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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 121

BAVA BASRA 121 (10 Av) - dedicated by Mrs. G. Kornfeld (Rabbi Kornfeld's mother) to the memory of her father, Reb Yisrael Shimon ben Shlomo ha'Levi Turkel. Reb Yisrael Turkel loved Torah and supported it with his last breath. He passed away on 10 Av, 5740.


(a) Question: Beis Shamai do not learn the Gezerah Shaveh - how do they know that three commoners may annul a vow?
(b) Answer (Beraisa - R. Yosi ha'Galili): "Va'Ydaber Moshe Es Mo'adei Hash-m El Bnei Yisrael" - the festivals were said, not Shabbos;
1. Ben Azai says, the Yamim Tovim are said, but the passage of vows was not said.
(c) Question (Rav Yosi Bar Noson): What does R. Yosi ha'Galili mean, 'Shabbos was not said'?
(d) Answer (Rav Sheshes): The festivals are dependent on sanctification (of the months) by Beis Din, but Shabbos is not.
1. One might have thought, since Shabbos is mentioned with the Mo'adim, it would also need sanctification by Beis Din - he teaches, this is not so.
(e) Question: What does Ben Azai mean, 'The festivals were said, but vows were not said'?
(f) Answer: Sanctification of the festivals (through sanctification of the months) requires experts, annulment of vows does not require experts.
(g) Question: But "Roshei ha'Matos" is written by vows!
(h) Answer (Rav Chisda): Only an expert can annul a vow by himself (but three commoners can also annul vows).
(a) (Mishnah - R. Shimon Ben Gamliel): Yisrael did not have days as joyous as Yom Kipur and the 15th of Av.
1. On these days, girls of Yerushalayim went out in white clothing. Every girl borrowed, so a girl that did not have would not be embarrassed.
(b) We understand why Yom Kipur was so festive - it is the day of pardon and forgiveness, the day the second tablets were given!
(c) Question: What was special about the 15th of Av?
(d) Answer #1 (Rav Yehudah): It was the day that intermarriage between the tribes was permitted.
1. Question: What Scriptural source did they have to permit this?
2. Answer: "Zeh ha'Davar (a daughter that inherits must marry within her tribe)" - this only applies to this generation.
(e) Answer #2 (Rabah bar bar Chanah): On this day, men of Binyamin were permitted to marry women of other tribes.
1. "Yisrael Nishba ba'Mitzpah Leimor Ish Mimenu Lo Yiten Bito l'Vinyamin l'Ishah".
2. Question: What Scriptural source did they have to later permit this?
3. Answer: "Mimenu" - not of our children.
(f) Answer #3 (Rav Dimi Bar Yosef): On this day, the generation that left Mitzrayim ceased dying in the wilderness.
1. "Cha'asher Tamu Kol Anshei ha'Milchamah Lamus...Vaydaber Hash-m Elai" - until they all died, Hash-m did not speak with Moshe (as closely as before Yisrael sinned).

(g) Answer #4 (Ula): On this day Hoshe'ah ben Elah abolished the guards which Yeravam had set up to prevent people of the 10 tribes from ascending to Yerushalayim for the festivals.
(h) Answer #5 (Rav Masneh): On this day they were able to bury those killed in Beitar.
1. (Rav Masneh): On the day they were able to bury those killed in Beitar, the Sanhedrin in Yavneh enacted the fourth blessing after a meal, 'ha'Tov veha'Metiv'.
i. 'Ha'Tov' - Hash-m kept the bodies from decaying;
ii. 'Ha'Metiv' - he enabled that they will be buried.
(i) Answer #6 (Rabah and Rav Yosef): This is the day they cease cutting wood for the fire on the altar (completion of a great Mitzvah is cause for celebration)..
1. (Beraisa - R. Eliezer ha'Gadol): When the 15th of Av comes, the sun is not so strong, so they stop cutting wood for the altar (lest it be wormy).
2. (Rav Menashe): It is called the day of breaking the saw.
3. From this day onwards, one who increases learning at night will live longer; one who does not do so, Yasif.
4. Question: What does Yasif mean?
5. Answer (Rav Yosef): His mother will bury him (i.e. he will perish).
(a) (Beraisa): There are seven men whose lives cover all of time, from the creation of man until today: Adam, Mesushelach, Shem, Yakov, Amram, Achiyah ha'Shiloni, Eliyahu.
1. Question: How could Achiyah ha'Shiloni have been born in Amram's lifetime - "V'Lo Nosar Mehem Ish Ki Im Kalev ben Yefuneh vi'Hoshua" (only Yehoshua and Kalev entered Eretz Yisrael among the men that left Mitzrayim)!
(b) Answer (Rav Hamnuna): The decree did not include Levi'im - "L'Chal Misparchem mi'Ben Esrim Shanah va'Ma'alah".
1. This excludes Levi'im, who are counted from 30 days and older.
(c) Question: Is it really true that no one from other tribes entered Eretz Yisrael?!
1. (Beraisa): Ya'ir Ben Menashe and Machir Ben Menashe were born in Yakov's lifetime, and they entered Eretz Yisrael.
i. (Beraisa - R. Yehudah): "Va'Yaku Mehem Anshei ha'Ai ki'Shloshim v'Shishah Ish" - this is literally true;
ii. R. Nechemyah: But it says about 36! Rather, they killed Ya'ir Ben Menashe, who is the equal of the majority of a Sanhedrin.
(d) Answer (Rav Acha Bar Yakov): The decree was only on men between 20 and 60.
1. It says "Mi'Ben Esrim Shanah va'Ma'alah";
2. We learn a Gezerah Shaveh "va'Ma'alah-va'Ma'alah" from Erchin (pledging a person's designated value to Hekdesh).
i. Just as there, above 60 is as below 20 (both have a smaller Erech than one between 20 and 60), also regarding the decree to die in the wilderness.
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