ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Bava Basra 17
(a) The Tana of the Beraisa learns from the three Pesukim "va'Hashem Beirach
es Avraham ba'Kol"; "va'Ochal mi'Kol" and "ve'Chi Yesh Li Kol" - that, at
some stage during their lives, Hashem gave the Three Avos a taste of Olam
ha'Ba already in this world (and these Peaukim also serve as the basis for
the statements that follow).
(b) He possibly learns from the Pasuk of "ve'Libi Challal be'Kirbi" - that,
as well as the Avos, David, at some stage in his life, was no longer
controlled by his Yetzer-ha'Ra.
(c) Alternatively, we might explain the latter Pasuk to mean - that David's
(physical) heart was dead inside him (referring to the many Tzaros that he
(a) The Tana says that the Avos plus Moshe, Aharon and Miriam - died with a
kiss from Hashem (and not at the hands of the Angel of Death.
(b) The Avos belong in this list, because of "ba'Kol", "mi'Kol", "Kol";
Moshe and Aharon, because the Torah writes by both of them "al-Pi Hashem",
and Miriam - because of a 'Gezeirah-Shavah from Moshe ("va'Tikaver *Sham*"
and "va'Yamas *Sham* al-Pi Hashem").
(c) The reason that the Torah does not use this phrase in connection with
Miriam directly is - out of respect for Hashem.
(a) What the above six and Binyamin ben Ya'akov have in common is - that the
worms did not have any power over their bodies in the grave (see Tosfos DH
(b) We know this to be the case by ...
1. ... Moshe, Aharon and Miriam - from the fact that they were not killed by
the Angel of Death, whose sword is tipped with the 'poison' that causes the
body to decay and become eaten by worms.
(c) And from the Pasuk "Af Besari Yishkon la'Vetach", the Tana learns - that
David might belong in this list too.
2. ... Binyamin ben Ya'akov - from the Pasuk in ve'Zos-ha'Berachah "Yishkon
(d) This Pasuk is not such a good proof however - since it may have been a
Tefilah on the part of David, a Tefilah that was not accepted.
(a) Binyamin ben Ya'akov, Amram, Moshe's father, Yishai, David's father and
Kil'av his son, have in common the fact - that they all died because of the
sin of Adam ('be'Ityo shel Nachash' [as a result of the plot of the Snake),
but not on account of any sin that they performed.
***** Hadran Alach Hashutfin *****
(b) The first three - are based on tradition ('Halachah le'Moshe mi'Sinai').
(c) Based on the Pasuk in Divrei Hayamim, Tzeruyah's three children were
called Avshai (better known as Avishai), Yo'av and Asa'el. The name of
1. ... sister was - Avigayil (not to be confused with David ha'Melech's wife
of the same name).
(d) The Pasuk in Shmuel refers to her as "bas Nachash" - to teach us that
Amram her father, too, died without sin ('be'Ityo shel Nachash').
2. ... famous brother was - David.
***** Perek Lo Yachpor *****
(a) Our Mishnah permits Reuven to dig a pit, trench, cave or stream of water
at a distance of - not less than three Tefachim from Shimon's pit.
(b) The same applies to digging a 'Nivreches Kovsin' - which is a square pit
one Amah or more deep in which rain water gathered, and which was then used
for washing clothes. In fact, there were two pits, one for soaking (in dog's
droppings) for a day or two; the other, for washing.
(c) The three-Tefach distance is necessary - because otherwise, the actual
digging of Reuven's pit would weaken the walls of Shimon's.
(d) In order to prevent damaging Shimon's pit, Reuven is also obligated - to
cement his own pit with lime.
(a) The Tana does not forbid Reuven to place his Geffes (the waste of the
olives from the olive-press), manure, salt, lime or flint-rocks beside
Shimon's pit. He *does* however, forbid him to place them - beside Shimon's
wall, unless he cements them with lime.
(b) The Tana permits Reuven to place his seeds and plow, as well as to
urinate - a distance of at least three Tefachim from Shimon's wall.
(c) A mill harms the wall next to which it is placed - through the
(d) Reuven is forbidden to place his Shechev (the lower mill-stone) within
three Tefachim away from Shimon's wall - the Rechev (the upper mill-stone),
(a) An oven harms the wall next to which it is placed - by means of the heat
that emanates from it.
(b) The purpose of the base of cement and bricks that they would make for a
Tanur (an earthenware high-temperature oven with its opening on top) is - to
prevent the base of the actual oven from cooling down as a result of its
contact with the earth.
