(Permission is granted to print and redistribute this material
as long as this header and the footer at the end are included.)


prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

Previous daf

Bava Basra 8



(a) When Rav Chanan bar Rav Chisda (or Rav Huna) levied a head-tax on the Rabbanan, Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak objected on the grounds - that, since this tax was for the purpose of protection, the Rabbanan do not require human protection.

(b) He (in conjunction with the Beraisa quoted by Rav Yosef) interpreted the Pasuk in ve'Zos ha'Berachah ...

1. ... "Af Chovev Amim, Kol Kedoshav be'Yadecha" to mean - that even when Hashem endears the nations of the world (by giving them jurisdiction over Yisrael), their holy ones (the Torah-scholars) remain in His Hands.
2. ... "ve'Heim Tuku le'Raglecha" - that they 'break their legs, traveling from place to place to study Torah.
3. ... "Yisa mi'Dabrosecha" - in order to indulge in the Masa u'Matan (the intellectual interchange) of Torah-study.
(c) Ula explains the Pasuk in Hoshe'a ...
1. ... "Gam Ki Yisnu va'Goyim, Atah Akabtzem" to mean - that when Yisrael study ("Yisnu" is an Arama'ic word like 'Masnisin') Torah, Hashem will redeem them.
2. ... "va'Yachelu Me'at mi'Masa Melech ve'Sarim" - that even if there are only a few that learn Torah, they will be released from paying taxes.
(d) In the Pasuk in Ezra, Daryavesh instructed the officer of Eiver ha'Nahar to release the Anshei Keneses ha'Gedolah from "Mindah, V'lo ve'Halach".
1. "Mindah" is - the king's tax.
2. "V'lo" - a head-tax
3. "Halach" - an annual tax on crops and animals.
(a) When Rav Papa levied a tax on Yesomim for a new well that they were about to dig, Rav Shisha B'ei de'Rav Idi objected on the grounds - that if no water flowed into the well, it will turn out that the Yesomim were charged in vain, and Yesomim (Ketanim, which is normally what is meant by 'Yesomim') are not subject to Mechilah.

(b) Rav Papa however, justified what he had done - by assuring Rav Shisha that if no water flowed into the well, the money would be returned to them.

(c) Everyone is obligated to pay towards new gates for the town walls, says Rav Yehudah, even Yesomim - with the sole exception of Talmidei-Chachamim (as we eplained earlier).

(d) Even the Rabbanan however, are obligated to participate towards funding a new well - but not towards actually digging it, as we explained in Bava Metzi'a.

(a) Rebbi opened the storehouses in a year of drought. When he announced that the Ba'alei Mikra, Ba'alei Mishnah, Ba'alei Gemara, Ba'alei Halachah and Ba'alei Agadah were permitted entry, he precluded - the Amei-ha'Aretz ...

(b) ... because, he claimed, they were responsible for all (collective) punishments in the world.

(c) He eventually opened the storehouse to everyone - when his Talmid Yonasan ben Amram, in his humility, nearly did not receive assistance, as we shall now see.

(d) Rebbi's reaction, before being informed that the recipient concerned was his disciple was - one of utter dismay, that he had sustained an Am ha'Aretz in time of famine.

(a) Yonasan ben Amram claimed that he had not even learned Chumash - because he did not wish to benefit from Kavod ha'Torah.

(b) He expected to be sustained like a dog and like a raven - on whom Hashem takes particular pity (a dog, whose food stays in his stomach for three days because he is poorly fed, and a raven, as the Pasuk says in Tehilim "li'Venei Orev Asher Yikra'u" [see also Tosfos and Agados Maharsha]).

(c) When Rebbi refused to assist the Amei ha'Aretz of Teverya with a special tax to pay for a new crown for the king - half of them fled, and immediately, half the tax was withdrawn.

(d) Then ...

1. ... when the second batch of Amei ha'Aretz fled except for that one laudryman - the entire tax was placed on him.
2. ... after the laundryman fled - the vrown broke. From this incident, Rebbi extrapolated - that all (collective) punishments are directly due to the Amei ha'Aretz.
(a) Someone who is guilty of idolatry is sentenced to Sekilah. Members of an Ir ha'Nidachas are killed by the sword.

(b) The other difference between an individual who serves idols and an Ir ha'Nidachas is - that the property of the latter is destroyed too.

