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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Bava Basra 88

BAVA BASRA 87 & 88 - dedicated by an admirer of the work of the Dafyomi Advancement Forum, l'Iluy Nishmas Mrs. Gisela (Golda bas Reb Chaim Yitzchak Ozer) and Reb Yisroel Shimon (ben Reb Shlomo) Turkel, A"H.



(a) In our search for the reason why the store-keeper is obligated to pay for the bottle, we cite Abaye and Rebbi Chanina, sons of Avin, who establish the case when the store-keeper took the bottle from the child in order to measure with it. According to the Chachamim, he is liable because of Rabah, who says - that if a venerable man strikes a lost animal with a stick - he becomes obligated to return it.

(b) He would otherwise be exempt from the Mitzvah of returning a lost article - because of the ruling 'Zakein ve'Eino L'fi Kevodo, Patur' (if returning a lost article entails doing something undignified, then one is Patur from returning it).

(c) On the basis of Rabah's ruling - the store-keeper who took the bottle from the hand of the child should likewise adopt responsibility for it.

(d) We reject this explanation, too however, on the grounds - that Rabah's ruling is restricted to animals exclusively, which once it is encouraged to run away (making it more difficult for the owner to find and control it (a reason that does not of course, extend to vessels).

(a) Rabah, together with 'the lion of the group' - Rebbi Zeira, finally explain the reason behind the store-keeper's liabilty for the bottle.

(b) They establish the Mishnah when the store-keeper took the bottle in order to measure oil for another customer. And the basis of the Machlokes between Rebbi Yehudah and the Chachamim is - whether somebody who borrows something without the owner's consent is considered a thief (the Chachamim) or a borrower (Rebbi Yehudah).

(c) Despite the fact that a Sho'el is liable for Onsin, the store-keeper became Patur according to Rebbi Yehudah - the moment he returned the bottle to the location from where he took it (i.e. the child's hands).

(d) When the Seifa of the Mishnah says 'u'Modim Chachamim ... bi'Zeman she'ha'Tzeluchis be'Yad ha'Tinok ... ' - the Tana merely means that he did not 'borow' it.

(a) We cited Shmuel earlier, who rules that someone who takes a vessel from a craftsman in order to inspect it - is liable for damages until he has returned it. The potential purchaser is liable, in spite of the fact that he has not yet acquired it - because we are speaking when the article is of good quality and popular, in which case, the purchaser alone benefits from the inspection (and not the seller, who is not short of potential customers), making him a Sho'el, who is even Chayav for Onsin.

(b) When a customer took a piece of thigh from the butcher to examine it - a horse-rider came and snatched it from him.

(c) Rav Yeimar obligated the customer to pay, based on Shmuel's ruling - provided the price of the thigh had been fixed.

(d) When people began taking the pumpkins that a certain man had brought to Pum Nahara to sell - he declared them Hekdesh.

(a) He did that, despite the fact that they took them with a view to purchase them (and not to steal them) - because so many people had helped themselves to them, that he did not know who owed him money.

(b) Rav Kahana invalidated his declaration on the basis of - Shmuel's ruling, on account of which the pumpkins were basically considered the purchasers.

(c) He would have validated it - had the price not been fixed, because then, the pumpkins would have rmained fairly and squarely in the owner's domain.

(d) The owner's Hekdesh would then have been more effective than in a case where he declares Hekdesh his object that someone stole, which is invalid because the object is not under his jurisdiction, even though it is his - because, as we eplained, they only took the pumpkins in order to purchase them, and now that the sale was invalidated, they were ready to return them (unlike the case of a Ganav).

(a) The Beraisa rules (regarding Ma'asros) that a 'Chaver' (who is particular about Ma'asros, and who) in the process of purchasing vegetables from an Am-ha'Aretz (who is not particular) picks those that he wants and places them to one side (even if he spends all day doing this) - does not acquire them and is therefore not obligated to Ma'aser them.

(b) If he decides that he actually wants those vegetables that he has put aside - then he will acquire them and become obligated to Ma'aser them.

(c) The problem with this is - what he does with them. He cannot ...

1. ... return the vegetables - because he is obligateed to Ma'aser them.
2. ... Ma'aser the vegetables and then return them - because that will detract from the full value of the vegetables (which belong after all, to the owner).
(d) What he must therefore do (should he decide to retract) is - Ma'aser them, and return the vegetables to the owner together with the assessed value of those that he Ma'aser.
(a) This ruling appears rather strange however - because there are no grounds for him to have acquired the vegetables.

