ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Bava Metzia 22
(a) The Beraisa say that if a river swept away Reuven's beams, wood and
bricks and deposited them in Shimon's field - Shimon may keep them, because
the owner must have known about it and been Meya'esh. Note, that according
to the original text in the Tosefta, which concludes '*Im* Nisya'ashu
ha'Ba'alim', the Sugya runs much smoother.
(b) We extrapolate from here - that in a case of Metzi'ah, where Reuven was
not aware of the loss, Shimon would be obligated to return the objects at
the time that it occurred, a Kashya on Rava.
(c) To answer the Kashya - we establish the Chidush as being that Shimon may
keep the beams, wood and bricks even though Reuven is able to save them at
any time, and the equivalent in other cases would be that there is a Si'man
(enabling him to claim [but not that he was unaware of the loss at the time
that it occurred).
(a) The Seifa of the Beraisa continues - that if Shimon is running after his
objects, Shimon is obligated to return them.
(b) If Reuven was able to save his objects at any time, then Shimon would
indeed be obligated to return them, irrespective of whether Reuven was
making efforts to save them or not. We therefore establish the Beraisa -
when he is able to save them, but only if he acts quickly and determinedly,
which explains why Shimon may keep the objects if Reuven is not making any
effort to save them.
(a) The Beraisa discusses a case where Reuven separates Terumah from
Shimon's crops without his prior permission. His Ma'aser will take effect -
only if Shimon does not consider it an act of theft, otherwise not.
(b) We establish the case when Shimon arrives on the scene and tells Reuven
to 'Go to the better ones!' Consequently - if there are indeed better ones,
then it is clear that Shimon accepts what Reuven did, and does not consider
it as act of theft. If not, he is obviously being sarcastic, and nothing
(c) The Terumah would take effect even if there were no better crops to be
found - if Shimon were to take some crops and add them to Reuven's pile.
(a) As the case stands, where Shimon did not know about the Terumah until
after it had been separated, it seems that the Tana holds 'Yi'ush she'Lo
mi'Da'as Havi Yi'ush'. Rava therefore establishes the Beraisa according to
Abaye - when Reuven appointed Shimon a Sheli'ach ...
(b) ... and the reason that his Terumah might not be valid is - because most
people give a fiftieth as Terumah. Shimon however, assessed Reuven as
belonging to the generous group who give a fortieth (and we now need to know
whether his assessment was correct or not).
(c) We prove that in any event, this must be the case (and that the Tana
cannot possibly be speaking when Reuven Ma'asered Shimon's crops without his
prior permission - because we learn from the Pasuk "Gam Atem", that a
Sheli'ach needs the knowledge of the owner, just like the owner who
separates Ma'aser himself.
(a) When the Aris (sharecropper) of Mari bar Isak found Ameimar, Mar Zutra
and Rav Ashi in Mari's orchard, he brought them - some dates and
(b) Ameimar and Rav Ashi ate, Mar Zutra did not.
(c) When Mari bar Isak saw what his Aris had done - he asked him why he
didn't offer them some of the better quality fruit that grew in his orchard.
(d) Mar Zutra still refused to eat - because, he said (quoting Rava) Chazal
only relied on 'K'lach Eitzel Yafos' with regard to separating Terumah (as
we learned above), which is a Mitzvah, but not in a case such as this, where
the owner probably said it out of embarrassment (but not wholeheartedly).
(a) The Beraisa says that if someone is pleased with the dew ...
1. ... that he finds on his fruit which is drying on the roof - the fruit
immediately *enters the category of 'be'Chi Yutan'* (and is subject to
receiving Tum'ah, even after the fruit has dried).
(b) The Seifa of the Beraisa indicates that this Tana holds 'Yi'ush she'Lo
mi'Da'as, Lo Havi Yi'ush', a Kashya on Rava. Rava therefore explains - that
being happy with the water is not sufficient to achieve this retroactively
(not because of the S'vara of 'she'Lo mi'Da'as', but) - because the Torah
writes "ve'Chi *Yiten* (spelled without a 'Vav') Mayim al Zera", implying
that the water must actually be placed on the fruit by the owner.
