ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Bava Metzia 117
BAVA METZIA 116-117 - anonymously dedicated by an Ohev Torah and Marbitz
Torah in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel.
(a) Rebbi Aba bar Mamal asks whether, in our Mishnah, when Reuven moves
downstairs, Shimon is obligated to move out, because to begin with, he
rented Shimon a single apartment, or whether he may remain there. The reason
for the second side of the She'eilah is - because it is obvious that he did
not rent out an apartment for him to have to be forced out of his own house.
(b) Assuming that we rule like the second side of the previous She'eilah -
he then asks whether Reuven is permitted to enter through the front door, or
whether he is obligated to enter via the roofs and then to descend into the
(c) Reuven might be permitted to use the front door, despite the fact that
initially, he entered the attic via the rooftops - because initially, he
only needed to climb up the ladder to get to his attic, whereas now, he has
to ascend via the ladder and descend again via the house.
(d) Assuming that the second side of the previous She'eilah is indeed
Halachah, we then ask - whether, if Reuven rented the middle floor of a
three-storey building and his apartment becomes uninhabitable, he is
obligated to accept the top floor as alternative accommodation (seeing as he
accepted an upper floor apartment), or whether he can opt to move
downstairs, since he only accepted a first-floor apartment, and not one on
the second-floor (see also Tosfos DH 'Ifchis'). The outcome of this
She'eilah is 'Teiku'.
(a) Rebbi Yossi obligates the owner to repair the floor of the attic.
According to Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Chanina, this constitutes poles and
rush-mats. S'tini Amar Resh Lakish says - boards.
(b) They do not in fact, argue - each one prescribes what was customarily
used in his town.
(a) When the cement of the floor of Reuven's attic cracked, it created the
problem - that whenever he washed himself, the water would seep through his
floor into Shimon's apartment, causing damage.
(b) According to Rebbi Chiya bar Aba, the onus to repair the floor lay on
Reuven; Rebbi Ila'i in the name of Rebbi Chiya bar Yosef maintained that if
Shimon wanted to avoid the damage, then he would have effect the repairs
(c) We cite the Pasuk "ve'Yosef *Hurad* Mitzrayim" - to help us remember
that the latter, whose name contained "Yosef" was the one who placed the
onus on Shimon, who lived *below*, to effect the repairs.
(a) We already discussed the Mishnah in Bava Basra. The Tana Kama there
rules that if Reuven's tree is growing within twenty-five Amos of Shimon's
pit (fifty Amos if it a carob or a Shikmah tree), then assuming that ...
1. ... the pit was there first - Reuven is obligated to chop down his tree,
though Reuven will have to compensate him for his loss.
(b) The Tana does not make an allowance for a tree that is much lower down
on the slope of a mountain than the pit - because the roots will still
weaken the soil underneath the pit and cause the walls to cave in.
2. ... tree was there first - the tree may remain standing.
3. ... it is a Safek - the tree may remain standing, too.
(c) Rebbi Yossi - places the onus of moving upon the Nizak, in which case
Reuven is never obligated to chop down his tree.
(a) Rebbi Yossi and the Tana Kama in our Mishnah cannot possibly be
following their reasoning there - because then they would in fact, be
reversing their respective opinions (since in our Mishnah, the Tana Kama
places the onus of repairing the roof on the person living below (*the
Nizak*, if the basis of their Machlokes is the same as that in Bava Basra),
whereas in Bava Basra, he obligates *the Mazik* to move (and Rebbi Yossi,
(b) The basic difference between the case in our Mishnah and the case in
Bava Basra (based on the fact that whereas the latter is speaking about two
owners, our Mishnah is speaking about a Socher and a Maskir) is - the fact
that whereas there, the Socher is claiming his rights, there, the Nizak is
(c) The basis of the Machlokes Rebbi Yossi and the Tana Kama in our Mishnah
is - whether cementing the roof is considered reinforcing the ceiling of the
man who lives below (the Rabbanan), or straightening the floor of the
person living above (Rebbi Yossi).
(d) And we establish the Machlokes between Rebbi Chiya bar Aba and Rebbi
Chiya bar Yosef - like that of Rebbi Yossi and the Rabanan in Bava Basra
(Rebbi Chiya bar Aba holds like the Rabbanan ('al ha'Mazik Le'harchik'), and
Rebbi Chiya bar Yosef, like Rebbi Yossi ('al ha'Mazik La'harchik').
(a) We ask on the above comparison of the Machlokes Amora'im (in the case of
the water) to the Machlokes Tana'im however, from Rav Ashi, who quoted Rav
Kahana as saying - that even Rebbi Yossi concedes that when it is 'Giyri
Dileih' (meaning that as long as the Mazik or his 'arrows' are damaging the
Nizak directly), then the onus of moving lies with him.
(b) We initially consider our case to be one of 'Giyri Dileih' - because
the water falling on to Shimon below is like his arrows.
(c) We answer however - by establishing the case when the area where Reuven
washed was not directly above the spot where the water fell on to Shimon,
but that it first flowed to another point from where it fell on to Shimon
(and that is not 'Giyri Dileih', but 'G'rama').
(a) In a case where Reuven and Shimon share a house, and where Reuven lives
in the attic and Shimon downstairs, if the house caves in and Shimon refuses
to rebuild his floor - the Tana Kama permits Reuven to build the ground
floor and to live there without paying rent, until such time as Shimon
(b) Rebbi Yehudah objects to the Tana Kama's ruling - on the grounds that
since Reuven benefits by living in Shimon's house without rent, even though
Shimon (who did not intend to build anyway) loses nothing, he is obligated
to pay rent ('Zeh Neheneh ve'Zeh Lo Chaser, Chayav'). Consequently, should
he fail to pay, it looks like Ribis on the money that Shimon owes him.
