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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 21

BAVA BASRA 20-25 - sponsored by Harav Ari Bergmann of Lawrence, N.Y., out of love for the Torah and for those who study it.


(a) (Rav Yehudah): Yehoshua ben Gamla prevented Torah from being forgotten from Yisrael!
(b) Originally, a father taught his child Torah; an orphan did not learn;
1. Question: Why was that?
2. Answer: They expounded "v'Limadtem Osam" as 'Atem' (you yourselves (the fathers) are commanded to teach your children);
(c) They enacted to establish teachers in Yerushalayim.
1. They learned from "U'Devar Hash-m mi'Yerushalayim".
(d) Still, fathers took their children to Yerushalayim, but orphans did not go;
(e) They enacted to establish teachers in every province; children would start learning at the age of 16 or 17.
(f) If the Rebbi got angry at the child, the child would leave;
1. Yehoshua ben Gamla enacted to establish teachers in every region and city, and that children would begin learning at the age of six or seven.
(g) Rav (to Rav Shmuel bar Shilas): Do not accept to teach children less than six;
1. After six, take them and stuff them with Torah.
2. Only hit children with a shoe strap (it does not hurt much or cause damage). 3. If a child is learning - fine;
i. If not, just put him with others that are learning, he will also learn.
(h) Question (Beraisa): People of a Chatzer can prevent a member from setting up practice as a doctor, bloodletter, weaver, or a teacher of children.
(i) Answer: That refers to teaching Nochri children.
(j) Question (Beraisa): Two people in a Chatzer, one can prevent the other from setting up practice as a doctor, bloodletter, weaver, or a teacher of children.
(k) Answer: That refers to teaching Nochri children.
(l) Question (Beraisa): One who owns a house in a joint Chatzer, he may not rent it to a doctor, bloodletter, weaver, or a Yisrael or Nochri teacher of children.
(m) Answer: That refers to the principal teacher of the city (other teachers assist him, there is a great noise).
(n) (Rava): After Yehoshua ben Gamla's enactment, we do not transport children from city to city (each city must get its own teacher).
1. We do transport children from one synagogue to another.
2. We do not transport children across a river, unless there is a wide bridge across it.
(o) (Rava): A teacher should have 25 children; if there are 50 children, we get two teachers.
1. If there are 40, the city hires an assistant to help.
(a) (Rava): If a teacher learns, and there is another teacher available who learns more, we do not switch, lest the new teacher will (be confident of his position and) take his duty lightly.
(b) Objection (Rav Dimi of Neharde'a): Just the contrary, he will learn more - jealousy among Chachamim makes them learn better.
(c) (Rava): If there are two teachers, one learns more but the other teaches more precisely, we prefer the former - if he makes any mistakes, the children will later learn the correct version;
(d) (Rav Dimi of Neharde'a): No, we take the latter - once a child learned incorrectly, the mistake will stick with him.
1. "Yo'av...Hichris Kol Zachar b'Edom".
2. David: Why did you kill only the men?

3. Yo'av : "Timcheh Es Zachar (the males of) Amalek".
4. David: The word is "Zecher (the remembrance of)"!
5. Yo'av: I was taught 'Zachar'!
6. They called Yo'av's Rebbi, who said that he taught 'Zecher'. Yo'av drew his sword to kill him (for not having listened to how Yo'av learned the verse).
7. His Rebbi: Why do you want to kill me?
8. Yo'av: "Arur Oseh Meleches Hash-m Remiyah".
9. His Rebbi: Let it suffice that I am cursed!
10. Yo'av: "V'Arur Mone'a Charbo mi'Dam".
i. Some say, he killed him; others say, he did not.
(e) (Rava): The following may be fired (for negligence) without warning: one who teaches children, a planter, a slaughterer, a bloodletter, and the town scribe (Rashi - to write Sifrei Torah; Tosfos - to write documents);
1. The general rule is: any mistake that cannot be corrected, we considered the worker to be warned.
(a) (Rav Huna): If a member of a Mavoy set up a mill (to grind for wages, or to rent it out), he can stop someone else in the Mavoy from setting one up, for this infringes on his livelihood.
(b) Support (Beraisa): One who wants to spread a fish net must distance himself from a fish (that another fisherman has been following - Rashi; R. Gershom - from the net of another fisherman) as far as a fish goes (from its place).
1. Question: How much is this?
2. Answer (Rabah bar Rav Huna): A Parsah (about four kilometers).
(c) Rejection: That is different, for the first fisherman invested food and is confident of getting the fish (Rashi; Rabeinu Gershom - the second fisherman drops food, which causes fish in the first one's trap to leave, this is theft).
(d) Suggestion (Ravina): Rav Huna holds like R. Yehudah.
(e) (Mishnah - R. Yehudah): A grocer may not give treats to children, for this accustoms them to patronize him; Chachamim permit this.
(f) Rejection (Rava): He can even hold like Chachamim.
1. Chachamim only argue on R. Yehudah because the grocer can say, just as I give nuts, you can give almonds.
2. Chachamim agree that another person may not set up a store in the Mavoy, for this infringes on the livelihood of the first.
(g) Question (Beraisa): One may set up a store next to another's store, or a bathhouse next to another's bathhouse;
1. The first cannot protest, for each is on his own property.
(h) Answer: Tana'im argue about this.
1. People of a Mavoy may force one another not to rent a house to a tailor, tanner, teacher of children or a craftsman from outside the Mavoy (if someone in the Mavoy does this);
i. One cannot prevent someone in the Mavoy from offering the same service as he does.
ii. R. Shimon ben Gamliel says, he can prevent him.
(i) (Rav Huna brei d'Rav Yehoshua): Surely, someone can prevent someone from another city from offering the same service as he does;
1. If they both pay head-tax in the same city, he cannot prevent him.
2. One cannot prevent someone from the same Mavoy.
(j) Question (Rav Huna brei d'Rav Yehoshua): Can one prevent someone from a different Mavoy?
(k) This question is not resolved.
(l) (Rav Yosef): Rav Huna admits that one cannot prevent a teacher of children from entering the same Mavoy;
1. Jealousy among Chachamim makes them learn better.
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