(c) The Beraisa rules - that if a caravan of people have resided in the city for thirty days, they receive the same sentence as its members.

(d) Based on the Pasuk (in connection with an Ir ha'Nidachas) "Yoshvei ha'Ir", Rava reconciles this Beraisa with our Mishnah, which does not consider someone a resident until he has lived in the city for one year - inasmuch as we see that the Torah does not require someoe to be a full resident to be puished togather with the residents of an Ir ha'Nidachas.

(e) This distinction manifests itself in a Beraisa regarding someone who declared a Neder inasmuch as - someone who declared a Neder not to derive benefit from the men of the city, may benefit from anyone who has not resided there for one years; whereas if he said mi'Yoshvei ha'Ir', it would include anyone who had lived there for thirty days.

(a) We learned in a Beraisa, that a man who has lived in a town for thirty days is obligated to provide food for the soup-kitchen (for the poor), and for one year before he is obligated to pay towards Pasei ha'Ir (strengthening the gates). Before becoming obligated to donate towards ...
1. ... the Kupah (the Tzedakah fund) - he must have resided there for three months.
2. ... K'sus (the fund for clothing the poor) - six months.
3. ... Kevurah (the burial fund for the poor) - nine months.
(b) When our Mishnah categorically gives the time period as twelve months before becoming a resident - it is referring to 'Pasei ha'Ir'.

(c) Rebbi Asi Amar Rebbi Yochanan obligates even Yesomim to pay towards strengthening the gates of the town, but not Talmidei-Chachamim (as we learned earlier). Rav Papa says - exactly the same in this regard, about repairs to the city walls, hiring a guard who rides around the walls on a horse and a Tarzina (a resident guard of the armory).

(d) The principle that determines whether Yesomim are obligated to participate in the town's public expenses and when they are not - is whether they benefit from it or not.

(a) The Beraisa quoted by Rav Shmuel bar Yehudah exempts Yesomim from paying toward ...
1. ... the Tzedakah fund.
2. ... the redemption of captives.
(b) When, based on this Beraisa, Abaye queried him for having claimed Tzedakah from the Yesomim of Bei bar Meryon, he explained - that he did it in order to make them feel important (like their father had been [see Rabeinu Gershon]). In other words, it was to their advantage.

(c) When Ifra Hurmiz (the mother of Shavur Malka, King of Persia) sent a purse of Tzedakah with instructions to use it for a big Mitzvah, Rav Yosef, based on the Beraisa of Rav Shmuel bar Yehudah, decided to use it for Pidyon Shevuyim.




(a) Based on a Pasuk in Yirmiyah", we learn that death by the sword is worse than pestilence. Death by starvation is worse still.

(b) We learn from the Pasuk "Yakar be'Einei Hashem ha'Mavsah 'la'Chasidav" that pestilence is the mildest of deaths. Death by ...

1. ... the sword is worse than pestilence - because it is more gruesome.
2. ... by starvation is worse than death by the sword - because it is more painful.
(c) We learn that starvation is the worst of these deaths - from the Pasuk in Eichah "Tovim Hayu Chalelei Cherev me'Chalelei Ra'av".

(d) What makes captivity worse than any of them is - the ability of the captors to do with the captive whatever they please, including killing him by of the above means (and the lack of knowledge of what they will do is in itself a torture).

(a) The Beraisa rules that the Kupah of Tzedakah requires ...
1. ... two Gaba'im to claim it - because of the principle 'Ein Osin Serarus al ha'Tzibur Pachos mi'Shenayim' (meaning that any authoratative action vis-a-vis the community can only be taken by two Gaba'im).
2. ... three to distribute it - because it is comparable to money matters (which require three Dayanim) inasmuch as they must decide how much each poor person is to receive.
(b) The Tamchuy is stricter than the Kupah shel Tzedakah - inasmuch as it requires three Gaba'im even to claim it (to obviate the need to search for a third person to distribute it, seeing as it is distributed every day).

(c) The other (third) way in which the Tamchuy is different than the Kupah with regard to its distribution - is that the Gaba'im may include the poor from out of town among its recipients, whereas the Kupah is confined to residents only.

(d) Money collected for the Kupah - may be used for the Tamchuy and vice-versa, with permission from the townspeople. In fact, it may then be used for any communal needs.

