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Bava Basra 99



(a) The Beraisa that we just discussed supports the tradition that Rebbi Levi (or Rebbi Yochanan) quoted 'Makom Aron (u'Keruvim) Eino min ha'Minyan'. This miracle was not confined to the Beis Hamikdash - but was manifest in the Mishkan in the desert too (as explicitly stated in the second Beraisa that we cite next).

(b) The basic difference between the Keruvim that Moshe made and those of Shlomoh (beside their size) was - that the former were formed from the lid of the Aron, whereas the latter were made independently and stood on the floor.

(c) As a result of what we just learned, the distance between the northern K'ruv and the north wall of the Heichal and the southern K'ruv and the south wall of the Heichal was ten Amos (as if the Keruvim [as well as the Aron] were not there). The distance between the eastern edge of the Keruvim (which stood just in front of the western wall of the Kodesh Kodshim) and the D'vir (the dividing wall between the Kodesh and the Kodesh Kodshim) was - twenty Amos (also as if they were not there).

(d) Each wing-span of each K'ruv was - five Amos (making a total of twenty Amos [from which Ravna'i Amar Shmuel proves further that their bodies took up no space]).

(a) The Amora'im actually query Shmuel's proof from six different angles. Abaye asks 'Maybe their wings emerged from the same point in the middle of their backs (like the wings of a chicken)? When Rava asks 've'Dilma Zeh she'Lo Keneged Zeh Havu Kaymi', he means - that maybe the two Keruvim were not level (one stood immediately in front of the western wall, the other slightly forward (so that their wings overlapped.

(b) Rav Acha bar Ya'akov asks 'Maybe the Keruvim stood diagonally across the Kodesh Kodshim (like the picture on the page), leaving the extra space (the distance that the hypotenuse exceeds the other two sides of the triangle [see also Agados Maharsha])?' When Rav Huna B'rei de'Rav Yehoshua asks 've'Dilma Beisa me'Ila'i Ravach?', he means - that maybe the Heichal was twenty Amos wide at the top, but wider at the bottom, leaving room for the extra space taken up by their bodies, which were more than two-thirds of the way down.

(c) And Rav Papa asks 'Maybe their wings were slightly bent (in which case the space taken up by their wing-span [if measured in a straight line] was really less than twenty-Amos)?' When Rav Ashi asks 've'Dilma Shalchufi Havu Meshalchefi?', he means - that maybe the wing of one was lying on top of the wing of the other (up to the equivalent distance of their bodies).

(d) Rebbi Yochanan and Rebbi Elazar argue over the Keruvim, whether they faced each other or whether they faced the Heichal. Their opinions are based - on two Pesukim (in Terumah and in Divrei Hayamim respectively) which will now be discussed.

(a) We cannot simply reconcile the two seemingly contradictory Pesukim by pointing out that the first Pasuk "u'Feneihem Ish el Achiv" refers to the Keruvim of Moshe, whereas the second Pasuk ''u'Feneihem la'Bayis" refers to those of Shlomoh - because we take for granted that, in this regard, both sets of Keruvim were identical.

(b) The one who learns that they faced ...

1. ... each other, establishes the Pasuk which states that they faced the Heichal - when Yisrael failed to perform the will of Hashem.
2. ... the Heichal, interprets the Pasuk which states that they faced each other - to mean that they actually faced each other (at an angle) even as they faced the Heichal.
(c) According to the first opinion, the significance of the fact that the Keruvim were initially made to face each other is - to symbolize the Hashra'as ha'Shechinah (Hashem's love of K'lal Yisrael, which is reminiscent of a the mutual love between a husband and wife).

(d) The Beraisa quoting Unklus ha'Ger, links this opinion with the Pasuk in Divrei Hayamim, which refers to the Keruvim as "Ma'aseh Tza'atzu'im" - which means children, because, he says, that is how children take leave of their Rebbe (half facing him as they walk [backwards] towards the door).

4) The second opinion declines to learn like his disputant (that the Keruvim were made to face the Heichal, to denote that when Yisrael were not performing the will of Hashem, the Keruvim would turn away from each other, but then faced each, to denote Hashem's love) - because the Keruvim should not have been made initially in a way that denoted Yisrael's not performing the will of Hashem.


(a) The Tana discusses a case of Reuven entering Shimon's house to get to his water-pit which is within it. Despite the fact that a purchaser does not automatically receive a path to the pit that he purchases, Reuven is permitted to enter Shimon's house to get to his - because we are speaking either when they divided the property in this way, or when Reuven stipulated that the path leading to his pit should be included in the sale.

(b) The Tana permits him to go in and out of Shimon's house to get to his water-pit - only at regular times (e.g. during the day, but not at night).

(c) Reuven waters his animals - by transporting the water from the pit to the animals, but may the animals through Shimon's house to get to the pit (since this is not necessary).

(a) The Tana requires each party to make himself a lock and key, for the purpose of safeguarding the pit, explains Rebbi Yochanan.

(b) Reuven requires the lock in order to safeguard his water from Shimon, whereas Shimon requires one - to deprive Reuven of access to his house (and his wife) when he is not there.

(c) Shimon does not require the lock to safeguard his water from Reuven - because his wife is capable of doing that.




(a) Our Mishnah repeats the Din of the previous Mishnah with regard to Reuven passing through Shimon's vegetable-garden to get to his own. In spite of the fact that he does not disturb Shimon by going through his garden, and that he did after all, purchase the path, he cannot pass through whenever he pleases - because he causes damage whenever he does, and 'Anan Sahadi' (we are witnesses) that Shimon's sale of the path would not have been unconditional.

