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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Bava Basra 27

BAVA BASRA 27 & 28 - these Dafim have been dedicated anonymously l'Iluy Nishmas Tzirel Nechamah bas Tuvya Yehudah.



(a) We then suggest that the source for Ula's referring to Reuven's tree (which grows within sixteen Amos of Shimon's field) as 'a thieving tree' and exempting it from Bikurim, is perhaps another Mishnah in Shevi'is. The Mishnah there states about three fully-grown trees belonging to three people planted in the form of a triangle in an area of a Beis-Sa'ah - one is permitted to plow the entire area on Erev Shevi'is right up to the Sh'mitah year (like it ruled in the previous case).

(b) Each tree then requires - eight hundred and thirty-three and a third square Amos (a third of two thousand five hundred square Amos).

(c) In spite of the fact that the difference between this Shiur and that of Ula is only slight, this Mishnah cannot be Ula's source (only Ula gave an approximate Shiur, sixteen Amos [half the square root of 1024], instead of half the square root of 833 1/3, which would be just under fifteen Amos) - because then Ula would be approximating to give a more lenient Shiur (exempting a 'thieving tree' from Bikurim at sixteen Amos, even though the tree does not feed at that distance and ought to be Chayav).

(a) The misunderstanding we have been guilty of until now regarding Ula's Shiur of sixteen Amos that created the current discrepancy with the Mishnah Shevi'is - is that we reckoned the sixteen Amos of which he speaks as a square, when really we should have reckoned it as a circle.

(b) Based on the principle that a circle is a third less than a square, the area required by a tree in which to feed from the ground is - seven hundred and sixty-eight square Amos ...

(c) ... instead of eight hundred and thirty-three, a slight discrepancy which works out to half an Amah less per tree, and this time, Ula is more stringent than the Mishnah (giving a round figure of sixteen Amos to exempt the 'thieving tree' from Bikurim, instead of sixteen and a half).

(a) Ula explains the Mishnah in Bikurim 'ha'Koneh Ilan *ve'Karka'o*, Meivi ve'Korei' - to mean sixteen Amos of land in each direction.

(b) The Mishnah later in 'ha'Mocher es ha'Sefinah' rules 'ha'Koneh Sh'tei Ilanos be'Soch shel Chavero, Meivi ve'Eino Korei' - because someone who purchases two trees, does not automatically acquire the land in which they are growing, and he cannot therefore say 'P'ri ha'Adamah Asher Nasata Li'.

(c) We extrapolate from there that someone who purchases three trees - does acquire the land in which they are growing, and therefore brings Bikurim and reads the Parshah.

(d) Ula will explain this Mishnah too - that he acquires sixteen Amos around each tree (as he explained the previous one).

(a) Rebbi Akiva in the Mishnah in Pe'ah states - that even a 'Kol she'Hu' (the smallest measure of land) is Chayav Pe'ah and Bikurim, and can be used as a P'ruzbul.

(b) A P'ruzbul (which is based on a Takanah instituted by Hillel, to encourage people to lend money to the needy even though the Sh'mitah-year [which would cancel all debts] was close) comprises a Sh'tar which states that the creditor hands all his debts to Beis-Din, and then collects them as their Sheli'ach, provided the debtor owns land.

(a) The fourth case that the Tana includes in the Din of 'Kol she'Hu' is - that of acquiring Metaltelin together with Karka (by means of the Kinyan [e.g. Kesef] that he makes on the latter).

(b) To reconcile Ula with this Beraisa - we establish it (not by land with a tree growing in it, but) by land growing wheat (which, together with barley, is also subject to Bikurim).

(c) We prove this answer from the Lashon of the Mishnah itself - 'Kol she'Hu', which is too small a Shiur for a tree to grow in.




(a) If a tree is growing half in Eretz Yisrael and half in Chutz la'Aretz, Rebbi, in a Beraisa, rules that Tevel and Chulin are mixed together. Raban Shimon ben Gamliel says - 'ha'Gadel be'Chiyuv, Chayav, ha'Gadel bi'Petur, Patur'.

(b) The basis of their Machlokes is - whether we say 'Yesh B'reirah (Raban Shimon ben Gamliel) or 'Ein B'reirah' (Rebbi).

(c) This Beraisa poses a Kashya on Ula - because even Rebbi holds that what grew in Chutz la'Aretz is basically Patur from T'rumos (whereas according to Ula, it ought to be Chayav, seeing as it nurtures from the soil of Eretz Yisrael too.

(d) To reconcile the Beraisa with Ula, we establish it - when there is a rock between the two borders that also divides the roots of the two trees, which prevents them from feeding from each other.

(a) Despite the fact that the Beraisa speaks when there is a rock that divides the roots of the tree into two, Rebbi nevertheless says 'Tevel ve'Chulin Me'uravin Zeh ba'Zeh' - because above the rocks, the two halves of the tree unite to become one.

(b) According to Raban Shimon ben Gamliel - since the two halves of the tree feed from the ground separately at the roots, they continue to grow separately all the way up.

(c) Abaye reconciles Ula with the Mishnah that we learned earlier 'Marchikin es ha'Ilan min ha'Bor Esrim-ve'Chamesh Amah' - by pointing out that although the roots of a tree grow up to a distance of twenty-five Amos, they do not weaken the earth beyond a distance of sixteen Amos.

