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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Bava Basra 153

BAVA BASRA 153 (12 Elul) - sponsored with warm Mazel Tov blessings on the occasion of the wedding of Avi and Estie Turkel. May they merit to build together a Bayis Ne'eman b'Yisrael that will be a pride to their dear parents and to all of Klal Yisrael!


1) When a Shechiv-Mera who recovered came before Rav Huna, to reclaim his property, he told him that he had not given away his property in the conventional manner - because, having written the Sh'tar and handed it to the beneficiary, in addition to having made a Kinyan, he could no longer retract (as we just concluded).


(a) In a case where someone wrote 'be'Chayai u've'Mosi', Rav considered it to be a Matnas Shechiv-Mera (and permitted the benefactor to retract). The reason that he inserted 'be'Chayai' - was merely as a good sign that he should live.

(b) Shmuel says 'Harei Hi ke'Matnas Bari', and the reason that he added the words 'le'Achar Miysah' was - as if to say from now and forever.

(c) Shmuel did not have a doubt like he does in the case of 'Matnas Shechiv-Mera she'Kasuv Bah Kinyan' - because the fact that he specifically said 'be'Chayai' clarifies his intentions.

(d) We know that the current case is one of a Matnas Shechiv-Mera, and not of a Matnas Bari - because otherwise, Rav would not have given it the Din of a Matnas Shechiv-Mera.

(a) In all the previous cases, we rule like Shmuel. In this case however - the Neherda'i rule like Rav.

(b) According to Rava, in a case where the Shechiv-Mera wrote, not 'be'Chayai', but 'me'Chayai' - the benefiary acquires the property, and the benefactor may no longer retract.

(c) Ameimar however - rules against Rav (making no distinction between 'be'Chayai' and 'me'Chayai'.

(d) When Rav Ashi remarked that his ruling was obvious, bearing in mind the Neherdai's previous statement - Ameimar replied that we may well have thought that they would concede that there is a difference between 'be'Chayai' and 'me'Chayai'.

4) Rav Nachman sent him to Rebbi Yirmiyah bar Aba in Shum Tamya - because he did not want to issue a ruling like Rav in Neharda'a, which was Shmuel's territory.


(a) When, in the case of a woman who had written her Matnas Shechiv-Mera 'me'Chayim u'le'Achar Miysah', Rava followed his previous ruling and placed her property in the Reshus of the benefiary - she did not give up, but insisted (correctly), that he had erred in his ruling.

(b) Rava countered this, by instructing his Sofer (Rav Papa B'rei de'Rav Chanan) - to write the property in her name, but to add the words 'Socher Aleihen O Mata'an' (a term borrowed from Bava Metzi'a, which implied that he was tricking the woman).

(c) The woman, who realized what Rava meant, reacted - by cursing him that his boat should sink in the river.

(d) Rava tried to circumvent her curse - by soaking his clothes in water, but he did not succeed, and his boat sank (though not with him inside it).

(a) One would normally know that a Sh'tar Matnas Shechiv-Mera was actually written by a Shechiv-Mera by writing in the Sh'tar 'ke'de'Katzir v'Rami be'Arseih' (meaning that he was sick and bedridden).

(b) If the Sh'tar contained no such indication, Rebbi Meir maintains that the onus lies on the Shechiv-Mera to prove that he was indeed a Shechiv-Mera - because most people are not Shechiv-Meras.

(c) According to the Chachamim - the onus lies on the beneficiary to prove that he was, because of the principle 'ha'Motzi me'Chavero, Alav ha'Re'ayah' (it is up to the claimant to substantiate his claim).




(a) Besides the fact that the Shechiv-Mera was indeed sick and bedridden, they would customarily write in a Matnas Shechiv-Mera - that he died from his illness.

(b) In a case where this was not done, the problem would be - the possibility that he actually recovered from his original illness, and fell ill again later and died, in which case, the property ought really to go to the Shechiv-Mera's heirs.

(c) When such a case occurred, Rabah ruled 'Harei Meis, ve'Harei Kivro Mochi'ach Alav', by which he meant - that, since we now see that he is dead and buried, we can safely assume that he died from his original illness.

(a) When, in a case of a sinking ship, the Mishnah in Gitin rules 'Nosnin Alav ...
1. ... Chumrei Chayim', the Tana means - that a bas Kohen to a Yisrael is fo rbidden to eat Terumah.
2. ... Chumrei Meisim, he means that a bas Yisrael to a Kohen is forbidden ... .
(b) The basic principle that distinguishes between a man whose ship sank and that of a Shechiv-Mera is - that whereas the majority of people whose ships sink, do not survive, the majority of sick people do.

(c) This distinction prompts Abaye to query Rabah's previous ruling - on the grounds that if we consider the case of Yisrael who was married to a bas Yisrael as if he was alive (le'Chumra), how much more so should we assume that the Shechiv-Mera recovered and died only later.

(a) When the Beraisa asks 'Mi Motzi mi'Yad Mi', the Tana means to ask - what the Din will in the case of Sh'tar a Matanah which fails to indicate whether the benefactor was a Shechiv-Mera or a Bari.

(b) Rebbi Ya'akov rules that *he* always takes from *them*, and not vice-versa - because of the principle 'ha'Motzi me'Chavero, Alav ha'Re'ayah'.

(c) Rebbi Nasan agrees with this - only if he is a Shechiv-Mera at the time of the claim, but not if he is a Bari at that time.

(d) The Machlokes between Rabah and Abaye that we just cited conforms with this Machlokes inasmuch as - Rabah holds like Rebbi Nasan (who goes after what he is now), and Abaye, like Rebbi Ya'akov (who holds that the majority of sick people recover).

(a) We rule that 'Safek Tum'ah bi'Reshus ha'Yachid', Tamei, bi'Reshus ha'Rabim', Tahor'. With regard to Shabbos, a Bik'ah - a field or a series of fields surrounded by a wall is a Reshus ha'Yachid.

(b) With regard to Tum'ah ...

1. ... in the summer - it has a Din of a Reshus ha'Rabim.
2. ... in the winter - it has the Din of a Reshus ha'Yachid.
(c) The reason for this distinction - is because, in the winter, when the ground is seeded, people are careful not to walk there.
(a) When Rebbi Elazar says 'u'le'Inyan Tum'ah ke'Machlokes', he means that Rebbi Nasan and Rebbi Ya'akov argue there like they argue in the previous case, only a Chezkas Taharah replaces the Chezkas Mamon.

(b) The Safek here is whether the person entered the Bik'ah in the summer or in the winter. Consequently - according to Rebbi Nasan, it depends on when he appears before Beis-Din, whereas according to Rebbi Ya'akov, we place him on a Chezkas Taharah, irrespective of when he asks the She'eilah.

(a) When Rava qualifies Rebbi Elazar's statement to when no winter passed from the time that the valley was fenced - but once a winter has passed it remains a Reshus ha'Yachid even in the simmer-time.

(b) The basis of Rava's statement is - either a S'vara (see Tosfos DH 'Amar Rava') or a Chumra de'Rabbanan.

(c) We refute the text 've'Amar Rava', in which case Rebbi Elazar's statement is based on that of Rava - on the grounds that Rebbi Elazar lived much before Rava, and it is unlikely for a statement by him to have depended upon one of Rava for interpretation.

(a) According to Rabeinu Chananel, Rava actually comes to argue with Rebbi Elazar, who does not differentiate in the way that Rava does.

(b) Rabeinu Chananel explains Rava differently than we did before - by establishing 'Lo Avru Alav Yemos ha'Geshamim' (not from the time that the Bik'ah was fenced, but) from the time that the Tum'ah was lying in it.

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