BAVA BASRA 90 (26 Nisan) - dedicated by Avi and Lily Berger of Queens, N.Y./Passaic, N.J. in memory of Avi's mother, Leah bas Michel Mordechai, for the day of her Yahrzeit.

1)

(a)The Tana goes on to list the liquid measures that one is permitted to keep in the house: 'Hin, Chatzi Hin, Shelishis ha'Hin, Revi'is ha'Hin, Log, Chatzi Log, Revi'is, Sheminis and Kortov. How much is a Kortov?

(b)What is the connection between the liquid measure 'Hin' and the solid measure 'Tarkov'?

(c)In the same vein, if half a Hin is equivalent to half a Tarkav, what is the solid equivalent of a third of the liquid measure Hin?

(d)Why did Chazal not institute a liquid measure for an eighth of a Hin (one and a half Lugin)? What were they afraid the seller might do?

1)

(a)The Tana goes on to list the liquid measures that one is permitted to keep in the house: 'Hin, Chatzi Hin, Shelishis ha'Hin, Revi'is ha'Hin, Log, Chatzi Log, Revi'is, Sheminis and Kortov - which is a sixteenth of a Log (or, according to other texts, a sixty-fourth).

(b)The liquid measure 'Hin' - is the equivalent of the solid measure 'Tarkov' (which is three Kabin, as we explained earlier).

(c)In the same vein, half a Hin is equivalent to half a Tarkav, and the solid equivalent of a third of the liquid measure Hin - is a Kav.

(d)Chazal did not institute a liquid measure for an eighth of a Hin (one and a half Lugin) - because it is too similar to the half-Kav solid measure (which is equivalent to two Lugin, only less than a quarter more than it, which people would therefore confuse [and the seller will take advantage of the confusion to use the smaller measure when selling the larger amount]).

2)

(a)What is the equivalent solid measure of the liquid ...

1. ... Log?

2. ... Chatzi Log?

3. ... Revi'is ha'Log?

(b)Why is there no solid measure for an eighth of a Log (half an egg-volume) like there is by its liquid counterpart?

2)

(a)The equivalent solid measure of the liquid ...

1. ... Log - is a quarter of a Kav.

2. ... Chatzi Log - is a Tomen (an eighth of a Kav).

3. ... Revi'is ha'Log - is a Chatzi Tomen.

(b)There is no solid measure for an eighth of a Log (half an egg-volume) like there is by its liquid counterpart - because it is unusual to weigh such small amounts of solids. On the odd occasion that one does (because they are precious), one either assesses their value or weighs them.

3)

(a)How do we refute the reasoning that Chazal did not institute a solid measure of two Kabin because it is similar to ...

1. ... a Tarkav (a third more)? What would then be the problem with the Kav measure?

2. ... half a Tarkav (a quarter more)? What is then be the problem with the Chatzi Tomen ve'Uchla?

(b)How does Rav Papa refute the latter Kashya? Why is there no problem with Chatzi Tomen and Uchla?

(c)And how do we then explain the fact that they instituted both the third of a Hin and the quarter of a Hin measures (since the one is only a quarter more than the other)?

(d)Why did they not decree in the Beis-Hamikdash itself?

3)

(a)We refute the reasoning that Chazal did not institute a solid measure of two Kabin because it is similar to ...

1. ... a Tarkav (a third more) - because we would then ask why Chazal instituted the Kav measure, which is only a third less than half a Tarkov (one and a half Kabin).

2. ... half a Tarkav (a quarter more) - because we would then ask why they instituted both a Chatzi Tomen and an Uchla, where the difference between them too, is only minimal, as we explained on the previous Amud.

(b)Rav Papa refutes the latter Kashya by confining the fear of confusing one measure with another to large measures, but not to small ones, such as Chatzi Tomen and Uchla, with which people are well-acquainted.

(c)They nevertheless instituted both the third and quarter of a Hin measures (despite the fact that the one is only a quarter more than the other) - because both of them were used in the Beis ha'Mikdash (as we learned earlier 'Shenasos Hayu be'Hin ... ')

(d)Neither did they want to decree in the Beis-Hamikdash itself - where we have a principle 'Kohanim Zerizin heim' (meaning that the Kohanim, who are swift and alert, are not prone to making such mistakes).

