ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Bava Metzia 108
BAVA METZIA 106-108 - Ari Kornfeld has generously sponsored the Dafyomi
publications for these Dafim for the benefit of Klal Yisrael.
(a) Rabah bar Rav Huna cursed Rabah bar Rav Nachman that his sons should
die - for cutting down his forest which lined the river bank (as we learned
(b) Rabah bar Rav Nachman's erred - inasmuch as he did not realize that
Parzak Rufila's forest lined the river bank on either side of Rabah bar Rav
Huna (as we explained there).
1. Even Yesomim are obligated to pay for the town guard - because they too
require his services no less than anybody else.
(b) When it is a matter of paying people to dig the town well however - they
are obligated to participate, because they too, need water.
2. Talmidei-Chachamim are not - because Talmidei-Chachamim do need guarding
(since they are protected by the Torah that they study, as the Pasuk writes
in Mishlei "be'Shochvecha Tishmor Alecha").
(c) They are Patur though - from participating in shifts that actually dig
it, because it is undignified for a Talmid-Chacham to perform such work.
(a) Rav Huna ruled that if the river needed to be cleared of stones and
silt, those at the bottom of the mountain are obligated to help those at the
top - because it is to their advantage to clear the river higher up, since
then the river will provide them with more water.
(b) But not vice-versa - because not only is it not to the advantage of
those living higher up to clear the river below, but it is even to their
disadvantage, seeing as that will deprive them of the excess water that has
accumulated in their part of the river.
(c) In the same situation, regarding rain-water which needs to be diverted
because it causes the roads in the area to become muddy and inaccessible, he
says the opposite. There, it is the upper residents who are obligated to
help the lower residents drain the excess water, but not vice-versa, seeing
as it is to the advantage of the lower residents for as much water as
possible to remain where it is on the higher slopes of the mountain.
(d) Rav Huna has the support of a Beraisa. The Tana says there that if ...
1. ... the spring that feeds five gardens on a mountain-slope becomes
stopped up - then all those whose gardens are situated below the problem
spot are obligated to participate in the clearing, but not those living
2. ... the Bib (a drainage ditch) shared by five courtyards on a
mountain-slope became stopped-up - then it is those who reside above that
spot who are obligated, and not those living below it.
(a) The Persians would sometimes make Hefker land available for anyone to
take, provided he paid Taska - a land-tax.
(b) Shmuel considered it a Chutzpah to acquire such land be'Raksa
de'Nahara - the river-bank beside the port.
(c) It was a Chutzpah - because they tended to build houses there, taking up
space that was needed for loading the ships.
(d) Although the Mechutzaf in the previous case (of Raksa de'Nahara), was
not initially obligated to withdraw, that changed when the Persians began
writing in the documents 'K'ni Lach ad Malya Tzavra de'Susya' - granting
ownership to purchasers of land on the river-bank from a point on land to
the middle of the river.
(e) The purchasers would build a fence at a distance from the river in
order, to leave room for public use - and we are speaking about someone who
took possession of land inside the fence.
(a) Everyone agrees - that someone who acquired land in order to pay Taska
between two brothers or two partners is a Mechutzaf.
(b) Rav Yehudah Amar Rav however, does not obligate him to withdraw - Rav
(c) Rav Nachman concedes though, that someone who purchases the field next
to someone who wanted to purchase it, does not need to withdraw. The
Neherda'i disagree. They learn from the Pasuk in "ve'Asisa ha'Yashar
ve'ha'Tov" - that one should give the first rights to purchase the field to
the neighbors, since it is convenient for them to have all their property in
one place, whereas others can buy elsewhere without undue inconvenience (and
this is known as 'Diyna de'Bar Metzra').
(d) According to Ravina, once the neighbors give one the O.K. to purchase
the field that is up for sale, they cannot retract even if the O.K. was not
accompanied by a Kinyan. The Neherda'i, whose opinion we follow, hold that
they can. The reason that the neighbors authorized the outside party to buy
the field was (not because they ceded their rights to him, but) - because
they knew that the owner (who would have raised the price because of their
stakes in the field) would give the third party a better deal.
