ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Bava Metzia 116
BAVA METZIA 116-117 - anonymously dedicated by an Ohev Torah and Marbitz
Torah in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel.
(a) The Tana of one Beraisa rules 'Chaval Zug shel Saparim ve'Tzemed shel
Paros - Chayav Shetayim'. In a case of 'Zeh bi'F'nei Atzmo, ve'Zeh bi'F'nei
Atzmo, he rules - 'Eino Chayav Ela Achas'.
(b) What constitutes the two La'avin by
1. ... a Zug shel Saparim (a pair or barber's scissors) is - the two blades,
each of which can be used independently.
(c) This Beraisa on its own does not substantiate the opinion of Rav Yehudah
(who learns that 'Rechayim va'Rachev' incorporates only two La'avin and not
three) - since Rav Huna might well concede in this case that there are no
more than two La'avin, each vessel because of "Ki Nefesh Hu Chovel" (seeing
as these vessels are not mentioned specifically in the Pasuk, as "Rechayim
2. ... a Tzemed shel Paros is - the combination of the two cows and the
yoke, which comprises two parts.
(a) A second Beraisa compares every case of two vessels which are used in
conjunction with each other to Rechayim va'Rachev - rendering him Chayav two
La'avin. Consequently, by Rechayim va'Rachev too, one transgresses two
La'avin (two, and not three, like the other vessels to which we are
(b) We nevertheless need the first Beraisa - because without it, we would
have thought that the second Beraisa only comes to obligate each vessel in
its own right, to count them as two vessels (rather than to treat them both
as one entity), but not to preclude three La'avin. However, now that the
first Beraisa lists two La'avin (and not three), the second takes its cue
from the first.
(a) In a case where the creditor took a butcher's knife as a Mashkon, Abaye
instructed him to return it - because a butcher's knife is a source of
Parnasah, and cannot therefore e taken as a Mashkon.
(b) He also instructed him to claim his debt in Beis-Din. Had the debtor
denied the claim - he would have been believed with a Shevu'as Hesses.
(c) Rava objected to Abaye's ruling - on the basis that, since no-one
witnessed him take the knife, he should be believed to keep it (or at least
up to the value of the barley) with a 'Migu that he could have claimed that
he bought it.
(d) In a case where goats ate Reuven's peeled barley, and Reuven
subsequently seized the goats and claimed them as payment for his barley -
Shmuel's father authorised him to retain up to the value of his barley.
(a) Abaye rule differently in the current case than Avuhah di'Shmuel,
because, he argued, a butcher's knife is different - inasmuch as, whereas
people *do not tend to lend or rent out* goats (enabling the Nizak to claim
that he had bought them [the basis of the 'Migu']), butcher's knives *they
do*, in which case he would not have been believed had he claimed that he
had bought it, and there was no 'Migu'.
***** Hadran Alach, ha'Mekabel Sadeh me'Chavero *****
(b) In a similar case, where the owner claimed that he had lent a pair of
wool-cutting shears and Sifrei Agadah to the father of the Yesomim who now
had them in their possession - Rava made the Yesomim return them, for the
same reason as Abaye in the case of the butcher's knife.
(c) This proves that 'Laku'ach Hu be'Yadi' is not believed by things that
one tends to lend or hire out, because despite the fact that the Yesomim are
not conversant with their deceased father's affairs - we have a principle
that whatever the defendant himself could claim, Beis-Din claim on behalf of
(d) And the reason that Rava disagreed with Abaye's ruling is - because, in
his opinion, people do not lend butchers knives, because they need to be
sharp, and they are afraid that the borrower might blunt them.
***** Perek ha'Bayis ve'ha'Aliyah *****
(a) Our Mishnah rules that if a two-storey building belonging to two
brothers, one of whom had taken the upper floor (the attic), and the other,
the lower one, collapsed (and neither recognizes which bricks are his) -
they divide the bricks, the wood and the dust of the building in proportion
to the size of each one's apartment.
(b) If some of the bricks are broken, and each one claims that the whole
bricks belong to him, the Tana gauges whether his claim is valid or not - by
the way the wall fell and the position of the broken bricks. If the wall
fell on itself, and the broken bricks are at the bottom of the pile, then it
is clear that it was the lower apartment that was weak, and that it is the
owner of the attic who then takes the whole ones; whereas it the walls fell
outward and the broken bricks are the ones on the outside of the pile, then
is evident that they broke because of the height from which they fell, and
it is the owner of the lower apartment who takes the whole bricks.
(c) The Tana concludes that if one of them recognizes some of the bricks -
then he takes them and his brother takes the corresponding number of bricks
(which will be explained shortly).