(a) The Tana authorizes the residents of the town to fix the measures, the prices, the workers wages and Le'hasi'a al Kitzasan. When he says ...
1. ... the measures, he means - to add or to subtract to the local Sa'ah measure.
2. ... the prices - to fix the maximum selling-price of wheat and wine.
3. ... Le'hasi'a al Kitzasan - he means - to penalize whoever contravenes these decisions.
(b) The Pasuk "*ve'Heim* Yikchu es ha'Zahav ... " implies that two Gaba'im are required to claim Tzedakah funds. Rav Nachman qualifies this Chumra, with his statement that - although Serarus requires two people, the reason is not because *one* is not trustworthy.

(c) Rebbi Chanina bore this out by testifying - that Rebbi appointed two brothers (who as far as trustworthiness is concerned, are considered one.

(d) The reason that the Kupah requires two Gaba'im is because it entails authority - inasmuch as they sometimes need to coerce people to pay, by taking a Mashkon (when someone refuses to pay his dues).

(a) We reconcile this with the Pasuk "u'Fakadti al Kol Lochtzav", which according to Rav's interpretation, threatens Gaba'ei Tzedakah who coerce people into giving Tzedakah with Divine retribution - by establishing this Pasuk by people who are not wealthy, whereas our Beraisa is speaking about those who are.

(b) Rava forced Rav Nasan bar Ami to donate - four hundred Zuz for Tzedakah.

(c) According to the first Lashon, the Pasuk "ve'ha'Maskilim Yazhiru ke'Zohar ha'Raki'a" refers to a Dayan who judges accurately according to Din Torah, and "u'Matzdikei ha'Rabim ke'Kochavim le'Olam Va'ed" to Gaba'ei Tzedakah. According to the second Lashon, "ve'ha'Maskilim Yazhiru ... " refers to both of the above, and "u'Matzdikei ha'Rabim ... " - to Melamdei Tinokos (children's Rebbes).

(d) Rav cited Rav Shmuel bar Shilas as the epitome of the latter. When Rav met Rav Shmuel bar Shilas standing in a garden and asked him whether he had not forsaken his young students, he replied - that this the first break that he had taken in thirteen years and that, even then, so bound was he to them, that his mind was on them all the time.

(e) When he was asked what the Pasuk says about the Talmidei-Chachamim, Ravina quoted the Pasuk - "ve'Ohavav ke'Tzeis ha'Shemesh bi'Gevuraso".

(a) The Tana in a Beraisa forbids the two Gaba'im to part ways as they make their rounds, though he does allow them - to split up, one to collect from those who sit by the gate, and the other, from those who sit in the shop (provided they can both be seen simultaneously.

(b) He says that a Gaba'i Tzedakah who, on his rounds ...

1. ... finds money in the street - must place it in his Tzedakah-purse, and only when he arrives home, may he withdraw it and place it in his own.
2. ... meets his debtor, who pays off his debt - must do likewise.
(c) Another Beraisa rules that a Gaba'i ...
1. ... Tzedakah who has no poor people to whom to distribute, and he has copper P'rutos in he Kupah that will become moldy - may exchange them for silver coins belonging to a second person, but not for his own.
2. ... Tamchuy who has no poor to feed, and wants to sell the food he has collected - should sell it to someone else, but not to himself.
(d) The Tana also forbids him, when exchanging P'rutos for silver coins, to count two coins at a time - in case he miscounts (Rabeinu Gershom) and gives the owner of the silver coins too many coins.
(a) Abaye originally refused to sit on the Shul's mats - because they were purchased with money from the Kupah.

(b) He relented however - when he learned the Beraisa (quoted above), permitting the community to use the money for any communal needs.

(c) He also quoted Rabah, who used to have two purses for Tzedakah, one for the poor of his town, and one for those from out of town. He later followed the advice of Shmuel however, who advised Rav Tachlifa bar Avdimi - to place all the money in one purse, and to stipulate with the community that the money could be used for either.

(d) Rav Ashi did not even to do that - due to the fact that he was such an influential person, that whoever gave him money for Tzedakah, did so on the understanding that he would give to whoever he saw fit.

Next daf


For further information on
subscriptions, archives and sponsorships,
contact Kollel Iyun Hadaf,