4)

(a)What did Shmuel mean when he said 'Ein Mosifin ...

1. ... al ha'Midos Yoser mi'Shetus'?

2. ... al ha'Matbe'a Yoser mi'Shetus'?

(b)What third thing did Shmuel add to this list?

(c)Under which circumstances will this third ruling not apply?

(d)Why does the current prohibition have no connection with the La'av of Ona'ah?

4)

(a)When Shmuel said 'Ein Mosifin ...

1. ... al ha'Midos Yoser mi'Shetus', he meant - that if Beis-Din decides to increase the measures of the town (from a Kur to a Revi'is), then they may only add up to one sixth (a measure that holds for example, five egg-volumes, will now hold six [meaning that they decreased the composition of the commodity by one sixth]).

2. ... al ha'Matbe'a Yoser mi'Shetus', he meant that the same rule applies to coins (in other words, they inflated the value of the coins by a sixth maximum).

(b)The third thing that Shmuel added to this list is that - a store-keeper may earn a maximum of one sixth more than he paid the wholesaler for the wine or fruit.

(c)This third ruling will not apply however - if he purchased the goods in the cheap season (when the corn is still in the barn), and is selling them later when the higher price has been announced (because then, he is permitted to profit commensurate with the price rise).

(d)There is no connection between the La'av of Ona'ah - which is d'Oraysa, and this prohibition - which is a Takanas Chachamim (for reasons that will now be discussed).

5)

(a)Why can Chazal's reason for this Takanah not have been for fear that merchants who bring their wares to sell will raise their prices accordingly (causing the prices to spiral uncontrollably)?

(b)So we suggest that it is because of 'Bitul Mekach'. What does that mean? What problem will raising the prices by more than a sixth bring about?

(c)We refute this suggestion too, on the basis of something that Rava said? What did Rava say that equates Ona'ah with Bitul Mekach in this case?

5)

(a)Chazal's reason for this Takanah cannot be for fear that merchants who bring their wares to sell will raise their prices accordingly (causing prices to spiral uncontrollably) - because then there would be no reason for Chazal to confine the Takanah to more than a sixth.

(b)So we suggest that it is because of Bitul Mekach, which means - that should a merchant from out of town sell five Kabin for five Dinrim, then, as long as the increase (of which he is unaware) is confined to a sixth, he will now inadvertently be giving six Kabin instead of five, entailing Ona'ah, which will enable him to claim his loss from the purchaser. Whereas if they were to increase the measures by more than a sixth, it would be a case of Bitul Mekach, and the entire sale would be nullified, which is something that the Chachamim want to avoid.

(c)We refute this suggestion too, on the basis of Rava, who said that [whatever is measured, weighed or counted is immediately subject to Bitul Mekach (even if it is exactly a sixth).

6)

(a)Perhaps, we suggest, the object of the Takanah is to prevent the merchant from making a loss on his sale. What does this mean?

(b)On what grounds do we refute this explanation too? What does 'Zavan ve'Zavin Tagra Ikri?' mean?

(c)What ought Shmuel to have said had that been the reason?

6)

(a)Perhaps, we suggest, the object of the Takanah is to prevent the merchant from making a loss on his sale. Because - by allowing the merchant to gain a sixth, increasing the measures by a sixth (but not more) at least ensures that he does not lose anything (even if he doesn't gain either).

(b)But we refute this explanation too, on the basis of the principle 'Zavan ve'Zavin Tagra Ikri' (Is someone who buys and sells at the same price [without making any profit] called a merchant!?).

(c)Moreover, had that been the reason, Shmuel ought to have said - 'Ein Mosifin al ha'Midos Sh'tus, Ki-im *Pachos mi'Shetus*'.

7)

(a)Rav Chisda concludes that Shmuel based his ruling on a Pasuk in Yechezkel. What does the Navi mean when he writes "ve'ha'Shekel Esrim Geirah, Esrim Shekalim, Chamishah ve'Esrim Shekalim, Asarah va'Chamishah Shekel, ha'Manah"?

