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.

[90a - 28 lines; 90b - 37 lines]

1)[line 5]KABAYIM- a dry measure of 2 Kavim. A Tarkav is 3 Kavim, and a Chatzi Tarkav is 1.5 Kavim. Hence, a Kabayim is a third (1/3) less than a Tarkav, and a fourth (1/4) more than a Chatzi Tarkav.

2)[line 7]TILSA- a third (1/3)

3)[line 10] CHATZI TOMAN V'UCHLA LO LI'AVID- [if we are concerned that people will err in measures that are within a fourth of each other in size, then] we should not make a Chatzi Toman nor an Uchla! (A Chatzi Toman is 1/16th of a Kav, or 1.5 Beitzim (as there are 24 Beitzim in a Kav). An Uchla is 1/20th of a Kav, or 1.2 Beitzim. 1.5 is greater than 1.2 by only 0.3, which is 1/4th of 1.2.)

4)[line 13] KEIVAN D'HAVU BA'MIKDASH- since they were [measures that were used] in the Beis ha'Mikdash

5)[line 14] KOHANIM ZERIZIN HEN- the Kohanim are very meticulous and can be relied upon to perform the Divine service with the utmost care

6)[line 15] EIN MOSIFIN AL HA'MIDOS YOSER MI'SHESUS- we may not increase the standard sizes of weights and measures more than 1/6th

7)[line 17] HA'MISTAKER AL YISTAKER YOSER MI'SHESUS - one who makes a profit (through buying and selling) should not make more than one sixth (ONA'AH / BITUL MEKACH)

If a person makes a profit of one sixth of the total value on an item that he sells without the purchaser's knowledge, the transaction is valid, but the seller must return the profit to the purchaser. If the profit is less than one sixth, nothing is returned. If the profit is more than one sixth, the sale is invalid even if the profit is returned.

8)[line 19] AFKU'EI TAR'A- those who inflate the market price (when these sellers see that an increase has been made in the weights and measures of a certain place, they will in turn increase their prices, but by much more than the increase of the measure)

9)[line 20] ELA MISHUM ONA'AH, D'LO LEHEVEI BITUL MEKACH- rather, the reason is because of the law of Ona'ah, so that the sale not be entirely annulled. Normally, if the buyer pays a sixth less than the worth of the object, the law of Ona'ah applies (see above, entry #7): the transaction is valid, and the buyer must pay the outstanding amount to the seller. Therefore, in a place where they increased the measures by a sixth, a traveling salesman who comes to town and is unaware of the increase will be paid a sixth less than what his merchandise is worth. The transaction will be valid, though, and he will just need to receive the difference in payment. If, however, they increase the measures by more than a sixth, then the seller who comes to that place will be underpaid by more than a sixth, and the transaction will not be valid. (RASHBAM; see MAHARSHA.)

10)[line 21] , , KOL DAVAR SHEB'MIDAH VESHEB'MISHKAL VESHEB'MINYAN, AFILU PACHOS MI'CHEDEI ONA'AH, CHOZER- anything that [when it is sold it] is measured, weighed, or counted, even if the overpayment or underpayment is less than a sixth, either party may retract

11)[line 23] D'LO LEHEVEI PESEIDA L'TAGRA- in order that a [visiting] merchant not suffer a loss. A merchant is entitled to profit up to a sixth when he sells his merchandise. If the place where he is visiting increased its measures by a sixth, and he is not aware of it, the extra sixth that he charges will be offset by the extra sixth of merchandise that he gives (due to the increase of the measures of that place). Consequently, he will not profit, but he also will not suffer a loss. If, on the other hand, the measures were increased by more than a sixth, then the merchant who is unaware of the change will suffer a loss.

12)[line 24]RAVCHA- profit

13)[line 24] ?!ZAVAN V'ZAVIN TAGARA IKREI?!- [Does] a person buy and sell [at the same price he bought, without making any profit] merely to be called a merchant?! (Rather, a person buys and sells in order to make a profit.)

14)[line 26]" ; ""VEHA'SHEKEL ESRIM GERAH; ESRIM SHEKALIM, CHAMISHAH V'ESRIM SHEKALIM, ASARAH VA'CHAMISHAH SHEKEL, HA'MANEH YIHEYEH LACHEM"- "The Shekel will be 20 Gerah. 20 Shekels, 25 Shekels, and 15 Shekels will constitute a Maneh for you." (Yechezkel 45:12)


15)[line 1] ?MANEH, MASAN V'ARBA'IN HAVU?- is a Maneh worth 240 Dinar? (The verse in Yechezkel describes a Maneh as consisting of 60 Shekalim. Each Shekal contains 4 Dinar. However, we know that a Maneh contains 25 Shekalim, which is equal to 100 Dinar.)

