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.


(a)Support (for Rav Yehudah - Beraisa): One may not keep a measure that is too big or too small in his house, even to use for a urinal;

1.He may keep certain (dry) measures (these are standard, and we are not concerned lest he claim that it is a different measure, for each is very far from the next standard measure). They are a Se'ah, a half Se'ah, a quarter Se'ah (which is one and a half Kavim), a Kav, a half Kav, a quarter Kav (a Lug), a Tuman (half a Lug), a half Tuman, and an Uchla.

2.Question: What is an Uchla?

3.Answer: It is a fifth of a Lug.

(b)He may keep the following liquid measures: a Hin, a half Hin, a third of a Hin, a quarter Hin, a Lug, a half Lug, a Revi'is (of a Lug), an eighth of a Lug, and an eighth of an eighth of a Lug (a Kortov).

(c)Question: We should allow a two Kavim measure!

(d)Answer #1: It might be used (to cheat) in place of three Kavim.

(e)Rejection: If so, we should not allow a Kav, lest it be used in place of one and a half Kavim!

(f)Answer #2: It might be used in place of one and a half Kavim.

(g)Inference: People might not notice if the measure is a quarter less than it should be.

(h)Question: We should not allow a half Tuman and an Uchla (the later is only a fifth less than the former)!

(i)Answer (Rav Papa): People have better estimation of small measures.

(j)Question: We should not allow a third of a Hin and a quarter Hin!

(k)Answer: Since these two measures were used in the Mikdash (for measuring wine and oil), Chachamim did not decree against them.

(l)Question: Chachamim should have decreed in the Mikdash not to use them!

(m)Answer: Kohanim are zealous, they would not come to err.


(a)(Shmuel): People of the city may not increase the measures more than a sixth, nor may they increase the (weight of the) coins by more than a sixth;

1.One may not profit (through buying and reselling food) more than a sixth (unless the market price increased).

(b)Question: Why is it forbidden to increase the measures more than a sixth?

1.Suggestion: When merchants see that the measures increased, they will raise prices more than they should.

2.Rejection: If so, it should be forbidden to increase them even a sixth!

(c)Answer #1: We do not want the sales should be invalidated. (Perhaps merchants from outside the city did not know that the measures increased. Buyers will take the new measure, and underpay more than a sixth.)

(d)Rejection: Rava taught that if the wrong measure, weight or number was given, even less than a sixth, the sale is invalid (Rashbam; Rambam - the sale stands, but the additional amount must be given or returned).

(e)Answer #2: We do not want merchants to lose money (they normally profit a sixth. They will lose only their profit.)

(f)Objection: A merchant's income is from his profit. We should be concerned for his livelihood!

(g)Answer #3 (Rav Chisda): Chachamim expounded "the Maneh will be 20 Shekalim 25 Shekalim 15 Shekalim";


1.Question: A Maneh is (100 Dinarim,) not 240 (60 Shekalim, i.e. 20 and 25 and 15)!

2.Answer (Rav Chisda): We learn from this three things:

i.The Maneh of Hekdesh is double a normal Maneh;

ii.We may increase measures, but no more than a sixth (a double Maneh should be 200 Dinarim, and the verse considers it 240);

iii.We permit an outer sixth (the increase (40) is a sixth of the total new measure (240), which equals a fifth of the old measure (200)).

(h)Rav Papa bar Shmuel enacted that people use a measure of nine Lugin [some say, three Lugin].

1.Rabanan: Shmuel taught that we may not increase the measures more than a sixth (but this is a third more than the previous measure of six [or two] Lugin)!

2.Rav Papa bar Shmuel: That does not apply to making a new measure. (Rashbam - he was not concerned for cheating, since his city did not use measures of six or 12 [two or four] Lugim, this was not close to any measure in use).

3.Chachamim of Pumbadisa did not agree to this. Chachamim of Papunya agreed.


(a)(Beraisa): "Nishba Hash-m...Im Eshkach la'Netzach... Na'avor ha'Chodesh v'Nashbirah Shever" refers to people who hoard Peros.

1."Veha'Shabas v'Niftecha Bar", "Lehaktin Eifah" and "u'Lehagdil Shekel" refer, respectively, to people who buy Peros to sell them in Shemitah, when they will be expensive, who give a smaller quantity of Peros, and lend on Ribis.

(b)Question: What is an example of one who hoards Peros?

(c)Answer (R. Yochanan): It is Shabtai the hoarder. (He bought in order to sell to poor people at the high market price later in the year. One may hoard in order to sell to Aniyim at the low price when the market price will be higher.)

(d)Shmuel's father would sell at the early (low) price (when grain is finished in the granaries).

1.Shmuel would not sell his own Peros until later when the market price was higher, but he sold at the early (low) price.

2.Chachamim of Eretz Yisrael: Your father was better than you!

3.Question: What is the reason?

4.Answer: He deflated the early price, and ensured that prices will be low the entire year.

(e)(Rav): One may delay selling his own Peros until the price rises.

(f)Support (Beraisa): One may not hoard life-essential Peros (to sell later at a higher price), such as wine, oil and flour;

1.One may do so with spices, such as peppers.

2.It is forbidden only to buy and hoard, but one may hoard what he grows himself.

3.One may buy and hoard in Eretz Yisrael (starting in the year before Shemitah) in order to sell in Shemitah and the following year (so there will be enough food in those years);

i.In famine years, one may not hoard even one Kav of carobs, lest this increase prices.

(g)R. Yosi b'Rebbi Chanina (to his servant): Buy and hoard for me starting in the year before Shemitah, in order to sell in Shemitah and the following year.