(b)Why does he break up the Shekalim in this way?

(c)What is the definition of 'Shekel' in this context?

(d)How many ...

1. ... Geirah are there in a Dinar?

2. ... Dinrim in a Sela?

7)

(a)Rav Chisda concludes that Shmuel based his ruling on a Pasuk in Yechezkel. When the Navi writes "ve'ha'Shekel Esrim Geirah, Esrim Shekalim, Chamishah ve'Esrim Shekalim, Asarah va'Chamishah Shekel, ha'Manah", he means - that a Manah comprises sixty Shekalim.

(b)He breaks up the Shekalim in this way - because in some places, a Manah comprised twenty Shekalim, in others, twenty-five, and in some places, fifteen.

(c)"Shekel" in this context refers to - a Sela (because a Shekel of Kodesh is double, and two Shekalim comprise a Sela).

(d)There are ...

1. ... five Geirah in a Dinar.

2. ... four Dinrim in a Sela.

90b----------------------------------------90b

8)

(a)Based on the Pasuk in Yechezkel, how many Dinrim comprise sixty Shekalim?

(b)How many Dinrim would one normally expect to find in a Manah?

(c)How do we then explain the fact that Yechezkel refers to two hundred and forty?

(d)Which other two interrelated Chidushim can we learn from Yechezkel?

(e)Why is this not considered four Chidushim, and not three?

8)

(a)Based on the Pasuk in Yechezkel - two hundred and forty Dinrim comprise sixty Shekalim.

(b)One would normally expect to find - a hundred Dinrim in a Manah.

(c)Yechezkel refers to two hundred and forty Dinrim - because to begin with, a Manah of Kodesh (just like a Shekel of Kodesh) is double a Manah of Chulin.

(d)We can also learn from Yechezkel - that Beis-Din may increase the measures (that when they do, they may add the maximum of a sixth) and that the sixth under discussion is a sixth of the total (which we would refer to as a fifth).

(e)This is not considered four Chidushim - because confining the addition to a sixth is not contained in the Pasuk (and is the Chachamim's own decision).

9)

(a)Rav Papa bar Shmuel introduced a measure of three K'pizi. How much is that?

(b)We ask how he could do this, in view of Shmuel's prohibition to increase a measure by more than a sixth. What is the problem? Which measure was being exceeded by more than a sixth (even than a quarter)?

(c)What could we equally well have asked from a Tarkav measure?

(d)How did Rav Papa bar Shmuel justify his Takanah?

(e)In Pumbedisa, they did not accept his answer (presumably, because nonetheless, these are official measures, irrespective of the fact that they did not have them), in Papunya they did. Why did they refer to him there as 'Roz' [or 'Don] Papa')?

9)

(a)Rav Papa introduced a measure of three K'pizi - which is the equivalent of nine Lugin.

(b)We ask how he could do this, in view of Shmuel's prohibition of increasing a measure by more than a sixth. The problem is - that this measure is a third more than a Chatzi Tarkav (which is six Lugin).

(c)We could equally well have asked from a Tarkav measure (twelve Lugin) - inasmuch as three K'pizi is a quarter less.

(d)Rav Papa bar Shmuel justified his Takanah - inasmuch as, at that point, his town did not have measures of either a Chatzi Tarkav or a Tarkav.

(e)In Pumbedisa, they did not accept his answer (presumably, because nonetheless, these are official measures, irrespective of the fact that they did not have them) but in Papunya they did. They referred to him there as 'Roz' [or 'Don] Papa') - because this is what the new measure was called in that area.

10)

(a)The Navi Amos cites Hash-m, who has sworn that He will never forgive the deeds of four kinds of people: Otzrei Peiros, Malvei be'Ribis, Maktinei Eifah and Mafki'ei She'arim. What are 'Otzrei Peiros'? Why is this forbidden?

(b)Under which circumstances is it permitted?

(c)Mafki'ei She'arim too, force up the price of the produce in a similar way. What is the difference between them and Otzrei Peiros?

(d)And what are Maktinei Eifah?

