ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Bava Basra 99
(a) The Beraisa that we just discussed supports the tradition that Rebbi
Levi (or Rebbi Yochanan) quoted 'Makom Aron (u'Keruvim) Eino min ha'Minyan'.
This miracle was not confined to the Beis Hamikdash - but was manifest in
the Mishkan in the desert too (as explicitly stated in the second Beraisa
that we cite next).
(b) The basic difference between the Keruvim that Moshe made and those of
Shlomoh (beside their size) was - that the former were formed from the lid
of the Aron, whereas the latter were made independently and stood on the
(c) As a result of what we just learned, the distance between the northern
K'ruv and the north wall of the Heichal and the southern K'ruv and the south
wall of the Heichal was ten Amos (as if the Keruvim [as well as the Aron]
were not there). The distance between the eastern edge of the Keruvim (which
stood just in front of the western wall of the Kodesh Kodshim) and the D'vir
(the dividing wall between the Kodesh and the Kodesh Kodshim) was - twenty
Amos (also as if they were not there).
(d) Each wing-span of each K'ruv was - five Amos (making a total of twenty
Amos [from which Ravna'i Amar Shmuel proves further that their bodies took
up no space]).
(a) The Amora'im actually query Shmuel's proof from six different angles.
Abaye asks 'Maybe their wings emerged from the same point in the middle of
their backs (like the wings of a chicken)? When Rava asks 've'Dilma Zeh
she'Lo Keneged Zeh Havu Kaymi', he means - that maybe the two Keruvim were
not level (one stood immediately in front of the western wall, the other
slightly forward (so that their wings overlapped.
(b) Rav Acha bar Ya'akov asks 'Maybe the Keruvim stood diagonally across the
Kodesh Kodshim (like the picture on the page), leaving the extra space (the
distance that the hypotenuse exceeds the other two sides of the triangle
[see also Agados Maharsha])?' When Rav Huna B'rei de'Rav Yehoshua asks
've'Dilma Beisa me'Ila'i Ravach?', he means - that maybe the Heichal was
twenty Amos wide at the top, but wider at the bottom, leaving room for the
extra space taken up by their bodies, which were more than two-thirds of the
(c) And Rav Papa asks 'Maybe their wings were slightly bent (in which case
the space taken up by their wing-span [if measured in a straight line] was
really less than twenty-Amos)?' When Rav Ashi asks 've'Dilma Shalchufi Havu
Meshalchefi?', he means - that maybe the wing of one was lying on top of the
wing of the other (up to the equivalent distance of their bodies).
(d) Rebbi Yochanan and Rebbi Elazar argue over the Keruvim, whether they
faced each other or whether they faced the Heichal. Their opinions are
based - on two Pesukim (in Terumah and in Divrei Hayamim respectively) which
will now be discussed.
(a) We cannot simply reconcile the two seemingly contradictory Pesukim by
pointing out that the first Pasuk "u'Feneihem Ish el Achiv" refers to the
Keruvim of Moshe, whereas the second Pasuk ''u'Feneihem la'Bayis" refers to
those of Shlomoh - because we take for granted that, in this regard, both
sets of Keruvim were identical.
The second opinion declines to learn like his disputant (that the Keruvim
were made to face the Heichal, to denote that when Yisrael were not
performing the will of Hashem, the Keruvim would turn away from each other,
but then faced each, to denote Hashem's love) - because the Keruvim should
not have been made initially in a way that denoted Yisrael's not performing
the will of Hashem.
(b) The one who learns that they faced ...
1. ... each other, establishes the Pasuk which states that they faced the
Heichal - when Yisrael failed to perform the will of Hashem.
(c) According to the first opinion, the significance of the fact that the
Keruvim were initially made to face each other is - to symbolize the
Hashra'as ha'Shechinah (Hashem's love of K'lal Yisrael, which is reminiscent
of a the mutual love between a husband and wife).
2. ... the Heichal, interprets the Pasuk which states that they faced each
other - to mean that they actually faced each other (at an angle) even as
they faced the Heichal.
(d) The Beraisa quoting Unklus ha'Ger, links this opinion with the Pasuk in
Divrei Hayamim, which refers to the Keruvim as "Ma'aseh Tza'atzu'im" - which
means children, because, he says, that is how children take leave of their
Rebbe (half facing him as they walk [backwards] towards the door).
(a) The Tana discusses a case of Reuven entering Shimon's house to get to
his water-pit which is within it. Despite the fact that a purchaser does not
automatically receive a path to the pit that he purchases, Reuven is
permitted to enter Shimon's house to get to his - because we are speaking
either when they divided the property in this way, or when Reuven stipulated
that the path leading to his pit should be included in the sale.
(b) The Tana permits him to go in and out of Shimon's house to get to his
water-pit - only at regular times (e.g. during the day, but not at night).
(c) Reuven waters his animals - by transporting the water from the pit to
the animals, but may the animals through Shimon's house to get to the pit
(since this is not necessary).
(a) The Tana requires each party to make himself a lock and key, for the
purpose of safeguarding the pit, explains Rebbi Yochanan.
(b) Reuven requires the lock in order to safeguard his water from Shimon,
whereas Shimon requires one - to deprive Reuven of access to his house (and
his wife) when he is not there.
(c) Shimon does not require the lock to safeguard his water from Reuven -
because his wife is capable of doing that.
(a) Our Mishnah repeats the Din of the previous Mishnah with regard to
Reuven passing through Shimon's vegetable-garden to get to his own. In spite
of the fact that he does not disturb Shimon by going through his garden, and
that he did after all, purchase the path, he cannot pass through whenever he
pleases - because he causes damage whenever he does, and 'Anan Sahadi' (we
are witnesses) that Shimon's sale of the path would not have been
(b) The Tana issues two further prohibitions, one of them, to take merchants
through Shimon's garden, the other - to use it as a short-cut to get to
other property of his.
