ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Bava Basra 21
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) When Rav Yehudah Amar Rav used the term 'Zachur Oso ha'Ish Zachur
la'Tov' - he was referring to Yehoshua ben Gamla, one of the more righteous
Kohanim Gedolim in the time of the second Beis-Hamikdash, who prevented
Torah from being forgotten, as we shall now see.
(b) If Torah would have been largely forgotten, it is on account of the
Pasuk "ve'Limadtem Osam es Beneichem" - which obligates every father to
teach his son Torah. This created a problem with children who had no
fathers, and consequently no-one to teach them Torah.
(c) Based on the Pasuk "Ki mi'Tziyon Teitzei Torah ... " - Yehoshua ben
Gamla set up Rebbes for the children in Yerushalayim, where they would be
(d) ... from the age of sixteen or seventeen to learn.
(a) The snag in Yehoshua ben Gamla's original Takanah was - that it was
specifically those children who had fathers who would avail themselves of
the opportunity and take them to Yerushalayim, appointing the Rebbes to
substitute for them; whereas the children without fathers remained without
Rebbes as before (since there was nobody to tend to them).
(b) So he amended his original Takanah - by arranging Rebbes for the
children in every town and in every area.
(c) They would now send the stronger children to learn from the age of six
and the weaker ones from the age of seven (Tosfos).
(a) Rav instructed Rav Shmuel bar Shilas ...
1. ... to accept a child in his Cheder from the age of six - and to stuff
him with Torah like an ox.
(b) The Beraisa rules that if one resident of the Chatzer wants to become a
doctor (a Mohel), a blood-letter, a weaver or a Melamed Tinokos - the other
residents are entitled to object.
2. ... to take a child who wasn't quite up to standard - and to let him sit
with the others, because in the course of time, he would blend with the
(c) We reconcile this with the Tana of our Mishnah, who disallows such a
claim with regard to Tinokos shel Beis Raban - by establishing Melamed
Tinokos as a teacher of Nochri children, who are learning a profession or
Chumash (Rabeinu Gershom).
(d) Another Beraisa forbids a partner in a Chatzer to set up various
practices, among them a 'Sofer Yehudi' - which is a Rebbe of Tinokos shel
(e) We reconcile this Beraisa with our Mishnah - by establishing it by the
town's senior Rebbe, who gives teaching courses to other Rebbes, which
involves a lot of people and is noisier than children learning.
(a) Rava says that from the times of Yehoshua ben Gamla and onwards, one is
not permitted to move a child from a Cheder in one town to a Cheder in
another - because the Satan prosecutes in time of danger (and every journey
involves danger, as we learn from Ya'akov, who was unwilling to send Biyamin
down to Egypt for this very reason).
(b) One may however - move him to another Cheder in the same town ...
(c) ... though even that is forbidden, if the move entails crossing a river.
(d) It remains permitted however, when there is ...
1. ... a Titura - a proper bridge ...
2. ... but not when there is just a Gamla - a plank spanning the river.
(a) According to Rava, the maximum number of pupils per class Lechatchilah
is - twenty-five.
(b) If there are ...
1. ... fifty children - one divides the class in two and employs two Rebbes.
(c) The assistant is paid, at least partially - out of public funds.
2. ... forty children - one employs an assistant who helps the children to
understand what the Rebbe said (a sort of Meturgeman).
(a) Rava also rules that one does not replace a knowledgeable Rebbe with one
who knows more than him - because, he says, it will cause the latter to
become complacent and teach carelessly.
(b) Rav Dimi from Neherda'a disagrees with him - on the basis of the
principle 'Kin'as Sofrim Tarbeh Chochmah' (jealousy among Chachamim
increases knowledge), causing the second Rebbe to be even more careful.
(c) Rava also rules that a Rebbe who possesses more knowledge takes
precedence over one who is more meticulous - because he says, mistakes are
(d) Rav Dimi from Neherda'a disagrees with Rava on this issue too - because
he maintains that once a mistake enters, it is difficult to eradicate.
(a) Rav Dimi substantiates his point with an incident that occurred in the
time of David Hamelech, when Yo'av (his commander-in-chief) spent six months
fighting with Edom (Amalek) - during which time he wiped out all the males
of Amalek, but kept alive the females.
(b) Yo'av attributed that mistake - to the fact that his Rebbe had never
corrected him when, in his younger years, he had misread the Pasuk in Ki
Seitzei "Timcheh es Zeicher Amalek" as "Timcheh es Z'char Amalek" ('Blot out
the males of Amalek' instead of 'the memory of Amalek').
