ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Bava Basra 23
BAVA BASRA 20-25 - sponsored by Harav Ari Bergmann of Lawrence, N.Y., out of
love for the Torah and for those who study it.
(a) As a result of the blood-letters performing their trade underneath Rav
Yosef's small date-palms - ravens, attracted to the spot by the blood, would
then fly up into the palms and eat the dates.
(b) When Rav Yosef told the blood-letters 'Afiku Li Kurkur me'Hacha' he
meant - that they should move their practice elsewhere. He referred to the
ravens as 'Kurkur' - because it resembles the sound that ravens make.
(c) When Abaye queried him on the grounds that ...
1. ... this was no more than G'rama, he replied - with Rav Tuvi bar Masna's
statement ('G'rama be'Nizakin Asur', as we learned earlier).
(d) And when Abaye queried him on the grounds that Rav Mari confined the
principle of 'Ein Chazakah le'Nizakin' to smoke and Rav Z'vid to 'Beis
ha'Kisei', neither of which are tolerable in the long term, he finally
replied - that he was finicky and could not stand the blood under his trees
(not because of the damage to the dates), which to him was similar to a
2. ... that the blood-letters had a Chazakah, he replied with the statement
of Rav Nachman Amar Rabah bar Avuhah - 'Ein Chazakah le'Nizakin' (as we
learned earlier, too).
(a) One may not place a dovecote within fifty Amos of the town - because
this enables the doves to fly into people's vegetable gardens and eat the
(b) One is obligated to leave a space of at least fifty Amos in every
direction around one's dovecote - to prevent the same from happening to the
(c) Rebbi Yehudah requires a distance of at least four Kurim (which is much
further than fifty Amos) - because that is how far doves fly in one stretch.
(d) In a case where someone purchases an area of only a quarter of a Kav
containing a dovecote - Rebbi Yehudah permits the purchaser to leave his
dovecote where it is, because the previous owner had a Chazakah, which the
purchaser bought from him.
(a) The Beraisa forbids spreading nets to catch doves unless it is thirty
Ris from inhabited territory. Thirty Ris comprise - four Mil.
(b) Abaye reconciles this with our Mishnah, which requires a distance of
only fifty Amah - by differentiating between the thirty Ris distance that a
bird can fly without resting on the one hand, and the fact that it eats its
fill within a distance of fifty Amos on the other.
(c) Another Beraisa forbids spreading nets even within a hundred Mil of
inhabited territory. Rav Yosef establishes this by an area of vineyards;
Rabah establishes it by an area of dovecotes - giving the birds the
possibility of resting in a vineyard or in a dovecote along the way.
(d) The three explanations why it is not intrinsically forbidden to spread
he nets on account of the dovecotes themselves are: 1. because the dovecotes
all belong to the person spreading the nets; 2. because they belong to
Nochrim - 3. because they are Hefker dovecotes that have no owners.
(a) Rav Papa (or Rav Z'vid) extrapolates from our Mishnah, which concludes
've'Im Lakchu Afilu Beis Rova, Harei Hu be'Chezkaso' - 'To'anin le'Loke'ach,
In light of Rav Nachman Amar Rabah bar Avuhah's principle 'Ein Chazakah
le'Nizakin', our Tana rules 'Harei Hu be'Chezkasah' - because, as we have
already learned, Rav Nachman's principle is confined to smoke (Rav Mari), or
Beis-ha'Kisei (Rav Z'vid).
(b) We ask on Rav Papa's statement 'To'anin le'Yoresh' (even though our
Mishnah does not mention Yorshim at all) - that we already know this from a
Mishnah in Chezkas ha'Batim 'ha'Ba Mishum Yerushah, Eino Tzarich Ta'anah'.
(c) We answer - that we need our Mishnah to teach us 'To'anin le'Loke'ach'.
