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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Bava Basra 74

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) The Arab merchant showed Rabah bar bar Chanah the corpses of those died in Midbar Sinai.
How did their faces look? How were they lying?

(b) What strange thing did the Arab then do?

(c) What do we learn from the Lashon 've'Ayil Parsha Tusi Birkeih' (rather than 've'Ayil Parsha' or 've'Ayil Gavra')?

(d) Why did Rabah bar bar Chanah cut off the corner of one of the dead men's garments together with the Tzitzis?

(a) What caused the Arab, who had not seen Rabah bar bar Chanah cutting the corner, to nevertheless accuse him of taking something from them?

(b) What happened next?

(c) When he came before the Chachamim, they said to him 'Kol Aba Chamra' (adding 've'Chol bar bar Chanah Sichsa', which is basically a repetition).
Who was 'Aba'?

(d) What did they mean by that?

(a) Why did the Chachamim call Rabah bar bar Chanah stupid? What should he have done?

(b) What is a Chulyah?

(c) When the Arab showed Rabah bar bar Chanah Har Sinai, he saw frogs surrounding it.
What did the frogs resemble?

(a) What did the bas-Kol which Rabah bar bar Chanah heard announce?

(b) Why did the Chachamim again refer to him as stupid?

(c) To which oath did this refer?

(d) Why did they not accept his excuse that he thought that the bas-Kol might have referred to the Shevu'ah that Hashem would never again destroy the world with a flood?

(e) What is the special significance of 'Oy Li ... ' in this context?

(a) The Arab merchant then showed him two cracks in the desert from which smoke emanated.
What did that signify?

(b) He responded by taking a piece of wool.
What did he do with it? What was the result?

(c) And he instructed Rabah bar bar Chanah to place his ear near the ground and listen.
What did he hear?

(d) How often did they have to do this?

(a) When the Arab showed Rabah bar Chanah a place where heaven and earth meet, where did the latter place his basket?

(b) Why can this not have really been the end of the world (as is implied)?

(c) What made Rabah bar bar Chanah think that there were Ganavim there?

(d) How did the Arab disillusion him? How did he prove his point?

(a) Rebbi Yochanan told how he once saw a fish poke its head out of the water. If its two eyes resembled two moons, what did he have to say about its gills?

(b) Rav Safra saw a fish with horns poke its head out of the water. What, besides the fact that it was one of the small creatures of the sea, was engraved on its horns?

(a) Which is the only land-creature that has no equivalent in the sea?

(b) How does the sea-goat scourge for food?

(c) Why does Rav Ashi discuss the sea-goat here?

(a) Rebbi Yochanan discusses a box that he saw from a ship.
What was the box adorned with?

(b) The box was surrounded by something called Karsha.
What is 'Karsha'?

(c) What happened to a certain swimmer who went to fetch the box?

(d) What did he do to escape the danger?

(e) What did the bas-Kol announce? For whom was that box reserved?

Answers to questions



(a) Rav Yehudah from India told the story of how he was once on a ship when they spied a jewel.
What happened to the swimmer who went to retrieve it, when a serpent threatened to swallow the ship?

(b) The water turned red from its blood.
What happened next (according to the text of the Rashbam)?

(c) What happened to the jewel?

(d) Rebbi Eliezer and Rebbi Yehoshua were once on a boat.
What caused Rebbi Eliezer to wake up?

(e) What did he tell Rebbi Yehoshua that he had probably seen?

(a) Huna bar Nasan told Rav Ashi how they were once traveling in a desert, and how they had with them the thigh of an animal, which they Kashered.
What happened after they placed it on some grass and went to look for fire-wood?

(b) What did they find when they returned to the same spot a year later?

(c) How did Ameimar later explain the double phenomena that had occurred? How did he describe ...

  1. ... the grass?
  2. ... the fire-wood?
(d) In Bavel, they interpreted the Pasuk in Bereishis "va'Yivra Hashem es ha'Taninim ha'Gedolim" as Re'eim (wild ox) of the sea.
How did Rebbi Yochanan interpret it in Eretz Yisrael?
(a) What is Rav Yehudah Amar Rav referring to when he talks about 'Livyasan Nachash Beri'ach ve'Livyasan Nachash Akalason'?

(b) What is the significance of 'Beri'ach' and 'Akalason'?

(c) What did Hashem do with ...

  1. ... the male?
  2. ... the female?
(d) Why did He do that?

(e) What do we learn from the future tense of the Pasuk in Yeshayah "ba'Yom ha'Hu *Yifkod* Hashem be'Charbo ha'Kashah ... al Livyasan Bari'ach"?

(a) The Pasuk in Tehilim speaks about "Beheimos be'Harerei Elef".
Why are called by that name?

(b) There too, due to the same fear, Hashem castrated the male.
What did He do with the female?

(c) Why did Hashem decline to change the nature of the female Livyasan like He did with the female Beheimah be'Harerei Elef? Why did He have to kill it?

(d) Hashem may have chosen to kill the female Livyasan and to castrate the male (rather than the reverse), because the salted female is tastier.
What other reason might there be for that choice?

(e) Why did He not kill the female Beheimos be'Harerei Elef and salt it like He did the female Livyasan?

(a) Who was Rahav?

(b) At the time of the creation, what did Hashem mean when He ordered him to open his mouth and swallow all the water in the world?

(c) How did Hashem react when he replied that he had enough on his plate controlling his own sea-water and preventing tidal waves (which are now the exception rather than the rule).

(d) To what is the Pasuk in Yeshayah referring when it writes "Lo Yare'u ve'Lo Yashchisu be'Chol Har Kodshi ... ka'Mayim *la'Yam* Mechasim"?

(a) What, according to the Beraisa, flows out of the cave of Pamayas (Banyas), and makes its way through the Sea of Sivchi and the Sea of Teverya?

(b) Into which sea does it finally flow?

(c) Where does it finally land?

(d) This latter statement is based on the Pasuk in Iyov "Yivtach ki Yagi'ach Yarden el Piyhu". Considering that "Yivtach" refers to the Beheimos be'Harerei Elef, how does Rava bar Ula reinterpret the Pasuk?

16) We recite regularly the Pasuk in Tehilim "Ki Hu al Yamim Yesadah, ve'al Neharos Yechonenehah".
Which three seas surround Eretz Yisrael (besides those of Sivchi [which we mentioned earlier], Chilas, Chilsa, and Aspamya?

Answers to questions

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