(a) Rav Dimi quoted Resh Lakish as having asked Rebbi Yochanan what the Din will be if Reuven's tree is growing within sixteen Amos of Shimon's field with regard to Bikurim. Rebbi Yochanan replied - that it is a 'thieving tree, and is Patur from Bikurim.

(b) According to Ravin however - Rebbi Yochanan obligates the owner of even such a tree to bring Bikurim ...

(c) ... because it is on that condition that Yehoshua distributed the land to the tribes (not because he disagrees with Ula's principle that a tree nurtures up to a distance of sixteen Amos).

(d) According to Ravin - Rebbi Yochanan incorporated the branches of Reuven's tree that project over Shimon's field in his previous ruling.

(a) Our Mishnah grants Shimon the authority - to cut off the branches from Reuven's tree that project over his field to the height that Shimon might raise his plow-handle to strike the oxen whilst plowing.

(b) In the case of ...

1. ... branches of Reuven's carob or sycamore tree that project over Shimon's field - he permits him to cut them off all the way to the top, because the excessive shade caused by their numerous branches is bad for the field.
2. ... the branches of Reuven's tree that project over Shimon's Beis-ha'Shalachin (a field that needs to be constantly watered) - he grants him the same rights as in the previous case, because any shade is bad for a Sadeh Beis-ha'Shalachin.
(c) A Mishkoles is - a string with a weight at the end that was used in those days to gauge the straightness of the wall.

(d) Aba Shaul grants Shimon the same rights as the Tana Kama in the previous two cases, if Reuven's branches belong to any non fruit-bearing tree.

(a) We ask whether Aba Shaul refers to the Reisha or the Seifa. According to the first side of the She'eilah, Aba Shaul permits Shimon to do with any non fruit-bearing tree, what the Tana Kama permits him to do to a carob or sycamore tree. According to the second side of the She'eilah - the Tana Kama sauthorises Shimon to cut off all the branches that project over his Beis-ha'Shalachin, whereas Aba Shaul restricts the concession to non fruit-bearing trees.

(b) The major difference between the two sides is - whether Aba Shaul comes to be lenient with Shimon (the first side) or strict (the second side).

(c) And we resolve the She'eilah from a Beraisa - where Aba Shaul himself rules like the first side of the She'eilah.

(d) And Rav Ashi proves this from the words of the Mishnah ('Kol Ilan S'rak ke'Neged ha'Mishkoles') - where the word 'Kol' indicates that he comes to be lenient with Shimon, and not to restrict the Tana Kama's concession.

(a) The Tana Kama orders Reuven to cut the branches of his tree that project over the street, up to the height of a camel and its rider. Rebbi Yehudah says - up to the height of a camel laden with flax or with bundles of branches.

(b) Rebbi Shimon, who is the most stringent of all - orders Reuven to cut of all the branches that project over the street.

(c) When we establish that our Mishnah holds that when it comes to Nizakin, we assess things as they are now, we mean - that we permit Reuven to cut down the offensive branches, even though we know that they will re-grow. Alternatively, we might obligate him to chop down the entire tree, to prevent all future damages.

(a) Resh Lakish connects our Mishnah with the opinion of Rebbi Eliezer in the Mishnah in Chezkas ha'Batim, who permits digging a hold underneath the Reshus ha'Rabim - provided a wagon laden with stones is able to pass over it without causing the road to cave in (even though it is only a matter a time before the worms take their toll and it caves in anyway).

(b) The Tana Kama - forbids digging a hole underneath the street.

(c) The basis of their Machlokes is - as we explained, whether we assess the potential damage from the current short-term point of view (Rebbi Eliezer), or whether in the long term (the Chachamim).

(d) Rebbi Yochanan establishes our Mishnah even like the Chachamim, who might concede that, in our Mishnah, we make only a short-term assessment (without taking into account the long-term damages) - since, it is easy to see when Reuven's branches grow back (in which case, he will be ordered to chop them off again; whereas in the Mishnah in Chezkas ha'Batim, they take into account the possibility that the street will cave-in without advance warning.

(a) The Tana Kama and Rebbi Yehudah argue over whether Reuven must cut off the branches of his tree that project over the street, up to the height of a camel and its rider or up to the height of a camel laden with flax or with bundles of branches. We prove that the Shiur of the Rabbanan must be higher than that of the Rabbanan - because otherwise, what would someone leading a camel laden with flax do when passing the spot?

(b) We do not ask in the same way what a rider will now do according to Rebbi Yehudah - because all he needs to do is to bend down?

(c) Rebbi Shimon in the Mishnah permits cutting down all the branches because of Tum'ah, which the Beraisa interprets to mean because of Ohel ha'Tum'ah - by which he means that a k'Zayis of corpse might fall in the street underneath the branches, rendering whoever passes underneath them, Tamei.

(d) If not for the Beraisa - we might have thought that Rebbi Shimon is referring to a raven that may drop a k'Zayis of corpse into the branches, where it will get caught, and again, people passing underneath will become Tamei (though this time without being aware that the Tum'ah is there, whereas according to the Beraisa, they are able to see the Tum'ah).

(e) The difference between the two explanations is - if there is only one branch. In that case, the first reason (the one that we follow) will still apply, but not the second, since there is nowhere for the piece of corpse to get caught.

***** Hadran Alach 'Lo Yachpor' *****

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