ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Bava Kama 61
(a) Our Mishnah says that if a fire crossed a stone-wall, a street or a
river - the one who lit it is Patur from paying.
(b) In order to exempt the owner of the fire from liability - the wall must
be at least four Amos tall.
(c) The street must be sixteen Amos wide - which we learn from the wagons in
(d) The Beraisa, which holds the Mazik liable if his fire crossed a wall
that is four Amos tall - is reckoning from the bottom upwards (one Amah two
Amos or three, is Chayav, and so is four); whereas our Mishnah is reckoning
from the top downwards (six Amos is Patur, so is five and so is four). And
the basis of their Machlokes is whether 'Ad' is inclusive (the Tana of our
Mishnah), or not (the Tana of the Beraisa).
(a) When our Mishnah says that a wall of four Amos exempts the owner of the
fire from paying - the same will apply even if the field is full of thorns.
(b) In that case, one measures the four Amos - from the top of the thorns.
(c) Rav restricts our Mishnah to a fire that is 'Kolachas', but in the case
of one that is Nichfefes, even a wall of a hundred Amos will not suffice.
Assuming 'Kolachas' to be a regular fire, then, if the hundred Amos
mentioned by Rav is in contrast to ...
1. ... the four Amah high wall in our Mishnah - 'Nichfefes' is a fire which
is held low by the wind and which leaps into the air from time to time.
(d) Shmuel is far more lenient than Rav. According to him - our Mishnah is
confined to 'Nichfefes', but as far as a 'Kolachas' is concerned, any wall
will suffice to exempt the owner.
2. ... the sixteen Amah road - then it is a low fire that creeps along the
(a) In the previous Machlokes, we are be bound to rule like Rav in the
previous Machlokes- because he has the support of a Beraisa.
(b) Instead of the hundred Amos mentioned by Rav - the Tana of the Beraisa
mentions a hundred Mil (a Mil is the equivalent of one kilometer).
(c) For a river or a Shelulis - the Tana requires eight Amos.
(a) According to Rav, the river in our Mishnah is literal. According to
Shmuel - it is a small canal from which one draws water to water the fields.
(b) The ramifications of their Machlokes are - where the 'river'-bed
contains no water; according to Rav, it will nevertheless exempt the owner
of the fire from paying, whereas according to Shmuel, if the canal contains
no water, he will be liable.
(c) When the Mishnah in Pe'ah says 've'Eilu Mafsikin le'Pe'ah', it means -
that if any of the following serve to partition a field, then the field is
counted as two fields as far as Pe'ah is concerned.
(d) Besides a Nachal and a Shelulis, the two other things which will divide
a field into two, are - a private path and a public one.
(a) A Nachal is a deep valley between two fields.
(b) The definition of a 'Derech ha'Yachid' is - a private path that is four
(c) Rav Yehudah Amar Shmuel translates Shelulis as a place where the
rain-water collects. According to Rav Bibi Amar Rebbi Yochanan, it is - a
stream of water that sends water to its tributaries, which in turn, is used
to water the fields.
(d) Rebbi Yochanan disagrees with Shmuel. In his opinion, places where
rain-water collect are no more than 'basins of the land', and cannot be
considered as separate entities which divide a land into two.
(a) Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah exempts someone who lights a fire in his own
domain, as long as it is surrounded by half a Beis Kur (almost eight hundred
and seventy Amos in all directions. He is talking specifically - about a
fire that is 'Kolachas'; when it comes to a 'Kofefes', he is liable even if
the fire traversed a hundred Mil.
(b) According to Rebbi Eliezer, if the fire traversed sixteen Amos (see
Tosfos Yom-tov), like the width of a Reshus ha'Rabim, he is Patur - Rebbi
Akiva requires the fire to travel fifty Amos, in order to exempt the person
who lit it.
(c) Rebbi Shimon disagrees with the above. He learns from the Pasuk "Shalem
Yeshalem ha'Mav'ir es ha'Be'eirah" - that everything depends on the size of
the fire (what he means will be explained shortly).
(a) The Mishnah in Bava Basra discusses the safety measures of an oven. The
minimum space that one should leave between the top of an oven and the
ceiling - is four Amos.