(a) According to the Neherda'i, in a case where no Kinyan was made with the
neighbor, if, after the third party purchased the field, the price ...
1. ... rose - the neighbor pays the purchaser only as much as he paid (which
means that he is the one who gains).
(b) If the field was worth two hundred Zuz and the owner sold him to the
purchaser for one, the neighbor pays the purchaser either two hundred Zuz or
one, depending on - whether the owner charged the latter a special price or
whether he would have charged anybody the same price.
2. ... dropped - once again, he pays the purchaser the amount that he paid
for it (only this time he is the one who loses out).
(c) If on the other hand, the field was worth one hundred Zuz and he sold it
to him for two, Mar Keshisha concludes that the neighbor must pay the
purchaser two hundred Zuz, based on a statement of the Neherda'i quoting Rav
Nachman, who taught the important principle - 'Ein Ona'ah le'Karka'os'
(there is no such thing as an absolute price for land, whose value can
fluctuates according to how much it is worth to the owner).
(d) At fist, we thought - that the neighbor need only pay one hundred,
because he can argue that the purchaser, who was really acting as his
Sheli'ach, should not have paid for the field more than it was worth,
thereby causing him a loss ('li'Tekuni Shedartich ve'Lo la'Avasasi').
(a) If Reuven purchased a field that is surrounded on all four sides by
Shimon, who is surrounded in turn by Levi on all four sides, we suspect him
of - purchasing the middle field in order to become a neighbor of Shimon, so
that, when he decides to sell one of his other fields, he Reuven, will be a
(b) This is not a problem however, if the field that he purchased is ...
1. ... Idis (best-quality) - because then, we assume that he purchased it
because of its superior quality.
2. ... Ziburis (poor-quality - cheap) - because then, he probably bought it
because it was going for a song.
(a) The Din of 'bar Metzra' does not apply to a gift. Ameimar qualifies this
ruling - by precluding a gift if the owner wrote the Acharayus in the Sh'tar
(indicating that it was really a sale - and that he only called it a gift in
order to prevent his neighbor from purchasing it).
(b) Ameimar rules that if someone sells ...
1. ... all his property to one person - Diyna de'bar Metzra does not apply,
because it is convenient for the seller to sell all his property in one
sweep, and he might retract from the sale once part of the sale is negated
(and Chazal did not institute a Din which protects the rights of one person,
there where it harms somebody else).
(c) The Din of bar-Metzra does not apply to someone who ...
2. ... a field to the original owner - 'Diyna de'bar Metzra' does not apply.
1. ... buys from a Nochri - because far from contravening the Pasuk
"ve'Asisa ha'Yashar ve'ha'Tov", the purchaser is actually helping the
current neighbor of the field, by removing the Nochri from next door.
(d) Nevertheless if a person *does* sell his field to a Nochri - we put him
in Cherem until he accepts responsibility for all problems that are caused
by the Nochri.
2. ... sells to a Nochri - because "ve'Asisa ha'Yashar ve'ha'Tov" was said
to Jews, and not to Nochrim.
(a) The creditor is permitted to purchase the field that was give to him as
a 'Mashkon' even though there is a neighbor who wants it - because he is
considered the closest neighbor.
(b) Rav Ashi quoting the elders of Masa Mechsaya extrapolates this from its
name - 'Mashkanta', which means 'de'*Shechunah* Gabei' (it is dwelling by
him, making him closer to the field than any neighbor).
(c) 'Diyna de'bar Metzra' does not apply to someone who is selling his field
because it is far from where he lives, and he wants to buy one that is
closer to home or because it is Ziburis and he wants to buy Idis - because
it is then to his advantage to sell as quickly as possible, before the field
that he plans to buy has been sold. And as we explained earlier, Chazal
would not make a Takanah for the benefit of Reuven at Shimon's expense.
(d) Chazal applied "ve'Asisa ha'Yashar ve'ha'Tov" to the purchaser and not
to the seller - because the seller would always be able to simply refuse to
sell it to the neighbor.