2. ... that he discovers had previously been on the now dry fruit - it *does
(c) The Reisha nevertheless places the fruit in the category of 'be'Chi
Yutan', despite the fact that it was not the owner who made the fruit wet,
and this is due to Rav Papa, who learns from the discrepancy between the way
the word is written ("Yiten") and the way it is pronounced ("Yutan") - that
one doesn't actually need to place the water on the fruit; being happy with
the fact that it is wet now is sufficient to make it subject to receive
(a) Rebbi Yochanan quoting Rebbi Shimon ben Yehotzadak learns from the Pasuk
in Ki Seitzei "ve'Chein Ta'aseh le'Simlaso ... Asher Tovad Mimenu
u'Metzasah" - that if at the time when an article gets lost, it is lost not
only to the owner, but to everyone else too (such as one that is swept away
by a torrent), it is permitted to the finder, irrespective of whether it had
a Si'man or not.
(b) We extrapolate from here - that in the equivalent case of Isur (where it
is not lost to everyone), it is forbidden, irrespective of whether it had a
Si'man (where the owner *will not be Me'ya'esh* when he discovers his loss)
or not (where he *will*), finally disproving Rava.
(c) We rule like Abaye against Rava - in five other cases (known by the
acronym of 'Y.A.L K.Ga.M'. - Yi'ush she'Lo mi'Da'as; Eid Zomem Lemafrei'a Hu
Nifsal; Lechi ha'Omed me'Eilav; Kidushin she'Lo Nimseru le'Bi'ah; Giluy
Da'ata be'Gita; Mumar Ochel Neveilos Le'hach'is'.
(d) Rav Acha Brei de'Rava asked Rav Ashi - that, seeing that Rava has now
been disproved - what is the basis for the concession to eat dates that were
blown off the palm-tree by the wind.
(a) In reality, Rav Acha bar Rava have could have asked the same question
even if Rava had not been disproved - having learned above, that with the
exception of figs (that become squashed when they fall off the tree), fruit
that falls off the tree is forbidden because the tree is a Si'man (and Rava
conceded even before being disproved that when there is a Siman, retroactive
Yi'ush does not apply).
(b) Rav Ashi replied - that they are nevertheless permitted, because, based
on the owner's knowledge that the wind is bound to blow dates off the tree
and that the worms like dates, he is Meya'esh at the outset.
(c) If the palm-trees belong to Yesomim Ketanim (who do not have the power
to be Mochel or Mafkir) - eating dates that have fallen from the tree would
be prohibited, though we will not forbid eating the dates from any date-palm
in any given area, on the suspicion that a particular tree might belong to a
(d) Rav Ashi also forbids the dates in the case of 'Karsh'sa - which is a
date-palm belonging to a Gadol, but which is surrounded by a fence specially
designed to keep the worms out, in which case, the owner is not Meya'esh.
(a) Rabah establishes 'small sheaves in the Reshus ha'Rabim' (which our
Mishnah permits the finder to keep) even when they *have a Si'man*. Rava
disagrees - he establishes the Mishnah specifically when they *do not*.
(b) The basis of their Machlokes is - whether a Siman that stands to be
trodden on (and possibly erased) is still considered a Si'man (Rava) or not
(c) Others present the Machlokes - independently (not in connection with our
(a) We extrapolate from 'K'richos bi'Reshus ha'Rabim', that in a Reshus
ha'Yachid, the finder would be obligated to return them - which must speak
when there is a Si'man (otherwise why would the finder be obligated to
return them in the Seifa?), yet he is permitted to keep them in the Reisha,
a Kashya on Rava.
(b) Rava replies - that the Tana is speaking, not when the sheaves have a
Si'man, but when Makom (the place itself) is a Si'man.
(c) Makom is not a Si'man in the Reisha however - because small sheaves tend
to get kicked about from one place to another.
(d) Rabah holds that Makom is not a Si'man.
(a) We just learned that the Tana of our Mishnah draws a distinction between
whether one finds small sheaves in a Reshus ha'Rabim or in a Reshus
ha'Yachid. The Tana of the Beraisa adds that if one finds large sheaves -
one is obligated to return them even in the Reshus ha'Rabim.
(b) Despite the fact in Rabah's opinion, a Siman that is going to be trodden
on is not a Si'man, the finder may nevertheless not keep large sheaves that
one finds in a Reshus ha'Yachid - because people do not tend to tread on
(c) And by the same token, according to Rava - people do not tend to kick
about large sheaves from one place to another.