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Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Bava Basra 62

BAVA BASRA 61-67 - This week's study material has been dedicated by Mrs. Rita Grunberger of Queens, N.Y., in loving memory of her husband, Reb Yitzchok Yakov ben Eliyahu Grunberger. Irving Grunberger helped many people quietly in an unassuming manner and is dearly missed by all who knew him. His Yahrzeit is 10 Sivan.



(a) Someone was selling a field which measured one hundred Amos from north to south. Upon selling his field, he specified Yehudah's field as his western border, and Reuven's field as the field's eastern border, even though Shimon's field took up half of that side. Initially, Rav ruled - that the purchaser would acquire half of the field (determined by drawing a line from the point on the field's eastern side where Reuven's field met Shimon's, across to the middle of Yehudah's field on his western border).

(b) Even though he intended the purchaser to acquire only half his field, he would not specify his western border as the half of Yehudah's field that faced Shimon's - because one does not normally specify half borders in a sale.

(c) If he were to specify Reuven and Shimon's fields in the east, and Yehudah's in the west, even though Levi's field, which took up half of the western border together with Yehudah's, faced Shimon's field - then the purchaser would receive exactly what the seller specified, determined by drawing a diagonal line from the point where Yehudah's field met Levi's on his western border, across to the north-eastern tip of the field (where the outer extremity of Levi's field bordered the outer extremity of the seller's field).

(a) Rav Kahana and Rav Asi queried Rav's first ruling. Why they asked, if the seller specified Yehudah's field as the western border, should the purchaser not acquire the entire western border of the field (like in the second case)?

(b) Rav did not reply - a sign that he conceded that they were right (though this is not a hard and fast rule).

(c) According to Rav's initial ruling, the purchaser would acquire more in the second case than in the first, because, if the seller meant him to receive only half the field, he should have written in the Sh'tar 'Yehudah opposite Shimon' (without mentioning Reuven).

(d) Rabeinu Chananel has a slightly different text. According to him, Rav's second case comes to explain (not why the seller did not intend to sell more than half, but) why he did not intend to sell the entire field. Because then, he ought he to have written - 'Levi opposite Shimon, and Yehudah opposite Reuven'.

(a) Assuming that the seller intends to sell his entire field, and that Reuven's fields flank his on the east and west, and Shimon's on the north and south, he needs to specifically write in the Sh'tar - that Reuven flanks his field on two sides and Shimon, on two sides (better still, if he specifies who borders him on which sides).

(b) If, in the previous case, the seller merely wrote that he was selling him his field which was flanked by the fields of Reuven and Shimon - the purchaser would only acquire half the field (cut diagonally in the shape of triangle), flanked by Reuven on the east, say, and Shimon on the north.

(c) We ask what the Din will be if his field is flanked by fields that are owned by many people, and he specified the four owners who bordered the four corners of his field. If he did not mean to sell him the entire field - then he meant to sell him one furrow that cuts through the field from the north-eastern corner to the south-west, and one from the north-west to the south-east.

(a) We also ask what the Din will be if the seller specified two opposite corners 'like a Greek Gam(ma)' (which is the shape of a wall-bracket [similar to a final 'Chaf']). What he therefore specified - was the fields that bordered his field on two diagonally-opposite corners, but which also extended from either corner in both directions (like a Gam[ma]).

(b) This case might be no better than the previous case, in which case the purchaser will only receive one diagonal strip that joins the two Gam(ma)s. On the other hand, it might be better that the previous one - because he referred specifically to all four sides (much like the Zerikah of the blood of Kodshim, which the Kohanim sprinkled on two diagonally-opposite sides of the Mizbe'ach, and which the Torah refers to as "Saviv" [surrounding]). Consequently, he would receive the entire field.

(a) Finally, we ask 'be'Sirugin Mahu' - by which we mean that the seller's field was flanked by eight fields belonging to eight different owners (two on each side [Reuven and Shimon on the north, Zevulun and Yisachar on the south, Yosef and Binyamin on the east and Levi and Yehudah on the west).

(b) The seller wrote in the Sh'tar - that his field was flanked by Reuven on the north side and Yisachar on the south, by Yosef on the east and Levi on the west.

(c) Even assuming that, in the previous case (of the Gam[ma]), he only acquires one furrow running through the field, the purchaser might well acquire the entire field here - because whereas it is not unusual to acquire one furrow cutting across the field, it is unusual to acquire every second field in this way.

(d) The outcome of all the She'eilos is - Teiku.




(a) Rav rules that if the seller specifies three of the borders but not the fourth, the purchaser acquires three sides, but not the fourth, by which he means - that he does not acquire one furrow that runs along that side.

(b) According to Shmuel, he acquires the fourth side as well; According to Rav Asi - he only acquires one furrow on each of the three specified sides.