(c) When David ...
1. ... asked him what he had taught him - Yo'avs Rebbe replied "Timcheh es
Zeicher Amalek" (only Yo'av, who had initially misread the word, did not
rectify his mistake.
(d) David then quoted the end of the Pasuk "Arur Mone'a Charbo mi'Dam". Some
say he killed him, others say he didn't.
2. ... cited the Pasuk "Arur Oseh Meleches Hashem Remi'ah" - he replied with
a request to leave him with the curse and to kill him.
(a) Rava considers a children's Rebbe, a vine planter, a Shochet, a
blood-letter and a Sofer (or a barber) are warned - meaning that if any of
them errs, he loses his job, even though he did not receive a specific
warning in advance (as other professionals do, before they can be sacked).
(b) This is based on the principle that whoever errs in a way that causes an
irreparable loss does not require warning.
(a) Rav Huna says that if Shimon wants to set up a mill next to Reuven, a
miller who lives in the same Mavoy - Reuven may stop him.
(b) The Beraisa forbids a fisherman to cast his nets within 'the space that
a fish darts, from the fish' - referring to the 'hole' from which the fish
emerge and next to which the fisherman spreads his nets.
(c) According to Rabah bar Rav Huna - the prohibition stretches for the
distance of a Parsah (four Mil).
(a) We cite the above Beraisa - to substantiate Rav Huna's previous ruling
(forbidding Shimon to set up a mill next to that of Reuven).
(b) We reject this proof however, on the grounds that fish are different -
inasmuch as the fisherman who had already spread his nets is so sure to
catch the fish that emerge, that it is considered as if he had already
caught them (in which case for the second man to spread his nets anywhere in
that vicinity is akin to theft).
(c) In a Mishnah in Bava Kama, Rebbi Yehudah forbids a store-keeper to
distribute pop-corn and nuts to his customers - the Rabbanan permit it.
(d) Ravina asked Rava whether Rav Huna holds like Rebbi Yehudah, who
forbids encroaching on a fellow-workers rights, to which Rava replied - that
the Rabbanan might well agree with Rav Huna that the second fisherman is
encroaching on the rights of the first one, who was there first. Their case
is different inasmuch as there, where both storekeepers are already
operating, the one can say to his competitor that if he is distributing
nuts, why doesn't he distribute almonds?
(a) We reconcile Rav Huna with the Beraisa which specifically permits Shimon
to open a store or a bathhouse next door to Reuven's, seeing as each one is
operating in his own domain - by citing a Machlokes Tana'im, as we shall now
(b) With regard to the residents of a Mavoy stopping someone from opening a
tailor-shop, a tanner or a Cheder in their Mavoy, if he is from ...
1. ... another Mavoy - the Tana of the Beraisa gives them right.
(c) Raban Shimon ben Gamliel - gives them right in the latter case too.
2. ... their Mavoy - they cannot stop him.
(d) Rav Huna will then hold like Raban Shimon ben Gamliel.
(a) Rav Huna B'rei de'Rav Yehoshua permits any resident of a town to stop a
resident of another town from starting competition with him in his town -
but not another resident from the same Mavoy (or from the same town).
(b) He ...
1. ... will treat someone from a different town as if he was from the same
town however - if he pays taxes like the protestor does.
(c) This She'eilah - remains unresolved.
2. ... is uncertain though, as to whether the would-be professional has a
right to open-up in competition against someone who preceded him or not - if
he is from a different Mavoy.
(d) Rav Huna B'rei de'Rav Yehoshua (who is lenient regarding competition in
the same Mavoy) argues with Rav Huna (who is strict).
(a) The reasoning behind Rav Yosef's statement, that Rav Huna's stringent
ruling does not extend to a Melamed Tinokos who wishes to open up a Cheder
next to an existing Cheder in the same Mavoy is - based on the principle
'Kin'as Sofrim Tarbeh Chochmah' (meaning that competition only causes each
Rebbe to try harder, to the Talmidim's benefit).
(b) According to Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak, Rav Huna B'rei de'Rav Yehoshua
concede that the prohibition of encroaching does not apply even to people
from another town - with regard to peddlers, who sell trinkets and spices
for women ...
(c) ... because, as Mar said, Ezra instituted that peddlers should travel
from town to town selling these things (as we learned in Bava Kama).