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Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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Bava Basra 29

BAVA BASRA 29 & 30 - anonymously dedicated by an Ohev Torah and Marbitz Torah in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel.


(a) Objection (Abaye): Perhaps (a Chazakah can be made in less time), that was only good counsel (to keep a signed document, since witnesses of Chazakah are not always available).
1. Support: Yirmiyahu also told them to build houses, plant gardens and eat the fruits, clearly that was merely good counsel!
2. Similarly, getting signed documents of sale was only good counsel.
3. Also "U'Nsatem bi'Chli Cheres l'Ma'an Ya'amdu Yamim Rabim" is only a good counsel.
(b) Answer #2 (Rava): (Human nature dictates that three years are needed for Chazakah, for) a person pardons someone else who uses his property for one or two years, but not for three years.
(c) Objection (Abaye): If so, someone who only had one or two years of Chazakah, when the land returns to the original owner, the one who used the land should not have to pay for the fruits!
1. But Rav Nachman taught, he must pay for the fruits!
(d) Retraction (Rava): Rather, A person does not begrudge one who uses his property for one or two years (nor does he pardon the fruits); he begrudges one who uses it for three years.
(e) Objection (Abaye): People such as those of Bar Elyashiv's family begrudge even one who passes by the border of their property;
1. According to Rava, someone who uses their property should immediately get a Chazakah!
2. If you will say this is correct, the time needed for Chazakah varies!
(f) Answer #3 (Rava): Rather, a person is only careful with his document (of purchase) up to three years.
(g) Question (Abaye): If so, a Macha'ah (the Muchzak announces that the Machzik does not own the land he is using) not in front of the Machzik should be invalid!
1. The Machzik can claim, had you told me of your claim, I would have guarded my document longer!
(h) Answer: The ones who heard the Macha'ah surely told their friends, who surely told their friends ... (surely, the Machzik found out).
(a) (Rav Huna): The three years of Chazakah must be consecutive.
(b) Question: We already know this from our Mishnah!
1. (Mishnah): The Chazakah is three years, from day to day.
(c) Answer: One might have thought, this only comes to exclude incomplete years, but the years can be intermittent - we hear, this is not so.
(d) (Rav Chama): Rav Huna agrees that in a place where people normally leave a field fallow alternate years, intermittent years make a Chazakah.
(e) Question: This is obvious!
(f) Answer: The case is, some people alternate years, others do not.
1. One might have thought, the Muchzak can claim, if you really own the field, you should have used it every year - we hear, this is not so.
i. The Machzik can answer, I cannot afford someone to watch my field alone when all the neighbors are leaving their fields fallow.
ii. Alternatively - he can say, I left it fallow this year, so it will produce more next year.
(g) Question (Mishnah): A Chazakah on houses - (presumably,) witnesses would only know if someone used the house by day, not by night! (This is like an intermittent Chazakah!)
(h) Answer #1 (Abaye): Neighbors testify to a Chazakah on houses, and they know who used it by day and by night.
(i) Answer #2 (Rava): Renters can testify that they lived there three years, by day and night, and paid rent to the Machzik.
1. Question (Rav Yemar): Renters are invalid as witnesses, for they are partial - if they would not testify for the Machzik, they will have to pay the original owner for having lived there!
2. Answer (Rav Ashi): That is true - only incompetent judges would accept such testimony!
i. Rather, the case is that the renters did not yet pay the Machzik; they are ready to pay whomever Beis Din declares to be the owner.
(j) (Mar Zutra): The original owner can ask the Machzik to bring witnesses that he was there day and night; if he cannot, the Chazakah is invalid.

(k) Mar Zutra agrees that if the Muchzak is a peddler that goes from city to city, we require the Machzik to bring witnesses that he was there day and night, even if the Muchzak does not request this (for he was not present to see that the Machzik was living there.
(l) Rav Huna admits by a store in a city that it is normally used only by day (so day usage suffices for a Chazakah).
(m) Rami Bar Chama and Rav Ukva Bar Chama bought a slave in partnership. One of them used her in years one, three and five; the other, two, four and six. Someone else claimed that he owned her.
1. Rava: You alternated using her so neither of you should have a Chazakah against his brother (and be able to claim he owns her himself) - similarly, neither of you has a Chazakah against others!
2. This only applies if they did not write a document of the partnership; if they wrote one, people hear about this (and they have a Chazakah).
(n) (Rava): If a Machzik used all of a field except for a Beis Rova (the area in which one sows a quarter Kav of grain), this is a Chazakah in the part he used.
(o) (Rav Huna Brei d'Rav Yehoshua): This only applies if the unused part is farmable; if not, the Chazakah works for the entire field.
(p) Objection (Rav Bivi Bar Abaye): The only way to make a Chazakah on a rocky (unfarmable) field is to graze animals or spread fruits on it - here also, to acquire the unfarmable part he must do this!
(a) Reuven asked Shimon: What are you doing in this house?
1. Shimon: I bought it from you, and I have lived here the years needed to make a Chazakah.
2. Reuven: (I did not sell it to you;) I have been living in the inner rooms of the house (so you do not have a Chazakah).
(b) Rav Nachman: (To get the house) Shimon must prove that he was alone in the house.
(c) Objection (Rava): Shimon has a Chazakah - to take the house from him, the burden of proof is on Reuven (to prove that he lived in the inner rooms)!
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