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of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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Bava Basra 99


(a) Contradiction: It says "Veha'Bayis...u'Shloshim Amah Komaso", and it says "V'Esrim Amah Komaso"!
(b) Answer (R. Chanina): The latter verse gives the height above the Keruvim (the figures on the cover of the Aron).
(c) Question: What do we learn from this?
(d) Answer: That the space above is like the space below: just as nothing occupies the space above (it is empty), also the space below (the 10 Amos in which the Keruvim stand, miraculously) does not occupy space (as we will explain).
(e) This supports R. Levi,
1. (R. Levi): We have a tradition, the Aron and Keruvim do not occupy space.
2. Support (Beraisa): The Aron Moshe made was surrounded by 10 Amos in every direction (even though the Kodesh ha'Kodoshim was only 20 by 20, i.e. it did not occupy any space).
(f) (Ravnai): The (two) Keruvim stood miraculously - "V'Chamesh Amos Kenaf ha'Keruv ha'Echas v'Chamesh Amos Kenaf ha'Keruv ha'Shenis..." (they stood next to each other, and the total span of all four wings was 20 Amos, the entire length of the Kodesh ha'Kodoshim - we conclude that their bodies (in between the wings) did not occupy space)!
(g) Objection #1 (Abaye): Perhaps (there was no miracle,) the wings of each Keruv touched each other, and the bodies were underneath, like chickens!
(h) Objection #2 (Rava): Perhaps they did not stand next to each other!
(i) Objection #3 (Rav Acha bar Yakov): (Even if they stood next to each other), perhaps they were on a diagonal (which is about 28 Amos)!
(j) Objection #4 (Rav Huna brei d'Rav Yehoshua): Perhaps the Kodesh ha'Kodoshim is 20 by 20 at the bottom, but it is wider on top!
(k) Objection #5 (Rav Papa): Perhaps the wings were bent!
(l) Objection #6 (Rav Ashi): Perhaps the wings overlapped each other!
(m) Question: What was the (normal) position of the Keruvim?
(n) Answer #1 (R. Yochanan or R. Elazar): Each faced the other.
(o) Answer #2 (the other of R. Yochanan and R. Elazar): Each faced the walls of the Kodesh ha'Kodoshim.
(p) Question (against the first opinion): "U'fneihem la'Bayis"!
(q) Answer: When Yisrael does Hash-m's will, they face each other; when we do not, they face the walls.
(r) Question (against the second opinion): "U'fneihem Ish El Achiv"!
(s) Answer: They face each other somewhat, and also face the walls somewhat.
1. (Beraisa - Unkelos): "Keruvim Shnayim Ma'ase Tza'atzu'im" - (their faces) looked like children leaving their Rebbi, i.e., looking slightly to the side.
(a) Mishnah): If Reuven owns a pit in Shimon's house, he enters and leaves at normal times (i.e. by day);
(b) He may not bring his animal in, rather, he takes water out for it;
1. Reuven and Shimon each make a key (this will be explained).
(c) (Gemara) Question: For what are the keys?
(d) Answer (R. Yochanan): Both are for the pit (neither can open it without the other).
(e) Question: We understand why Reuven has a key, in order to prevent Shimon from stealing water;
1. Why does Shimon make a key?

(f) Answer (R. Elazar): To prevent suspicion that Reuven entered to be with Shimon's wife (now, he will not enter unless Shimon is home).
(g) (Mishnah): If Levi owns a garden inside Yehudah's garden, he enters and leaves at normal times;
1. He may not bring in merchants, nor may he enter Yehudah's garden in order to get to a different field.
(h) Yehudah has the right to seed the path.
(i) If Levi received a path on the side (of Yehudah's garden) by mutual consent, he enters and leaves at any time he wants, he may bring in merchants, he may not enter Yehudah's garden in order to get to a different field, and neither may seed it.
(j) (Gemara - Rav Yehudah): If Shimon bought an Amah (irrigation channel) in Reuven's Beis ha'Shelachin (irrigated field), he gets two Amos, one on each bank (some say: also, if the channel is less than two Amos, he may widen it to two Amos).
1. If he bought an Amah Kilon (water trough for animals), he gets one Amah, half on each side (some say, if the trough is less than one Amah, he may widen it to one Amah).
(k) Question: Who seeds the banks?
(l) Answer #1 (Rav Yehudah): Reuven seeds them.
(m) Answer #2 (Rav Nachman): Reuven plants (trees on) them.
(n) All the more so, Rav Yehudah says that Reuven may plant trees, since these have deep roots, they will not harm the banks.
1. Rav Nachman says that Reuven may not seed the banks, for this will moisten the ground, weakening the banks.
(o) (Rav Yehudah): If the banks of Shimon's Amah fell, he can fix it with dirt of Reuven's field, surely, the dirt scattered onto the field.
(p) Objection (Rav Papa): Reuven can say that the banks did not fall, rather, the water level rose (and Shimon has no dirt by Reuven)!
1. Rather, he can fix it with dirt of Reuven's field because this was (an understood) condition of the sale.
(a) (Mishnah): A public road passed through Reuven's field. Reuven set aside the end of his field for people to walk on, intending to take over the area of the old path - the new path also becomes a public road, and Reuven has no right to take the area he wanted.
(a) (One who buys) a private road is (entitled to) (at least) four Amos; a public road is 16 Amos;
(b) There is no limit to the road for a king or a funeral procession.
(c) Judges of Tzipori say, we allow an area of Beis Arba'ah Kavim (the amount of land in which four Kavim of seed is sown) for a Ma'amad (a place where people stop when returning from a burial).
(b) (Gemara) Question: Why didn't Chachamim enact that Reuven gets the old path? He should be allowed to take a stick and hit anyone that walks on the old path!
(c) Answer: This teaches that a person may not take the law into his own hands.
(d) Rejection #1 (Rav Zvid): Chachamim decreed that he does not get the path he wanted, lest he give a crooked path in its stead.
(e) Answer #2 (Rav Mesharshiya): The case is, he gave them a crooked path in its stead.
(f) Answer #3 (Rav Ashi): Any replacement path he gives is considered a crooked path, for it is closer for some people, but further for others.
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