ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Bava Basra 80
BAVA BASRA 80 (28 Sivan) - dedicated to the memory of Hagaon Rav Yisroel Zev
[ben Rav Avrohom Tzvi] Gustman ZT'L (author of "Kuntresei Shi'urim" and
renowned Dayan of pre and post-war Vilna) on his Yahrzeit, by a number of
students who merited to study under him: Harav Lazar Stern and Harav Zalman
Stern of Brooklyn; Yechiel Wachtel and Michoel Star of Yerushalayim.
(a) A 'B'reichah' (in connection with doves) is - a brood, consisting of two
doves, a male and a female.
(b) The birth-rate of doves is - one brood per month oer annum, except for
the month of Adar.
(c) Our Mishnah states that someone who sells one year's fruit of his
dove-cot' - must leave the first brood for the seller, as company for the
mother, to discourage it from flying away. And even if it does, continuity
of the nest is assured, inasmuch as he will still have the two off-spring.
(a) A 'Nechil shel Devorim' is - a swarm of bees, that generally perches on
the branch of a tree (from where the bees are transferred to a bee-hive).
(b) Someone who sells one year's fruit of his bee-hive - takes the first
three swarms of young bees, leaving the rest for the seller.
(c) The swarms appear every nine or ten days (and produce a progressively
inferior quality bee) three times or more annually (in Greece, there might
be as many as seven or eight swarms).
(d) From then on, the purchaser may perform Sirus - inducing the bees to
stop reproducing (as will be explained in the Sugya), thereby encouraing
them to produce honey, because as long as they are busy reproducing, they
will not do that.
(a) 'Chalos D'vash' are - honey-combs, consisting of honey and bees-wax.
(b) One is likely to find in a bee-hive - anything between ten and twenty
honey-combs in a bee-hive.
(c) The purpose of the two honey-combs that the purchaser leaves the seller,
if he purchased one year's fruit of the bee-hive - is to feed the hive
during the winter.
(d) If Shimon purchased the branches of Reuven's olive-tree, he must leave -
two branches for the owner.
(a) We query our Mishnah, which requires the purchaser of the fruit of a
dove-cot to leave one brood of doves for the owner, from a Beraisa, which
requires him to leave two. To resolve the discrepancy, Rav Kahana
interprets 'B'reichah Sheni'ah' of the Beraisa to mean - a subsequent brood
born to tthe first one to keep *its* parents company (and the Tana refers to
it as 'B'reichah Sheni'ah' because it is from the second generation).
(b) The necessity to leave over another brood as company for the first one
(and not to make-do with the company of their mother (like their mother
requires only *them*) is - because the attachment of a mother to a child is
stronger than that of a child to its mother.
(c) Neither will its sibling alone suffice as company - because every dove
requires two birds (one of them, it's off-spring) as company. Consequently,
the mother requires its mate and its off-spring, and its off-spring, its
sibling and its off-spring.
(a) According to Rav Yehudah Amar Shmuel - the owner achieves u'Mesarsan'
(stopping the bees from reproducing) - by feeding them mustard.
(b) Not because mustard-seeds really stop the bees from reproducing, they
quoted Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Chanina as saying - but because, due to the sharp
taste of the mustard, the bees eat the honey in the combs, and, reaching a
state of satiation, they stop reproducing.
(c) According to Rabeinu Chananel, what Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Chanina means
is - that inducing the bees to eat the honey results in a larger swarm of
bees next year (which is what Mesarsan means [similar to Rebbi Yochanan's
interpretation of the word]).
(d) The reason for this is - because bees reproduce according to the number
of empty holes there are in the honey-combs. Consequently, getting them to
eat the honey in the holes, causes them to mate there, and to fill the holes
with more bees.
(a) Rebbi Yochanan interprets 'Mesarsan' quite differently. According to
him - it means that the purchaser alternates the swarms that he receives, to
take the first, the third and the fifth swarm, whereas the owner takes the
rest (thereby achieving a fairer distribution of quality honey).
(b) Rebbi Yochanan however, appears to have ignored the 'Vav' of
'u'Mesarsan' in our Mishnah. The Halachah therefore, is like the Beraisa,
which, taking the 'Vav' into account, explains - that the purchaser first
takes the first three swarms, and that any ensuing swarms, he alternates
with the owner.
(a) Rav Kahana rules that honey in the beehive does not lose its status as
food - which means that it renders what touches it Tamei only if there is a
k'Beitzah of it (though it itself is subject to Tum'ah even when there is
(b) Rav Kahana might mean that even in the beehive, when there are times
that the bees eat the honey (as we just learned), the honey retains its
status as a food (until otherwise stated). On the other hand, he might be
referring specifically to honey in the hive, in which case, what he is
saying is - as long as the honey is in the beehive, it is considered a food,
but once it flows from there, it is considered a beverage.
(c) Once honey becomes a beverage - its Shiur Tum'ah is (no longer a
'k'Beitzah, but) a Revi'is (ha'Lug).
(d) This appears to contradict a Beraisa, which states that honey in a
beehive - is neither a food nor a beverage.
(a) Abaye resolves the problem by establishing the Beraisa by those two
honey-combs - the ones that the purchaser leaves the owner, as food for his
bees for the winter. Consequently, it is neither a food nor a beverage.
(b) Rava disagrees with Abaye's interpretation of D'vash. He establishes the
author of the Beraisa as Rebbi Eliezer (whereas Rav Kahana follows the
opinion of the Chachamim), who says in the Mishnah in Shevi'is - that a
beehive and its contents have a Din of Karka (which explains why the honey
is not considered food).
