(Permission is granted to print and redistribute this material
as long as this header and the footer at the end are included.)


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 earlier).

(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.
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").
(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.

(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 above it.
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 Nachman does.

(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).
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).
(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.

(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 neighbor, too.

(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).
2. ... a field to the original owner - 'Diyna de'bar Metzra' does not apply.
(c) The Din of bar-Metzra does not apply to someone who ...
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.
2. ... sells to a Nochri - because "ve'Asisa ha'Yashar ve'ha'Tov" was said to Jews, and not to Nochrim.
(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.
(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.
2. ... Shimon, his neighbor and Levi the Talmid-Chacham - to Levi.
3. ... Shimon, his brother, and Levi the Talmid-Chacham - to Levi.
(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".

(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 his word.

(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 own grounds.
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 no weight).
(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).
(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.

Next daf


For further information on
subscriptions, archives and sponsorships,
contact Kollel Iyun Hadaf,