ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Bava Basra 14
BAVA BASRA 14 & 15 - anonymously dedicated by an Ohev Torah and Marbitz
Torah in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel.
(a) The Beraisa says 'Techilas ha'Sefer ve'Sofo' K'dei La'gul'. Based on
the Beraisa that we just learned, the problem with this statement is - that
if 'La'gul' means enough space to surround the Eitz Chayim, then 'Sofo' is a
Kashya, whereas if it means enough space to surround the entire Sefer, then
'Techilas ha'Sefer' is difficult.
(b) Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak answers 'li'Tzedadin Katani' meaning - that
when the Tana speaks about 'Techilas ha'Sefer', he means enough space to
surround the Eitz Chayim, whereas when he speaks about 'Sofo', he means
enough space to surround the entire Sefer.
(c) According to Rav Ashi's answer, the Tana is talking (not about Torah,
Nevi'im and Kesuvim, but) about Torah alone, and as we learned in another
Beraisa, although all other Sefarim are rolled around one Eitz Chayim from
beginning to end - Sifrei-Torah are rolled to the middle around two Atzei
Chayim (hence the Tana says 'K'dei La'gul' both at the beginning and at the
(d) Rebbi Eliezer b'Rebbi Tzadok gave testimonial - that this was indeed the
Minhag of the Sofrim of Yerushalayim.
(a) The Beraisa requires the length of a Sefer-Torah to be equal to its
(b) Rebbi gave the length of a Sefer-Torah written on G'vil as six Tefachim.
G'vil - is a parchment manufactured from the full skin of an animal, whereas
K'laf is one half of the skin after it has been spliced.
(c) He did not know the appropriate length of a Sefer-Torah written on K'laf
(for its circumference to equal its length.
(d) Out of seventy Sifrei-Torah that Rav Huna wrote on K'laf, only one of
them fitted the specifications of Rebbi. Rav Acha bar Ya'akov wrote only one
on calf-skin, yet he managed to get it right first time. As a result - the
Rabbanan gave him an Ayin ha'Ra from which he died.
(a) When the Rabbanan told Rav Hamnuna that Rebbi Ami wrote four hundred
Sifrei-Torah - he retorted that what they probably meant was that he wrote
"Torah Tzivah Lanu Moshe, Morashah Kehilas Ya'akov" four hundred times (see
Tosfos DH 'Dilma').
(b) And when Rava told Rebbi Zeira that Rebbi Yanai planted four hundred
vineyards - he retorted that what they probably meant was that he had
planted four minimum-size vineyards consisting of five vines, four in a
square, and the fifth, sticking out like a tail.
(c) This is considered a vineyard in the Mishnah in Sotah - with regard to a
soldier who had planted a vineyard and not yet redeemed its fruit having to
return from the battlefront.
(a) According to Rebbi Meir in a Beraisa, each Amah of the Aron that Moshe
made (2 1/2 x 1 1/2 x 1 1/2) comprised six Tefachim. After the Luchos were
placed inside it side by side along the length of the Aron, two Tefachim
space remained inside the Aron (excluding the thickness of the walls).
(b) Each wall of the Aron was - half a Tefach thick.
(c) We learn from the Pasuk "Ein ba'Aron Rak Sh'nei Luchos ha'Avanim" that
the Sefer-Torah was placed inside the Aron, too - because of the principle
that two exclusions next to each other ("Ein" and "Rak") come to include.
(d) Widthwise, the Torah took up six of the eight Tefachim space inside the
Aron - leaving two Tefachim empty, so as not to squash the Sefer-Torah into
a cramped space.
(a) Rebbi Yehudah concedes that the Amah of the Luchos comprised six
Tefachim, but he argues with Rebbi Meir over the Amos of the Aron. According
to him - each Amah of the Aron comprised five Tefachim.
(b) The total length of the Aron was therefore twelve and a half Tefachim.
According to him ...
1. ... the walls were - an Etzba (a quarter of a Tefach) thick.
(c) After deducting the six Tefachim taken up by the Luchos across the width
of the Aron - one Tefach space remained, in which the two silver rods
(referred to in Shir Hashirim) were placed (one on either side of the
2. ... no space at all remained inside the Aron once the Luchos were inside
(a) According to Rebbi Yehudah, the Sefer-Torah was placed - on top of the
box containing the gifts that the P'lishtim sent to Yisrael. The box in
turn, was placed beside the Aron.
(b) Rebbi Yehudah learns this from the Pasuk in Vayeilech "Lako'ach es Sefer
ha'Torah ha'Zos ve'Samtem Oso *mi'Tzad* ha'Aron B'ris Hashem". According to
him, the Pasuk "Ein ba'Aron Rak Sh'nei Luchos Avanim" comes to include - the
(c) They were placed underneath the Luchos.
(a) We learned earlier that a Sefer-Torah is rolled on two Atzei Chayim to
the middle - posing a Kashya on Rebbi Meir, since the Sefer-Torah would then
have exceeded two Tefachim in width, and would not have fitted into the two
Tefachim space in the Aron.
(b) Rav Acha bar Ya'akov answers this Kashya - by differentiating between
Sifrei-Torah in general and the Sefer-Torah that was placed in the Azarah,
which was rolled onto only one Eitz-Chayim.
(c) To answer the Kashya that in any event, how can an object of two
Tefachim fit into a space of two Tefachim, Rav Ashi answers - that, in order
to diminish its width, they rolled the first part of the Sefer into a second
roll, placing the small roll on top of the Sefer.
(a) According to Rebbi Yehudah, before the episode with the P'lishtim, the
Sefer-Torah was placed on a ledge attached to the outside of the Aron.
(b) According to Rebbi Meir ...
