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Bava Basra, 143


QUESTION: Rebbi Yosi in the Beraisa states that since the most bitter part of a cucumber is its center, when one separates Terumah (such as one cucumber for fifty cucumbers), there is a fear that one is separating a bitter part on behalf of a sweet part. Therefore, one must separate an additional amount from the outer part of a cucumber in order to ensure that one has separated one part sweet cucumber for every fifty parts of sweet cucumber.

Why is this necessary? Since all of the cucumbers are the same -- in every cucumber, the center part is bitter and the outer part is sweet -- it should suffice to take one cucumber for every fifty! The bitter part in this cucumber will serve as Terumah for the bitter parts in the fifty cucumbers, while the sweet part in this cucumber will serve as Terumah for the sweet parts in the fifty cucumbers! The Terumah should work proportionately. Why does Rebbi Yosi require that an additional amount of sweet cucumber be separated in order to ensure that there is a proper amount of sweet cucumber as Terumah for the rest?


(a) The RASHBAM explains that perhaps in the cucumber that was separated as Terumah, the bitter part is *greater* than the bitter part in the other cucumbers (not all cucumbers have the same proportion of bitter part to sweet part). Therefore, one must add additional sweet parts to the Terumah.

The TOSFOS HA'ROSH (cited by the Shitah Mekubetzes) rejects this explanation. If the only reason why one must add to the sweet part of the Terumah is out of doubt that perhaps the cucumber that one separated had a greater proportion of bitter parts to sweet parts than the other cucumbers, then it should *not* be necessary, out of doubt, to separate more as Terumah. This is because, mid'Oraisa, the rule is that "Chitah Achas Poteres Es ha'Kri" -- a single grain of wheat exempts the entire pile and fulfills the obligation of separating Terumah. There is no reason to be extra stringent in a case of a doubt whether one properly separated one-fiftieth or not, because mid'Oraisa the obligation of separated Terumah has been fulfilled.

(b) TOSFOS and TOSFOS HA'ROSH explain that Rebbi Yosi is referring to a case in which only the cucumbers that were separated as Terumah were found to have bitterness in them; all of the other cucumbers had no bitterness in them. Rebbi Yosi's statement is referring to the Mishnah in Terumos (3:1) which states that if one separated cucumbers as Terumah and found that they were bitter, those cucumbers that he separated have the status of Terumah but he must separate more in order to permit the remaining cucumbers (because there is a doubt whether the cucumbers that he separated became bitter after he separated them, and thus the Terumah took effect, or whether they became bitter before he separated them, and thus the Terumah did not take effect). Rebbi Yosi argues with this and says that it suffices to just add to the cucumbers that he separated from the outer part of other cucumbers in order to reach the appropriate proportion for Terumah. Even the cucumbers of Terumah that were found to be bitter are not bitter on their outer parts such that they would not be edible, and therefore they are valid to be separated as Terumah for the other cucumbers (although not in a proportion of one to fifty, and that is why additional cucumbers must be added to the Terumah).

The Tosfos ha'Rosh adds that explaining the case in this way makes it clear what Rav Sheshes is trying to prove from the Beraisa. Rav Sheshes holds that when a person makes a Kinyan to two recipients (such as to a person and an animal), and one of the recipients (the animal) is not able to be Koneh, the recipient who is able to be Koneh acquires everything; the Kinyan takes effect in its totality for him. Rav Sheshes cites this Beraisa in support of his view, since the Beraisa seems to say that when a person intends for Terumah to take effect on an entire fruit, and it is unable to take effect on part of it (such as the bitter part), the rest of the Terumah nevertheless takes effect on the good part of the fruit. The proof, according to the Tosfos and Tosfos, is clear, because the case of the Beraisa is the same as that of "you and the donkey shall be Koneh." At the time that the person separated the cucumbers as Terumah, he did not know that there was any bitter parts in them, and he declared that it should all be Terumah. The status of Terumah, however, did not take effect on the bitter parts, but only on the sweet parts, and yet that suffices to remove the status of Tevel from the remaining cucumbers, as Rav Sheshes says (that the person is Koneh everything in a case of "you and the donkey shall be Koneh"). It is just that the Rabanan required him to add to the sweet parts so that there would be a proper one-fiftieth.