(c) According to Rebbi Yehudah, Reuven will therefore have to build the
attic too, before moving into the downstairs apartment. Then there will be
no problem with Ribis, seeing as the attic is available to him, and he gains
nothing by taking up his quarters downstairs.
(a) According to Rebbi Yochanan, our Mishnah is one of three places where
Rebbi Yehudah forbids Reuven to benefit from Shimon's property without his
consent. The first case is - that of our Mishnah ('Zeh Neheneh, ve'Zeh Lo
Chaser, Chayav'), as we just explained.
(b) If Reuven gave Shimon wool to dye red and he dyed it black or
vice-versa, Rebbi Meir, in the Mishnah in Bava Kama, rules 'Nosen Lo D'mei
Tzimro' - because he holds 'Shinuy Koneh' (he acquired the object and became
obligated to pay for it).
(c) According to Rebbi Yehudah, the owner pays the dyer the least of the
Sh'vach and the expenses (and is not allowed to obtain the full benefit from
the owner's wool without his authority).
(d) The third case is a Mishnah in Bava Basra, where Reuven, after receiving
half his debt from Shimon, hands the Sh'tar to a third person, whom Shimon
instructs, that in the event that he fails to pay the balance by a certain
time, he should return the Sh'tar to Reuven. Rebbi Yossi rules there
'Yiten'. Rebbi Yehudah rules - 'Lo Yiten' (preventing the creditor from
benefiting from the debtor's property without his express consent).
(a) However, we query Rebbi Yochanan's reasoning in all three cases. Rebbi
Yehudah's stringent ruling in the case of ...
1. ... our Mishnah might be - because Reuven can counter that Shimon cannot
expect him to pay for the new building whilst he (Shimon) benefits from it,
seeing as by the time he moves out, the walls will have become black from
the smoke, in which case it is a matter of 'Zeh Neheneh ve'Zeh Chaser'.
(b) According to this, if Reuven took up residence in Shimon's Chatzer
(assuming that Shimon had no intention of renting it out) - Rebbi Yehudah
would agree that he would not be obligated to pay Shimon rent, because he
too holds 'Zeh Neheneh ve'Zeh Lo Chaser, Patur'.
2. ... the Mishnah in Bava Kama - because Chazal fined the dyer for changing
from the original conditions.
3. ... the Mishnah in Bava Basra - because 'Asmachta Lo Kanya'.
(c) When we established Rebbi Yehudah's reason in Bava Basra as Asmachta, on
the grounds 'that we have heard him say that' - we were not in fact relying
on any other source, but that it was more logical to explain his reason
there that way (than Rebbi Yochanan's originally supposition that it is
because 'Asur le'Adam she'Yeheneh mi'Mamon Chavero').
(a) When he comes to rebuild the ground-floor apartment of the house that
collapsed, Rav Acha bar Ada quoting Ula, permits the owner to switch from
1. ... G'vil to Gazis, but not vice-versa - because Gazis, which comprises
bricks whose edges have not been smoothed, are six Tefachim thick, one
Tefach more than G'vil.
(b) By the same token, he permits him to switch from Shikmim to cedars
(because they are stronger) when building the partition between his
apartment and that of the first-floor owner's. He also ...
2. ... Leveinim to Kefisin, but not vice-versa - because Kefisin, which
comprise two half-bricks of one and a half Tefachim thick, plus a Tefach of
grit in between (expanding the wall from the three Tefachim thickness of
regular bricks to four).
1. ... forbids adding windows, as this weakens the building, but permits
(c) If both owners are poor and cannot afford to build, and the owner of the
ground floor wants to sell the ground, Rebbi Nasan grants him two-thirds of
the ground, and the owner of the attic, one third. Acherim (Rebbi Meir) -
grants the former three-quarters and the latter, a quarter.
2. ... forbids raising the height of his apartment for the same reason, but
permits lowering it.
(d) Rabah rules like Rebbi Nasan, because he was a Dayan who gets to the
bottom of the Halachah. The reasoning behind Rebbi Nasan's ruling is - that
the first floor of the building shortens the life of the building by a
(a) In a case of an oil-press in a cave belonging to Reuven above which was
a vegetable garden belonging to Shimon, if the ceiling of the cave caved in
and Reuven refused to rebuild it - our Mishnah permits Shimon to plant his
vegetables in the area of Reuven's oil-press until Reuven has compensated
In a case where ...
(b) If a wall or a tree falls into the street causing damage, the owner is
generally Patur. He will liable - if he exceeds the time-limit that Beis-Din
issued him to chop or knock it down.
(c) In a case where Reuven's wall fell onto Shimon's vegetable-garden, and
in response to Shimon's request to remove his stones, he replied that Shimon
should keep them - Shimon is entitled to refuse.
(d) And if after Shimon accepts Reuven's offer, the latter then offers to
pay the former for his expenses and wants his stones back - Shimon is
entitled to refuse, too.
1. ... Reuven instructs Shimon his laborer to take the haystack that he
built as his wages - Shimon has right to insist that he gets paid in cash.
2. ... after Shimon has accepted Reuven's offer, Reuven offers him his wages
instead - he is entitled to refuse.