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Bava Basra 131

BAVA BASRA 131 - sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Avi Berger of Queens, NY. Despite the passage of time, let us not forget the tragic deaths of Mordechai Refael and Tzirel Schivschuurder and their three youngest children, Hashem Yikom Damam, in the Sbarro bombing last year. May the father of all orphans give strength to the remaining children to continue in their parents ways. Mazel Tov to the two sons who have since found spouses. May Hashem protect them from all harm as well as the third brother, who insisted on joining an active combat unit in the army, and the younger sisters.


(a) Question (Rava): If a healthy person transferred inheritance, does R. Yochanan ben Berokah say that it takes effect?
1. Perhaps his law only applies to a dying person, for he can bequeath - but a healthy person cannot!
2. Or, perhaps his law even applies to a healthy person.
(b) Answer (Rav Mesharshiya): We learn from the following episode.
1. R. Noson: You taught an unauthored Mishnah according to R. Yochanan ben Berokah!
i. (Mishnah): If a husband did not write Kesuvas Benin Dichrin (a stipulation in the Kesuvah, 'Sons you will have from me will inherit your Kesuvah, above their share with their brothers (from my other wives))', he must give them in any case, because it is an enactment of Beis Din.
2. Rebbi: The Mishnah (does not say inherit, rather it) says it will be given to them, it is even like Chachamim.
3. Rebbi later retracted: I did not answer him properly! The Halachah is, sons cannot collect Kesuvas Benin Dichrin from property that the father sold;
i. If it was a gift, it would be collected - we are forced to say, it is considered an inheritance.
4. Conclusion: Kesuvas Benin Dichrin is based on R. Yochanan ben Berokah's law that a father can stipulate how much each son will inherit, and it applies in all cases, even when the father is healthy!
(a) Question (Rav Papa): (Why did Rebbi later admit that the Mishnah is like R. Yochanan ben Berokah?)
1. Whether the text is 'inherit' or 'will be given', a person cannot transfer ownership of something that is not yet in the world!
i. Even R. Meir, who says that a person can transfer ownership of something not yet in the world, requires that the recipient is already here, but one cannot transfer ownership to something that is not yet in the world!
ii. You must say, enactments of Beis Din are different (Chachamim are empowered to transfer ownership as they wish) - also regarding inheritance, enactments of Beis Din are different! (Ra'avad - for the same reason, we have no proof that a healthy person can transfer inheritance; Rashbam - Rav Papa does not dispute this point.)
(b) Answer (Abaye): The choice of the language inherit in the Mishnah teaches like R. Yochanan ben Berokah, that inheritance can be transferred.
(c) Retraction (Abaye): What I said is wrong!
1. (Mishnah): If a husband did not write in the Kesuvah, 'Daughters you will have from me (after my death) will dwell in my house and be fed from my property until they get married', the daughters are entitled in any case, because it is an enactment of Beis Din.
2. Even Chachamim agree that if two gifts are given together, one in a language of inheritance and the other in a language of a gift, that both take effect. (Chachamim made these enactments at the same time.)

(d) Question (Rav Nechumi): How do we know that one Beis Din made both these enactments?
(e) Answer (Abaye - Mishnah - R. Elazar ben Azaryah): The sons inherit and the daughters are fed - just as the sons only inherit after the father dies, the daughters are fed only after the father dies.
1. It is reasonable to learn from one enactment to another only if one Beis Din made both enactments!
(f) Rejection: Perhaps a different Beis Din made the second enactment, and they were careful to enact like the first Beis Din, in order that the enactments will not contradict each other!
(a) (Rav Yehudah): If a man wrote a document giving all his property to his wife, (surely he did not deprive his sons from inheriting, he merely wants to ensure that his sons honor her,) he only made her an overseer.
(b) Obviously, if wrote a document giving all his property to his oldest son, he only made him an overseer (because he wants to ensure that the brothers honor him, as the Torah commands).
(c) Question: What if he wrote all his property to a younger son?
(d) Answer (Rav Chanilai bar Idi): Even if he wrote to an infant in a crib, the father is concerned for the son's honor, the son is only an overseer.
(e) The following are obvious: if he wrote all his property to a son, he only made him an overseer (as above);
1. If he wrote all his property to a stranger, it is a gift (he is not concerned that the sons honor a stranger),
2. If he wrote to his Mekudeshes or divorced wife, it is a gift (he is not concerned that the sons honor her).
(f) Questions: What if he wrote to a daughter and he has sons (we know that a man is concerned for his daughter's honor (that she not have to beg for food), is he concerned that his sons honor her)?
1. What if he wrote to his wife and his only heirs were his brothers (is he concerned that they honor his wife, even though they are not commanded)?
2. What if he wrote to his wife, and all his sons were from other wives (they are not commanded so strongly to honor her)?
(g) Answer #1 (Ravina): The only case (when he writes to a woman) in which the gift stands is regarding his Mekudeshes or divorced wife.
(h) Answer #2 (Rav Avira): In all cases she acquires, except for his wife in two cases: when his heirs were his brothers (R. Gershom's text - when her sons inherit him), and when he left sons (even) from other wives.
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