(According to the way that the Rashbam explains the case, there does not seem to be any proof from this Beraisa to the view of Rav Sheshes. The person knows that part of the cucumber is bitter and does not intend for it to become Terumah, and that is why the bitter part does not become Terumah and the sweet part becomes Terumah for all of the rest. If, however, he intended that whatever he separated (both bitter and sweet) should be Terumah, then the bitter does not become Terumah and the sweet becomes Terumah only for *half* (i.e. in proportion to the quantity of sweet fruit in the pile) -- like Rav Nachman! See also MAHARSHAL and MAHARSHA.) (I. Alsheich)


QUESTION: The Gemara discusses a case in which a man gave a gift of his estate by saying, "My property shall be given to my sons," and he had only a son and a daughter. The Gemara asks whether it is the manner for people to call one son, "my sons," or whether he was referring to both of his children, his son and his daughter. The Gemara cites the verse, "And the sons of Dan were Chushim" (Bereishis 46:23), as proof that a person refers to his only son as "my sons." Rava says that this verse is no proof, because perhaps it is teaching, as the Tana of Bei Chizkiyah says, that the sons of Dan were as numerous as the "Chushim" (strands or leaves) of reeds. Rather, Rava says that we can prove it from the verse, "And the sons of Palu were Eli'av" (Bamidbar 26:8). Rav Yosef says that we can prove it from the verse, "And the sons of Eisan were Azaryah" (Divrei ha'Yamim I 2:8).

The Gemara's conclusion, therefore, is clearly that a person *does* refer to his only son as "my sons."

If a person refers to his only son as "my sons," and thus when he says that his property shall be given to his "sons" he means that his son, and not his daughter, should receive it, then why did he make this statement altogether? Without such a statement, his son -- and not his daughter -- would inherit all of his property through the law of Yerushah! (TOSFOS and Rishonim)


(a) TOSFOS and the RASHBA answer that perhaps the man wrote a will document ("Daiteki") granting his property as a gift to someone else, and now he wishes to retract that gift (which he has the power to do if he wrote the first document while he was a Shechiv Mera, because "Daiteki Mevateles Daiteki," as the Gemara teaches on 135b). Thus, he must make a new statement of intent as to whom he wishes his property to be given, and that is why he makes this statement. (Even if he was a healthy person and not a Shechiv Mera, he can retract the gift that he gave if he specifically wrote that he was giving it on condition that he not change his mind, and now he is changing his mind.)

(b) The MAHARSHAL points out that the words that were accidentally printed in the text of the Gemara (which are now excluded with parentheses) is an answer to this question. The reason why the man specifically stated that he wanted all of his property to be given to his son even though his son would have inherited him even had he not made such a statement, is because he wanted to prevent his daughter from receiving a tenth of the property. Although a daughter does not inherit any part of her father's estate when there are sons to inherit it, the Rabanan enacted that she receive a tenth of the estate upon her engagement, to provide her needs for the marriage. By adding the statement, "All of my property shall be given to my sons," his intention is that a tenth of his estate shall not be given to his daughter.

The MAHARSHA points out that the reason why Tosfos did not give this answer is because it does not apply to the next case of the Gemara, in which a man says, "All of my property shall be given to my sons," and he has a son and a grandson. The Gemara concludes that there, too, a man does not refer to his grandson as his son, and thus he means to give his property to his son. Why, though, did he make this statement, if anyway his son will inherit all of his property? In that case, only the answer of Tosfos and the Rashba will apply, but not the answer that his intention is to prevent his daughter from receiving a tenth of the estate (since, in that case, there is no daughter). (I. Alsheich)

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