16)[line 2] MANEH SHEL KODESH KAFUL HAYAH- the Maneh used for purposes of Hekdesh was doubled the size of the Maneh used for ordinary purposes

17)[line 2] , SHEMA MINAH: MOSIFIN AL HA'MIDOS V'EIN MOSIFIN YOSER MI'SHESUS- we learn from here that we may increase the size of measures, but we may not increase them by more than a sixth. This is derived from the fact that they added a sixth to the Maneh of Kodesh, which was originally 50 Shekalim, and made it 60 Shekalim. (The latter teaching - that we may not increase the measures by more than a sixth - is not actually derived from the verse in Yechezkel, but rather it is the Gemara's addition.)

18)[line 4] SHESUSA MIL'VAR- the sixth part that is added is from the resultant total; i.e. to each five portions one is added, an addition of twenty percent

19)[line 5] TAKIN KAILA BAR TELASA KEFIZEI- he established a measure that was equal to 9 Lugin (a Kefiza is 3 Lugin)

20)[line 8]PUMBEDISA- a town in Bavel (lit. Mouth of Bedisa, a canal of the Euphrates), the location of a great Yeshiva that existed for approximately 800 years. The scholars of Pumbedisa were known for their keen intellect (Bava Metzia 38b). To emphasize its importance as a Torah center, Rabah and Rav Yosef stated that just as one is prohibited from leaving Eretz Yisrael to Chutz la'Aretz, so, too, is one prohibited to leave Pumbedisa (Kesuvos 111a).

21)[line 9]PAFUNYA- a town in Bavel, presumably Epiphania on the Euphrates

22)[line 9] ROZ PAPA- "the measure of Papa," the name which they gave to the new measurement, naming it for the one who instituted it, Rav Papa bar Shmuel

23)[line 10]( )(SIMAN OTZREI FEIROS EIN OTZRIN V'EIN MOTZI'IN V'EIN MISTAKRIN PA'AMAYIM B'VEITZIM MASRI'IN V'LO MOTZI'IN) - this is a mnemonic device for remembering the following Beraisa'os that the Gemara brings that discuss various laws of market manipulation:

1.Otzrei Feiros refers to "Tanu Rabanan, Otzrei Feiros u'Malvei b'Ribis..." (line 12)

2.Ein Otzrin refers to "Tanya Nami Hachi, Ein Otzrin Peiros, Devarim she'Yesh Bahen Chayei Nefesh..." (line 25)

3.v'Ein Motzi'in refers to "Tanu Rabanan, Ein Motzi'in Peiros me'Eretz Yisrael..." (line 35)

4.v'Ein Mistakrin refers to "Tanu Rabanan, Ein Mistakrin b'Eretz Yisrael..." (Daf 91a, line 1)

5.Pa'amayim b'Veitzim refers to "Tanu Rabanan, Ein Mistakrin Pa'amayim b'Veitzim..." (Daf 91a, line 6)

6.Masri'in refers to "Tanu Rabanan, Masri'in Al Perakmatya..." (Daf 91a, line 9)

7.v'Lo Motzi'in refers to "Tanu Rabanan, Ein Yotzi'in me'Aretz l'Chutz la'Aretz..." (Daf 91a, line 11)

24a)[line 12] OTZREI FEIROS- those who hoard produce (refraining from selling it until the demand is so great that they can raise the prices significantly)

b)[line 12] MELAVEI B'RIBIS- those who lend with interest

c)[line 13] MAKTINEI EIFAH- those who decrease the size of their Eifah measure (in order to cheat the buyers)

d)[line 13] MAFKI'EI SHE'ARIM- those who add to the market price (by withholding the produce until the end of the month)

