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Bava Basra 4

BAVA BASRA 3-5 - sponsored by Harav Ari Bergmann of Lawrence, N.Y., out of love for Torah and those who study it.



(a) When Hurdus came to Bava ben Buta incognito, and ...
1. ... asked him to curse 'that wicked slave', he replied - with the Pasuk in Koheles "Gam be'Mada'acha Melech Al Tekalel" (One does not curse a king!).
2. ... claimed that he was not a king - he replied with the continuation of the Pasuk "u've'Chadrei Mishkavcha Al Tekalel Ashir" and the Pasuk in Mishpatim "ve'Nasi be'Amcha Lo Sa'or" (Don't curse a rich man either or a prince (a reigning monarch even if he is not legally a king) either.
3. ... insisted that he was not 'Oseh Ma'aseh Amcha' (meaning that he did not behave like a Jew, and was therefore precluded from "Amcha" in the latter Pasuk) - he replied that, in any event, he was afraid of him.
4. ... pointed out that there was nobody else but them present, and that he could speak his mind freely - he cited the Pasuk in Koheles "Ki Of ha'Shamayim Yolich es ha'Kol ... ' (that the birds and the demons will spread whatever one says further afield).
(b) Hurdus - was amazed at Bava ben Buta's refusal to indict him. Had he known that the Chachamim chose their words so carefully, he would never have killed the Chachamim.

(c) According to the first Lashon, Bava ben Buta advised him to kindle the light of the world (that he had extinguished with the killing of the Sanhedrin). The second Lashon explains - that since he blinded the eyes of the world, he should busy himself with the eyes of the world.

(d) To allay his fears that the Romans would certainly not grant him permission to rebuild the Beis Hamikdash, he advised him - to send a messenger to Rome to request permission to rebuild the Beis Hamikdash, spending one year on each journey, and one year in Rome. In the meantime, he should go ahead and demolish the old one and build a new one.

(a) The Romans reacted to Hurdus request - by calling him a wicked slave who acts first and seeks permission afterwards. If he had not yet demolished the Beis-Hamikdash, they said, then he should not do so; if he had, he was not to build; but if he had already built it, it could remain standing.

(b) 'Reicha' means a king.

(c) We learn this from one of two sources; one of them, a Pasuk in Shmuel "Anochi Ha'yom Rach u'Mashu'ach Melech" (said by Shlomoh); the other is a Pasuk in Miketz - "Va'yikre'u Lefanav 'Av*reich*' (father and king).

(d) When they said 'Avda K'lanya Mis'aved', they meant - that he was a slave who set himself free.

(a) People said - that whoever did not see the Beis-Hamikdash that Hurdus built, never saw a beautiful building in his life.

(b) He built it with green (or blue) and white marble, says Rava.

1. He staggered the rows - to enable the lime to take hold.
2. When he wanted to overlay it with gold, they objected - on the grounds that it was more beautiful the way it was, because when the sun flashed on it, it resembled the waves of the sea moving.
(c) We query Bava ben Buta - for having advised Hurdus to perform a good deed (as will be explained later in the Perek).

(d) Daniel was punished, says Rav Yehudah Amar Rav (or Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi), for offering Nevuchadnetzar good advice. He advised him - to atone for his sins and prolong his reign, by giving Tzedakah to the poor. He did so, and all the punishments that Hashem had in store for him were postponed for one year.

(a) Perhaps Bava ben Buta issued Hurdus with the above advice (in spite of Rav Yehudah Amar Rav [or Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi]), because a slave (Hurdus), unlike a Nochri (Nevuchadnetzar), is obligated to keep the Mitzvos. Alternatively, Bava ben Buta is vindicated - because it is only a king who has the power to build the Beis-Hamikdash (unlike Tzedakah; which can come from many sources), in which case, he had no choice.

