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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).
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).
(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 Beis-ha'Kisei.
(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 planted seeds.

(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 surrounding fields.

(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, ve'To'anin le'Yoresh'.

(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 le'Loke'ach' ...

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)?
5) 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).




(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 dovecote.
2. ... equidistant to both - belongs to both owners, who share it.
(c) We learn from the Pasuk ...
1. ... "Acharei Rabim Lehatos" - that we follow the majority.
2. ... "ve'Hayah ha'Ir ha'Kerovah el he'Chalal" - that we go after whichever is the closest.
(d) In a case where Rov clashes with Karov - Rebbi Chanina gives precedence to the Rov.
(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. Consequently ...

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.
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