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Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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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.
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"]).
(b) When Rav Acha bar Ya'akov Darshened this in Papunya - the Satan came and kissed his feet.

(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 its owners.
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]).
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.
(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?

(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).
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).
(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).

(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 withered.

(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 strife.

(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 praise.

(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 tannery.
(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 knowledge.

(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.
2. ... Yishmael - because he did indeed, do Teshuvah in Avraham's lifetime ...
(b) ... as Rebbi Yochanan extrapolates from the Pasuk "Va'yikberu Oso Eisav ve'Yishmael".

(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.

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