THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
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Bava Basra, 125
1) INHERITING PROPERTY FROM ONE'S FATHER THROUGH HIS GRANDMOTHER
OPINIONS: The Gemara discusses a case in which a man gave his possessions to
his grandmother, stipulating that after her death the possessions should be
inherited by *his* heirs, and not by his grandmother's heirs. The man's sole
heir was his daughter, but she died during his grandmother's lifetime. The
daughter's husband claimed that he was entitled to the estate.
The "Benei Ma'arava" asserted that if the daughter had been survived by a
son, then he would have inherited the estate (in place of his mother). Her
husband is not entitled to inherit the estate through his wife, because a
husband does not inherit from his wife property that is "Ra'uy" -- property
which was not in the possession of his wife at the time of her death but
which will come later to his wife, after her death.
Rabah supports this view by saying that had the grandmother sold the
possessions, the sale certainly would have been valid (even though it is not
permitted for her to sell the property l'Chatchilah, as the Gemara teaches
on 137a), and after the grandmother's death the property would not have
reverted back to the heirs.
How does Rabah's proof support the ruling of "Benei Ma'arava?"
(a) The RASHBAM explains that Rabah means to say that it is not possible
that the father intended to give his daughter the estate itself (Guf
ha'Karka), reserving only the Peros (i.e. the rights to the produce of the
property) for the grandmother. His proof for this is that had the
grandmother sold not only the Peros but even the estate, the sale would have
been valid. It is evident that the grandmother owns the field until her
death, and the man's daughter would have inherited the property from her had
the grandmother died first. A husband, though, does not inherit from his
wife property that his wife *would have* inherited ("Ra'uy"). In contrast,
the child of the deceased *does* inherit property that is "Ra'uy," and thus
had the daughter been survived by a son he would have inherited that
(b) TOSFOS (DH l'Ta'amaihu) suggests that according to Rabah, the man
actually intended to give the estate to his daughter, but he reserved the
Peros for his grandmother. It is only because the grandmother can sell the
estate that the daughter's ownership is considered insufficient as far as
the husband is concerned, and that is why the daughter's husband does not
inherit the estate from her.
The KOVETZ SHI'URIM (#392) points out that according to the Rashbam, since
the daughter never owned the estate, her son would have inherited directly
from his grandfather (his mother's father), and it would have been as if his
grandfather had stipulated that the estate should go to his heir's heir.
According to Tosfos, though, since the daughter did own the actual property
(except for the rights to the Peros during the grandmother's lifetime), her
son could have inherited the property from her. (Y. Marcus)
2) HALACHAH: COLLECTING A DEBT OWED TO ONE'S DECEASED WIFE
OPINIONS: The Gemara says that when a woman dies, her husband does not
inherit her property that is "Ra'uy" -- property which was not in the
possession of his wife at the time of her death but which will come later to
his wife, after her death.
When a married woman lends money and dies before collecting it, does her
husband collect the loan from the debtor?
(a) TOSFOS (DH Amar Rav Papa) holds that he is not entitled to collect money
owed to his wife after her death, even when she lent money of her "Nichsei
Melug" (of which the husband has the rights to consume the Peros).
HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (EH 90:1) rules that a husband may not collect
loans owed to his deceased wife. The BEIS SHMUEL there (#6) adds that since
this is the opinion of the majority of Rishonim, even though the Ri mi'Gash
argues, even if the husband were to seize the money collected from the
debtor and claim that he is certain that the ruling of the Ri mi'Gash is
correct, his claim would not be accepted and he would have to return the
money. (Y. Marcus)
(b) The ROSH (9:11) holds that in the case of the death of the wife, a
husband generally may not collect loans owed to his wife, except when the
money that she lent was from her "Nichsei Melug," property owned by the wife
from which the husband is entitled to eat the Peros. Since the produce
belongs to the husband, the money is considered to be in his possession, and
she had no right to lend it out. Therefore, the husband collects the money
even after her death.
(c) The MAGID MISHNAH (Hilchos Nachalos 1:11) cites the view of the RI
MI'GASH who holds that a husband *does* collect loans owed to his wife after
his wife dies. He asserts that the Rambam also seems to be of this opinion.