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 89
BAVA BASRA 89 - dedicated on the occasion of the Shloshim of Reb Dovid Tuvia
ben Harav Yechiel Mechel Halevi (David Kramer), by the Lomdei Daf Ha'Yomi in
White Oak, Maryland (Jack Delman, Howie Feldman, Yitz Gedalowitz, Shlomo
Katz, Jay Levine, Rabbi Sanders, Kenneth Schor, Raanan Shames, and Sheldon
Meth). David was a founding member of the White Oak Daf Ha'Yomi, a frequent
Magid Shiur, and an integral part of its continuation for over 10 years.
David was also a pillar of the White Oak community for over 25 years. May
his memory serve as a blessing for all of Klal Yisrael!
1) HOW WE CONDUCT WITH MEASURES
(a) (Mishnah): In a place where they normally measure in big
2) LAWS OF SCALES
(b) (Beraisa): In a place where people sell even measures, he
should not give a heaping measure, or vice-versa - "Eifah
Shelemah" (the measure should be full);
(c) If one says (in a place where people give a heaping
measure) 'I will give an even measure and deduct from the
price', or (in a place where they sell evenly) 'I will
take a heaping measure and pay more, we do not allow this
- "Eifah Shelemah va'Tzedek Yihyeh Lach" (this could lead
to swindling, if onlookers do not know that there was
compensation for the deviation from the custom).
(d) (Beraisa): In a place where they are Machri'a, one may
not weigh evenly, and vice-versa - "Eifah Shelemah";
1. If one says, I will deviate from the custom and
compensate for this, we do not allow this - "Eifah
Shelemah va'Tzedek Yihyeh Lach"
(e) (Beraisa): "Lo Yihyeh Lecha this teaches that we appoint
people to inspect and punish for false measures, but
(reasoning says,) not for prices (if someone charges too
much, people will buy from others).
(f) The Nasi's house appointed people to supervise measures
(g) Shmuel told Karna to teach them that we appoint for
measures, not for prices; Karna taught, we appoint for
measures and prices.
1. Shmuel cursed Karna, that a Keren (horn) should grow
between his eyes.
(h) Question: As whom did Karna hold?
(i) Answer: Like R. Yitzchak.
1. (R. Yitzchak): We appoint for measures and prices,
on account of swindlers.
(j) (Beraisa): If Reuven wanted to buy a liter, half or
quarter liter, we measure that amount for him.
(k) Question: What is the Chidush?
(l) Answer: We make measures of these sizes (but not others,
lest people use them to swindle, the buyer will not know
that he got a smaller amount).
(a) (Beraisa): If Reuven wanted to buy a three quarters of a
liter, we do not weigh for him a quarter liter three
times (for we are careful not to give less, and he
profits from the inaccuracies), rather, we put a quarter
liter weight with the meat and weigh it against a liter.
(b) (Beraisa): If Reuven wanted to buy 10 liters, we do not
weigh for him a liter 10 times (with a Hachra'ah each
time, like above), rather, we weigh it all at once, there
is only one Hachra'ah).
(c) (Beraisa): A (hanging) scale should be at least three
Tefachim below the ceiling and at least three above the
ground (so one can make a Hachra'ah of three Tefachim);
1. The crossbar and two ropes (from which the pans
hang) should be 12 Tefachim (four Tefachim each).
(d) Question: The first scale mentioned, what is it for?
2. A scale of people who sell wool or glass should be
at least two Tefachim from the ceiling and ground
(when weighing lighter things, less Hachra'ah is
needed), the crossbar and two ropes should be nine
Tefachim (three each).
3. A scale of a grocer or regular person should be at
least one Tefach from the ceiling and ground, the
crossbar and ropes should be six Tefachim (two
4. A scale of one who sells gold and silver should be
at least three fingers from the ceiling and ground,
I do not know the length of the crossbar and ropes.
(e) Answer (Rav Papa): For smiths of iron and copper.
3) PROPER MEASURES
(f) (Rav Mani bar Patish): It is forbidden to use a scale
that is too small; likewise, it does not receive Tum'ah.
(g) Question: We already learn this from a Mishnah!
1. (Mishnah): The string from which the scale of a
grocer or regular person hangs must be at least a
Tefach (if not, it does not receive Tum'ah).
(h) Answer: The Mishnah only teaches about how low it must
hang, Rav Mani teaches that also if the crossbar and
ropes are too small, it is Tahor.
(i) (Beraisa): We do not make weights out of tin, lead or
other metals (because they decrease in weight), one may
make from rock or glass.
(a) (Beraisa): A Machak (a rod used to scrape off the excess
from a measure) should not be made of gourd wood (it is
too light, it does not bend down enough to scrape off the
proper amount), nor of metal (it is too heavy, it bends
down and scrapes off too much);
1. Rather, it should be made of olive, sycamore or box
(b) (Beraisa): The thickness of a Machak should be the same
on both sides (a thin Machak scrapes off more than a
thick one; we are concerned lest one use the thin side
when selling, and the thick side when buying);
(c) One may not scrape quickly all at once, for this does not
scrape off enough, nor very slowly, for this scrapes off
too much (rather, gently, in one or two sweeps).
(d) R. Yochanan Ben Zakai: Woe to me if I teach these laws,
woe if I do not!
1. Woe if I teach them - perhaps swindlers will learn
how to cheat!
(e) Question: Did he teach them?
2. Woe if I do not teach them - perhaps swindlers will
think that Chachamim do not understand their ruses!
(f) Answer (Rav Shmuel bar Rav Yitzchak): Yes - "Yesharim
Darchei Hash-m v'Tzadikim Yelechu Vam u'Foshe'im Yikashlu
(g) (Beraisa): "Lo Sa'asu Avel ba'Mishpat ba'Midah ba'Mishkal
1. 'Ba'Midah' refers to measuring land, one may not
measure for two people that should divide evenly,
one in winter and one in summer (Rashbam - because
the rope (is moister and) stretches more in winter;
R. Chananel - the land is more constricted in
(h) (Rav Yehudah): It is forbidden to keep a measure that is
too big or too small in his house, even to use as a
urinal (lest he will wash it and use it to measure).
2. 'Ba'Mishkal' - one may not store his weights in salt
(Rashbam - this makes them heavier; Tosfos - this
makes them lighter).
3. 'Uva'Meshurah' - one may not make a liquid foam when
pouring it into the measure (for it will appear full
even though it is not full; some explain, one may
not heat the liquid before pouring it).
i. We learn a Kal va'Chomer: even though Meshurah
is a tiny measure, one part in 36 of a Lug, the
Torah demands that the full measure be given,
all the more so regarding bigger measures!
1. (Rav Papa): This is only in a place where the
government does not give a seal of authentication on
i. Where it does, he may keep an incorrect
measure, people will demand an authenticated
ii. Even where it does not, in a place where people
are appointed to inspect measures (and punish
for false measures), we are not concerned.
iii. Rejection: This is wrong - we are concerned
that the measure will be used just before
Shabbos, when the inspectors are not around (R.
Chananel; Rashbam - even where the government
authenticates measures, it is forbidden, the
buyer will not be careful just before Shabbos).