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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 34

BAVA BASRA 34 (11 Iyar) - dedicated by the Feldman family in memory of their mother, ha'Rabbanit Sara Dvosya bas Rav Mordechai (of Milwaukee).


(a) One witness testified in front of R. Ami that Reuven grabbed an ingot from Shimon; Reuven said 'Yes, I grabbed it - it is mine!'
(b) Question (R. Ami): What is the law? We cannot obligate Reuven based on one witness, nor can we totally exempt him!
1. Version #1 - Rashbam: We cannot require him to swear (to contradict the witness, and say that he did not take it), for he admits that he took it!
i. In this sense he resembles a thief, who cannot swear (but the reason a thief cannot swear is because he is not believed).
2. Version #2 - Rashba - We cannot require him to swear that he took his own ingot - Shimon was Muchzak in what he was holding, it is as if Reuven admits that he stole it!
(c) Answer (R. Aba): He is obligated to swear, but he cannot, therefore he must pay.
2) ONE WITNESS FOR CHAZAKAH (continuation from end of 33b)
(a) Rejection (of Rabanan - Abaye): Our case is unlike that of R. Aba!
1. In R. Aba's case, the witness comes to obligate Reuven, if there were two witnesses all the more so Reuven would have to return it;
2. Here, the witness comes to support David, if there was another witness David would get the land! (Therefore, David does not pay for the produce.)
(b) (Abaye): Rather, if the witness testified that David ate the fruit for two years (and he must pay for it), we would learn from R. Aba's law.


(a) Question: Reuven and Shimon each claimed to own the same ship. Reuven came to Beis Din and said 'Seize the ship until I bring witnesses' - do we seize it?
(b) Answer #1 (Rav Huna): We seize it.
(c) Answer #2 (Rav Yehudah): We do not seize it.
(d) Question: Reuven did not find witnesses; he asked Beis Din to release the ship, and Kol d'Alim Gavar (whoever overpowers the other (with proofs or physically) gets it); do we release it?
(e) Answer #1 (Rav Yehudah): We do not release it.
(f) Answer #1 (Rav Papa): We release it.
(g) The Halachah is, we do not seize it; if we seized it, we do not release it.
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