The Weekly Daf

For the week ending 8 August 2009 / 17 Av 5769

Bava Metzia 107 - 113

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

A Neighborly Prerogative

If a man sells a field, the owner of a property bordering on that field has the right to insist that the purchaser sell the field to him. This is a Rabbinic Law based on the Torah (Devarim 6:18) directive "to do what is proper and good in the eyes of Hashem" which suggests that you should show consideration to others when it is at no expense to you. The purchaser can easily acquire other property for the same money while the neighbor has a particular interest in purchasing property adjoining his.

Even if the purchaser previously consulted the neighbor about purchasing the property and received his encouragement he can be compelled to subsequently sell it to the neighbor. The neighbor has the right to claim that he encouraged him to "front for him" in order to get the seller to sell at a fair price.

  • Bava Metzia 108a

A Mixed Blessing

Is it a blessing to live near a synagogue?

"Yes" says the Sage Rav, who sees proximity to a house of worship as a fulfillment of the Torah's promise (Devarim 28:3) "You shall be blessed in the city".

"No" says Rabbi Yochanan, who has a different interpretation of that promise. The problem of a next-door house of worship emerged from a lesson this sage learned from a widow who used to walk a long distance to pray in his synagogue. When he asked her why she didn't frequent a synagogue in her own neighborhood she replied that she wanted to earn the reward for all the steps she had to take to reach a far-away synagogue.

  • Bava Metzia 107a

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