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Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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Bava Basra 27

BAVA BASRA 27 & 28 - these Dafim have been dedicated anonymously l'Iluy Nishmas Tzirel Nechamah bas Tuvya Yehudah.


(a) Question: A Beis Se'ah is 2500 (square) Amos, this is 833 Amos for each tree;
1. According to Ula, each tree nurtures from 1024 Amos!
(b) Answer: Ula was not exact (each tree nurtures from less than 16 Amos in each direction).
(c) Objection: We can say that a Chacham was not precise, he was more stringent than the actual law;
1. But here, Ula exempts from Bikurim (if the tree is just under 16 Amos from the border), this is a leniency!
(d) Answer: Ula did not mean that a tree nurtures from a square of 32 by 32 Amos (the corners are more than 16 Amos from the center), rather from a circle of radius 16 Amos around the tree;
1. The area of the circle is three quarters of the area of the square, i.e. 768 (square) Amos;
2. According to the Mishnah, there are 833 (square) Amos for each tree, it nurtures from a circle of radius (about) 16 and a half Amos;
3. Ula was not exact, he was more stringent than the actual law (he obligates bringing Bikurim if the tree is just over 16 Amos from the border).
(e) Question (Mishnah): One who buys a tree and the land it is on, he brings Bikurim and makes the declaration (which includes "the land which you have given me").
1. Suggestion: This applies if he bought any amount of land around the stump!
(f) Answer: No, it is only if he bought 16 Amos around the tree.
(g) Question (Mishnah): One who buys two trees, (he does not acquire land with them, therefore) he brings Bikurim and does not make the declaration.
1. Inference: One who buys three trees, he (acquires land,) he brings and makes the declaration
2. Suggestion: He only acquires a tiny amount outside the trees.
(h) Answer: No, he acquires 16 Amos around the trees.
(i) Question (Mishnah - R. Akiva): The following apply to even a tiny amount of land: one must leave Pe'ah from it, one must bring Bikurim from it, it allows one to write a Pruzbul (a document handing his loans over to Beis Din, so they will not be cancelled in Shemitah - we can write this only if the borrower has land), Metaltelim (movable objects) are acquired with it.

(j) Answer: The case is, wheat grows there. (But if trees grow, he brings Bikurim only if he owns 16 Amos around them.)
1. Support: The Mishnah speaks of a tiny amount of land (i.e., the thickness of a stalk of wheat).
(k) Question (Beraisa - Rebbi): A tree is partially in Eretz Yisrael, partially in Chutz la'Aretz - Tevel and Chulin are mixed together;
1. R. Shimon ben Gamliel says, the fruit that grows in Eretz Yisrael is fully Tevel (all tithes must be separated from it), what grows in Chutz la'Aretz is fully Chulin (exempt from tithes).
2. They only argue regarding Breirah (R. Shimon says that we consider the obligation to tithe half the fruits to fall on the fruits that grow in Eretz Yisrael, Rebbi says that we do not), but all agree that we only consider where the stump is (we are not concerned for nurturing in the surrounding 16 Amos)!
(l) Answer: The case is, the ground along the border is rocky (and divides the tree into two halves, each half only nurtures from the land in its side.
1. Question: If so, why does Rebbi say that Tevel and Chulin are mixed together?
2. Answer: Above ground, the halves of the tree join;
i. Rebbi holds that the nurturing transfers from one sides to the other above ground, R. Shimon ben Gamliel says that it does not.
(m) Question: Does a tree only nurture from 16 Amos?!
1. (Mishnah): Reuven must distance his tree 25 Amos from Shimon's pit;
(n) Answer (Abaye): The roots spread more than 16 Amos, it only (nurtures and weakens the soil) up to 16 Amos.
(o) Version #1 (Rav Dimi): Reish Lakish asked 'What is the law of a tree within 16 Amos of the border'?
1. R. Yochanan: The owner is stealing, he does not bring Bikurim.
(p) Version #2 (Ravin citing R. Yochanan): A tree close to the border, or whose foliage hangs over his neighbor's property, he brings Bikurim;
1. Yehoshua made the inheritance of Eretz Yisrael conditional on this enactment (letter of the law, he does not bring).
(a) (Mishnah): If Reuven's tree hangs over Shimon's property, Shimon may cut foliage up to the height of a plowshare (so they will not impede him when plowing);
1. He may cut foliage of carob or sycamore trees (which gives much shade, which harms a field) to any height.
(b) In a Beis ha'Shelachin, (any shade is harmful) he may cut foliage of any tree to any height.
(c) Aba Sha'ul says, he may cut foliage of any barren tree to any height.
(d) (Gemara) Question: Does Aba Sha'ul argue with the first clause (in which Chachamim only permit up to the height of a plowshare, even regarding barren trees), or the last clause (a Beis ha'Shelachin, in which they permit cutting any height of all trees, and he only permits this regarding barren trees)?
(e) Answer (Beraisa - Aba Sha'ul): In a Beis ha'Shelachin, he may cut foliage of any tree to any height, because shade is harmful.
1. We conclude that Aba Sha'ul argues with the first clause.
(f) Support (Rav Ashi - Mishnah): Aba Sha'ul says, he may cut foliage of any barren tree to any height.
1. If he refers to the first clause, we understand the word 'any' - Chachamim only permit carob and sycamore, he also permits barren trees.
2. But if he refers to the last clause, he allows less than Chachamim, he should rather say, (only) a barren tree is permitted!
(a) (Mishnah): One may cut a tree overhanging the public domain up to the height of someone riding on a camel;
(b) R. Yehudah allows up to the height of a camel laden with flax or bundles of shoots;
(c) R. Shimon permits cutting any tree to any height, for the sake of Taharah (lest the tree tower above Tum'as Mes and passersby, and make them Tamei).
(d) (Gemara) Question: Who is the Tana of the Mishnah, who says that in damages, we assess the current situation (we cut so a rider can pass now, even though the branches will grow again and riders will not be able to pass)?
(e) Answer #1 (Reish Lakish): Tana'im argue about this; our Mishnah is R. Eliezer.
1. (Mishnah): One may not make a pit under the public domain;
2. R. Eliezer permits this if a wagon carrying rocks can pass over and the ground will not cave in.
(f) Answer #2 (R. Yochanan): Our Mishnah is even like Chachamim;
1. Regarding a pit, we are concerned that the cover will erode (without people knowing), and a wagon will fall in;
2. Regarding a tree we are not concerned - as new branches grow, people will cut them!
(g) (Mishnah): R. Yehudah allows cutting up to the height of a camel laden with flax or bundles of shoots.
(h) Question: Who allows cutting more, R. Yehudah or Chachamim?
(i) Answer: Clearly, Chachamim allow more - if not, a camel laden with flax or bundles will not be able to pass!
(j) Question: But if so, according to R. Yehudah, someone riding on a camel will not be able to pass!
(k) Answer: The person can bend down.
(l) (Mishnah): R. Shimon permits cutting any tree to any height, for the sake of Taharah.
(m) (Beraisa): This is so the tree will not make an Ohel above Tum'as Mes and a person.
(n) Objection: This is obvious, the Mishnah says it is for the sake of Taharah!
(o) Answer: One might have thought, the concern is that ravens will come and drop Tum'as Mes, and it will get caught between the branches;
1. If this was the concern, it would suffice to prune enough branches so there is no place for Tum'ah to get caught;
2. The Mishnah teaches, this is not so, the concern is Tum'as Ohel, all the branches (overhanging the public domain) must be cut.
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