(a) A field that is sold to pay head-tax, for one's widow and daughters
sustenance or to bury one's dead is not subject to 'Diyna de'bar Metzra'
either, based on a statement by the Neherda'i, who said - that one may sell
property belonging to Yesomim without prior announcement, if it is for one
of these three reasons.
(b) And if one allows Yesomim to lose in order to sell as quickly as
possible - how much more so, the field's neighbor.
(c) 'Diyna de'bar Metzra' does not apply to ...
1. ... a woman or Yesomim - because it is not right to force a woman or a
Yasom to go looking for a field when they already have one.
2. ... to a partner - who is considered closer than his natural neighbor,
seeing as his portion has not yet been specified (and it is as if he is a
joint owner in the entire field.
(a) If Reuven is selling a field, if the would-be purchasers are ...
1. ... Shimon, his next-door neighbor, and Levi, whose field borders his
own - he should give precedence to Shimon.
(b) We know that in all of the above cases, the field up for sale does not
border that of one of the would-be purchasers - because of the change of
Lashon to 'Shecheinei ha'Ir u'Shechenei Sadeh ... ', when it could simply
have added them to the list of those to whom Diyna de'bar Metzra does not
apply. And in the cases of Talmid-Chacham, because there is no reason why a
Talmid-Chacham should not be subject to "ve'Asisa ha'Yashar ve'ha'Tov".
2. ... Shimon, his neighbor and Levi the Talmid-Chacham - to Levi.
3. ... Shimon, his brother, and Levi the Talmid-Chacham - to Levi.
(c) If both one's brother who lives in a distant land and a next-door
neighbor are after the property - one gives precedence to the next-door
neighbor, based on the Pasuk in Mishlei "Tov Shachen Karov me'Ach Rachok".
(d) The Din of bar-Metzra does not apply if the money that the purchaser ...
1. ... offers the seller is either better coinage (i.e. coins that are more
complete) or better currency - because, as we have already explained, Diyna
de'bar Metzra does not apply if it causes any loss whatsoever to the seller.
2. ... sends him (through a Sheli'ach) is loose money, whereas his
neighbor's money is wrapped and sealed - because, based on the same
principle, the loose coins are an advantage, since he will be afraid to open
the sealed bag of money, for fear that, should the money be short, the buyer
will accuse of him of having stolen the balance.
(a) Diyna de'bar Metzra does not apply if the neighbor says that he will and
look for money. If he says that he will bring the money - it will, but only
if we have assessed him as being sufficiently well-off to be able to keep
(b) Diyna de'bar Metzra ...
1. ... will apply if the owner of a house wishes to sell it to a third
party, and the owner of the land on which it is standing wants to buy it
(because it is a distinct advantage for a person's residence to be on its
(c) In a case where Reuven sold Shimon a date-palm for a certain period of
time or until they dry up - Reuven can stop Shimon from selling it to
someone else, but Shimon cannot stop Reuven (for the same reason as we gave
in the previous case).
2. ... will not apply if the owner of the land wishes to sell it to a third
party and the owner of the house wants to buy it (because [we assume,] the
lease on the house is anyway only temporary, in which case his claim carries
(a) If Reuven is selling one of his fields to Levi, who wants to build a
house there, and Shimon whose field borders Reuven's, wants it for
planting - Diyna de'bar Metzra does not apply, because a residence is more
necessary than a field.
(b) Diyna de'bar Metzra will apply to a case where a rock or a chain of low,
compact date-palms divides between the seller's field and that of his
neighbor - only if there is a space for a plow to pass from the neighbor's
field to the field that is being sold.
(c) If Reuven, Shimon, Levi and Yehudah surround a field which the owner
sold it to Dan, and Reuven then bought it from from Dan, the latter sale is
valid (and Shimon, Levi and Yehudah have no claim against Reuven [Rambam]).
(d) If all four came and claimed from Dan simultaneously - they would divide
it diagonally, so that each one receives the quarter of field that is
nearest his own.