(c) Reuven is forbidden to place the Kalya (the foot of that base) within
three Tefachim of Shimon's wall; the Shafah (its top) - within four.
(a) Abaye (or Rav Yehudah) accounts for the fact that the Tana begins
talking about Reuven digging a pit near Shimon's pit, and ends with how far
he must keep away from his wall - by extrapolating from here that it is not
the pit from which Reuven must keep his distance, but the wall of the pit.
(b) Had the Tana merely said that he must keep away from Shimon's pit, he
would anyway have had to mean from the wall of the pit, and not from the pit
itself - because then he would not be keeping any distance at all (see
Rashash, though it is unclear why we would have to learn like that).
(c) And the reason that the Tana find it necessary to mention the wall at
all is - to teach us that the wall of a pit is three Tefachim. Consequently,
bearing in mind that Shimon too, had to dig his pit three Tefachim from the
edge of Reuven's field, Reuven may only dig his pit six Tefachim away from
(d) We need to know this - so that someone who buys a pit together with its
walls is entitled to receive a wall three Tefachim thick (see Tosfos DH
(a) Abaye permits Reuven to dig a pit at the edge of his field where it
adjoins Shimon's. Rava disagrees on the grounds - that Shimon might decide
to dig a pit in his field.
(b) Their Machlokes is confined to a field which is not meant for pits,
because if it was (such as a Beis ha'Shalachim, which needs to be watered
manually), Abaye would concede that it is forbidden.
(c) In the second Lashon, they argue over a field which is meant for pits,
because if it was not - Rava would concede that it is permitted.
(a) Abaye permits placing his pit beside the border even according to the
Rabbanan, who obligate someone planting a tree to leave a space of at least
twenty-five Amos between his tree and his neighbor's pit - because that is
only because the pit was there first, but not in our case, where it was not.
(b) Whereas Rava forbids it even according to Rebbi Yossi, who permits
planting it right up to the pit - because there, at the time that he plants
the tree, he is not causing any damage to the pit (since it is the
subsequent growth of the roots that damage the pit); whereas in our case,
every time Reuven pushes his spade into the earth to dig his pit, he weakens
the wall of Shimon's pit.
(c) We learned in our Mishnah that Reuven may not dig a pit beside Shimon's,
implying that had there been no pit there, it would have been permitted.
According to the second Lashon, where he argues with Abaye in the case of a
field that *is meant for pits* - Rava will establish the Mishnah by a field
which is *not*.
(d) According to the other Lashon, the Kashya is on Rava - who forbids
Reuven to dig a pit next to the border with Shimon's field, even when there
is no pit in Shimon's field (so why does the Tana permit it here)?
(a) To answer the previous Kashya, Rava cites what Abaye (or Rav Yehudah)
said earlier 'mi'Kosel Boro Lamadnu' - in which case whoever digs a pit
first automatically leaves three Tefachim as the wall of his pit (as we
(b) Another Lashon cites our Mishnah 'Lo Yachpor Adam Bor Samuch le'Boro
shel Chavero', together with Abaye (or Rav Yehudah)'s qualifier 'mi'Kosel
Boro Lamadnu'. There is no problem with Abaye according to the Lashon that
establishes the Machlokes Abaye and Rava by a field which is *not meant for
pits* - because he will simply establish our Mishnah by a field which *is*.
(c) According to the Lashon that establishes the Machlokes by a field which
is meant for pits, Abaye will establish our Mishnah - when they both come to
dig simultaneously, because it is only then that both are required to begin
digging three Tefachim from the border.
(a) The Beraisa rules that in the case of 'Sela ha'Ba be'Yadayim' (soft
ground that one can dig with one's hands) - if Reuven and Shimon want to dig
a pit near the border, each one must move back three Tefachim and dig, and
each one must cement his pit.
(b) Assuming that the Tana speaks when each one comes to dig independently
(see Tosfos DH 'Hachi Garsinan'), Abaye will explain that the Beraisa refers
to 'Sela ha'Ba be'Yadayim' exclusively, because the earth is soft (but in a
case of regular earth, the first person who digs is permitted to dig right
up to the border [at least, in a field that was not meant for pits]).
(c) The reason that we asked the Kashya in the first place was - because we
thought that although the Tana speaks about any field, he presents the case
of 'Sela he'Ba be'Yadayim', to teach us that, even there, three Tefachim