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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Bava Basra 26

BAVA BASRA 26 - dedicated by Mr. N. Brown, a devotee of the Torah who is Mekadesh Shem Shamayim in Rechavya, Yerushalayim. May the Torah always protect and uplift his entire family!



(a) When in the household of bar Meryon, the son of Ravin, they used to shake flax, the shakings would cause people damage. Ravina exempted him from paying, despite the fact that it was 'Giri Dileih' - because the they did not drift by themselves, but had to be carried by the wind.

(b) Mereimar agreed with Mar bar Rav Ashi, who failed to see a difference between this case and someone who winnows on Shabbos, and who is Chayav despite the fact that he is helped by the wind. Ravina will counter this argument - by confining that particular ruling to the laws of Shabbos, which are governed by the principle 'Meleches Machsheves', incorporating Melachos performed in conjunction with the wind (see also Tosfos DH 'Mai Sh'na').

(c) Neither does he consider the Kashya from the Mishnah in Bava Kama, which obligates a blacksmith to pay damages for a spark that flies from his anvil as he strikes it, even though it is carried by the wind, relevant - because, he says, that case is different, inasmuch as the blacksmith is pleased with the wind's assistance (since it saves his smithy from catching alight), whereas in our case, Bar Meryon was indifferent to the shakings whereabouts.

(a) We have already discussed our Mishnah, which forbids Reuven to plant a tree within four Amos of Shimon's field. The Tana - does not differentiate between a vine and any other tree.

(b) This prohibition will not apply - in a case where a wall divides between the two properties.

(c) Shimon has the authority to cut the roots of Shimon's tree to a depth of three Tefachim, on the grounds - that they interfere with his plow?

(d) If Shimon is digging a pit or a trench ... , and he encounters roots from Shimon's tree at a depth of more than three Tefachim - he is entitled to sever them.

(a) We learned in our Mishnah that Reuven may not plant his tree within four Amos of Shimon's field. Shmuel restricts this ruling to Eretz Yisrael. In Bavel, he rules, where the plows are narrower - a space of two Amos will suffice.

(b) We substantiate Shmuel's ruling - by quoting a Beraisa, which gives the Shiur as two Amos. In order to reconcile this with our Mishnah, we establish it in Bavel.

(c) In the second Lashon, we ask from our Mishnah on the Beraisa. Shmuel answers - that our Mishnah speaks in Eretz Yisrael, the Beraisa, in Bavel.

(a) Rav Yosef ordered Rava bar Rav Chanan to move his date-palms further away from his vineyard - because birds that came to eat the latter's dates would hop from there onto his vines.

(b) The latter had not ignored the Din of not planting a tree too close to his neighbor's field - he had planted them at a distance of four Amos from Rav Yosef's vines (as prescribed by the Tana).

(c) When Rava bar Rav Chanan cited our Mishnah, which requires a distance of four Amos for vines and other trees alike - Rav Yosef replied that this was confined to a vine from a field of vines or a fruit-tree from an orchard (see Rabeinu Gershom), but that one from the other required a greater distance than that.

(d) Rava bar Rav Chanan's final word was - that he agreed, but on condition that Rav Yosef cut down the tree himself, because, due to the danger (to one's life) involved in cutting down fruit-trees, he refused to do so.

(a) A date-palm must produce - one Kav of dates per annum, before it becomes subject to the prohibition of cutting it down, says Rav.

(b) When Rebbi Chanina cut down a fig-tree that was still producing fruit - Shivchas his son died.

(c) When Rav Papa took Rav Huna B'rei de'Rav Yehoshua to task for severing ...

1. ... the roots of his tree that had spread into his field - he cited our Mishnah which permits severing roots up to a depth of three Tefachim.
2. ... them to a depth of more than three Tefachim - he replied that he was digging a pits, and cited him the Seifa.
(a) After much effort, Rav Papa managed to convince Rav Huna B'rei de'Rav Yehoshua to stop severing the roots of his tree by quoting Rav Yehudah, who says that 'Meitzar she'Hichziku Bo Rabim - Asur Le'kalkelo', because he too, had a Chazakah for the continued existence of his tree (and Rav Huna B'rei de'Rav Yehoshua had not protested until now [see also Rabeinu Gershom]).

(b) After Rav Papa left, Rav Huna B'rei de'Rav Yehoshua 'kicked himself' for not countering Rav Papa's argument - by pointing out that he had been severing roots beyond sixteen Amos, at which point the Chazakah is ineffective, since from sixteen Amos to twenty-five Amos (the maximum distance that the roots of a tree spread) the roots no longer feed from the ground.




(a) Our Mishnah concludes the Seifa (regarding the Din of 'Chofer Bor, Si'ach u'Me'arah Kotzetz ve'Yored) - ve'ha'Eitzim she'Lo'.

(b) Rav Chisda cites a Mishnah in Me'ilah 'Sharashei Ilan shel Hedyot ha'Ba'in be'shel Hekdesh - Lo Nehenin ve'Lo Mo'alin'.

(c) 'Lo Nehenin' means - mi'de'Rabbanan.

(d) Rav Chisda tries to prove from there - that the roots belong to the tree, and therefore 've'ha'Eitzim she'Lo' will refer to Reuven (the owner of the tree).

(a) The Seifa of the Mishnah in Me'ilah rules in the reverse case ' ... shel Hekdesh ha'Ba'in be'shel Hedyot - Lo Nehenin ve'Lo Mo'alin'.

(b) Initially, we reconcile the two statements - by establishing both the Reisha and the Seifa by roots that grew after the declaration of the Hekdesh, and ascribing the Tana's reasoning to 'Ein Mo'alin be'Gidulin'.

(c) The Chidush in the Reisha is - 'Lo Nehenin'.

(d) Ravina disagrees. He interprets the Mishnah like Rav Chisda did originally, and he establishes the Seifa - by roots that extend beyond sixteen Amos from the tree, which are not considered part of the tree, because they no longer feed from it (as we learned above).

(a) Ula refers to Reuven's tree which grows within sixteen Amos of Shimon's field - as 'a thieving tree' which is exempt from Bikurim (because "Asher Tavi me'Artzecha" is not applicable to it).

(b) The Mishnah in Shevi'is rules that if ten saplings are scattered in the space of a Beis Sa'ah (fifty by fifty Amos) - one is permitted to plow the entire area on Erev Shevi'is right up to the Sh'mitah year (not like individual trees which are forbidden already from Shevu'os).

(c) Each of the ten trees will take up - two hundred and fifty square Amos.

(d) That Mishnah cannot be Ula's source, because according to Ula, each tree feeds up to a distance of thirty-two Amos, an area of one thousand and twenty-four square Amos (and not just two hundred and fifty).

(e) The reasoning behind that Mishnah is - 'Halachah le'Moshe mi'Sinai'.

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