(b) So we establish the Beraisa by someone like Rav Safra, who once remained silent (because he was reciting the Sh'ma) when someone offered him a certain price for goods. The man, attributing his silence to his low offer, offered him significantly more. Rav Safra however, who had actually accepted his first offer, refused to accept more.

(c) His behavior was based on the Pasuk in Tehilim - ''ve'Dover Emes bi'Levavo"?

(d) The Beraisa too - speaks about people like Rav Safra, who when they pick up food with the possible intention of purchasing it, acquire it, and even if they should then decide not to buy, it is as if they are re-selling it to the owner, in which case, they are obligated to Ma'aser the food and to reimburse his loss.

(a) We learn in our Mishnah that a Sitton (a wholesaler) must clean his measures once every thirty days - because the wine and oil that one measures them with stick to the surface, causing them to corrode and weigh less than their official weight.

(b) A private person must clean them - once a year, because he uses them much less frequently than a wholesaler.

(c) Raban Shimon ben Gamliel - reverses the time-periods. Precisely because the salesman uses them more often, the liquids do not get a chance to affect the weights before they get rubbed off.

(d) A store-keeper, our Mishnah rules, must clean his measures twice a week, like the Tana Kama (since he uses them more often even, than a wholesaler). Nevertheless, we might establish this latter ruling even like Raban Shimon ben Gamliel (a preferred explanation, due to the principle 'Halachah ke'Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel be'Mishnaseinu') - when we bear in mind that a store-keeper is not obigated to pour out the extra three drops (which means that, each time he uses his scales, there is an accumulation of liquids that does not pertain to the other two).

(a) One is obligated to clean one's ...
1. ... weights - once a week.
2. ... scales - each time one uses them, because the latter is made in the form of a receptacle, which means more accumulation.
(b) Until now, the Tana has discussed weights that are used for liquids (incorporating meat, which has juice). Raban Shimon ben Gamliel rules that weights that are used for solids (such as fruit and corn) - do not need to be cleaned at all.

(c) The Tana obligates a seller to tip the scales one Tefach - irrespective of how many Litras one is weighing.

(d) The exception to this rule occurs - when one is weighing something that weighs less than a litra, where the scales need to tip progressively less than a Tefach.




(a) If a seller failed to tip the scales, he is obligated to add a little extra (known as 'Gerumav' [as will be discussed in the Sugya]).

(b) Where it is customary to use ...

1. ... a small measure (a Kav), one may not use a large one (a Sa'ah) - because it means the purchaser receives only one Hechra (tipping of the scales) instead of a few.
2. ... a large measure, one may not use a small one - because then the seller will have to give an extra amount of Hechra'os.
(c) We might also explain the reason for this - because when measuring in a small vessel, one fills it more liberally (causing the seller a loss), whereas in a larger vessel, one tends to compress the contents more (causing the purchaser a loss).

(d) When selling in measures, the Tana also forbids -heaping (when it is customary to compress the contents, or to compress them (when it is customary to heap them).

(a) Resh Lakish initially learns the Reisha of the Mishnah (the Din of Hachra'ah) from the Pasuk "Even Sheleimah va'Tzedek Yih'yeh Lach" - because he translates "va'Tzedek" (which is superfluous) to mean 'Tzadek mi'she'Lecha ve'Ten Lo' (that the seller should tip the scales and give a little extra).

(b) There is a problem with this from the Seifa of the Mishnah however - which discusses what the Din will be in the event that one did not do so, which is meaningless, if we are talking about a Torah obligation.

(c) So we establish ...

1. ... the Reisha of the Mishnah - in a place where it is customary to tip the scales (though this is not obligatory).
2. ... the D'rashah of Resh Lakish - where the Minhag is not to tip the scales, where giving extra afterwards is then an obligation.
(d) Rebbi Aba bar Mamal Amar Rav interprets our Mishnah 'Echad la'Asarah be'Lach' - to mean a tenth of a tenth (a hundredth) of a Litra by liquids, since the words 'Echad me'Asarah' are clearly missing from the Mishnah (before the words 'Echad la'Asarah be'Lach', because otherwise, the Tana should have said 'Echad me'Asarah' and not 'la'Asarah).
(a) Our Mishnah continues 'Echad le'Esrim be'Yavesh'. Based on the fact that 'Echad le'Esrim be'Lach' means a tenth of a tenth, we are not sure - whether the Tana means 'Echad me'Esrim le'Esrim be'Yavesh' (one four hundreth) or (whether the 'me'Asarah' by Lach carries forward to read) 'Echad me'Asarah le'Esrim be'Yavesh' (one two hundreth).

