Bava Batra

Bava Batra 13: Splitting Up

February 15, 2017 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The opening Mishna of Bava Batra teaches that in the interest of privacy, one neighbour can force the other to build a wall dividing their common property. However, not everything is fit to be divided. The Mishna (Bava Batra 11a) lists the various minimum areas needed to force a division of property so that each will have enough room to effectively use the divided space. For a courtyard, the minimum area needed for each is four square ...
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Bava Batra 10: Put it in Writing

February 12, 2017 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Visiting Yeshiva Chachmei Lublin as Torah in Motion “Journeyed through Jewish History”, sitting in the beautifully rebuilt, but tragically empty, Beit Midrash, I read the schedule that Rav Meir Shapiro, the founder of the Yeshiva – and the originator of the idea for Daf Yomi – set for the students. That some (if I recall correctly) ninety minutes a day were devoted to Daf Yomi comes as no surprise – though I doubt...
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Bava Batra 9: Please Sir, May I Have Some More?

February 07, 2017 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The Ramah in his glosses to the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh Deah 249:1) rules that the mitzva of tzedakah can only be fulfilled by giving to the poor. This would seem to be the most plausible, perhaps the only, conclusion one can draw from the Torah’s description of this great mitzva. “If there be among you a needy man, one of thy brethren, in any of your gates, in your land which the Lord your G-d gives to you, do not harden thy heart,...
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Bava Batra 8: Come On In

February 05, 2017 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“We force him [the resident of a courtyard] to contribute to the building of the guard’s gate” (Bava Batra 7b). When we think of a guard at the entranceway to a courtyard - or in the lobby of an apartment building – we think of a security guard hired to protect the property and its residents. While this may be a key function, our rabbis feared that a guard’s gate would serve other, less desirable purposes.  ...
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Bava Batra 4: Good Fences

February 02, 2017 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The opening pages of Bava Batra discuss how neighbours can force one another to build a fence between their properties. As we discussed in a prior post here, this rule is based on the principle of hezek reiyah, that viewing the private affairs of another is an actionable invasion of privacy. As such this law only applies in a residential area, where one has the right to privacy. Out in the field or in a valley one’s claim to...
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