POINT BY POINT SUMMARY
Prepared by Rabbi P. Feldman
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
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Previous daf Bava Basra 19
BAVA BASRA 19 (26 Nisan) - has been dedicated by Mr. Avi Berger
(Queens, N.Y.) in memory of his mother, Leah bas Michel
Mordechai in honor of her Yahrzeit.
1) MUST THE DAMAGER DISTANCE HIMSELF?
(a) (Mishnah): A laundry ditch ...
2) DAMAGE DUE TO HEAT
(b) Version #1 (Rav Nachman): Three Tefachim only suffices
for the ditch in which the laundry is soaked; the ditch
in which one rubs the clothes must be distanced four
1. Support (Beraisa): A laundry ditch must be distanced
(c) Version #2 - Contradiction: The Mishnah says, a laundry
ditch must be distanced three Tefachim;
2. Question: But the Mishnah says, three Tefachim!
3. Answer: The Mishnah and Beraisa speak of different
types of laundry ditches, as Rav Nachman.
1. (Beraisa): A laundry ditch must be distanced four
(d) Answer (Rav Nachman): Three Tefachim suffices for the
ditch in which the laundry is soaked; the ditch in which
one rubs the clothes must be distanced four Amos. (End of
(e) (R. Chiya, son of Rav Avya): The text of the Mishnah
explicitly says, he must distance the edge of the soaking
ditch three Tefachim from the wall.
(f) (Mishnah): And he plasters the wall of the pit.
(g) Question: Is the correct text 'And he plasters', or 'Or
(h) Answer #1: Clearly, it must be And - otherwise, the
clauses of the Mishnah would have been taught together!
(i) Rejection: No, we can say, the Tana teaches separately
damage from water and damage from heat.
(j) Answer #2 (Beraisa - R. Yehudah): Land in which the dirt
is brittle - each neighbor may dig (a pit) in his own
property, but must distance himself three Tefachim and
1. We infer - only because the dirt is brittle must he
distance and plaster!
(k) Rejection: No - even if the dirt is not brittle, he must
distance and plaster.
1. The Beraisa taught the case of brittle dirt, for one
might have thought that more than three Tefachim are
required - we hear, this is not so.
(a) (Mishnah): One must distance the refuse of olives,
manure, salt, lime, and rocks ...
3) DAMAGE DUE TO VEGETATION
(b) (Mishnah): We may not store food (to keep it warm on
Shabbos) in refuse of olives, manure, salt, lime, or
sand, whether they are wet or dry.
(c) Question: Why does our Mishnah teach about rocks and not
sand, and the other Mishnah teaches about sand, not
(d) Answer #1 (Rav Yosef): The Mishnah of storing does not
teach about rocks, for people do not normally store food
1. Objection (Abaye): It is not the way to store in
tufts of wool, or strips of purple wool, but a
Beraisa teaches these!
(e) Answer #2 (Abaye): The two Mishnayos reveal about each
i. (Beraisa): We may store in tufts of wool, or
pieces of combed wool, or in strips of purple
wool, and in soft wads, but we may not move
them (on Shabbos).
1. Our Mishnah teaches about rocks - the same law
applies to sand;
(f) Answer #3 (Rava): That Mishnah does not teach about rocks
for they would make the pots rust or break (so they are
never used for storing).
2. That Mishnah teaches about sand - the same law
applies to rocks.
3. Objection (Rava): If so, why were the other things
listed in both Mishnayos - each should only have
been taught in one, and we would know that it
applies to the other, also!
1. Sand is not taught in our Mishnah, for it only heats
what is hot, and cools what is cold (hence, it does
not harm walls, which are cold).
(g) Objection: But R. Oshiya taught that sand must be
distanced from a wall!
(h) Answer: That refers to wet sand.
(i) Question: Our Tana should teach the case of wet sand!
(j) Answer: He already taught the case of an irrigation
channel (which damages as wet sand).
(k) Question: But he taught both an irrigation channel and a
(l) Answer: It was necessary to teach both of those.