1. ... the term *"mi'Tzad* Aron B'ris Hashem" - teaches that the Sefer-Torah
had to be placed at the side of the Aron, and not in between the two Luchos.
(c) To explain what Rebbi Yehudah includes from this Pasuk, we cite Rebbi
Yochanan in the name of Rebbi Shimon bar Yochai, who states - that the
seventy Names of Hashem were also placed inside the Aron.
2. ... the silver rods - were placed outside the Aron.
3. ... we know that the broken Luchos were also placed inside the Aron -
from the Navi's insertion of the extra "Shem" in the Pasuk in Shmuel (in
connection with the Aron) "Asher Nikra Shem Shem Hashem Tzevakos Yoshev
(d) We conclude that Rebbi Meir too, agrees with Rebbi Yehudah in this
point. He therefore learns from the Pasuk (in connection with the Luchos)
"Asher Shibarta ... ve'Samtem ba'Aron" (since the words "Asher Shibarta" are
superfluous) - that the broken Luchos were placed in the Aron, too.
(e) Rebbi Yehudah Darshens from "Asher Shibarta" - that Hashem thanked Moshe
for breaking the Luchos (as if it had written "Yeyasher Kochacha
she'Shibarta"), as we explained in Shabbos.
(a) The Beraisa lists the Sefarim of T'nach. The first four Sefarim in
Nevi'im are Yehoshua, Shoftim, Shmuel and Melachim. The second four are -
Yirmiyah, Yechezkel and Yirmiyah and T'rei-Asar.
(b) When the Navi writes "Techilas Diber hashem es Hoshe'a", he can hardly
be taken literally, since there were many Ne'vi'im before him, starting with
Moshe. So what he really means is - that Hoshe'a was the first of the
Nevi'im who prophesied in that era, Hoshe'a, Yeshayah, Amos ad Michah.
(c) His Sefer listed in the T'rei-Asar after those of Yirmiyah, Yechezkel
and Yeshayah - because it appears as part of the T'rei-Asar, which ends
appropriately with Chagai, Zecharyah and Mal'achi, the last three prophets.
(d) And the reason that it is listed there is - because it is too short to
appear as an independent Sefer (of prophecy, bearing in mind that there
*are* shorter Sefarim than Hoshe'a, in Kesuvim), since it would then be
(a) The chronological sequence of the Nevi'im, Yirmiyah, Yechezkel and
Yeshayah is - Yeshayah (whose prophesy began in the days of Uziyah, two
hundred years before the Churban), Yirmiyah (who prophesied during the
period leading up to the Churban) and Yechezkel (who prophesied in Bavel in
the days of Tzidkiyahu, the last king, immediately prior to the Churban).
(b) The reason that ...
1. ... Yirmiyah is listed before Yeshayah is - because, like the end of
Melachim, which it follows, it deals entirely with the topic of Churban.
2. ... Yeshayah is listed only after Yechezkel is - because Yeshayah ends on
a note of consolation, and Yeshayah deals entirely with consolation.
(a) Kesuvim comprises eleven Sefarim. Iyov, Mishlei, Koheles, Shir Hashirim,
Kinos (Eichah), Daniel and Esther comprize the middle seven.
1. The first two are - Rus and Iyov.
(b) The sequence of the Sefarim in Kesuvim is clear (as we shall see
shortly) assuming that Iyov was written in the days of the Queen of Sheba.
If Iyov lived in the days of Moshe however, as some maintain, his Sefer is
not listed as the first in Kesuvim - because it is inappropriate to begin
Kesuvim with a book of suffering.
2. The last two - Ezra and Divrei Hayamim.
(c) Indeed, Rus is full of suffering, too. But it does end on a happy note,
inasmuch as it records the lineage of David Hamelech, who is the forerunner
of Mashi'ach (and 'All's well that ends well').
(d) Rebbi Yochanan explains - that the name 'Rus' is a derivative of 'Rivah'
(satiate), a hint that David, who would satiate Hashem with songs of praise,
would descend from her.
(a) Moshe wrote the Chumash, Parshas Bil'am (see Rabeinu Gershom) and Iyov
(assuming that Iyov lived in his days, or even in the days of Avraham, as
others maintaini). Besides his own Sefer, Yehoshua wrote - the last eight
Pesukim of the Torah (from the point where Moshe's death is recorded).
(b) Besides his own Sefer, Shmuel wrote - Shoftim and Rus?
(c) David wrote Tehilim with the help of ten Zekeinim. Six of them were
Malki-Tzedek, Avraham, Moshe, Heiman, Yedusun and Asaf. The other three
were - Adam and the three sons of Korach (Asir, Elkanah and Aviasaf).
(d) Besides his own Sefer, Yirmiyah wrote - Melachim and Eichah.
(a) Besides Yeshayah (whose author was murdered [see Tosfos DH 'Yirmiyah'])
Chizkiyah and his contempories (those who survived him) wrote - Mishlei,
Shir Hashirim and Koheles.
(b) Mishlei and Koheles are ascribed to Chizkiyah - because they are
brimming with Chochmah and Torah, and Chizkiyah caused everyone to learn
Torah (as we learned in Sanhedrin).
(c) Besides Yechezkel and the T'rei-Asar, the Anshei Kenesses ha'Gedolah
wrote - Daniel and Megilas Esther.
(a) When Tana mean when he says that Ezra wrote his Sefer until Lo, he
means - that he wrote as far as his own Yichus.
(b) This bears out a statement made by Rav Yehudah Amar Rav, who says - that
Ezra did not make Aliyah to Eretz Yisrael before writing his own Yichus.
(c) Nechemyah ben Chachalyah completed Divrei Hayamim.