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Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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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 the desert.

(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.
2. ... the sixteen Amah road - then it is a low fire that creeps along the ground.
(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.
(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 Amos wide.

(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 the fire.

(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).
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 bi'de'Rabah Mineih'.
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'.
(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).
(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').

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