ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Bava Metzia 118
(a) In the case in our Mishnah (where the Tana permits the owner of the
vegetable-garden to plant in the area of the oil-press, if the floor of his
garden caved in), Rav confines 'caved in' to the majority of the ceiling.
According to Shmuel, the Tana speaks - even if only four Amos caved in.
(b) The basis of their Machlokes is - whether we can expect a person to
plant half his vegetables above and half, below (Rav) or not (Shmuel).
(c) Despite having argued over the same point with regard to ...
1. ... the ceiling of a two-story apartment that collapsed, they
nevertheless find it necessary to repeat the Machlokes here - because we
might otherwise have thought that here, where we are not talking about
habitation, but about sowing a plot of earth, Shmuel will concede that
people will not mind sowing half their garden above and half below.
2. ... here, they need to repeat the Machlokes in the case of a two-story
apartment that collapsed - because we might otherwise have thought that
there, where we are talking about habitation, and not just about sowing a
plot of earth, Rav will concede that people will not agree to live on two
(a) We learned in our Mishnah that 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. We extrapolate from the fact that
the Tana refers specifically to such a case - that Shimon must have already
cleared the bricks away, but had he not done so, then Reuven would indeed be
entitled to retract.
(b) This appears to clash with a statement by Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Chanina,
who said that a person's field acquires for him - even without his
knowledge. In that case, why does Shimon not acquire the bricks anyway?
(c) We reconcile Rebbi Yossi with our Mishnah - by differentiating between
where it is without his knowledge (Rebbi Yossi) and against his wishes (our
Mishnah), where he actually objects.
(a) Our Mishnah presents two cases where Reuven cannot force Shimon to
accept the goods that he offers, and that, once Shimon has accepted them,
Reuven cannot retract. Having taught us these two Chidushim in the case of
1. ... the wall that fell into Shimon's vegetable-garden, the Tana
nevertheless needs to repeat them by the case of the laborer and the
haystack - where he owes him money, and we might have thought that he can
force him to accept goods (like a debtor).
(b) We learned in a Beraisa that an employer can force his employee to
accept goods as payment, seemingly clashing with our Mishnah. We cannot
establish the Beraisa when the employer employed someone to work for him,
but then took him to someone else's field, Rav Nachman explained to Rava,
because of another Beraisa, where the Tana rules - that in such a case, the
employer is obligated to pay (so why should he then not be obligated to pay
2. ... the laborer and the haystack, he needs to repeat them by the case of
the wall that fell into Shimon's vegetable-garden - where we might have
thought that, since Reuven does not owe Shimon anything, he can change his
mind and switch the bricks for money, even after Shimon accepted his offer.
(c) We therefore establish it by Hefker instead, and the reason that he can
force him to accept the goods as payment is - because he (the employer never
acquired the goods, in which case he has nothing to pay for (and he can say
to the employee 'You acquire them and take them as your wages!').
(d) The principle 'ha'Magbi'a Metzi'ah la'Chavero, Kanah Chavero' will not
apply here - because Rav Nachman (the author of this Sugya) holds in the
first Perek 'ha'Magbi'a Metzi'ah la'Chavero, Lo Kanah Chavero'.
(a) Rava then queries Rav Nachman from another Beraisa, where the Tana makes
a distinction between an employer who says 'Weed or dig with me today' - in
which case whatever the laborer finds is his, and 'Work with me today' -
where it belongs to his employer (and that would certainly be the case here
where the employer hired the laborer to pick up lost objects. So we see that
the case in point is not a question of 'ha'Magbi'a Metzi'ah la'Chavero', but
'Yad Po'el ke'Yad Ba'al ha'Bayis' (in which case, the employer acquires the
object even against his will).
