ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Bava Basra 16
BAVA BASRA 16 (23 Nisan) - dedicated by Mr. Avy Reichman of Queens, NY,
l'Iluy Nishmas his father, Dovid ben Avraham, on the day of his Yahrzeit.
(a) When the scenario with the Satan repeated itself, and Hashem said to him
"ve'Odenu Machzik be'Tum'aso, va'Tesiseni Vo le'Val'o Chinam" - he meant
that Iyov still retained his Temimus and yet the Satan insists on enticing
Hashem, forcing His Hand to punish him for nothing.
(b) Rebbi Yochanan comments - that the suggestion that Hashem can be enticed
is something we would never have dared say, had Hashem not said it Himself.
(c) The Tana describing the work of the Satan, says - 'He descends and
tricks the person into sinning, ascends and prosecutes and, after obtaining
permission, he descends once more to take his Neshamah'.
(a) In reply to Hashem's statement, the Satan suggested that, as long as
Iyov had not been hit personally, it was not surprising that he remained
steadfast in his faith, but that if he were to be made to suffer physical
pain, he would not be able to withstand it, and would blaspheme Hashem.
(b) Hashem responded - by granting him permission to go ahead, provided he
spared his life.
(c) The Satan suffered more than Iyov did - in his efforts to inflict
sufficient pain to challenge Iyov's faith, yet without taking his life.
(d) Resh Lakish learns from Pesukim that the Yeitzer ha'Ra and the Satan are
one and the same (like we just learned). He first causes one to sin, then
prosecutes him for sinning. And he (Resh Lakish) learns from the Pasuk in
Iyov "Ach es Nafsho Sh'mor" - that he is also the Mal'ach ha'Maves (the
Angel of Death [only he requires permission before taking someone's life, as
we just explained]).
(a) When Rebbi Levi said that ...
1. ... the Satan acted le'Shem Shamayim, he meant - that his motivation in
prosecuting Iyov to the extent that he did, was in order to demonstrate that
there was no-one like Avraham.
(b) When Rav Acha bar Ya'akov Darshened this in Papunya - the Satan came and
kissed his feet.
2. ... Peninah (Elkanah's second wife) acted le'Shem Shamayim, he meant -
that her teasing of Chanah (who later bore Shmuel) was in order to induce
her to Daven to Hashem (as the Pasuk in Shmuel writes "ve'Chi'asatah
Tzarasah Gam Ka'as Ba'avur Har'imah" [and her Tzarah made her angry in order
to cause her to complain to Hashem"]).
(c) Rava extrapolates from the Pasuk "be'Chol Zos Lo Chata Iyov
bi'Sefasav" - that although Iyov had not sinned (yet) with his lips, he
*had* sinned in his mind.
(a) When, explaining the Pasuk "Eretz Nitnah be'Yad Rasha ... ", Rava said
that Iyov wanted to 'overturn the dish', he meant - that these words
actually pertain to Hashem (Kevayachol).
(b) Abaye disagreed. According to him - the Rasha in the Pasuk pertains to
the Satan, and not to Hashem (Chalilah).
(c) Rebbi Eliezer in a Beraisa, referring to the same Pasuk, stated "Bikesh
Iyov La'hafoch Ke'arah al Pihah", to which Rebbi Yehoshua responded - in the
same way as Abaye responded to Rava.
(a) Rava explains Iyov's statement "Al Da'atcha ki Lo Ersha, ve'Ein
mi'Yadcha Matzil" to mean - that if only Hashem so wished, he would not sin.
Indeed, nobody can change the status that Hashem grants him.
(b) Just as Hashem creates an ox with cloven hooves and a donkey with hoofs
that are not cloven (the one Kasher, the other, Tereifah), Gan Eden (the
epitome of goodness) and Gehinom (the epitome of evil), he said - so too,
does He create Tzadikim and Resha'im (whose status is equally predetermined.
(c) Iyov's friends however, answered him by citing the maxim 'I created the
Yetzer-ha'Ra', says Hashem, 'and I created Torah as its antidote'.
(d) Based on the Pasuk "Birchas Oved Alai Savo, ve'Lev Almanah Arnin", Rava
explains how (before the Midas ha'Din struck) Iyov ...