(b) The Safek remains unresolved (because we conclude with 'Teiku').

(c) Either way, the Din is so much more stringent by liquid measures than by solid ones - because liquids tend to stick to the measures, causing them to corrode (as we explained earlier), whereas solids do not.

(a) Rebbi Levi extrapolates from the fact that the Torah writes "es ha'To'avos *ha'Eil*" in the Parshah of Arayos, but "Kol Oseh Eileh"* in that of Midos (weights and measures) - that the punishment for false weights and measures is more severe than that of Arayos.

(b) We prove from the Pasuk "ve'es Eilei ha'Aretz Lakach" - that the Lashon "Eileh" means strong (i.e. severe).

(c) Even though "Eileh" appears in connection with Arayos too, in the Pasuk "Ki Kol Asher Ya'aseh mi'Kol ha'To'avos *ha'Eileh*", this is not a Kashya on Rebbi Levi - because it is mentioned in order to preclude the sin of Midos from Kareis.

(d) We might otherwise have thought that it is automatically included - because the Torah uses the Lashon "Eil" by Midos like it does in the Parshah which obligates Kareis for Arayos.

(e) It could not be by means of ...

1. ... a 'Gezeirh-Shavah' - because not even a Talmid-Chacham has the authority to Darshen a 'Gezeirah-Shavah' without a specific Kabalah from his Rebbe.
2. ... a 'Kal va'Chomer' - because of the principle 'Ein Onshin min ha'Din' (one cannot learn punishments [e.g. Malkos, to which every Kareis is subject] from a "Kal va'Chomer').
(a) We know that Teshuvah is effective by Arayos - a. from the Pasuk in Hoshei'a "Shuvu Banim Shovavim, Erpa Meshuvasam"; b. from the principle that all Chayvei Kareis who receive Malkos, are exonerated from Kareis.

(b) Midos is nevertheless worse than Arayos - inasmuch as someone who uses false weights and measures steals from many people, and does not therefore know to whom to return the theft (without which there can be no atonement).

(c) Chazal did indeed say that someone who steals from the public should atone by giving money for public ventures. What they meant however, is - that under the circumstances it is the best thing to do, but not it attains a complete atonement for the sins.

(a) The two Pesukim "Nefesh Ki Secheta u'Ma'alah Ma'al ba'Hashem ve'Kichesh ba'Amiso", and "Ki Sim'ol Ma'al ve'Chat'ah bi'Shegagah" are referring to - Gezel Hedyot and Gezel Shamayim (stealing from a private undividual and from Hekdesh [otherwise known as Me'ilah]) respectively.

(b) From the fact that in the former Pasuk, the Torah places 'Chet' before Me'ilah (which is basically a Lashon of sinning) whereas in the latter, it reverses the order - that Hashem considers stealing from a private individual worse than stealing from Him (Kevayachol).

(c) He comments on the fact that the B'rachos in Bechukosai begin with "Im Bechukosai ... " and end with "Komemiyus") whilst the curses begin with "ve'Im Bechuksai Tim'asu" and end with "ve'es Chukosai Ga'alah Nafsham"; whereas in the equivalent Parshah in Ki Savo, the B'rachos begin with "ve'Hayah Im Shamo'a Tishma" and end with "ve'Ein Koneh" - that whereas in the former case, the B'rachos begin with an 'Alef' and end with a 'Tav' (22 letters) whilst the K'lalos begin with a 'Vav' and end with a 'Mem' (8 letters), in the latter case, the B'rachos begin with a 'Vav' and end with a 'Mem' (8 letters) and the K'lalos begin with a 'Vav' and end with a 'Hey' (22 letters).

(d) The significance of these facts is - that Bechukosai, which was said by Hashem, hints at twenty-two B'rachos but only eight curses, whereas Ki Savo, which was said by Moshe, hints at only eight B'rachos, but twenty-two curses. To teach us that the extent of Hashem's love of His people Yisrael is unparalleled.

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