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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Bava Basra 123

BAVA BASRA 123 (11 Av) - dedicated by Eitan Fish in memory of his illustrious ancestor, Hagaon Rav Yitzchak Blazer ("Reb Itzele Peterburger"), author of "Kochevei Or" and "Pri Yitzchak" and one of the foremost Talmidim of Hagaon Rav Yisrael Salanter, Zatza"l. Reb Itzele passed away on 11 Av 5667 (1907) in Yerushalayim.


(a) What do we mean when we say that a Bechor receives a double portion in his father's property?

(b) The logic behind this is the fact that when there five other brothers, he inherits one extra portion just like he does when there is one brother. What is the counter argument to this?

(c) The Beraisa quotes several Pesukim to prove the above ruling. He will ultimately learn it from the B'nei Yosef, as we shall see.
On what grounds does he learn the Din of Bechor from the B'nei Yosef? Can one really learn Divrei Torah from Divrei Kabalah (Nevi'im and Kesuvim)?

(d) What Pircha does the Tana ask on the Pasuk ...

  1. ... in Ki Seitzei "ve'Hayah be'Yom Hanchilo es Banav (which we quote as an indication that the Torah grants the Bechor only one portion extra)? What else do we need this Pasuk for?
  2. ... in Divrei Hayamim "u'Venei Reuven Bechor Yisrael ... u've'Chilelo Yetzu'ei Aviv Nitnah *Bechoraso* li'Venei Yosef" (which we try to learn by means of a 'Giluy Milsa' from the beginning of the Pasuk)?
  3. ... "Ki Yehudah ... ve'ha'Bechorah le'Yosef" (ibid.)?
  4. ... (Vayechi) "va'Ani Nasati Lecha Sh'chem Echad al Achecha"?
(a) Rav Papa asked Abaye how we know that "Sh'chem Echad" does not mean something extra (such as a date-palm).
Why did he choose to ask him *this* Kashya, when he could just as well have asked whether the B'nei Yosef did not inherit double of all the property, like we thought at first?

(b) What did Abaye reply?

(c) Then why did the Beraisa not quote Abaye's Pasuk?

(a) When Ya'akov gave the double portion to Yosef, did that mean that he was appointing him the Bechor in Reuven's place?

(b) What did Ya'akov mean when he said "Asher Lakachti mi'Yad ha'Emori *be'Charbi u've'Kashti*"?

(c) Why can the Pasuk not be taken literally?

(a) Rebbi Chelbo asked Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeni what Ya'akov Avinu saw to take away the Bechorah from Reuven and give it to Yosef.
Why did the latter not like the question?

(b) So Rebbi Chelbo amended the question to why Ya'akov gave the Bechorah specifically to Yosef.
What did Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeni reply?

(c) What parable did he give to illustrate it?

(d) On what grounds did Rebbi Chelbo reject the answer?

(a) So what did he quote Rebbi Yonasan as saying? Who was Rebbi Yonasan?

(b) Did Ya'akov ever repay Yosef for having fed him all those years?

(c) How does Rebbi Elazar explain the Pasuk in Vayeitzei "ve'Einei Leah Rakos"?

(d) Why does he not accept the literal interpretation of these words?

(a) Rav explains that Leah's eyes were soft from crying.
What sparked off those tears?

(b) And how did she get to know about the characters of Ya'akov and Eisav?

(c) How do we therefore interpret the phrase "va'Yar Hashem ki Senu'ah Leah"?

(d) On what grounds did ...

  1. ... Leah wrest the Bechorah away from Rachel?
  2. ... Rachel regain the Bechorah (at least in part)?
(a) How could Ya'akov tell Rachel that he was her father's brother, when really, he was her father's sister's son?

(b) How did Ya'akov justify his willingness to swindle when dealing with Lavan?

(c) How did Ya'akov and Rachel guard against her father's anticipated swindle?

(d) All their plans however, came to naught however, when it came to the crunch.
Why was that? How did Lavan (and Leah) manage to trick Ya'akov in spite of it all?

(e) How does this help us understand the Pasuk "Vayehi ba'Boker ve'Hineh Hi Leah"?

Answers to questions



(a) What did Aba Chalifa the Chumash expert retort, when Rebbi Chiya bar Aba told him that the seventieth (unspecified) person who went down to Egypt (and the thirty-third member of the tribe of Levi) was a twin sister whom Leah bore together with Dinah?

(b) What did the latter mean when he replied 'Margalis Tovah Haysah be'Yadi ve'Atah Mevakesh le'Abdah Mimeni'?

(c) The pearl was in the form of a statement by Rebbi Chama bar Chanina, whom we quoted above.
What did he say?

(a) Rebbi Chelbo also asked Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeni why Ya'akov waited for the birth of Yosef before taking leave of Lavan.
What did he reply?

(b) If "the House of Ya'akov will be fire and the House of Yosef, a spark", what will the House of Eisav be?

(c) When Rebbi Chelbo asked Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeni from the Pasuk in Shmuel, which describes the defeat of Amalek, who had taken captive the wives of himself and his men, at the hand of David (who was from Yehudah), he reprimand him, before citing him a Pasuk from Divrei Hayamim. What did he say?

(d) How did he answer ...

  1. ... this Kashya?
  2. ... Rav Yosef, when he asked from the Pasuk there which refers to five hundred men from the B'nei Shimon, who also defeated Amalek, led by sons of Yish'i, before taking over their territory?
(a) The Beraisa includes the Zero'a, the Lechayayim and the Keivah, as well as Hekdesh (both of which will be explained shortly), among the father's property of which a Bechor receives double.
What does the Tana mean when he includes 'Sh'vach she'Shavchu Nechasim le'Achar Miysas Avihen' (besides a 'Parah Muchkeres u'Muskeres be'Yad Acherim')?

(b) What is a 'Parah ...

  1. ... Muchkeres be'Yad Acherim'?
  2. ... Muskeres... '?
(c) The Bechor does not however, receive double of houses or vineyards that were built or planted by the heirs themselves.
What is the reason for the difference between the Reisha and the Seifa?
(a) If the Zero'a, the Lechayayim and the Keivah (the right foreleg, the cheeks and the stomach of any Chulin animal, which are given to a Kohen) were already given to the father, then it is obvious that his heirs will receive double.
What will be the the Din if they were not?

(b) Then what does the Tana mean by incorporting them among the things that the heirs receive? In which case is he speaking?

(c) What does it help to establish the case when the animal was Shechted in their father's lifetime, seeing as the Matanos had not yet been separated?

(a) We answer the Kashya 'that Hekdesh did not belong to their father to begin with', by establishing the Beraisa like Rebbi Yossi Hagelili. What does Rebbi Yossi Hagelili learn from the Pasuk in Vayikra "u'Ma'alah Ma'al ba'Hashem"?

(b) How does he learn that from this Pasuk?

(c) Why is this D'rashah then confined to Kodshim Kalim?

(d) In which regard is Rebbi Yossi Hagelili speaking? What is the Pasuk "u'Ma'alah Ma'al ba'Hashem" speaking about?

(a) Chata'os and Ashamos, which are not Kodshim Kalim, are not included in Rebbi Hagelili's Chidush (as we already explained).
When are even Kodshim Kalim not considered his either?

(b) Having taught us that a Bechor inherits a Muchkeres and Muskeres, which are not in their father's jurisdiction, why does the Tana need to add a cow that is grazing in the public meadow and which gave birth, which is?

(c) Then why did the Tana not just insert the latter, and omit the former, which then seems to be obvious?

(d) Who is the author of this Beraisa? What do the Chachamim say?

Answers to questions

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