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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Bava Basra 54

BAVA BASRA 54 - in memory of Harry Bernard Zuckerman, Baruch Hersh ben Yitzchak (and Miryam Toba), by his children and sons-in-law.


(a) What did Rebbi Yirmiyah Bira'ah Amar Rav Yehudah say about someone who throws turnip seeds into the cracks of land of Nechsei ha'Ger?

(b) Will it make any difference if the turnips eventually grow successfully?

(c) Why is this not comparable to someone who ...

  1. ... digs the earth of Nechsei ha'Ger, or who lets in some water?
  2. ... spreads mats in Nechsei ha'Ger and lis on them?
(d) And why does he not acquire the field when he eats the fruit that grows there?
(a) What does Shmuel say about someone who cuts off some of the branches of a date-palm of Nechsei ha'Ger? When does he acquire it and when does he not?

(b) How will we know what his intentions are at the time when he cut off the branches?

(c) Even if he cut off branches from both sides of the tree, how do we know that he intended to prune the tree, and not to feed his animals?

(a) Why does he not acquire the date-palm anyway, even in the case where he cut off all the branches from one side, seeing as despite his intentions, he did after all, improve the tree?

(b) Will it help if he declares that he intends to acquire it with the cutting of the branches?

(c) And what does Shmuel say about someone who sweeps a field of Nechsei ha'Ger? When will he acquire it, and when will he not?

(d) How will we know what his intentions were?

(a) In similar fashion, Shmuel differentiates between someone who clears a field of Nechsei ha'Ger of obstacles.
If he is not doing it to improve the field (to prevent his plow from getting damaged), why else might he be doing it?

(b) How will we know which of the two objectives he has in mind?

(c) Why will the fact that he clears the field of obstacles for fter he finishes with the threshing, not enable him to acquire the field?

(d) Is there any case where he will acquire Nechsei ha'Ger, even if he clears the field to form mounds and pits?

(a) In similar fashion again, Shmuel differentiates between someone who lets water into a field of Nechsei ha'Ger in order to water the field and someone who does it to catch fish.
How will we know what his intentions were?

(b) Are all these rulings of Shmuel confined to acquiring Nechsei ha'Ger?

(c) A certain woman ate Gezel ha'Ger 'be'Tafshicha' for thirteen years. What does 'be'Tafshicha' mean?

(d) What did Levi (or Mar Ukva) rule when a man came and dug at the foot of the tree? What is the outcome of the Sugya?

(a) What did Rav say about someone who paints a picture on Nechsei ha'Ger?

(b) From where do we know this ruling of Rav?

(c) What is the difference between this case and that of Siyud ve'Kiyud that we discussed earlier?

(d) According to Rav Huna Amar Rav, someone who digs one spadeful on Nechsei ha'Ger, acquires the entire field.
What sort of field is he talking about?

(a) What does Shmuel say about Rav's case?

(b) Does this Halachah incorporate where Reuven buys a field from Shimon?

(c) Like whom is the Halachah?

(d) How much must one plow in a field which has no borders in order to acquire the entire field? According to whom is this ruling relevant?

Answers to questions



(a) What does Rav Yehudah Amar Shmuel mean when he refers to the property of an Akum as 'ka'Midbar'?

(b) The reason for this is based on the difference between the Kinyan of a Yisrael and that of an Akum. What is the difference between them?

(c) What then, is Shmuel's reasoning?

(a) Is the Machzik justified in acquiring the field in question?

(b) Does this mean that he is obligated to reimburse the purchaser for his loss?

(a) Perhaps it is only when one acquires from a Yisrael that a Sh'tar is required, but when purchasing land from a Nochri, one acquires it the moment one pays?

(b) Why does the same ruling not apply to a Yisrael who purchases from a Yisrael? If Shimon pays Reuven immediately for the field that he sold him, why can Levi not acquire the field up to the time that he receives the Sh'tar?

(c) Abaye raised an objection to Shmuel's ruling from a statement by Shmuel himself. What principle did Shmuel teach?

(d) What bearing does Shmuel's principle have on his previous ruling? Why does the two statements appear to clash?

(a) Rav Yosef refuted Abaye's objection by citing an incident that took place 'be'Dura di'Re'usa'.
What might 'Dura di'Re'usa' mean (besides possibly being a place-name)?

(b) What happened there? What did Rav Yehudah rule?

(c) What bearing does Rav Yehudah's ruling have on Shmuel's opinion? How do we know that Shmuel would have ruled differently?

(d) Abaye however, rejects this proof.
On what grounds does he do this?

(a) Rabeinu Chananel does not rule like Shmuel, but like Abaye, who has the last word in our Sugya.
On what basis do we disagree with Rabeinu Chananel?

(b) Evidently, Rav Yosef did not agree with Abaye's version of the incident.
Was he aware of Shmuel's ruling 'Diyna de'Malchusa Diyna'?

(c) Why then, when Abaye asked him the apparent contradiction between Shmuel's two statements, did he not resolve the discrepancy (even adding that he didn't know about that)?

(a) What did Rav Nachman rule when, after Rav Huna had paid a Nochri for a certain field, a third person came and dug there?

(b) What objection did Rav Huna raise to Rav Nachman's ruling?

(c) Why did he not cite Shmuel's other ruling (Diyna de'Malchusa Diyna), like Abaye?

(d) What did Rav Nachman retort, when Rav Huna queried him from Shmuel's earlier ruling (regarding only acquiring the area where he struck with his spade)?

Answers to questions

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