POINT BY POINT SUMMARY
Prepared by Rabbi P. Feldman
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
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Previous daf Bava Basra 54
BAVA BASRA 54 - in memory of Harry Bernard Zuckerman, Baruch Hersh ben
Yitzchak (and Miryam Toba), by his children and sons-in-law.
1) EXAMPLES OF CHAZAKAH
(a) (R. Yirmeyah Bira'ah): If one seeds a turnip in the
cracks of Hefker property, this is not a Chazakah.
2) MUST ONE DIG IN THE ENTIRE FIELD?
(b) Question: Why not?
(c) Answer: When he seeded it, he did not improve the land;
the improvement (the turnip sprouts) happens by itself.
(d) (Shmuel): If one prunes a date tree so it will grow
better, he acquires it;
1. If he pruned it to feed to his animals (even though
he intended to acquire it), this is not a Chazakah
(because he did not intend to improve the tree).
(e) Question: How do we know whether or not he intended to
improve the tree?
(f) Answer: If he took branches from all sides of the tree,
he intended to improve the tree; if he took branches from
only one side, he did so for his animals.
(g) (Shmuel): If one takes pieces of wood and grass from a
field so it will be easier to plow, he acquires it;
1. If he took them for burning, he does not acquire
(this is like eating produce, which is not a
(h) Question: How do we know what his intention was?
(i) Answer: If he took big and small pieces, he intended to
improve the field; if he took only big pieces, he did so
(j) (Shmuel): If one leveled a field so it will be easier to
plow, he acquires it;
1. If he did so to prepare the area to thresh grain, he
does not acquire (a granary is detrimental to the
field in the long term).
(k) Question: How do we know what his intention was?
(l) Answer: If he put the dirt of the mounds into the
ditches, he intended to improve the field; if he merely
flattened them a bit (to reduce the slope), he did so for
(m) (Shmuel): If one made an opening so that water (from the
river) will enter a field to irrigate it, he acquires it;
1. If he did so for fishing, he does not acquire.
(n) Question: How do we know what his intention was?
(o) Answer: If he made one opening for water to enter from
the river and another for water to leave, he did so for
1. If he only made an opening for water to enter, it
was for irrigation.
(p) A woman was pruning a date tree for 13 years, from one
side. A man came and dug under it a bit; Levi ruled that
he gets it. The woman was protesting.
1. Levi: You did not make Chazakah as people normally
(q) (Rav): If one draws a picture (of an animal or bird) on
the wall of a Hefker house, he acquires it.
1. This was inferred from a case that occurred: a
convert who owned a garden near Rav's Beis Medrash
died. Rav acquired it by drawing a picture.
(a) (Rav Huna citing Rav): If one digs any amount in a field
surrounded by fences, he acquires the entire field.
(b) (Shmuel): He only acquires where he dug.
(c) Version #1 - Rashbam - Question: If the field is not
surrounded by fences, how much must he dig (according to
Rav Huna) to acquire the entire field?
3) BUYING FROM A NOCHRI
(d) Version #2 - Tosfos - Question: If the field is not
surrounded by fences, how much does he acquire through
one insertion of the shovel (according to Rav Huna)? (End
of Version #2)
(e) Answer (Rav Papa): Two furrows along the length of the
(a) (Rav Yehudah citing Shmuel): A Nochri's property (after
he sold it to a Yisrael) is like Hefker: whoever makes a
Chazakah in it acquires it.
(b) Question: What is the reason?
(c) Answer: Once a Nochri receives the money, he relinquishes
his ownership of the property; the Yisrael does not
acquire until he gets a document.
(d) Question (Abaye): Shmuel could not have said that, Shmuel
holds that the law of the kingdom is binding, and the
king says that one needs a document to acquire (Chazakah
is not enough)!
(e) (Rav Yosef): There was a case, Reuven bought land from a
Nochri, and Shimon dug a little in it; Rav Yehudah ruled
that Shimon keeps it.
(f) Rejection (Abaye): That case is different, the Nochri
himself did not pay the land tax; the king's law is that
whoever pays the tax gets the produce.
(g) Rav Huna bought land from a Nochri, and Levi dug a little
in it; Rav Nachman ruled that Levi keeps it.
(h) Rav Huna: You rule like Shmuel, 'A Nochri's property is
like Hefker, whoever makes a Chazakah in it acquires it';
1. You should also rule like Shmuel's other law, he
only acquires where he dug!
(i) Rav Nachman: Regarding that law, I rule as you yourself
said in Rav's name: If one digs any amount, he acquires
the entire field.