(c) It is the owner of the outer garden who is permitted to sow the path
(albeit at his own risk) - because, seeing as it is in the middle of his
vegetable-garden, the previous principle of 'Anan Sahadi' extends to this
(d) The Din will differ dramatically if Shimon agreed to give Reuven a path
to his garden that runs along the side of his field - in which case (seeing
as the path no longer runs in the middle of his field) Shimon will waive all
the previous restrictions, with the sole exception of the last one
(prohibiting Reuven use of his garden as a short-cut to get to other
property belonging to him). Neither of them may then sow the path.
(a) Rav Yehudah Amar Shmuel rules that in a case where Reuven agrees to sell
Shimon 'Amas ha'Mayim' ...
1. ... the width of the stream that he sells him must be - two Amos (see
Tosfos DH 'Nosen').
(b) According to the text that Reuven promises Shimon 'Amah Beis
ha'Shalachin' - he must give him one Amah on the crest of either bank,
besides the one Amah of the stream itself (see Ritva).
2. ... he must give him in addition - one Amah at the crest of each bank (to
enable him to repair the banks should they cave in)?
(c) If he were to promise him Amah Beis ha'Killon (or Sillon), in which case
he would use the stream for watering his animals or for washing clothes or
vessels - then he have to give him only one Amah width of stream (as
opposed to the two in the first Lashon, and according to the second Lashon,
an additional half-Amah on the crest of either bank [as opposed to one
(a) According to Rav Yehudah Amar Shmuel, Reuven is permitted to sow seeds
on the two banks. Rav Nachman Amar Shmuel permits him to plant trees on the
(b) Rav Yehudah, who permits Reuven to sow seeds, will certainly permit him
to plant trees - whereas Rav Nachman will restrict the concession to trees,
whose roots run deep, and which do not therefore effect the river bank. But
it will not pertain to seeds, whose roots grow within three Tefachim of the
surface, and which therefore weaken the river banks in the process.
(c) Rav Yehudah Amar Shmuel gave for his ruling that if, in the previous
case, the banks of the stream that Reuven sold to Shimon cave in, he latter
is entitled to claim fresh earth from Reuven's field, to rebuild his river
banks - because when Shimon's banks caved in, that is where the earth will
(d) The problem Rav Papa has with Shmuel's ruling is - how Shmuel could
possibly know that all the earth fell into Reuven's field, and that it was
not the water of Shimon's stream that swept the earth away.
(a) So Rav Papa ascribes Rav Yehudah Amar Shmuel's ruling - to the fact that
seeing as there is nowhere else from where Shimon can possibly take fresh
earth, it is obvious ('Anan Sahadi') that Reuven automatically pledges fresh
earth from his field should the banks cave in.
(b) Despite the fact that Reuven has pledged his entire field towards the
repair of Shimon's river-banks, the significance of the initial Amah on
either side of the stream is - that he restricts his own use of that area to
planting trees or seeds; whereas the rest of his field remains his entirely
to put it to whichever use he cares to.
(a) Our Mishnah rules that if someone claims a public path that ran through
the middle of his field, and replaces it with one at the side - what he gave
is given, and what he took he cannot retain.
(b) The public came to be going through his field in the first place -
either by means of a Chazakah going way back in time, or because the
previous owner had presented it to them.
(c) The significance of the Mishnah's ruling that Derech ...
1. ... ha'Yachid is four Amos - concerns a case when Reuven promises to sell
Shimon a path, which must be four Amos wide.
(d) From the Pasuk "le'Vilti Rum Levavo *me'Echav*", we learn - that a king
must be elevated over and above all his subjects. Chazal translate this into
the principle 'Derech ha'Melech Ein Lo Shiur' (meaning that he has the right
to break down houses and walls to make a path for himself).
2. ... ha'Rabim is sixteen Amos - concerns the Din of a Reshus ha'Rabim on
(a) When the Tana of our Mishnah says 'Derech ha'Kever Ein Lo Shiur', he
means (not to the same degree as 'Derech ha'Melech', but) - that (bearing in
mind the Mitzvah for many people to accompany a Meis till the grave) when
taking someone to be buried, one may carry him through cornfields without
being obligated to go round them.
(b) Alternatively (and preferably), it might mean - that if Reuven promises
to sell Shimon a path through his field to bury his dead, he is obligated to
provide however large a path is needed for that purpose.
(c) The Daynei Tzipori give Derech ha'Ma'amad (which will be explained in
the Sugya) as an area of four Kabin. Based on the fact that a Beis Sa'ah
(half the area of the Beis Sasayim of the Mishkan) is fifty times fifty
Amos, and that there are six Kabin in a Sa'ah, four Kabin amounts to -
thirty-three and a third by fifty Amos (two-thirds of a Beis-Sa'ah), the
equivalent of forty Amos, four Tefachim and three and three-quarters finger
breadths plus, squared.
(a) We learned in our Mishnah that someone who claimed a public path that
ran through the middle of his field, and replaced it with one at the side,
loses the former and cannot reclaim the latter. Based on the Din that one
cannot take the public to court, we try to prove from here - that one is
forbidden to take the law into one's own hands (even when there is not the
least doubt that one's claim is justified).
(b) We refute this proof however, however, in a number of ways. According to
Rav Z'vid quoting Rava, the reason that he cannot do so is due to a decree
that he might give the public a crooked path. Rav Mesharshaya says - that
the Tana speaks when he actually gave them a crooked path.
(c) Rav Ashi refute the proof - by considering every path at the side of the
field as a crooked path (since although it is nearer than the path in the
middle for those living on the one side, it is further for those living on
the other side).