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Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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Bava Basra 20

BAVA BASRA 20-25 - sponsored by Harav Ari Bergmann of Lawrence, N.Y., out of love for the Torah and for those who study it.


(a) Question: How is the barrel positioned?
1. Suggestion: If the opening faces out (away from the Tum'ah) - the barrel itself blocks Tum'ah!
i. Earthenware vessels only acquire Tum'ah from their interiors!
(b) Answer #1: Rather, the opening faces the Tum'ah.
(c) Answer #2: Really, we can even say that it faces out; the case is, the barrel is made of metal.
(d) Question (Beraisa): The following block Tum'ah: grass that was detached and placed in a window, or itself grew there; rags smaller than three fingers by three fingers; a dangling limb or flesh of an animal; a bird that rested there; a Nochri that sat there, an eighth-month (i.e. stillborn) baby; salt; earthenware vessels; or a Sefer Torah;
1. The following do not block Tum'ah: Snow, hail, ice, frost, and water.
2. Summation of question: Grass is fit for an animal, and it blocks Tum'ah!
(e) Answer: The grass referred to is poisonous.
(f) Question: The grass blocks, even if it grew by itself - but it is going to be cut, since it damages the wall!
(g) Answer #1 (Rabah): The Beraisa speaks of the wall of a ruin (so the grass is not going to be cut).
(h) Answer #2 (Rav Papa): It can even be a wall of an inhabited building - the grass is three Tefachim away (and does not harm the wall), the top bends into the window.
(i) Question: Why do rags block - they are fitting to patch torn clothing!
(j) Answer: The material is too thick to be used for a patch.
1. Question: They are fitting for a bloodletter (to clean the wound)!
2. Answer: They are of sackcloth, which would scratch the skin.
3. Objection: If so, why did the Beraisa say, they are not three fingers by three fingers - sackcloth is not Tamei unless it is four Tefachim by four Tefachim!
4. Answer: It is not really sackcloth, just scratchy as sackcloth.
(k) Question: A dangling limb or flesh of an animal - the animal may go away!
(l) Answer: The case is, it is tied down.
1. Question: Someone may come and slaughter it!
2. Answer: It is a non-Kosher animal.
3. Question: The owner might sell it to a Nochri!
4. Answer: It is a weak animal.
5. Question: He may cut it up to feed it to dogs!
6. Answer: That would cause needless pain to a living animal - he would not do this.
(m) Question: A bird that rested there - it may fly away!
(n) Answer: The case is, it is tied down.
1. Question: Someone may come and slaughter it!
2. Answer: It is a non-Kosher bird.
3. Question: The owner might sell it to a Nochri!
4. Answer: It is a Kalanisa (a very weak bird).
5. Question: He may give it to a child to play with!
6. Answer: He would not, for it scratches.
7. Objection A Kalanisa does not scratch!
8. Answer: It is a different species; it is weak, as a Kalanisa.
(o) Question: A Nochri that sat in the window - he will walk away!
(p) Answer: He is tied down.
1. Question: A friend will untie him!
2. Answer #1: He is a leper.
3. Objection: Another leper will untie him!
4. Answer #2: Rather, he is a prisoner of the king.
(a) Question: An eighth-month baby - his mother will take him!
(b) Answer: The baby blocks Tum'ah on Shabbos.
1. (Beraisa): An eighth-month baby is as a stone; he may not be moved on Shabbos. However, his mother may bend over to nurse him, because of the danger.
(c) Question: Salt is fitting to use!
(d) Answer: It is bitter salt.
1. Question: It is fitting for tanning!
2. Answer: There are thorns in it.
3. Question: If so, it harms the wall - he will remove it!
4. Answer: It is resting on earthenware (and does not harm the wall).
5. Question: The earthenware itself should block Tum'ah!

