ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Bava Kama 114
BAVA KAMA 114 (3 Kislev) - has been dedicated by Family Posen of Jerusalem &
London to honor the Yahrzeit of their father, Reb Moshe ben Yehoshua (Frank)
Posen Z"L, who completed Shas learning Dafyomi. He insisted on continuing
with his Kevi'us until his very last day.
(a) When Rava says 'de'Salkin le'Eila u'de'Nachsin le'Tata' - he means that
those who are going from Bavel to Eretz Yisrael and vice-versa should all
listen to what he is about to say.
(b) Rava prohibits a Jew from testifying in a Nochri court- because they
extract money through only one witness.
(c) He permits it however - in the high court, where they obligate a
Shevu'ah when there is only one witness (just like a Beis-Din does),
(d) Rav Ashi asked about a distinguished witness whose testimony even the
Nochri high-courts accept like that of two witnesses. Nevertheless, he might
be permitted to testify even against a fellow Jew - on the grounds that, due
to his importance, he cannot really get out of testifying.
(a) Diyna de'bar Metzra - is the prohibition for Reuven to sell property
bordering Shimon's, to Levi, without first offering it to Shimon.
(b) Diyna de'bar Metzra does not apply in any way to the property of a
Nochri - so that Levi may purchase from a Nochri land bordering Shimon's,
and Reuven may sell a Nochri land bordering Shimon's field without first
offering it to Shimon.
(c) Rav Ashi declares a Cherem on anyone who sells a Nochri a field next to
that of a Yisrael - because the Yisrael can accuse him of placing a lion on
(d) The purpose of the Cherem is - to force the seller to offer to
compensate the Yisrael for all losses caused by his Nochri neighbor.
(a) The Tana of our Mishnah permits someone to accept a donkey or a garment
from a tax-collector in exchange for the one that he took - on the grounds
that the owner has probably been Meya'esh (in which case the recipient
acquires the article with Yi'ush and Shinuy Reshus).
(b) Our Mishnah says that if someone saves something ...
1. ... from the river, from a troop of soldiers or from a band of robbers -
he may keep them, provided the owner was Meya'esh.
(c) The Tana permits a woman or a child to testify - from where the swarm of
bees flew before settling on the neighbor's branch (to corroborate the
2. ... from a swarm of bees - he may keep them, under the same condition.
(d) The Tana permits entering a neighbor's field to retrieve his swarm of
bees that settled on a branch of his tree, and he is obligated to pay for
all damages. The Tana Kama - forbids cutting off the branch of the tree on
which his bees have settled, to avoid taking them one by one; Rebbi Yishmael
B'no shel Rebbi Yochanan ben Berokah permits it (provided he pays for the
(a) The Tana of the Beraisa obligates someone who received a donkey or a
garment from the tax-collector in exchange for his own to return it to its
original owner - because he holds that Yi'ush (together with Shinuy Reshus -
see Shitah Mekubetses quoting the Rashba) is not Koneh.
(b) Others say - that in reality, he acquires the object, but it is Midas
Chasidus to return it, since he received it be'Isur.
(c) Rav Asi establishes our Mishnah, which holds that the owner of the
donkey ... is Meya'esh, by a Mo'ches Nochri, but not by a Mo'ches Yisrael -
because he thinks that tomorrow, he will take the Jew to Beis-Din ad
retrieve his donkey or garment.
(d) Rav Yosef says the opposite. According to him - it is by a Mo'ches
Yisrael that he is Meya'esh, because Beis-Din only ask the defendant to pay,
but do not use force (alternatively, they will not even obligate him to pay
without hard evidence), whereas a Nochri court will force him to return his
donkey by hook or by crook (even if the evidence is not foolproof).
(a) So Rav Yosef switches Rav Asi's inverted comment to the Seifa, which
reads 'ha'Matzil min ... ha'Gayas O min ha'Listim, Im Nisya'ashu ha'Ba'alim,
Harei Eilu she'Lo', implying - that S'tam, the owner is not Meya'esh.
(b) He now qualifies this - by confining it to a Listim Nochri, because the
owner expects to retrieve his animal, but in the case of a Listim Yisrael,
he is Meya'esh S'tam, because of the softer methods employed by Beis-Din (as
we just explained).
(a) When the Tana in the Mishnah in Keilim says 'Oros shel Ba'al ha'Bayis
Machshavah Metam'asan' - he means that as soon as the owner of the completed
skins decides to use the skins as a table, say (which requires no more
work), they are subject to Tum'ah.
(b) This is not the case with regard to the skins of a tanner - because even
if he himself intends to use the skins for a specific purpose, whoever
purchases them from him might decide to use them to make shoes for example
(which still need to be cut), and unfinished materials are not subject to
(c) The same factual distinction exists between skins of a Gazlan and those
of a Ganav. The Tana Kama rules 'Machshavah Metam'asan' by those of a Ganav,
but not by those of a Gazlan - because in the case of the former, the owner,
not knowing from whom to claim, is Meya'esh, whereas the latter, whom he
knows, he intends to take to Beis-Din.