(b) Daniel's punishment is evident, if we explain that Daniel was called 'Hasach' (in Megilas Esther "Va'tikra Esther la'Hasach"), because he was cut him down from his greatness (from the word 'Chatach', to cut). Alternatively, he was called 'Hasach' - because all affairs of state were decided ('cut') by him.

(c) According to this interpretation of his name, Daniel was punished for advising Nevuchadnetzar - by being thrown into the lion's den.

(a) After listing the various walls that the Shutfim are obligated to build, the Mishnah concludes 'ha'Kol ke'Minhag ha'Medinah'. This comes to include a place where the Minhag is to build a partition of Hutza ve'Dafna - meaning 'of palm and laurel branches'.

(b) And the Tana continues 'Lefichach, Im Nafal ha'Kosel, ha'Makom ve'ha'Avanim shel Sheneihem'. Normally, it is indeed obvious that if, to begin with, they provided the space and the bricks equally, they subsequently share them, should it collapse. The Tana is speaking however - when the bricks fell into the property belonging to one of the partners, or when he cleared them into his property (without witnesses). And our Mishnah is teaching us that his Chazakah does not help him (because 'Anan Sahadi' [we are witnesses] that the space and the materials are owned jointly).

(c) Initially, we infer from the Mishnah ...

1. ... 've'Chein be'Ginah, Makom she'Nahagu li'Ge'dor, Mechayvin Oso' - that a S'tam Ginah is considered a Makom she'Lo Nahagu Li'gedor.
2. ... 'Aval Bik'ah, Makom she'Nahagu she'Lo Li'gedor, Ein Mechayvin Oso' - that a S'tam Bik'ah is considered a Makom she'Nahagu Li'gedor.
(d) These two inferences clash - inasmuch as if a S'tam Ginah is considered a Makom she'Lo Li'gedor, how much more so a S'tam Bik'ah?
(a) Abaye therefore amends the Mishnah to read 've'Chein S'tam Ginah, u've'Makom she'Nahagu Li'gedor be'Bik'ah, Mechayvin Oso'. Rava objects to Abaye's explanation however, on the grounds - that Abaye ignores the word '*Aval* Bik'ah ... ' (which distinguishes between a Ginah and a Bik'ah, yet Abaye compares them).

(b) Rava therefore amends the Mishnah to read - 've'Chein S'tam Ginah, ke'Makom she'Nahagu Li'gedor; Aval S'tam Bik'ah, ke'Makom she'Nahagu she'Lo Li'gedor, ve'Ein Mechayvin Oso'.

(c) 'Ela Im Ratzah, our Mishnah stated, 'Ko'nes Le'toch she'Lo, u'Boneh ve'Oseh Chazis'. Rava defines 'Chazis' as a projectile jutting out from the top edge of the wall at an angle.

(a) In the first Lashon, Rav Huna explains that Reuven builds the Chazis on the far side of the wall that borders Shimon's field. Not on his own - because then, Shimon will attach a Chazis on his side and claim that the wall is joint property.

(b) We are not worried, by the same token, that now too, Shimon will lop off the Chazis and claim that the wall is joint property - because it would be easily noticeable if he did.

(c) According to Rav Huna in the second Lashon, Reuven builds the Chazis on his own side, because otherwise, Shimon will lop off the Chazis and claim that the wall is joint property. We are not worried, by the same token, that now too, Shimon will attach his own Chazis and make the same claim - because if he does, it will be easily noticeable.

(d) We indeed ask how Rav Huna can argue with our Mishnah, which writes explicitly 'mi'ba'Chutz', and remain with a Kashya.




(a) Rebbi Yochanan interprets 'Chazis' as 'Neshayeih be'Amsa le'Bar', meaning - that he smears the top Amah of the wall on the outside with cement.

(b) Not from the inside - because then his friend will do likewise.

(c) We are not afraid that now too, he will scrape off the lime from his side of the wall - because if he did, it would be easily recognizable.

(a) In the case of a partition of palm and laurel branches, Rav Nachman defines a Chazis as - cutting the ends of the canes from the outside.