(c) When we say that Rav Asi holds like Rav, we mean - that on principle, he agrees with Rav that the seller deliberately omitted the fourth side, in order to retain something for himself.

(d) Only, whereas according to Rav, he means to retain just one furrow - Rav Asi holds that he means to retain the whole middle section of the field.

(a) Rava rules like Rav, only he qualifies his ruling to where the fourth side is not absorbed, by which he means that the seller only means to keep back the one furrow, if it is absorbed by part of the field on the two adjacent sides (but not if it runs along the entire length or breadth of the field.

(b) The purchaser will acquire the field however, even according to Rav, and even if the fourth side is not absorbed in the field - provided that there is no cluster of date-palms growing on it and that it does not measure nine Kabin (the minimum size of a field, which make it Chashuv).

(c) If there is a cluster of date-palms growing on an absorbed furrow or if the furrow measures nine Kabin - then, Rava maintains, Rav will also concede to Shmuel that the purchaser acquires the entire field.

(d) According to this Lashon - Rava confines Rav's opinion (denying the purchaser the right to the one furrow) to where there are two detrimental factors: 1. that the furrow is not absorbed in the two adjacent sides, and 2. that there is neither a cluster of date-palms growing there nor does it measure nine Kabin.

(a) In the second Lashon, Rava rules like Shmuel, and again, he qualifies his ruling. This time, it is Shmuel who will concede to Rav that the purchaser does not acquire the furrow on the fourth side - if it is absorbed by the two adjacent sides.

(b) And Rava qualifies Shmuel's ruling even in a case where the furrow is absorbed by the field on the two adjacent sides - where there is either a cluster of date-palms growing there or it measures nine Kabin, in which case Shmuel will also concede to Rav.

(c) And when Shmuel concedes to Rav by a furrow which is not absorbed ... , he is speaking - even when there is neither a cluster of date-palms growing on it, nor does it measure nine Kabin.

(d) According to this Lashon - Rava confines Shmuel to where there is neither of the above detrimental factors apply; but if one of them does, the latter will agree with Rav that the purchaser will not acquire the furrow on the fourth side.

(a) Taking into account both Leshonos of Rava, we know that the Halachah is not like Rav Asi. In a case where the furrow is ...
1. ... absorbed and neither do date-palms grow on it nor does it measure nine Kabin, we will rule - that the purchaser will acquire the entire field.
2. ... not absorbed and in addition, there are either date-palms growing on it, or it measures nine Kabin, we rule - that the purchaser will not acquire the row on the fourth side.
(b) The cases that remain a Safek are - either when the furrow is absorbed by the adjacent sides of the field but there are date-palms growing on it or it measures nine Kabin, or when it is not absorbed, but neither do date-palms grow on it nor does it measure nine Kabin.

(c) Normally we would apply the principle 'ha'Motzi me'Chavero, Alav ha'Re'ayah' - and the purchaser would not acquire the furrow concerned.

(d) In this case however, we conclude 'Shuda de'Dayna', which means that it is left to the Beis-Din to decide whether he acquires it or not, based on their assessment of the seller's attitude (whether he is a generous person or a miserly type).

(a) Rabah draws a distinction between a case where Reuven who owns a field in partnership with Shimon who sells 'Palga de'Is Li be'Ar'a' and where he says 'Palga be'Ar'a de'Is Li'. 'Palga de'Is Li be'Ar'a' implies - that he is selling him the (full) half that he owns; whereas 'Palga be'Ar'a de'Is Li' implies - a half of the land that he owns, which is a quarter.

(b) Abaye disagrees. According to him - the word 'Palga' in the phrase 'Palga be'Ar'a de'Is Li' refers to 'de'Is Li' (like it does in the first case).

(c) Initially, Abaye thought that Rabah's silence constituted admission. He discovered otherwise however - when he found Sh'taros that had been written under Rabah's jurisdiction, which followed his initial ruling.

(a) According to Rabah, in a case where Reuven sells Shimon a field, specifying the western border, but adding that he is retaining for himself ...
1. ... 'Palga' - he keeps half the field.
2. ... 'P'sika' - he keeps only nine Kabin (since 'P'sika implies a field that one can cut out of larger piece of ground, and the minimum size field is nine Kabin).
(b) In this case too, Abaye disagrees with Rabah, and here too, Rabah remains silent. Initially, we think - that, according to Abaye, in both cases, the owner retains a half.

(c) According to Rav Yeimar bar Shalmaya however, Abaye holds - that if, after specifying all four borders (including the border from which he retains something for himself), he adds 'And these are the borders', then (we learn from the superfluous Lashon, that) he retains a half. Otherwise, he only keeps nine Kabin (irrespective of whether he said 'Meitzar Ar'a de'Minah Palga' or 'Meitzar Ar'a de'Mina P'sika').

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