(a) Even though we see from the Seifa that one gauges the bricks by the way
the building fell, the Reisha rule 'Yachloku' - because the Tana is speaking
when the house fell during the night (and they did not see how it fell).
When we answer alternatively that in such a case, partners are not
particular - we mean that even if the owner of the lower apartment does own
the land, since one partner is not generally fussy about the other partner
using it, it is as if the bricks fell on joint property.
(b) They cannot check the bricks in the morning (as we explained earlier) -
because the Tana is speaking when they had already been cleared (and placed
in a pile).
(c) Nor can they even ask the person who cleared them, because they do not
know who he is.
(d) The reason that we do not simply ascertain in whose Reshus the house was
built, and require the other one to prove that the whole bricks are his
(based on the principle 'ha'Motzi me'Chaveiro Alav ha'Re'ayah') is - because
we are speaking when it was built in their joint Reshus or in the Reshus
(a) When the Tana concludes that if one of them recognizes some of the
bricks, he takes them, he cannot be speaking when the other one ...
1. ... concedes that - because then there would be no Chidush.
(b) The Tana must therefore be speaking - when the other one doesn't know.
2. ... denies it, and claims that he is the rightful owner - because in that
case, there would be no grounds to believe the claimant.
(a) Rav Huna and Rav Yehudah rule that if Reuven claims a Manah from Shimon,
and Shimon replies 'Eini Yodei'a, he is Chayav to pay - because of the
principle 'Bari ve'Shema, Bari Adif'.
(b) Rav Nachman and Rebbi Yochanan say 'Patur' (because of the principle
'ha'Motzi me'Chaveiro ... '). We only know he really doesn't know - after he
has sworn to that effect.
(c) We just established that according to the Tana of our Mishnah, Reuven
takes the bricks that he recognizes if Shimon counters that he does not
know. In order not to clash with the Tana - Rav Nachman will establish our
Mishnah when he is obligated to swear ('she'Yesh Eisek Shevu'ah Beinehem').
(d) The case in our Mishnah will then be - when Reuven claimed that so many
of the whole bricks were his, and Shimon admitted to half of them, and the
other half he didn't know.
(e) In reality, Shimon is obligated to swear. We have a principle however,
that whoever is Chayav a Shevu'ah d'Oraysa, and cannot swear, has to pay
(though he is obligated to swear that he doesn't know). It is not clear
however, why Shimon is not Patur from a Shevu'ah because of 'Heilech' - see
(a) Rava thought that Shimon takes the equivalent number of broken bricks as
the whole bricks that Reuven recognizes (seeing as he doesn't deny Shimon's
claim). Abaye objects to this however, on the grounds - that since Reuven
only recognizes some of the bricks, that is what he takes, and all the rest
are available to Shimon.
(b) This does not mean that Shimon takes the rest of the bricks - but that
he takes the equivalent number of whole bricks as Reuven.
(c) Nevertheless, Reuven has the advantage - of having taken larger bricks
and better-quality cement.
(a) Or Mishnah rules that if Reuven rented an attic, if the ceiling (which
also serves as the roof) of the attic broke and Shimon, who lives on the
ground floor, refuses to repair it - then Reuven is entitled to take his
things and move downstairs until Shimon repairs the roof.
(b) Rebbi Yossi obligates Shimon to repair the attic, but Shimon must
furnish the cement.
(c) Rav establishes our Mishnah when the majority of the ceiling broke.
According to Shmuel - four Tefachim will suffice to permit Reuven to move.
(d) The basis of their Machlokes is - whether we can expect a person to live
and one floor and place even one or two articles on another floor (Rav), or
not (Shmuel [because four Tefachim is the space one needs to place a
(a) The Tana of our Mishnah cannot be speaking when Reuven rented Shimon...
1. ... 'this attic' - because then, he would be under no obligation to
provide him with alternative accommodation when the attic become
(b) If he specifically stipulated that should the attic become
uninhabitable, he will be permitted to share the house with him, the Tana
will not be teaching us anything either. Rav Ashi finally establishes the
Mishnah - when he stipulated that he is renting him 'this attic which is on
top of this house' ...
2. ... 'an attic' - because then, it would be obvious that he must, and our
Mishnah would not be teaching us anything.
(c) ... and this Lashon, the Tana is teaching us - implies that he is
Meshabed the house to the attic.
(d) In a parallel case, one man sold another 'a vine-arbor on top of a
peach-tree', and the peach-tree became uprooted. Ravin bar Rav Ada Amar
Rebbi Yitzchak, quoting Rebbi Chiya, ruled - that as long as the vine-arbor
stood, the owner was obligated to provide him with another peach-tree to