(b) So Rav Nachman finally establishes both the Mishnah and the Beraisa by
Hefker. And the Beraisa, which authorizes the employer to force the employee
to take what he made as wages, must be speaking - when the employer hired
the laborer, not to pick up the objects that he finds, but to guard them, or
to push them down from the attic to the ground floor without picking them
up. Based on the principle 'Habatah be'Hefker Lo Kani' (one acquires Hefker
by merely looking at it [with the intention of acquiring it]), the employer
will not acquire the objects with which the laborer worked. Consequently, he
can instruct the laborer to acquire it as payment for his work
(a) We learned in a Mishnah in Shekalim 'Shomrei S'fichei Shevi'is Notlin
S'charan mi'Terumas ha'Lishkah'. The Shomrei S'fichei Shevi'is are guarding
(in order to preserve) - either barley for the Minchas ha'Omer (to be
brought on Pesach) or wheat for the Sh'tei ha'Lechem (to be brought on
(b) Rebbi Yossi holds that Beis-Din ask for volunteers to guard them, and
whoever accepts the task is no more than a Shomer Chinam.
(c) The Chachamim counter - that according to Rebbi Yossi, the Omer and the
Sh'tei ha'Lechem (which come out of public funds, will in this case be a
private donation (from the guard who acquired it).
(d) Rav Nachman s the basis of their Machlokes on whether 'Habatah be'Hefker
Kani' (the Rabbanan) or not (Rebbi Yossi).
(a) Rava disagrees with Rav Nachman. In the first Lashon, he maintains,
everyone holds 'Habatah be'Hefker Kani'. The basis of their Machlokes
according to him is - whether the Shomer needs to be induced (by means of
remunerating him) to hand the produce over to the Tzibur with a full heart
(the Rabbanan), or not (Rebbi Yossi). And when the Rabbanan said 'Atah Omer
Kein! li'Devarecha Ein Ba'in mi'Shel Tzibur', they meant that the difference
between their respective opinions was whether the Omer and the Sh'tei
ha'Lechem will come from the Tzibur or not (as we just explained).
(b) The second Lashon of Rava differs from the first, inasmuch as there he
maintains - that everyone agrees 'Habatah be'Hefker Lo Kani'.
(c) And the basis of their Machlokes is - whether it is necessary to pay the
Shomer from the Terumas ha'Lishkah, to dissuade tough guys (who otherwise
unaware that the produce in question is for Hekdesh), will steal it (the
Rabbanan) or not (Rebbi Yossi).
(d) And when the Rabbanan now mean when they say 'Atah Omer Kein!
li'Devarecha Ein Ba'in mi'Shel Tzibur' - they meant that if they would allow
him to be a Shomer Chinam like Rebbi Yossi (which would constitute his
foregoing the four Zuzim designated for him by Hekdesh), he might not hand
the money to Hekdesh wholeheartedly. Consequently, the Korbenos Tzibur
purchased with that money will not have come from public funds (see D'var
(e) We have good reason to rule like the second Lashon - because when Ravin
came from Eretz Yisrael, he taught that this was how Rebbi Yochanan
explained the Mishnah in Shekalim, too.
(a) When the Tana of our Mishnah says (with regard to someone who is
clearing manure out into the street) 'ha'Motzi Motzi, ve'ha'Mezabel
Mezabel', he means - that a person may place his manure on the street
provided someone takes it away for fertilizing immediately.
(b) Despite the fact that he permits mixing cement in the street, he forbids
1. ... soaking cement there - because it is a long process (and Yehoshua
only permitted using the street in this for short periods).
(c) A builder may place his bricks in the street on condition - that the
builder takes them away for building immediately.
2. ... manufacturing bricks - because, after the bricks have been completed,
the drying process takes a long time.
(d) Even if he does however, he will be liable, should his bricks cause
damage - Raban Shimon ben Gamliel gives him thirty days grace to prepare his
work in the street before holding him responsible for damages.
(a) Even if he does however, he will be liable, should his bricks cause
damage, who says - that during the fertilizing season, one is permitted to
place one's manure in the street, because it was on that condition that
Yehoshua divided the land.
(b) Initially, we try to reconcile Rebbi Yehudah with our Mishnah - by
adding the clause 've'Im Hizik, Chayav Le'shalem' to his statement.
(c) We then attempt to interpret the Mishnah in Bava Kama 'Rebbi Yehudah
Poter be'Ner Chanukah she'Hu Asah *bi'Reshus*' to mean - 'bi'Reshus
Mitzvah', to conform with our previous statement.