6. Answer: It is too small to block the Tum'ah.
i. (Mishnah): One is liable for carrying earthenware in a public domain on Shabbos if it is big enough to put between bars in a window. (Rashi - anything smaller than this has no importance, it does not block Tum'ah; Tosfos - since it has no use, he will not take it, so the salt blocks the Tum'ah).
(e) Question: An earthenware vessel is fitting to use!
(f) Answer: It is dirty.
1. Question: It is fitting for a bloodletter!
2. It has a hole in it.
(g) Question: A Sefer Torah is fitting to read from!
(h) Answer: The case is, it is worn out.
1. Question: It must be buried!
2. Answer: It will be permanently left in the window.
(i) (Rav): We may make a divider from anything except salt (lest it scatter) and fat (lest it melt).
(j) (Shmuel): Even salt may be used.
(k) Resolution #1: (Rav Papa): They don't argue - Sedomis salt may be used, it is hard and does not scatter; (regular) salt may not be used.
(l) Resolution #2: Both can speak of (regular) salt, according to Rabah.
1. (Rabah): A person may place the Korah (a beam to permit carrying in an alleyway) on two piles of salt (the weight stops the salt from scattering).
2. Rav speaks when there is no beam, Shmuel speaks when there is a beam.
(a) (Mishnah): A millstone - the lower stone must be distanced three Tefachim, the upper stone will be four Tefachim away.
(b) Question: What is the reason?
(c) Answer #1: It makes the ground shake.
(d) Objection (Beraisa): A millstone driven by a donkey - the lower stone must be distanced three Tefachim, the upper stone four Tefachim.
1. A millstone driven by a donkey does not make the ground shake!
(e) Answer #2: Rather, on account of the noise.
(f) (Mishnah): An oven - the bottom must be distanced three Tefachim, the top will be four Tefachim away.
(g) Inference (Abaye): We infer that the bottom of an oven should extend a Tefach past the top (in each direction).
1. This is relevant to commerce (if one sold an oven not like this, it is a mistaken sale).
(a) (Mishnah): A person may not set up an oven in his house unless there are 4 Amos above it; one may not set up an oven in an upper story unless there are 3 Tefachim of plaster below it;
1. For a Kirah (an oven that does not get as hot), one Tefach suffices.
(b) If the oven caused damage, he must pay for it;
(c) R. Shimon says, if he kept the proper distance, he is exempt.
(d) (Gemara) Question (Beraisa): A Tanur must have four Tefachim of plaster underneath, a Kirah three Tefachim.
(e) Answer (Abaye): The Beraisa speaks of baker's ovens - a baker's Kirah is as hot as a standard Tanur.
(f) (Mishnah): One may not open a store...
(g) (Beraisa): If the pen preceded the storehouse, it is permitted.
(h) Questions (Abaye): If someone cleaned his roof (in order to store food there), but did not yet put food there, is this already considered a storehouse?
1. What if he opened new windows in his Aliyah (in order to store food there)? What if he built an Aliyah (to be a storehouse)?
(i) These questions are not resolved.
(j) Question (Rav Huna brei d'Rav Yehoshua): If he put in dates and pomegranates, is this considered a storehouse (or only if he puts in grain, wine or oil)?
(k) This question is not resolved.
(l) (Mishnah): In truth, they permitted regarding wine...
(m) (Beraisa): They permitted (a baker's or dyer's store under) wine, because the smoke improves the wine, but not a pen, for the stench spoils the wine.
(n) (Rav Yosef): Even smoke of a candle harms wine of Bavel.
(o) (Rav Sheshes): (The heat and stench of) fodder harms wine just like a pen.
(a) (Mishnah): If Reuven set up a store in a Chatzer, others can stop him because the noise disturbs their sleep;
1. Rather, Reuven can make vessels in the Chatzer and sell them in the market.
2. If their sleep is disturbed by the noise of his hammer, grinder or children (coming to the store) they cannot complain.
(b) Question: What is the difference between the clauses?
(c) Answer #1 (Abaye): The end of the Mishnah says that people of another Chatzer cannot complain about the noise.
(d) Objection: (Rava): If so, it should say so explicitly!
(e) Answer #2 (Rava): The end of the Mishnah speaks of one who teaches children Torah, after the enactment of Yehoshua ben Gamla.
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