1. ... would steal the field of Yesomim, improve it before returning it to
2. ... to boost the chances of an Almanah to get married - would associate
his name with her (either by claiming to be a relation of hers or by making
out that he wanted to marry her).
(a) When Rav (or Rava) said ...
1. ... 'Afra le'Pumei de'Iyov!', he meant - that Iyov needs to have earth
placed in his mouth (for blaspheming Hashem [like one sometimes places a
little soap in the mouth of a child who utters foul speech]).
(b) Similarly, he commented on Iyov's statement "Lu Yesh Beneinu Mochi'ach
... " - that it is not befitting for an Eved to rebuke his master?
2. ... 'Chavrusa K'lapei Shemaya?" he was querying Iyov's challenge to
Hashem to make a reckoning with him, as if Hashem was his equal.
(c) Concerning Iyov's self-aggrandizement, based on the fact that he
refrained from looking at virgins, Rava remarked - that this did not reach
the level of Avraham, who until, due to an episode that took place when he
was already in his seventies, had never even looked at his own wife.
(d) And when Iyov said "Kalah Anan va'Yeilech Kein Yored She'ol Lo
Ya'aleh" - he meant that once a person dies and is buried, he will never
ascend from the grave, effectively denying Techi'as ha'Meisim.
(a) Rabah, quoting Pesukim, states 'Iyov bi'Se'arah Cheref, u'vi'Se'arah
Heshivuhu'. Iyov claimed - that after a storm-cloud passed before Hashem, He
must have become confused between Iyov and Oyev.
(b) But Hashem countered his claim (from a storm-cloud). He proved that He
does not become easily confused - from the many ...
1. ... hairs on a human body - each of which grows from its own source
(because if two hairs were to grow from the same source, they would cause
the person to go blind).
(c) With regard to the raindrops, the Pasuk uses the Lashon "Mi Palag
le'Shetef Ta'aleh". And we prove from the Pasuk (in connection with Eliyahu
on Mount Carmel) "va'Ya'as Ta'aleh ke'Veis-Sa'asayim" - that "Ta'aleh" means
a ditch (and, in the case of Iyov, a mold).
2. ... rain-drops that are contained in the clouds, each in its own
individual mold, (because if two drops would combine, they would saturate
the ground, and fruit would not be able to grow there).
3. ... thunderclaps that one hears during a thunder-storm - each one of
which passes along its own path (because if two of them connected, they
would destroy the world).
(d) Hashem brought two final proofs that He does not become easily confused
1. ... one from a mountain-she-goat, who gives birth at the edge of a
mountain cliff, casting its newborn baby over the top. And it is only due to
the eagle that Hashem sends to catch it, at the precisely when it is needed,
that it survives.
2. ... the other, from a she-gazelle - whose womb is too narrow to let out
its new-born baby. So Hashem sends a Darkon (a type of snake) to strike its
womb and widens it, at the precise moment that it is needed.
(a) From the Pasuk "Iyov Lo be'Da'as Yedaber, u'Devarav Lo be'Haskel", Rava
extroplates the principle 'Ein Adam Nitfas be'Sha'as Tza'aro' (a person
cannot be taken to task for what he does or says when he is pain).
(b) When Iyov was stricken with boils, his friends, Elifaz ha'Teimani,
Bildad ha'Shuchi and Tzofer ha'Na'amasi, came to visit him. We learn from
the Pasuk "va'Yiva'adu Yachdav la'Vo la'Nud Lo u'Le'nachamo" - that they all
arrived at precisely the same moment.
(c) In spite of the fact that they lived hundreds of miles apart, they all
get to know about Iyov's plight simultaneously - due to a crown that each of
them possessed, with a picture of each of his three friends painted on it.
The moment one of those friends suffered, that picture contorted. Others say
that it was a tree with the faces of the three friends carved on it that
(d) The folk-saying that was born from this incident is - 'Either friends
like those of Iyov or death!'
(a) Discussing the large percentage of female births preceding the Flood -
the Pasuk uses the expression "Va'yehi Ki Heichel ha'Adam la'Rov al-P'nei
ha'Adamah". When Rebbi Yochanan says 'Revi'ah Ba'ah le'Olam', he means -
that more women result in a greater population increase, because they marry
younger (see also Agados Maharsha).
