POINT BY POINT SUMMARY
Prepared by Rabbi P. Feldman
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
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Previous daf Bava Metzia 108
BAVA METZIA 106-108 - Ari Kornfeld has generously sponsored the
Dafyomi publications for these Dafim for the benefit of Klal
1) LAWS RELATING TO RIVERS
(a) Rabah bar Rav Nachman saw a forest on the riverbank;
people told him that it was Rabah bar bar Chanah's. He
was appalled; he told them to cut it.
2) A NEIGHBOR'S RIGHT TO BUY LAND
(b) Rabah bar bar Chanah saw them cutting it - he gave a
curse that the cutter's children should die.
1. As long as Rabah bar bar Chanah: lived, Rabah bar
Rav Nachman's children did not survive.
(c) (Rav Yehudah): Everyone must share the cost of the wall
around the city, even orphans, but not Chachamim;
1. This is because Chachamim do not need protection.
(d) Even Chachamim must share the cost of digging wells for
water to drink;
1. This is when they hire people to dig - but if the
people themselves dig, Chachamim are exempt (it is
not fitting for them to dig).
(e) (Rav Yehudah): When a river's flow is impeded by rocks
and sediment, the people downstream must help excavate
upstream (for this helps them), but the people upstream
need not help excavate downstream (for this hurts them,
the water level upstream decreases).
1. The law is just the opposite regarding a trench to
enable excess rainwater to flow away (since the
people upstream need that the water can flow below,
but not vice-versa).
(f) (Shmuel): (By Persian law, one who pays taxes for
property may use it.) One who pays taxes for the area
where ships alight (and builds or farms on it) - this is
impudence, but we may not force him to leave;
2. Support (Beraisa): If five gardens receive water from
a spring, and it was impaired, every owner must help
fix it (if the problem is) upstream (of himself);
i. The bottommost owner must help no matter where
the problem is; if it is by him, he fixes it
3. By similar reasoning, (the law is the opposite)
regarding (a trench to enable excess rainwater to
flow away from) Chatzeros: if it was impaired,
members of a Chatzer must help (if the problem is)
downstream (of their Chatzer);
i. The top Chatzer must help no matter where the
problem is; if it is by them, they fix it
1. Nowadays, they write in the contract that one who
buys land by the river gets (the entire bank and) in
the river itself up to where the water reaches a
horse's neck (and they fence of the area near the
bank, someone who pays the taxes and takes this
land) we force him to leave.
(a) (Rav Yehudah): One who pays the taxes and takes the land
between two brothers or partners - this is impudence (he
should have allowed one of them to get it), but we may
not force him to leave;
(b) (Rav Nachman): We force him to leave;
1. If it is not between brothers or partners, but the
neighbor wanted to buy it to adjoin it to his
property (like the law of Bar Metzra, that a
neighbor has the right to buy land before anyone
else), we do not force him to leave.
(c) Question: If Reuven asked Shimon's advice about buying
the land next to Shimon; and Shimon told him to buy it -
must Reuven acquire the rights to buy it from Shimon (to
prevent Shimon from later exercising his right to buy
2. (Chachamim of Nehardai): Even in this case, we force
him to leave - "V'Asisa ha'Yashar veha'Tov b'Einei
(d) Answer #1 (Ravina): He need not acquire.
(e) Answer #2 (Chachamim of Nehardai): He must acquire.
1. The Halachah is, he must acquire.
(f) If he did not acquire, the land really belongs to Shimon;
even if the value rose or dropped, Shimon pays Reuven
exactly what Reuven paid for it.
(g) If Reuven bought it for 100 and it was really worth 200:
if the seller would have sold for 100 to anyone, Shimon
1. If the seller would have charged anyone else 200,
Shimon pays 200.
(h) Opinion #1: If Reuven bought it for 200 and it was really
worth 100, Shimon can say, you are as an agent to buy the
land for me - but not to overpay! I only have to pay you
(i) Rejection (Mar Kashisha brei d'Rav Chisda): Chachamim of
Nehardai say, land is worth whatever one pays for it
(Shimon must pay 200).
(j) Levi bought a small piece of land in the middle of
Yehudah's property: if it was Idis or Ziburis, the sale
is fully valid;
3) PRECEDENCE OF BUYERS
1. If not, we assume it is a scheme (in order that when
Yehudah later sells other parts of his land
bordering on this piece, Levi will be considered a
neighbor and will be entitled to buy half of it.
Rashi - therefore, even the first sale is void;
Rambam - therefore, Levi is not considered a
neighbor for future sales).