(b) If the oven is situated in an upstairs room, one must place between the
base of the oven and the ground, a layer of cement ...
1. ... of three Tefachim for a Tanur (a small rhombus-shaped oven [and
therefore exceptionally hot]).
2. ... of one Tefach for a Kiyrah (a large rectangular-shaped oven [which is
not as hot]).
(a) According to the Tana Kama of the Mishnah in Bava Basra, even after
fulfilling the specified requirements, the owner is still held responsible,
should his oven cause damage. Rebbi Shimon maintains - that the purpose of
the specifications is to exempt those who stick to them from liability.
(b) Rebbi Shimon says in our Mishnah 'ha'Kol Le'fi ha'Deleikah'.
Initially, we interpret this to mean that we assess the payment according to
the damage (see Tosfos DH 've'Leis Leih'), and not according to the size of
(c) We reconcile that statement with his opinion in the Mishnah in Bava
Basra, where he does give a specific Shiur when it comes to fire - by
interpreting 'ha'Kol Le'fi ha'Deleikah' to mean - that the Mazik's
obligation to pay is assessed by the size of the fire.
(d) Rav Yehudah Amar Shmuel rules like Rebbi Shimon. Rav Nachman Amar
Shmuel - corroborates Rav Yehudah's ruling.
(a) According to Rebbi Yehudah, if someone sets fire to a haystack and the
vessels that are inside it get burned too, he is Patur from paying for those
vessels. The Rabbanan say - that he pays for the entire haystack (including
the space that contained the vessels, as if it was all wheat or barley
(depending on the haystack).
(b) We have already discussed the case in our Mishnah where there is a
kid-goat tied to the haystack and an Eved standing next to it. The reason
that the Mazik is liable for the kid-goat (and is not Patur because of 'Kam
Leih bi'de'Rabah Mineih') is - because the Eved, who is untied, should have
run away, absolving the owner of the fire from liability.
(c) If the goat was ...
1. ... standing beside the Eved untied - he would still be liable for its
death (though there are some who maintain that the goat too, should have run
away instinctively, and that he would therefore be Patur).
(d) The Chachamim concede that if someone sets fire to a house, he must pay
for the contents of the house (even though they are Tamun) as well as for
the house - because (as opposed to a haystack, where one does expect vessels
to be hidden inside it) one does expect to find a variety of vessels inside
a house (this case will be discussed further shortly).
2. ... untied, and it was the Eved who was tied to the haystack - he would
be Patur from paying for the goat, because of the principle 'Kam Leih
3. ... in this latter case, but assuming that the man who set fire to the
Eved received no warning (in which he cannot be sentenced to death) - he
would still be Patur, because we rule like Chizkiyah, who holds 'Chayvei
Miysos Shogegin, Peturin'.
(a) Rav Kahana restricts the Machlokes between Rebbi Yehudah and the
Rabbanan to someone who lights a fire inside his own Reshus, and it spreads
to that of his neighbor, burning his haystack. Where he actually sets fire
to his neighbor's haystack directly, he holds - the Rabbanan will agree that
he is liable to pay for Tamun, too.
(b) Based on the Seifa of our Mishnah ('u'Modim Chachamim ... be'Madlik es
ha'Birah ... '), Rava's objection to Rav Kahana's Chidush - is simply why
the Tana then switched from a haystack to a house (regarding the Din of
Tamun). The case that he should have presented in the Seifa is when he
entered the Nizak's Reshus and set fire to a haystack.
(c) Rava therefore concludes - that our Mishnah actually presents two
Machlokos; one when someone's fire spreads from his own domain to the
Nizak's, in which case the Rabbanan exempt Tamun altogether, whilst Rebbi
Yehudah does not (as we explained earlier in the Perek); and the other, when
he sets fire to the Nizak's haystack directly, in which case, even the
Rabbanan obligate Tamun in principle.
(d) If he set fire to the haystack, the Rabbanan obligate him to pay for
such things as 'Morigin' (wooden boards with nails for threshing the wheat).
They nevertheless exempt him from liability with regard to other objects
that were hidden in the haystack - because it is a S'vara (see Tosfos DH
'Ela Amar Rava').