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Bava Basra 73

BAVA BASRA 71-75 - Sponsored by a generous grant from an anonymous donor. Kollel Iyun Hadaf is indebted to him for his encouragement and support and prays that Hashem will repay him in kind.



(a) Someone who sells a ship automatically sells, among other things, the 'Toren', the 'Nes' and the 'Ugin' ...
  1. ... the mast ...
  2. ... the sails ...
  3. ... and the anchor respectively.
(b) "ha'Lahen Te'agenah" (in Megilas Rus) means - 'Will you wait for them' (like an anchor causes the ship to wait in the bay)?

(c) The sale does however, include the Avadim who work on the ship, the leather sacks and the goods for transportation.

(d) Even they will be included however - if the seller declares 'Hi ve'Chol Mah she'be'Tochah'.

(a) The 'Manhigin' are the oars, and we cite Pesukim from Yechezkel to prove this. If not for the Pesukim, we would otherwise have included - the ropes (with which the ship is pulled by a person or an animal walking along the river bank).

(b) The Beraisa adds Iskela and Bor Mayim to the list of things that are sold together with the boat. 'Bor Mayim' is a reservoir containing drinking water; Iskela is - the ramp by means of which the passengers ascend the ship.

(c) Rebbi Nasan in the Beraisa inserts Bitzis, and Sumchus Dugis. The difference between the two is non-existent - since both mean a small boat (used to row from the ship into a shallow port).

(d) The reason that the Tana'im give them different names is simply - because Rebbi Nasan, who was from Bavel, gave it a Babylonian name 'Bitzis' or 'Batzis' (similar to 'boat' in English, and 'bateau' in French). Whereas Sumchus, who was from Eretz Yisrael, called it by its Hebrew name 'Dugis' (from the word 'Dag' [fish], because they used to use them to catch fish).

(a) The forthcoming stories (mainly concerning Rabah bar bar Chanah) are not meant to be understood literally. Their purpose is either to teach us the greatness of Hashem - or the reward of Tzadikim (as is explained by the Maharsha and other commentaries).

(b) These stories are inserted in this Perek - because many of them (including opening ones) are told by sailors (which is clearly connected with the precious Mishnah.

(c) The sailors told Rabah (bar Nachmeini) about a flame of white fire that would go in front of a wave that threatened to sink a ship. That flame - was actually an angel.

(d) The sailors would cause it to die down - by hitting it with a stick, on which was written various Names of Hashem, and the words 'Amen Amen Selah'.

(a) The distance between one wave and the next was three hundred Parsah - and the wave's height was - three hundred Parsah, too.

(b) Such a wave once - lifted Rabah bar bar Chanah into the air, until he saw the place where the smallest star rested.

(c) The star appeared to him - no bigger than the area in which one sows forty Kur of mustard-seeds (which is larger than that of other seeds).

(d) Had the wave tossed him any higher - he would have got burned from the heat of the star.

(a) The next wave (which thought that its predecessor was about to engulf the whole world) shouted to it - to leave over something for it to destroy.

(b) The first wave replied - that it had no authority to pass the boundary of the sand by as much as a hairsbreadth.

(c) Rabah bar Chanah saw 'Hurmin' (or 'Hurmiz') the son of Lilis (a Demon) - running at full speed on the tip of the wall of Mechuza in pursuit of a horse-rider who was riding casually on his horse.

(d) Rabah bar bar Chanah then related - how in spite of the fact that this Demon was running as fast is could, Hashem did not allow him to catch the rider.

(a) One day Hurmin saddled two donkeys, which he then placed one on each of the two bridges of the River Rugnag, after which - he proceeded to jump from one to the other, at the same time holding in his hand two cups of wine, which he poured from one cup to the other without spilling any of the wine.

(b) The fact that s storm was raging - made his stunt even more remarkable.

(c) The Demon-king's men killed him for one of two reasons; one of them, because the fact that Hurmin did this in full view of the people, led the king to believe that he was divulging his secrets to them, the other - because he was afraid that Hurmin was about to usurp his throne.

