefachim of the Aron's length, the walls of the Aron occupied the remaining half Tefach (a quarter Tefach each);
2. The width of the Luchos occupied 6 Tefachim, the walls of the Aron half a Tefach; in the remaining Tefach were silver poles - "Amudav Asah Chesef";
3. The chest that the Plishtim sent when they returned the Aron was next to the Aron - "Va'Argaz mi'Tzido".
i. The Sefer Torah rested on the chest, next to the Aron, not inside - "V'Samtem Oso mi'Tzad Aron..."
4. The exclusions 'Ein' and 'Rak' come to include the fragments of the broken Luchos.

5. Summation of question: If the circumference of the Sefer Torah is six Tefachim, the width is (a third of the circumference,) two Tefachim;
i. Since we roll a Sefer Torah from both ends, the width is even more - how can it fit in two Tefachim (according to R. Meir)?
(k) Answer: The Sefer Torah in the Aron (only had one pole and) was rolled to the beginning.
(l) Question: Still, if its width is exactly two Tefachim, it does not fit properly in two Tefachim!
(m) Answer (Rav Ashi): A small amount of parchment was left unrolled (so the width of the rolled part was less than two), it rested above the Torah.
(a) Question: According to R. Yehudah, where was the Sefer Torah before the Plishtim gave the chest?
(b) Answer: It rested on a plank protruding from the Aron.
(c) Question: What does R. Meir learn from "V'Samtem Oso mi'Tzad Aron..."?
(d) Answer: It teaches that the Torah is between the Luchos and the wall of the Aron, not between the two Luchos.
(e) Question: According to R. Meir, where were the silver poles?
(f) Answer: Outside the Aron.
(g) Question: What is R. Meir's source that the broken Luchos were in the Aron?
(h) Answer #1: He learns like Rav Huna.
1. (Rav Huna): "Shem/ Shem" - this teaches that the Luchos and the broken Luchos were in the Aron.
2. R. Yehudah learns R. Yochanan's law from this verse.
i. (R. Yochanan): This teaches that Hash-m's (primary) name and the other names that denote Him were in the Aron.
(i) Objection: R. Meir must also learn this from the verse!
(j) Answer #2: He learns like Rav Yosef.
1. (Rav Yosef): "Asher Shibarta V'Samtam ba'Aron" - this teaches that the Luchos and the broken Luchos were in the Aron.
2. R. Yehudah expounds this like Reish Lakish.
i. (Reish Lakish): "Asher Shibarta" - Hash-m praised Moshe for breaking the Luchos.
(a) (Beraisa): The order of the prophets is Yehoshua, Shoftim, Shmuel, Melachim, Yirmeyah, Yechezkeil, Yeshayah, and the 12.
(b) Question: Hoshe'a prophesized before Yeshayah, his Sefer should precede Yeshayah!
1. Question: "Techilas Diber Hash-m b'Hoshe'a" - there were many prophets between Moshe and Hoshe'a!
2. Answer (R. Yochanan): He was the first of four prophets that prophesized in his time: Hoshe'a, Yeshayah, Amos and Michah.
(c) Answer: Since Hoshe'a is among the 12, which includes Chagai, Zecharyah and Malachi (the last prophets), it follows Yeshayah.
(d) Suggestion: It should be written by itself before Yeshayah!
(e) Rejection: Since it is small, it might get lost.
(f) Question: Yeshayah preceded Yirmeyah and Yechezkeil, his Sefer should precede theirs!
(g) Answer: The end of Melachim speaks of the Churban, all of (Sefer) Yirmeyah speaks of Churban, Yechezkeil begins with Churban and ends with consolation, all of Yeshayah speaks of consolation;
1. These prophets are ordered such that the beginning of each Sefer matches the end of the previous one.
(h) The order of the Kesuvim is Rus, Tehilim, Iyov, Mishlei, Koheles, Shir ha'Shirim, Eichah, Daniel, Megilas Esther, Ezra and Divrei ha'Yamim.
(i) Question: According to the opinion that Iyov lived in Moshe's time, Iyov should be first!
(j) Answer: We do not begin with punishments.
(k) Question: We begin with Rus, which speaks of punishments!
(l) Answer: Its punishments have a good end.
1. (R. Yochanan): She is called Rus, because her descendant (David) satiated (Rivahu) Hash-m with songs and praises.
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