(c) Rebbi Elazar cites Rebbi Eliezer's source as the Pasuk in Shmuel (in
connection with Yonasan ben Shaul) "va'Yitbol Osah be'Ya'aros ha'Devash" -
from which he learns that just as someone is Chayav to bring a Chatas for
picking fruit from a tree on Shabbos, so too, is one Chayav for extracting
honey from a beehive (a proof that the Torah considers both a beehive and
the honey inside it, joined to the ground.
(a) The Beraisa states that once honey flows from a beehive, it is neither a
food nor a beverage. This is ...
1. ... not a Kashya on Abaye (in Rav Kahana) - because he will establish
this Beraisa too, by those two honey-combs.
(b) To answer the Kashya on Rava, Rav Z'vid establishes the Beraisa when the
honey flowed straight on to a dirty vessel (and the author must be Rebbi
Eliezer) - because according to the Rabbanan, who maintain that the honey
was already a food inside the hive, it will not lose its status, until it
reaches a stage where is no longer fit for canine consumption.
2. ... a Kashya on Rava (in Rav Kahana), who cannot simply establish the
author as Rebbi Eliezer - because the Tana specifically speaks about honey
that has flowed from the hive (and that is no longer Karka, even according
(c) Rav Acha bar Ya'akov establishes the Beraisa when the honey flowed on to
little splinters of wood. In a case where it flowed on to dirty vessels - it
would still be considered a food, according to him.
(a) Another Beraisa considers honey in the hive neither a food nor a
beverage unless one has specifically in mind either the one or the other.
According to Abaye, this Tana too, is speaking - about the same two
honey-combs (which have been designated as bees food, and have therefore
lost their status as human food.
(b) This Beraisa poses a Kashya on Rava (according to Rav Kahana) however -
because, in his opinion, Machshavah is not necessary.
(c) We answer this by establishing the Beraisa like Rebbi Eliezer, and what
the Tana is saying is - that honey in the beehive is not considered a food
(even to the extent that Machshavah will turn it into either a food or a
beverage [see Tosfos DH 'T'ritz']).
(d) We finally cite a Beraisa in support of Rav Kahana - which states that
honey in the beehive is Metamei Tum'as Ochlin even without Machshavah.
(a) If someone buys a tree to cut down and take away, he must leave one
Tefach of the trunk standing for it to re-grow. He is obligated to leave of
1. ... a Besulas ha'Shikmah (a sycamore-tree that is being cut down for the
first time) - three Tefachim.
(b) By date-palms and cedar-trees, the purchaser is permitted to take them
out by the roots - because once they are cut (irrespective at which point)
they will not re-grow anyway.
2. ... a Sadan ha'Shikmah (a sycamore-tree that has been cut down before and
has re-grown) - two Tefachim.
3. ... bamboo-trees and vines - from above the first knot in the tree.
(c) The Beraisa forbids cutting down a 'Besulas ha'Shikmah in the
Sh'mitah-year - because it improves the tree, and the Torah writes in Behar
"ve'Charmecha Lo Sizmor".
(d) Rebbi Yehudah forbids cutting it down in the normal way, only above ten
Tefachim or down to the ground - because that does not enhance the growth of
(a) We can extrapolate from Rebbi Yehudah that - cutting down a Besulas
ha'Shikmah is beneficial for the tree, as long as one leaves something above
ground level (even less than three Tefachim - whilst in the previous Beraisa
we learned that one leave specifically three Tefachim (implying that less,
is harmful to the tree).
(b) Abaye differentiates between cutting a Besulas ha'Shikmah down to the
ground - which is positively harmful to the tree, and from there up to three
Tefachim - which is neither harmful nor beneficial.
(c) Consequently, with regard to Sh'mitah, the Tana requires an act that
harms the tree, whereas regarding a purchaser, he requires one that is
beneficial to it.
(a) Rebbi Chiya bar Luli'ani Darshened the Pasuk' 'in Tehilim "Tzadik
ka'Tamar Yifrach, ke'Erez ba'Levanon Yisgeh". Having written ...
1. ... 'Erez', the Pasuk nevertheless finds it necessary to write 'Tamar' -
because whereas the former does not bear fruit, the latter does (symbolical
of reward for his good deeds in the World to Come [or reward even for the
indirect results of his good deeds]).
(b) We reconcile this with the above Beraisa, that a purchaser is permitted
to pull palms and cedars out by the roots - because they will not re-grow
anyway - by establishing the Beraisa by one of the many types of trees that
belong to the family of the cedar, as we are about to see (whereas Rebbi
Chiya bar Luli'ani is speaking about a cedar itself).
2. ... 'Tamar', the Pasuk nevertheless needs to write 'Erez' - because
whereas the former will not re-grow once it is cut down, the latter will
(symbolical of his leaving behind children who are like him after his death
[or of his ability to re-establish himself after having fallen]).
(c) An oak-tree, a pine-tree, a myrtle-tree, a box-wood-tree and a
balsam-tree - all belong to the family of the cedar.
(d) Besides the cedar itself ...
1. ... the Pasuk in Tehilim lists - another one (the Shurvina-tree).
2. ... the Chachamim added another three - an Alon and an Almon-tree (two
kinds of oaks) and coral (others replace these with a laurel-tree and a
Dulbi and K'sisa'i-tretestimony of Rav Dimi.