(d) Rebbi Shimon says - the opposite, because (the owner thinks) seeing that
the Gazlan won the first round face to face, he will probably win the second
round, too, whereas the Ganav, whom he does not know, he intends to find and
take to Beis-Din.
(a) Ula establishes the Machlokes between Rebbi Shimon and the Tana Kama by
S'tam. If the owner was specifically heard being Meya'esh Ula holds -
'Yi'ush K'di Koneh'.
(b) Rabah says - that even then, the Tana'im argue whether that Yi'ush is
genuine or not.
(c) Abaye proves Ula right from our Mishnah 'Natlu Listim es Kesuso ...
Mipnei she'ha'Ba'alim Misya'ashim Meihen' - implying S'tam, but that if the
owner was actually heard being Meya'esh, it would be considered Yi'ush.
(d) Rabah amends the Mishnah to read - 'L'fi she'Ein Yi'ush Ba'alim'.
(a) In view of the Machlokes between Rebbi Shimon and the Rabanan, the
problem with our Mishnah, which presents the two cases of Muchsin and of a
Listim who took one's donkey ... and concludes 'Mipnei she'ha'Ba'alim
Misya'ashin Meihen' is - that, seeing as a Mo'ches is definitely a Gazlan,
we assume a Listim to be a Ganav, in which case, the Tana does not
differentiate between a Ganav and a Gazlan regarding Yi'ush (conforming
neither with the opinion of Rebbi Shimon nor with that of the Rabbanan)?
(b) Ula will establish the Mishnah by 'Yadu'a', where we heard the owner
being Meya'esh (and where both Tana'im agree). Rabah (who makes no
distinction between S'tam and Yadu'a) - explains Listim to mean an armed
robber, who is a Gazlan, and establishes the Mishnah like Rebbi Shimon.
(c) In fact, according to Rabah, there is no basic difference between a
Mo'ches and a Listim - only the Tana decided to list two different kinds of
(d) Ula and Rabah establish the Beraisa 'ha'Ganav, ve'ha'Gazlan ve'ha'Anas
Hekdeishan Hekdesh ... ' in the same way as they just established our
Mishnah, each one according to his way of thinking. The difference between
a Gazlan and an Anas is - that the latter pays for the article that he
'robs', whereas the former of course, does not.
(a) Ula and Rabah just established the Beraisa 'ha'Ganav, ve'ha'Gazlan
ve'ha'Anas Hekdeishan Hekdesh ... ' in the same way as they established our
Mishnah, each one according to his way of thinking. Alternatively, we
establish the Beraisa like Rebbi. When Rebbi says 'Ganav ke'Gazlan', he
means - that the owner is Meya'esh by both a Ganav and a Gazlan, like the
Gazlan of Rebbi Shimon.
(b) He must be referring to the Gazlan of Rebbi Shimon, and not to the
Gazlan of the Rabbanan - because then Rebbi would be saying that a Gazlan
like a Ganav, does not acquire the object, because there is no Yi'ush. In
that case, why would the recipient be permitted to accept the donkey ...
from the Muchsin?
(c) We have already cited Rebbi, who told his son Rebbi Shimon, that when
the Tana (in connection with ha'Gozel u'Ma'achil es Banav') says 've'Im
Hayah Davar she'Yesh Bo Acharayus, Chayavin Le'shalem', he means something
that is easily recognizable. The heirs are therefore obligated to return the
object - because of Kavod Avihen (to prevent a situation occurring, where
people see the object and accuse their father of being a Ganav).
(d) We prove from here - that Rebbi must be referring to the Gazlan of Rebbi
Shimon, because if he meant the Gazlan of the Rabbanan, who hold that the
owner is not Meya'esh, then the heirs would be obligated to return any
object that their father stole, even without the reason of 'Kavod Avihen'.
(a) Despite having taught us that someone who saves an object from a river
or from robbers may keep it provided the owner is Meya'esh, the Tana
nevertheless needs to add 've'Chein Nechil shel Devorim'. Otherwise. we
might have thought that, based on the fact that the Kinyan on bees (like
that on doves) is only mi'de'Rabbanan, we will automatically assume the
owner to have been Meya'esh, even if we did not hear him doing so.