10)

(a)The Navi Amos cites Hash-m, who has sworn that He will never forgive the deeds of four kinds of people: Otzrei Peiros, Malvei be'Ribis, Maktinei Eifah and Mafki'ei She'arim. 'Otzrei Peiros' are - people who buy up the crops, which they then store for long periods of time, to create a scarcity and the opportunity of selling them at high prices later (sometimes in the Sh'mitah year). This case (as well as the others, is considered exploitation of the poor).

(b)It is permitted however - when the majority of the town's residents are gentiles.

(c)Mafki'ei She'arim too, force up the price of the produce in a similar way. The difference between them and Otzrei Peiros is that - whereas the latter store the crops for long periods, they do it in the short term (e.g. for just a month until after the barn-season).

(d)'Maktinei Eifah' are - people who keep the measures low, so that the purchasers should receive as little as possible for their money.

11)

(a)Who was Shabsi Otzar Peiros?

(b)Under which circumstances is it permitted?

(c)What do we mean when we relate how Shmuel's father used to sell fruit 'be'Tar'a Charfa, ke'Tar'a Charfa'?

(d)What did his son, Shmuel used to do?

(e)On what grounds did they send from Eretz Yisrael that the deeds of the father were preferable to those of the son? What does 'Tar'a de'Ravach Ravach' mean?

11)

(a)Shabsi Otzar Peiros was - a professional 'Otzar Peiros' (see Rabeinu Gershom).

(b)It is permitted - to store the crops in the barn-season, to sell them later when the price rises, at the original price (even though this causes the prices to rise).

(c)When we relate how Shmuel's father used to sell fruit 'be'Tar'a Charfa, ke'Tar'a Charfa', we mean that - he used to sell the crops cheaply in the barn-season (when the prices were still low).

(d)His son, Shmuel - used to store the crops in the barn-season, to sell them later after the prices rose, at the original cost (like Shabsi Otzer Peiros).

(e)They sent from Eretz Yisrael that the deeds of the father were preferable to those of the son - because whereas Shmuel forced the prices up, Shmuel's father kept the prices down (due to the principle 'Tar'a de'Ravach Ravach', which means that once the price starts out low, it is liable to remain low).

12)

(a)What does Rav mean when he says 'Oseh Adam es Kabo Otzar'?

(b)What does the corroborating Beraisa say about 'Otzar' in time of famine?

(c)On what condition will even this be permitted?

(d)What does the Tana say about making an Otzar ...

1. ... of wine, oil and flour?

2. ... of spice, cumin and peppers?

12)

(a)When Rav says 'Oseh Adam es Kabo Otzar' he means - to confine the prohibition of Otzar to someone who specifically purchases fruit with the intention of hoarding it, but not to someone who hoards his own crops, which he is perfectly entitled to do.

(b)The corroborating Beraisa - forbids hoarding even one's own crops during a time of famine ...

(c)... if it is for selling (because it has an adverse affect on the price). Storing for one's personal and family's needs however, even in time of famine - is permitted.

(d)The Tana ...

1. ... forbids making an Otzar of wine, oil and flour (which are indispensable), but ...

2. ... permits making one of spice, cumin and peppers (which are not).

13)

(a)On what grounds did Rebbi Yossi be'Rebbi Chanina order Puga his slave to store fruits for Erev Shevi'is, Shevi'is and Motza'ei Shevi'is?

(b)On what did he base this ruling?

(c)Seeing as Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Chanina was an Amora, why should Sh'mitah have applied in his days (after the Churban Beis-Hamikdash)?

13)

(a)Rebbi Yossi be'Rebbi Chanina ordered Puga his slave to store fruits for Erev Shevi'is, Shevi'is - so that food should be available should it be needed; and for Motza'ei Shevi'is - to offset the possibility of people dying of hunger.

(b)He based this ruling - on a Beraisa, which permits it.

(c)Despite the fact that Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Chanina was an Amora, who lived after the Churban Beis-Hamikdash, he maintained that Sh'mitah applied in his time - because he held that the original Kedushah of Eretz Yisrael took effect once and for all time.