(b) Abaye disagrees. According to him, the only safe method to employ to ensure that the partner who puts up the partition gets it back should it collapse is - by writing a Sh'tar to the effect that it was he alone who put it up.

(c) Where they built the wall jointly, the Tana rules that both partners must build a Chazis. In fact, it would been more logical for neither to build one. However, the Tana is speaking - when one of them built one without consulting his partner.

(a) The problem with the current ruling is - that it is unusual for the Tana to teach us how to deal with swindlers.

(b) The Din of Chazis is indeed coming to teach us how to handle a swindler - but only after teaching us the initial Din that a valley is a place where it is not customary to put up a wall (whereas the Seifa does not teach us any Chidush, besides the Din of the Chazis).

(c) Ravina answers - by establishing the Seifa by a partition of palm and laurel branches, and the Din of Chazis itself is a Chidush, since it precludes Abaye, who maintains that the only solution in such a case is a Sh'tar (as we just learned).

(a) The Tana Kama of our Mishnah rules that if Reuven, whose fields surround Shimon's on three sides, builds a wall on all three sides dividing between his fields and Shimon's, the latter is not obligated to share the costs - because at this point, he has not benefited from the wall (seeing as it is open on the fourth side).

(b) The reason cannot be because it is customary not to build partition walls in a valley (as we learned in our Mishnah) - because that reason only holds by a partition between two valleys (where it is only a matter of Hezek Re'iyah), but not when it comes to fields where animals graze, where a wall is necessary to prevent them from straying from one field to the other.

(c) Rebbi Yossi says 'Im Amad ve'Gadar es ha'Revi'is, Megalgelin Alav es ha'Kol').

(d) Rav Yehudah Amar Shmuel rules like Rebbi Yossi, adding - 'Lo Sh'na Amad Nikaf, Lo Sh'na Amad Makif' (irrespective of whether it was Reuven or Shimon who built the fourth wall).

(a) Rav Huna obligates Shimon to pay half the costs of whatever materials Reuven used. According to Chiya bar Rav - he can argue that he is happy with a partition of cheap canes, and that is what he pays for.

(b) Bearing in mind Shmuel's previous ruling, we try and prove Rav Huna's opinion from the Machlokes Tana'im in our Mishnah - because according to Rav Huna, the Tana Kama will hold that Shimon will only need to pay for a cheap cane fence. But according to Chiya bar Rav, if Rebbi Yossi obligates Shimon to share the costs of a cheap cane fence, what will the Tana Kama hold?

(c) The Machlokes cannot be that the Tana Kama confines Shimon's obligation to pay to where Reuven builds the fourth wall, whereas Rebbi Yossi obligates him even if Shimon built it - because if Shimon has to pay when *Reuven* built the fourth wall, how much more so when *he* built it!

(d) We answer - that according to the Tana Kama, Shimon might be able to claim that he does not really require a wall at all, and that he would be quite happy to pay someone to guard his field, which is what he is then obligated to pay.

(a) We then suggest that they are not arguing over the fourth wall at all - but over the other three. The Tana Kama exempts Shimon from paying for them; Rebbi Yossi obligates him retroactively.

(b) The Tana Kama's reason is - that since Shimon was already declared Patur from paying (see Rashash), he cannot become liable afterwards.

(c) As a third alternative, we propose - that their Machlokes is as we just established it, but only when *Reuven* built the fourth wall.

(d) If Shimon was the one who built it, then - even the Tana Kama will agree that he becomes obligated retroactively, to share in the costs of the other three.

14) In the final answer, we reverse their roles, and Rebbi Yossi is the one who is lenient - obligating Shimon specifically when *he* was the one to build the wall, whilst the Tana Kama obligates him even when Reuven built it (see Tosfos). Note that all the explanations until now assumed Rebbi Yossi to be the more stringent opinion of the two. This is due to the presumption that the latter opinion usually comes to add to the former one (and not vice-versa).

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