(b) Our Mishnah believes the testimony of a woman or a child, who
corroborate the owner's claim that the bees that have settled on the
neighbor's branch are his. Seeing as normally, the testimony of a woman or a
child is not accepted, Rav Yehudah Amar Shmuel establishes the case when a.
the owner was seen running after his bees, which already lends credence to
his claim, and b. when the woman and the child do not actually testify in
Beis-Din, but express the evidence in innocent speech ('Masi'ach L'fi
(c) Rav Ashi has stated that 'Mesi'ach L'fi Tumo is only acceptable with
regard to the testimony of a woman whose husband died'. He reconcile his
statement with Rav Yehudah Amar Shmuel - by confining his own statement to
cases of d'Oraysa, whereas the case of the bees is only de'Rabbanan (as we
(d) A possible case of 'Masi'ach L'fi Tumo' of a child by Eidus Ishah - is
if one child told another of how he attended the burial of such and such a
person (who happens to be the husband of the woman who is waiting for news
about her husband).
(a) Rav Yehudah Amar Shmuel relates the story of a man who recalled how, as
a small child, he would ride on his father's shoulders. He remembered how
once, when he came out of school - they removed his clothes and Toveled him
in the Mikvah, and how after nightfall, he ate Terumah.
(b) Rebbi Chanina added - that his friends kept their distance from him and
referred to him as 'Yochanan Ochel Chalos'.
(c) Nevertheless, Rav Ashi is perfectly justified in restricting Masi'ach
L'fi Tumo to cases that are mi'de'Rabbanan - because this case too, is
speaking about Terumah mi'de'Rabbanan (such as Terumah nowadays, according
to those who hold 'Kedushah Sheniyah Lo Kidshah le'Asid La'vo'.
(a) Rav Acha from Carthage told the story of Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi or
Rebbi, who permitted a captured woman to return to her husband who was a
Kohen, on the basis of her young son - who testified, 'Masia'ch L'fi Tumo',
that he constantly kept an eye on his mother, even when he went to draw or
chop wood (and it is from his testimony, that we extrapolate that she was
not abused by her captors).
(b) We reconcile Rav Ashi with Rebbi, who permitted the boy's mother to
return to her husband, who was a Kohen - by applying the principle
'bi'Shevuyah Heikilu', which automatically sets the Din of a captured woman
apart from other cases of d'Oraysa (due to the fact that the initial Chumra,
based on the Isur of Zonah, is no more than a Safek).
(c) Rebbi Yishmael B'no shel Rebbi Yochanan ben Berokah in our Mishnah even
permits Shimon, the owner of the bees, to cut off the branch of Reuven's
tree to retrieve his bees - one of three conditions of Beis-Din cited by
him. In a case where ...
1. ... Reuven, who is transporting a barrel of wine, collides with Shimon
who is transporting a barrel of honey, and the honey begins to spill through
a crack in the barrel - he obligates Reuven to pour out his wine (if need
be) in order to spare Shimon an excessive loss.
(d) In each of these three cases - Shimon is obligated to reimburse Reuven
2. ... Shimon's donkey which is laden with flax, dies just as Shimon is
passing with his donkey which is laden with wood - he obligates Reuven to
unload his wood and to leave it there (if necessary) in order to spare
Shimon an excessive loss.
(a) The Tana of our Mishnah permits Reuven, who recognizes his Sefarim and
objects in somebody else's possession, to swear and take them, on
condition - that this is accompanied by a rumor that he had a break-in.
(b) He cannot just take them anyway - because we suspect that he may have
sold them to someone from whom the current owner purchased them.
(c) Even if we heard him shouting in the night that he had been burgled, we
still suspect that it was nothing more than a ruse to start the rumor
rolling that would later enable him to swear and retrieve the things that he
had previously sold. In addition - to substantiate his claim, Rav Yehudah
Amar Rav requires a tunnel to have been dug leading from his house, guests
(who had been staying with him) must have been seen leaving with bundles of
Sefarim and vessels on their shoulders and people must be saying that his
Sefarim and vessels were stolen.
(d) We know that Sefarim as well vessels were stolen, because that is what
the people are saying. And we know that the vessels that he is claiming are
the identical ones that were stolen, and not that they stole ...
1. ... old ones, and he is claiming new ones - because the people are
2. ... small ones, and he is claiming big ones - because it speaks when they
actually recognize them.
(a) Rav states that if Reuven digs his way into Shimon's house and steals
vessels - he is Patur from returning the vessels, because the Torah permits
the owner to kill him if he discovers him in the act, and we have a
principle 'Kam Lei bi'de'Rabah Minei' (which exempts him from paying once he
is Chayav Miysah).
(b) The reason that the owner is permitted to retrieve his vessels n our
Sugya is - because Rav's concession for the Ganav to keep the vessels only
applies when he dug the tunnel in order to enter the owner's house and
steal, but not when he entered as a guest, and dug the tunnel only as an
(c) Rava does not require the owner to describe the stolen objects in
detail - in the event that the owner is not in the habit of selling his
personal belongings (see also Rambam).
(d) We do not suspect that perhaps he just happened to need money, and that
he sold them in spite of his regular habit - because the rumor that he had a
break-in will suffice to dispense with that suspicion.