(k) The law of Bar Metzra does not apply to a gift.
(l) (Ameimar): If the giver accepted Acharayos, the law of
Bar Metzra applies (surely it is a sale disguised as a
gift to avoid the law).
(m) If Reuven sold all his property to Shimon, the law of Bar
Metzra does not apply (perhaps Shimon will not want to
buy if he cannot buy it all - Chachamim did not enact the
law when it may harm the seller).
(n) If one sells property back to the original owner, the law
of Bar Metzra does not apply (it is better for him to get
back his property than for a neighbor to get it).
(o) If Reuven buys from or sells to a Nochri, the law of Bar
Metzra does not apply:
1. If Reuven bought from a Nochri, he greatly benefited
Shimon (who borders on the land), he saved him from
potential damage (perhaps another Nochri would have
bought it before Shimon)!
(p) If Levi took Yehudah's land as Mashkanta (collateral for
a loan) and then bought it, the law of Bar Metzra does
2. If Reuven sold to a Nochri, the law does not apply -
a Nochri is not commanded "V'Asisa ha'Yashar
3. We excommunicate Reuven until he accepts to pay for
any damages the Nochri will cause.
1. (Rav Ashi): 'Mashkanta' - it is Shechuna (dwelling)
(q) If Reuven sells land far from his house or poor land, in
order to buy closer or better land, the law of Bar Metzra
does not apply (to what he buys - we will not hurt him to
help the neighbors of the seller).
2. Question: What do we learn from this?
3. Answer: The law of Bar Metzra does not apply (the
lender is considered the closest neighbor).
(r) If one sells land to get money for the head-tax, food or
burial, the law of Bar Metzra does not apply (these are
urgent, he need not wait to inform the neighbors);
1. (Chachamim of Nehardai): We sell orphans' property
without waiting the normal time to announce this (to
get the best price) to get money for the head-tax,
food or burial.
(s) One who sells to a woman, orphans or his partner - the
law of Bar Metzra does not apply (it is hard for women
and orphans to buy land; a partner is considered the
closest neighbor, since he owned half).
(a) Version #1 (Rashi): Reuven is selling a field, Shimon and
Levi want to buy it (neither has the adjoining property).
If Shimon's house (in the city) is near Reuven's house,
and Levi's field is near Reuven's field, Shimon has
(b) Version #2 (Tosfos): Reuven is selling a field, Shimon
and Levi want to buy it (each owns an adjoining field).
If Shimon's field borders the city and Levi's field is
further from the city, Shimon has precedence.
(c) (Rashi - also the next cases are when the buyers do not
have adjoining property; Tosfos ha'Rosh - they have
(d) If a neighbor and a Chacham want to buy, the Chacham has
precedence; if a relative and a Chacham want to buy, the
Chacham has precedence.
(e) Question: If a relative and a neighbor want to buy, who
(f) Answer: "Tov Shachen Karov me'Ach Rachok".
(g) If the neighbor offers bad coins and someone else offers
good coins, the law of Bar Metzra does not apply.
(h) If the neighbor sent a wrapped and sealed bundle of coins
to buy the land, and someone else sent loose coins, the
law of Bar Metzra does not apply (the seller is afraid to
open the wrapped coins, lest the neighbor claim that
there were more).
(i) If the neighbor needs time to raise the money (and
someone else has the money ready), the seller need not
wait for him;
1. If the neighbor asks for time to bring the money -
if we estimate that he may have the money already,
we wait for him; if not, not.
(j) If Reuven's house is built on Shimon's property: if
Reuven sells his house, Shimon has first precedence to
1. If Shimon sells his land, Reuven does not have first
precedence to buy (Rashi - since he does not own the
house permanently; Rambam - the case is, Reuven's
allotted time has expired).
(k) If Reuven owns date trees on Shimon's land (for a fixed
time or until they dry out): if Reuven sells his trees,
Shimon has first precedence to buy;
1. If Shimon sells his land, Reuven does not have first
precedence to buy.
(l) If the neighbor wants to buy the land for farming and
someone else wants to build a house on it, the law of Bar
Metzra does not apply (settlement has precedence);
(m) If rocky land or a dense row of date trees separates
between the neighbor and the land for sale: if one can
plow a row (from one field to the other) without have to
stop (because of the trees) , the law of Bar Metzra
applies; if not, not.
(n) If one of the four neighbors (on the four sides) bought
first, he keeps the entire land;
1. If they come together to buy, we split the land
along the diagonals, each neighbor gets the quarter
bordering his property.