(b) The Tana issues two further prohibitions, one of them, to take merchants through Shimon's garden, the other - to use it as a short-cut to get to other property of his.

(c) It is the owner of the outer garden who is permitted to sow the path (albeit at his own risk) - because, seeing as it is in the middle of his vegetable-garden, the previous principle of 'Anan Sahadi' extends to this point too.

(d) The Din will differ dramatically if Shimon agreed to give Reuven a path to his garden that runs along the side of his field - in which case (seeing as the path no longer runs in the middle of his field) Shimon will waive all the previous restrictions, with the sole exception of the last one (prohibiting Reuven use of his garden as a short-cut to get to other property belonging to him). Neither of them may then sow the path.

(a) Rav Yehudah Amar Shmuel rules that in a case where Reuven agrees to sell Shimon 'Amas ha'Mayim' ...
1. ... the width of the stream that he sells him must be - two Amos (see Tosfos DH 'Nosen').
2. ... he must give him in addition - one Amah at the crest of each bank (to enable him to repair the banks should they cave in)?
(b) According to the text that Reuven promises Shimon 'Amah Beis ha'Shalachin' - he must give him one Amah on the crest of either bank, besides the one Amah of the stream itself (see Ritva).

(c) If he were to promise him Amah Beis ha'Killon (or Sillon), in which case he would use the stream for watering his animals or for washing clothes or vessels - then he have to give him only one Amah width of stream (as opposed to the two in the first Lashon, and according to the second Lashon, an additional half-Amah on the crest of either bank [as opposed to one Amah]).

(a) According to Rav Yehudah Amar Shmuel, Reuven is permitted to sow seeds on the two banks. Rav Nachman Amar Shmuel permits him to plant trees on the two banks.

(b) Rav Yehudah, who permits Reuven to sow seeds, will certainly permit him to plant trees - whereas Rav Nachman will restrict the concession to trees, whose roots run deep, and which do not therefore effect the river bank. But it will not pertain to seeds, whose roots grow within three Tefachim of the surface, and which therefore weaken the river banks in the process.

(c) Rav Yehudah Amar Shmuel gave for his ruling that if, in the previous case, the banks of the stream that Reuven sold to Shimon cave in, he latter is entitled to claim fresh earth from Reuven's field, to rebuild his river banks - because when Shimon's banks caved in, that is where the earth will have fallen.

(d) The problem Rav Papa has with Shmuel's ruling is - how Shmuel could possibly know that all the earth fell into Reuven's field, and that it was not the water of Shimon's stream that swept the earth away.

(a) So Rav Papa ascribes Rav Yehudah Amar Shmuel's ruling - to the fact that seeing as there is nowhere else from where Shimon can possibly take fresh earth, it is obvious ('Anan Sahadi') that Reuven automatically pledges fresh earth from his field should the banks cave in.

(b) Despite the fact that Reuven has pledged his entire field towards the repair of Shimon's river-banks, the significance of the initial Amah on either side of the stream is - that he restricts his own use of that area to planting trees or seeds; whereas the rest of his field remains his entirely to put it to whichever use he cares to.

(a) Our Mishnah rules that if someone claims a public path that ran through the middle of his field, and replaces it with one at the side - what he gave is given, and what he took he cannot retain.

(b) The public came to be going through his field in the first place - either by means of a Chazakah going way back in time, or because the previous owner had presented it to them.

(c) The significance of the Mishnah's ruling that Derech ...

1. ... ha'Yachid is four Amos - concerns a case when Reuven promises to sell Shimon a path, which must be four Amos wide.
2. ... ha'Rabim is sixteen Amos - concerns the Din of a Reshus ha'Rabim on Shabbos.
(d) From the Pasuk "le'Vilti Rum Levavo *me'Echav*", we learn - that a king must be elevated over and above all his subjects. Chazal translate this into the principle 'Derech ha'Melech Ein Lo Shiur' (meaning that he has the right to break down houses and walls to make a path for himself).
(a) When the Tana of our Mishnah says 'Derech ha'Kever Ein Lo Shiur', he means (not to the same degree as 'Derech ha'Melech', but) - that (bearing in mind the Mitzvah for many people to accompany a Meis till the grave) when taking someone to be buried, one may carry him through cornfields without being obligated to go round them.

(b) Alternatively (and preferably), it might mean - that if Reuven promises to sell Shimon a path through his field to bury his dead, he is obligated to provide however large a path is needed for that purpose.

(c) The Daynei Tzipori give Derech ha'Ma'amad (which will be explained in the Sugya) as an area of four Kabin. Based on the fact that a Beis Sa'ah (half the area of the Beis Sasayim of the Mishkan) is fifty times fifty Amos, and that there are six Kabin in a Sa'ah, four Kabin amounts to - thirty-three and a third by fifty Amos (two-thirds of a Beis-Sa'ah), the equivalent of forty Amos, four Tefachim and three and three-quarters finger breadths plus, squared.

(a) We learned in our Mishnah that someone who claimed a public path that ran through the middle of his field, and replaced it with one at the side, loses the former and cannot reclaim the latter. Based on the Din that one cannot take the public to court, we try to prove from here - that one is forbidden to take the law into one's own hands (even when there is not the least doubt that one's claim is justified).

(b) We refute this proof however, however, in a number of ways. According to Rav Z'vid quoting Rava, the reason that he cannot do so is due to a decree that he might give the public a crooked path. Rav Mesharshaya says - that the Tana speaks when he actually gave them a crooked path.

(c) Rav Ashi refute the proof - by considering every path at the side of the field as a crooked path (since although it is nearer than the path in the middle for those living on the one side, it is further for those living on the other side).

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