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BB 4 – Gina vs. Bika

The Gemara understands that it is more likely that the custom will be to build a wall in regards to a גינה – a vegetable garden or fruit orchard – than a בקעה – a field meant to grow grains. The question is, Why? נ"ל בע"ה that the understanding is that the whole reason that…

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Baba Basra 2-3 – damaging sight

(To prevent any 'mar'is ayin,' this post was posted in America, and while it is already Shabbos in Israel, it is not yet Shabbos in the US.) The gemara introduces us to the concept of hezek re'iyah. At the simplest level, this means that it is possible to cause damage to another with one's vision.…

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BAM 27 – Returning only a Jew's lost objects

How do we understand the fact that the Torah only obligates us to return the lost object of a Jew? Another place we have this question is in regard to the prohibition of taking interest on a loan, which is only forbidden when lending to a Jew, but not to a non-Jew. The question is,…

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BAM 21 – Figs, olives, and carob

The Gemara says that when a fig falls it gets disgusting, and therefore the owner will give up hope on it. However, the indication is that this would not be true in regards to olives and carob. What's the difference between them? So, living in Eretz Yisrael, I am fortunate, בע"ה to have an olive…

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BAM 21 – What is Ye'ush?

Normally we think of Ye'ush as a person giving up hope on his object. This understanding leads us to a very significant problem. How can we have a "Ye'ush shelo mida'as" – a 'giving up hope' without knowing? If Ye'ush involves an active thought on the part of the owner of the object, we would…

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BAM 19 – Life after death

The Gemara hides an incredibly deep concept in some seemingly simple words that we could easily gloss over and understand simply at the surface level. The Gemara states that a healthy person who wishes to give someone else a gift that should take effect after his death must say that it is transferred 'from today…

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BAM 8 – Acquiring together

Rami bar Chama draws an inference from the Mishna's statement that when two people pick up a lost object together, they both acquire it. From this we see that each one intended to acquire it not just for himself, but also for the other person who is picking it up with him. The question is,…

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BAM 2 – Seeing and acquiring

The Gemara begins with an assumption that the two cases of 'finding' and 'all mine' are one. Based on this, the Gemara learns that even though 'finding' could have the connotation of just seeing an object, the extra part of the case, 'all mine,' teaches that it is not enough to see an ownerless object…

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BK 96 – Old coins

The Gemara says that in regards to a case where someone stole a new coin, and it got old and turned black while in the posession of the thief, it is considered a significant change and the thief does not return the coin as is, but rather pays the original value of the coin when…

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BK 92 – asking forgiveness

The Mishna says that one is not forgiven for the damage he has caused until he asks forgiveness from the one he caused damage to. This is proven from the passuk that states that Hashem commanded Avimelech to return Sarah to Avraham. The question is, we don't seem to see anywhere in the verse that…

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