(b) Resh Lakish explains - that with an influx of women came an influx in
(c) When Resh Lakish asked Rebbi Yochanan why, according to him, Iyov was
not blessed with a hundred percent increase in daughters (like he was in
sons) he replied - that although the number of daughters did not increase
quantitatively, the three daughters that he fathered were twice as beautiful
as the first ones had been.
(d) Iyov called one of his daughters ...
1. ... Yamimah - because she was as radiant as the day.
2. ... Ketzi'ah (the name of one of the spices that comprised the incense) -
because she was as fragrant as Ketzi'ah.
(a) When de'Bei Rebbi Yanai explained that Iyov called his third daughter
Keren ha'Puch because she had a dark complexion, like the horn of a
rhinoceros - they laughed at him, because that is more an insult than a
(b) Rav Chisda therefore explains - that she resembled garden saffron (see
Tosfos DH 'ke'Kuchla' and Rabeinu Gershom).
(c) When Rebbi Shimon the son of Rebbi expressed disappointment after his
wife gave birth to a daughter, his father consoled him - by quoting the
maxim of Rebbi Yochanan 'Revi'ah Ba'ah le'Olam'.
(d) bar Kapara disillusioned Rebbi Shimon however, by quoting the Beraisa
which states that, although the world needs both ...
1. ... boys and girls, woe to the person who has only girls.
2. ... spice-maker-maker and tanners, woe to the person whose profession is
(a) It appears that the status of daughters was already then an old bone of
contention. Rebbi Meir explains the Pasuk "va'Hashem Beirach es Avraham
ba'Kol" to mean that Avraham had no daughters. According to Rebbi Yehudah,
it means - that he had a daughter, whose name was Bakol.
(b) According to Rebbi Elazar ha'Muda'i, Hashem blessed Avraham with a
profound knowledge of astronomy. This affected the world - inasmuch as the
kings of the east and the west would come to him for advice, based on that
(c) Whereas according to Rebbi Shimon, the blessing comprised a special
chain that Avraham wore around his neck - which caused any sick person who
looked at it to become cured (Tosfos DH 'she'Kol').
(d) After Avraham's death - Hashem placed that chain on the planet Sun,
which explains why sunrise causes the situation of sick patients to ease.
(a) Others explain that Hashem's blessing manifested itself in that Eisav
did not rebel in his lifetime. Yet others say - that it expressed itself in
that Yishmael did Teshuvah whilst he (Avraham) was still alive.
(b) On the day that Avraham died, Ya'akov prepared a lentil dish, because
lentils, which are completely round, hint at mourning, which rolls from one
person to another. Alternatively - mourners, like lentils, have no mouth
(opening), since they tend to sit silently (and besides, they are forbidden
to study Torah).
(c) The practical difference between the two reasons is - whether one may
use eggs (for the first meal [known as 'Se'udas Havra'ah']), since, on the
one hand they are not round like lentils, but on the other, they, like
lentils, have no opening.
(d) Rebbi Yochanan lists five sins that Eisav committed on that day. He
had relations with a betrothed girl, he murdered Nimrod and he denied
Hashem's existence - as well as Techi'as ha'Meisim, and he despised the
Avodah of Hashem (i.e. he degraded the birthright by speaking about it as if
it was worthless).
(a) Rav Chama bar Buzi, who explains that 'Gevi'ah' is a term describing
the death of Tzadikim, nevertheless acscounts for the fact that the Torah
writes "ve'Yigva" in connection with ...
1. ... the Dor ha'Mabul - because he was referring to the term "va'Yigva
va'Yamos", and not just "va'Yigva" on its own.
(b) ... as Rebbi Yochanan extrapolates from the Pasuk "Va'yikberu Oso Eisav
2. ... Yishmael - because he did indeed, do Teshuvah in Avraham's lifetime
(c) The Torah cannot be giving Yitzchak precedence because he was wiser than
Yishmael - because in that case, how will we explain the Pasuk in
Va'yishlach "Va'yikberu Oso Eisav ve'Yishmael Banav"? Why does the Torah
give precedence to Eisav, who was certainly not wiser than Ya'akov? We are
therefore forced to say must therefore be that Yishmael did Teshuvah,
whereas Eisav did not.