1. If only an irrigation channel was taught, one might
have thought that this is because it is constantly
used, but a laundry ditch need not be distanced!
2. If only a laundry ditch was taught, one might have
thought that this is because its water is stagnant
(and damages more), but an irrigation channel need
not be distanced!
(a) (Mishnah): He cannot plant seeds or plow (unless he
(b) Question: Since the Mishnah says, he must distance his
plowing - why must it also teach, he must distance his
(c) Answer: It is possible to sow seeds by hand, without
(d) Question: Since the Mishnah says, he must distance his
plants - why must it also teach, he must distance his
plowing (things only grow where he seeds!)?
(e) Answer: He may want to plow to improve his trees (which
were properly planted long ago).
(f) Question: Why must the Mishnah teach, he must distance
his plants - we know, he cannot bring water close to the
(g) Answer: The Tana is in Eretz Yisrael, where the rain
suffices for the plants.
(h) Suggestion: He must distance plants because roots do not
grow straight down, rather to the sides.
4) BARRIERS THAT SHIELD FROM TUM'AH
1. Objection (Mishnah): One who plants the top of a
growing vine into the ground - if it is less than
three Tefachim deep, he may not plants seeds on top
of it (because the area is considered a vineyard);
(i) Answer: (Really, the roots grow straight down); plants
must be distanced because they cause the surrounding dirt
i. (Beraisa): He may plant seeds to the sides.
(j) (Mishnah): He must distance urine three Tefachim from his
neighbor's wall ...
(k) (Rabah Bar Bar Chanah): One may urinate by his neighbor's
wall - "I will cut off from (the seed of Achav) one that
urinates at the wall ..."
(l) Question: But our Mishnah teaches, he may not urinate
within three Tefachim of his neighbor's wall!
(m) Answer: No - the Mishnah prohibits pouring out urine near
(n) (Beraisa): One may not urinate within three Tefachim of
his neighbor's wall - this applies to a brick wall;
1. Regarding a stone wall, it suffices to distance one
Tefach, for this will not harm the wall;
(o) Rabah Bar Bar Chanah is refuted.
2. If the stone wall is built on a rock, one need not
distance himself at all.
(p) Question: But he brought a verse as support!
(q) Answer: The prophecy was that there will not remain to
Achav's house even what normally urinates at the wall,
namely, a dog.
(a) (We know that Tum'ah passes from one room to another if
the wall between them has an opening of a square Tefach.)
(b) (Shmuel): When measuring the size of the opening, if
there is a thin wafer in the hole there, the space it
occupies is considered part of the opening.
(c) Question: Even a thick loaf does not diminish the gap!
(d) Answer: He teaches a bigger Chidush.
1. A loaf does not diminish, since he may want to eat
it, he does not abandon it to be considered part of
(e) Question: We already know that it cannot shield from
Tum'ah, since it itself can become Tamei!
2. One might have thought, a wafer (which gets ruined
quickly, so he plans on leaving it there) is
considered part of the wall and diminishes the gap -
we hear, this is not so.
(f) Answer: The wafer was kneaded with fruit juice (water
never came upon the flour, so the cake cannot become
(g) Question (Mishnah): A box full of straw or a jug full of
dried figs that are in a window - if the straw or figs
could stand there even if the box or jug was removed, the
straw or figs block Tum'ah from passing through the
opening; if they cannot stand by themselves, they do not
1. Even though straw is fit for an animal, we see that
it blocks Tum'ah!
(h) Answer: The case is, the straw is spoiled.
1. Question: Still, it is fit for making mud!
(i) Question: Even though dried figs are fit to eat, we see
that they block Tum'ah!
2. Answer: The case is, there are thorns in it (so it
is not fitting).
3. Question: It is fitting to burn!
4. Answer: No, the case is, it is wet.
5. Question: It is fitting to burn in a big fire!
6. Answer: Big fires are uncommon.
(j) Answer (Shmuel and Rabah Bar Avuha): The case is, they