(d) We ask further that we also have a Mishnah in Chezkas ha'Batim that
teaches 'Lakach Chatzer u'Vah Zizin u'Gezuztera'os, Harei Hu be'Chezkasah',
and we answer that we need them both. We could not have learned 'To'anin
1. ... in our case from the Mishnah in Chezkas ha'Batim - because there, we
might take for granted the seller's rights, either because it is clear that
he moved his wall back into his own domain, and that is where the
projections were (otherwise, the people in the street would have protested
and forced him to remove them), or because their silence proves that they
were Mochel him); whereas a neighbor would not be so easily Mochel (and we
would suspect that the seller put up his dovecote without permission [if not
for our Mishnah]).
2. ... in the case in Chezkas ha'Batim from our Mishnah - because even if we
assume that the seller's neighbor was Mochel, there would be nobody to be
Mochel in a a public street (if not for our Mishnah)?
(a) A young dove that one finds within fifty Amos of a dovecote belongs to
the owner of the dovecote - whereas one that is found outside fifty Amos
belongs to the finder?
(b) And a bird that is found between two dovecotes, and that is ...
1. ... nearer to one than to the other - belongs to the owner of the nearer
(c) We learn from the Pasuk ...
2. ... equidistant to both - belongs to both owners, who share it.
1. ... "Acharei Rabim Lehatos" - that we follow the majority.
(d) In a case where Rov clashes with Karov - Rebbi Chanina gives precedence
to the Rov.
2. ... "ve'Hayah ha'Ir ha'Kerovah el he'Chalal" - that we go after whichever
is the closest.
(a) Rebbi Zeira asks on Rebbi Chanina from the Pasuk "ve'Hayah ha'Ir
ha'Kerovah el he'Chalal", which (despite the implications that we go after
Karov even though there are larger towns than it in the area) - speaks
specifically when there are no towns larger than it.
(b) We do not go after Ruba de'Alma (the Rov of the world at large), and
give it to the finder - because we are speaking about a town which is
situated in the mountains, and which is not therefore frequented by
residents of towns that are situated elsewhere.
(c) Rebbi Chanina will establish our Mishnah 'Nipul ha'Nimtza be'Toch
Chamishim Amah ... ' - when there is no larger dovecote beyond fifty Amos.
(d) The problem with the Seifa 'Chutz me'Chamishim Amah, Harei Hu shel
Motza'ah' is - that, if the Tana is speaking when there is no larger
dovecote than it, why do we not go after the one that is closest, even if it
is outside fifty Amos?
(a) We solve the problem by establishing our Mishnah by 'Mad'dah', meaning -
that the dove has not yet learned to fly, but gets along by hopping from
place to place. And Rav Ukva bar Chama taught that, until a dove learns to
fly, it does not hop beyond fifty Amos from its nest.
(b) Consequently, as long as it is found within fifty Amos, we cannot go
after the majority of the world, since it could not have hopped so far. But
if it is found outside the fifty-Amah limit, it is an indication that it
must have reached the stage where it is now able to fly. Consequently, we go
after the majority of the world, and it belongs to the finder.
(c) Rebbi Yirmiyah asked what the Din would be - if one found the dove with
one foot inside fifty Amos and one foot outside.
(d) His contemporaries were not impressed with his troublesome She'eilos
(see Tosfos DH 've'Al Da'), and they evicted him from the Beis-Hamedrash.
(a) According to Rebbi Chanina, the continuation of our Mishnah 'Nimtza Bein
Sh'nei Shovchos, Karov la'Zeh, she'Lo, ve'Karov la'Zeh, she'Lo' - speaks
when the two dovecotes are exactly the same size (otherwise, we would go
after the larger of the two, irrespective of which was closer).
(b) We then ask why we do not follow 'Ruba de'Alma'. The question assumes -
that the bird was found outside fifty Amos (even though we just established
the Mishnah by Mad'dah [see Rashash]).
(c) We answer by establishing the Mishnah by a path in the vineyard.
1. ... it could have hopped beyond fifty Amos from its dovecote, as it tends
to do along such a path. It could not however ...
2. ... have come from 'Ruba de'Alma', because even in path in the vineyard,
the bird will only go beyond fifty Amos from its home as long as it can see
its nest, but not otherwise.