(d) According to this latter explanation, Hurmin was mixing with humans - because he was in fact, half human, seeing as his father was a human-being.




(a) Rabah bar bar Chanah related how he saw a newly-born 'Re'eim' (a kind of Chayah [a wild ox, according to some commentaries] with long horns), which was four Parsah long - the size of Har Tavor.

(b) Its neck was three Parsah, and the size of the place where its head lay on the ground - one.

(c) When the Re'eim defecated in the River Yarden - it temporarily drained it.

(a) He also saw a frog the size of the town Akra of Hagrunya - which comprised sixty houses?

(b) A serpent swallowed the frog - and a female raven, the serpent.

(c) Rabah bar bar Chanah commented - on the strength of the tree on which that raven perched.

(d) Rabah bar bar Chanah commented - that if he had not seen the tree with his own eyes, he would not have believed Rabah bar bar Chanah's testimony.

(a) When a certain insect entered a certain fish's gills and it died - the sea (which does not tolerate anything that has died), cast it out. When it landed, it destroyed sixty towns.

(b) Sixty towns ate from it and sixty towns salted what was left. From one of its eye-balls - they filled three hundred barrels of oil.

(c) When he returned a year later, Rabah bar bar Chanah found them - sawing its bones, to make planks with which to rebuild the destroyed towns.

(a) Rabah bar bar Chanah once left his ship to stretch on the back of a large fish - because, due to the fact that there was sand on its back and greenery growing on the sand, he took it to be a small island.

(b) The fish turned over - when he began to cook on its back, and it found the heat uncomfortable. He was only saved from drowning - because the ship was so close by.

(c) In another episode, it took his ship three days and three nights to sail from the fin beside the fish's head to the fin beside its tail.

(d) As a matter of fact, the fish was swimming against the wind, whilst they were sailing with the wind.

(a) According to Rav Dimi's testimony, the ship traveled sixty Parsah - in the time it takes to heat up a kettle.

(b) He also proved the amazing speed of the ship - from the fact that if someone on land shot an arrow in the direction that the ship was traveling, the ship would arrive at the spot where the arrow was due to fall before the arrow landed.

(c) When Rav Ashi says 'ha'Hu Gildena de'Yama Hava'i', he means - that the fish under discussion was a relatively small one (called 'Gildena de'Yama', since unlike other fish, it possessed two fins on its back.

(a) Rabah bar bar Chanah was led to believe that the water in which a certain bird was standing was not deep - because the water reached only up to its knees.

(b) Its head - reached the sky.

(c) When Rabah bar bar Chanah wanted to enter the water to cool himself, a bas-Kol (a Heavenly Voice) announced - that he would be well-advised not to, since a carpenter's ax had fallen into the water there seven years earlier, and had not yet come to rest ...

(d) ... not only because of the depth of the water, but also - because of its turbulence.

(e) Rav Ashi quoted the Pasuk "ve'Ziz Sadai Imadi" - to teach us that the name of the bird currently under discussion was 'Ziz Sadai' (as hinted in the word 'Imadi' [because its head was with Hashem in His domain]).

(a) The feathers of the geese that Rabah bar bar Chanah came across in the desert were falling off - because the geese were so fat. Underneath them, he saw rivers of oil flowing.

(b) Following Rabah bar bar Chanah's query whether he would any part of them as his reward in the World to Come, one of the birds raised its wing and another its thigh - intimating that they represented his reward.

(c) When Rebbi Elazar said that Yisrael would have to give reckoning (for their sins) - he was referring to their delaying of the Mashi'ach, as a result of which these geese were getting fatter and fatter, causing them increasing suffering.

(a) Rabah bar bar Chanah was once going n the desert in the company of an Arab merchant, who possessed the power - of being able to tell which town the route they were traversing led to, by smelling the earth at any given spot.

(b) He even used the earth to find out how far they were from water. When Rabah bar bar Chanah posed the question ...

1. ... the first time, they were - eight Parsah from water.
2. ... the second time - it was only three Parsah.
(c) Rabah bar bar Chanah caught the Arab out however - by giving him the two samples in the wrong order, and he was unable to distinguish between the two.
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