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Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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Bava Basra 134


(a) Question: What did Shamai originally think?
(b) Answer: He thought that this is like the gift of Beis Choron.
1. (Mishnah): A case occurred in Beis Choron, Shimon was forbidden (by a vow) to benefit from his son Levi. Levi was marrying off his son; he told his friend Yehudah, 'I give you the courtyard and the banquet (that I prepared for the occasion), just so my father can come and eat (and he will benefit from you, not from me).
2. Yehudah: If they are mine, I hereby make them Hekdesh!
3. Levi: I did not give to you in order that you will Makdish them!
4. Yehudah: You gave me so your father can come and eat, and the vow will be transgressed through me (for this is not a real gift)!
5. Chachamim: Any gift like this, in which the recipient cannot Makdish it (Tosfos - because the giver stipulated exactly what must be done with it) is not a gift.
(a) (Beraisa): Hillel had 80 Talmidim: 30 were worthy that the Divine Presence rest on them like Moshe (but the generation was not worthy for this), 30 were worthy that the sun should stop for them as it did for Yehoshua, 20 were intermediate;
1. His greatest Talmid was Yonason ben Uzi'el, his smallest was R. Yochanan Ben Zakai.
2. R. Yochanan Ben Zakai learned everything - Torah, prophets and Kesuvim, Mishnah, Gemara (resolutions of difficulties between Mishnayos), Halachos, Agados, Drashos, Rabbinical enactments, laws learned from Kal va'Chomer and Gezerah Shavah, calculation of the Tekufos (equinoxes and solstices), Gematriyos, parables about launderers and foxes, the speech of Shedim, date trees and angels, big and small matters;
i. A big matter - Hash-m's chariot (mentioned in Yechezkeil); a small matter - the questions of Abaye and Rava.
ii. He fulfilled "Lehanchil l'Ohavai Yesh v'Otzroseihem Amalei".
3. This was the smallest Talmid, all the more so the greatest!
4. When Yonason ben Uzi'el engaged in Torah, a bird flying over him would be burned.
(a) (Mishnah): If Reuven says 'This is my son', he is believed (this will be explained);
(b) If he says 'This (Ploni) is my brother', he is not believed (to make his brothers share their inheritance with Ploni), he divides his share with Ploni;
1. When Ploni dies, Reuven gets back what Ploni took from Reuven's share.
i. If Ploni had received property from another place, all the brothers share it.
(c) (Gemara) Question: When he says 'This (Ploni) is my son', regarding what is he believed?
(d) Answer (Rav Yehudah): Ploni inherits Reuven, and exempts Reuven's wife from Yibum.

(e) Objection: Obviously, Reuven is believed to say that Ploni inherits him, he can give his money to him as a gift if he wants! (This applies to what Reuven owns now - he is not believed regarding property he will receive later.
(f) Answer: The Chidush is that Reuven is believed to exempt his wife from Yibum.
(g) Question: We already learn this from a Mishnah!
1. (Mishnah): If Reuven said just before he died 'I have sons', he is believed (to exempt his wife from Yibum);
2. If he said 'I have brothers', he is not believed (to forbid his wife from remarrying).
(h) Answer: There, he is believed to say that he has sons when he is Muchzak not to have brothers (even before he spoke, the Chazakah was that his wife will be permitted when he dies);
1. Here, he is believed even if he is Muchzak to have brothers.
2. (Rav Yosef citing Rav Yehudah): He is believed because a husband is believed to say that he divorced his wife.
3. Objection (Rav Yosef): What I said is improper - it attributes the reason for a Mishnah to a law not taught in a Mishnah!
4. Correction (Rav Yosef) Rather, surely Rav Yehudah taught that he is believed because he could exempt her from Yibum if he wants by divorcing her.
(i) (Rav Yosef): Since we believe a person based on what he could do, a man is believed to say that he divorced his wife because he could divorce her.
(j) (Rav Yitzchak bar Yosef citing R. Yochanan): A man is not believed to say that he divorced his wife.
(k) (Rav Sheshes): This disproves Rav Yosef's reasoning!
(l) Question: But R. Chiya bar Avin cited R. Yochanan to say that a man is believed to say that he divorced his wife!
(m) Answer: Rav Yitzchak taught that he is not believed regarding the past (e.g. to exempt her if she had extramarital relations), R. Chiya bar Avin taught that he is believed regarding the future.
(n) Question: If a man said that he divorced his wife at a specific time in the past, (he is not believed regarding the past, but) is he believed regarding the future?
1. Do we divide his statement (and believed that he divorced her, but not when this was), or not (and since we cannot believe his entire statement, we do not believe him at all)?
(o) Answer #1 (Rav Mari or Rav Zvid): We divide his words.
(p) Answer #2 (The other of Rav Mari and Rav Zvid): We do not divide his words.
(q) Question: Why is this different than Rava's law?
1. (Rava): If Reuven says 'Ploni had relations with my wife', he can join with another witness to kill Ploni, but not to kill his wife. (Even though Reuven is not believed regarding his own wife, we consider it as if he said 'Ploni had relations with someone else's wife' and 'a man had relations with my wife', he is believed about the former.)
(r) Answer: There, he spoke about two people, we divide his words; here, he spoke about one person, we do not.
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