25)[line 14]"[ , [] ,] ; . [ , .] ' , ""[SHIM'U ZOS HA'SHO'AFIM EVYON, V'LASH'BIS ANIYEI ARETZ,] LEIMOR: MASAI YA'AVOR HA'CHODESH, V'NASHBIRAH SHEVER, VEHA'SHABBOS, V'NIFTECHAH BAR; L'HAKTIN EIFAH UL'HAGDIL SHEKEL, UL'AVES MOZNEI MIRMAH. [LI'KNOS BA'KESEF DALIM, V'EVYON BA'AVUR NA'ALAYIM, U'MAPAL BAR NASHBIR.] NISHBA HASH-M BI'GE'ON YAKOV, 'IM ESHKACH LA'NETZACH KOL MA'ASEIHEM.'" - "[Listen to this, you who devour the needy, who decimate the poor of the land,] saying: When will the month pass, so that we will able to sell grain? The Shemitah, and we will open the stores of grain, to reduce the Eifah and increase the Shekel, and distort with scales of deceit? [To purchase the poor with silver and the needy and the destitute for shoes, and we shall sell the refuse of the grain.] HaSh-m has sworn by the glory of Yakov that 'I will never forget all their deeds.'" (Amos 8:4-8) (THE PEOPLE'S SINS IN THE TIMES OF AMOS)

The ensuing verses describe HaSh-m's punishment for these deceitful actions: He would cause the sun to set in the middle of the day, and the land would become dark (a reference to the sudden death of the young king, Yoshiyahu, at the hand of Par'oh Necho, who merely wanted to pass through Yisrael's territory, as the Gemara explains in Ta'anis (22a). The Navi describes how HaSh-m shall transform their joyous days into mourning and their songs into lamentations, like a person mourning the loss of his only son.

26)[line 19] SHABSAI ATZAR PEIROS- Shabsai, "the hoarder of produce," who hoarded produce in order to raise their market value. The Gemara in Yoma (82b-83a) relates that a certain pregnant woman smelled food and had a strong urge to eat on Yom Kippur. Rebbi Chanina advised that the people whisper in her ear that it is Yom Kippur in order to calm down the urge of the fetus. The fetus, though, did not accept the censure, and its urge persisted. They referred to the baby with the verse, "The wicked are estranged from the womb" (Tehilim 58:4). The baby was born and grew up to be Shabsai, the one who hoarded produce to raise the prices.

27)[line 20] MAZBIN LEHU L'FEIREI B'SAR'A CHARAFA K'SAR'A CHARAFA- he sold the produce during the time of the early (inexpensive) market price, for the rate of the early (inexpensive) market price

28)[line 22] B'SAR'A AFEILA K'SAR'A CHARAFA- [he sold the produce] at the time of the late (expensive) market price, for the rate of the early (inexpensive) market price

29)[line 23] TAR'A D'RAVACH, RAVACH- once the market price has benefited, it has benefited (and it will no longer become inflated)

30)[line 24] OSEH ADAM ES KABO OTZAR- a person may store away his own produce (i.e. that his own field produces)

31)[line 26] CHAYEI NEFESH- staple food (on which life depends)

32)[line 27]SILTOS- grains

33a)[line 27]TAVLIN- spices

b)[line 27]KAMON- cumin

c)[line 27]PILPELIN- peppercorns

34a)[line 29] ' MUTAR L'ADAM LE'ETZOR PEIROS B'ERETZ YISRAEL SHALOSH SHANIM- it is permitted to store away produce (of the sixth year of the Shemitah cycle) in Eretz Yisrael for three years: the sixth, the seventh, and half of the eighth

b)[line 31]SHEVI'IS

(a)The Torah requires that farmers desist from working the land every seventh year, as described in Vayikra 25:1-7. The fruits that grow during the seventh (Shevi'is) year are holy to the extent that 1. they must be considered ownerless; anyone may come into any field and pick the fruit that he intends to eat. 2. The fruits may not be bought and sold in a normal fashion (see Insights to Sukah 39:2). 3. The Torah requires that the fruits of Shevi'is be used only for eating or drinking (in the normal manner of eating for that type of fruit) or for burning to provide light (in the case of oil). They may not be wasted or used for medicinal purposes or animal fodder, etc.

(b)One may not plant grain during Shemitah, nor do any work that improves the land or the trees growing from the land.

(c)The Shemitah year is meant to teach the Jewish people to rely on HaSh-m for their sustenance, a fact that is not always clear to them during the six years in which they work their own fields.

35)[line 31] SHENEI BATZORES- years of famine

36)[line 32]CHARUVIN- carobs

37)[line 32]ME'ERAH- curse

38)[line 34] L'PUGA, SHAM'EI- to Puga, his servant

39)[line 34]PUK- go out

40)[line 36] SHE'MEMA'ET ES HA'TIFLAH- [taking wine out of Eretz Yisrael is beneficial in that] that it decreases frivolity

41)[last line]SURYA- Syria; areas of modern-day Syria that were conquered by David ha'Melech