(d) We are forced to retract however, when we discover a Beraisa, where the
Rabbanan obligate even those who are permitted to temporarily spoil the
Reshus ha'Rabim, to pay - and Rebbi Yehudah exempts them.
(a) W have now quoted two Tana'im who hold 'Kol Makom she'Nasnu Chachamim
Reshus, ve'Hizik, Patur' - Rebbi Yehudah (in the Mishnah in Bava Kama) and
Raban Shimon ben Gamliel in the Seifa of our Mishnah.
(b) Abaye adds Rebbi Shimon to the above list. The Tana Kama in the Mishnah
in Bava Basra rules that if Reuven who lives in the attic, wants to fix an
oven in his apartment (assuming that Shimon lives on the ground floor), the
minimum thickness of cement that he may use to fix it to the floor, in the
case of a ...
1. ... Tanur is - three Tefachim.
(c) Rebbi Shimon and the Rabbanan argue there - whether, in the event that,
in spite of having conformed with the Chachamim's requirements, the oven
caused damage, he is liable to pay (the Rabbanan) or not (Rebbi Shimon).
2. ... a Kirah (a slightly cooler version of a Tanur) is - one Tefach.
(a) If someone mines a stone and hands it to the stone-cutter, or if the
latter hands it to the ass-driver ... to the porter ... to the builder ...
to the foreman, should the stone cause damage or itself fall and become
damaged - the Beraisa considers the last one (who is holding the stone at
the time) liable, because it is Kocho (which is considered Adam ha'Mazik).
(b) If however, after the foreman put the stone in place on the building, it
fell off and caused damage - they are all liable, because they are all
(c) The foreman alone is not liable - because the stone's falling was not
the direct result of his actions, in which case, he is no worse than the
other partners, all of whom accepted equal responsibility (see also Me'iri).
(d) To reconcile this Beraisa with another Beraisa, which obligates
specifically the foreman in the latter case - we establish the first Beraisa
by a team of contractors, and the second Beraisa by day laborers, who are
not responsible for each other.
(a) Rebbi Meir rules that vegetables growing on the wall that divides
between Reuven's upper garden and Shimon's lower one belong to Reuven -
because if he were to remove his earth (which forms the wall), the
vegetables would cease to grow.
(b) According to Rebbi Yehudah, they belong to Shimon - because by the same
token, if Shimon were to fill in his air with earth, they would not grow
(c) Rebbi Meir counters Rebbi Yehudah's argument - by pointing out that the
vegetables feed and grow from Reuven's land, and ought therefore to belong
(d) Rebbi Shimon draws a distinction between vegetables that grow within
Reuven's reach and those that grow lower down. Basically - he holds like
Rebbi Meir. Only he concedes that, whatever Reuven cannot reach, he tends to
be Mochel, since it is embarrassing to have to obtain express permission to
get to his vegetables, every time he wants a few cabbages.
(a) Rava qualifies our Mishnah - by confining the Machlokes to the branches
(or whatever part of the vegetable) protrudes into the Shimon's airspace. As
for the roots, Rebbi Yehudah concedes that they belong to Reuven.
(b) The basis of their Machlokes is - whether the branches go after the
roots (Rebbi Meir) or not (Rebbi Shimon).
(a) The Tana of the Beraisa cites the same Machlokes - with regard to Reuven
who buys a tree in Shimon's field, as to who owns the shoots that grow from
(b) The ground on which the tree stands does not automatically belong to
Reuven - because we have a ruling that it is only someone who purchases at
least three trees, who automatically purchases the land on which they stand.
(c) Rebbi Meir (who holds that whatever grows from the branches belongs to
the owner of the field) concede that Shimon is nevertheless forbidden to cut
off the branches that spread over his field, even though the shade is bad
for his field - because when someone purchases a tree, he purchases it on
the understanding that he benefits from the fruit that grows directly from
(d) New branches that grow are subject to Orlah - up to a height of three
Tefachim from the foot of the tree.