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Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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Bava Basra 142


(a) (Rav Nachman): One who acquires on behalf of a fetus, the fetus does not acquire;
1. If the giver said '*When* she will give birth...', the baby acquires.
(b) (Rav Huna): Even if he said '*When* she will give birth...', the baby does not acquire.
(c) (Rav Sheshes): In both cases, the baby acquires.
(d) Support (Rav Sheshes for himself - Beraisa): A convert died, Yisraelim grabbed his property.
1. If they heard that he left a son, or that his wife was pregnant, they must return it;
2. If after they returned it they heard that the son died or that the wife miscarried, the first acquisitions are void, what anyone takes now he keeps.
3. If a fetus does not acquire, (when they heard that his wife was pregnant) the first acquisitions should be valid!
(e) Rejection #1 (Abaye): Inheritance is different, for it happens automatically.
(f) Rejection #2 (Rava): There, the initial acquisitions were invalid (because they did not know whether or not there were heirs).
(g) Question: What is the difference between Abaye and Rava?
(h) Answer: If people heard that the fetus died, grabbed property, and it turned out that the fetus only died after they grabbed, and others grabbed property after the fetus (truly) died. (According to Rava, the first people acquire, for they were sure that there were no heirs; according to Abaye, the second people acquire.)
(a) Question (against Rav Sheshes - Mishnah): A one-day old baby inherits and bequeaths.
1. Inference: Less than one day (i.e. a fetus) does not inherit!
(b) Answer #1 (Rav Sheshes): A one-day old baby inherits his mother's property to bequeath it to his paternal brothers, but not a fetus.
1. Question: Why not?

2. Answer: The fetus always dies before the mother; a son does not 'inherit' his mother after his own death in order that the property should pass to his paternal brothers.
3. Question: Is it really true that the fetus dies first?!
i. There was a case of a fetus that quivered two times after its mother died!
4. Answer (Mar bar Rav Ashi): Quivering does not show that it is alive - if a rodent's tail is cut off, it also quivers!
(c) Answer #2 (Mar brei d'Rav Yosef): A one-day old baby is considered a son in the calculation of the extra share of the firstborn.
1. Inference: A fetus does not decrease the extra share of the firstborn - "V'Yaldu Lo" (we only consider sons that were already born when the father died).
(d) Version #1 - Chachamim of Sura (Mar brei d'Rav Yosef): A son born posthumously does not decrease the extra share of the firstborn - "V'Yaldu Lo".
(e) Version #2 - Chachamim of Neharda'a (Mar brei d'Rav Yosef): A firstborn born posthumously does not receive an extra share (e.g. if another son was also born posthumously) - "Yakir" (the father must (be fitting to) acknowledge his firstborn, here he was unable to do so).
(f) The Halachah follows Mar brei d'Rav Yosef in these three laws.
(g) (R. Yitzchak): One who acquires on behalf of a fetus, the fetus does not acquire;
(h) Question: The Mishnah says that the fetus acquires!
(i) Answer: The Mishnah discusses a man giving to his son - because he feels great affinity for his son, he resolves more firmly to give, so the acquisition works;
1. In any other case, the fetus does not acquire.
(j) Shmuel expounded in front of 10 people: one who acquires on behalf of a fetus, the fetus acquires.
(k) The Halachah is, one who acquires on behalf of a fetus, the fetus does not acquire.
(a) Yakov told his wife 'My property is to the sons I will have from you'. His oldest son (Reuven, from a different wife) asked 'What will I get'?! Yakov said 'Go acquire like one of her sons'.
1. Clearly, nothing takes effect now regarding the sons that will be born from her - they are not yet in the world (she was not even pregnant).
(b) Question: (When Yakov dies,) does Reuven get an *extra* share of the estate (above what he would normally inherit) equal to what he would receive if he was one of her sons (and they would receive all the property)?
(c) Answer #1 (R. Avin, R. Meisha, and R. Yirmeyah): Yes, he gets an extra share.
(d) Answer #2 (R. Avahu, R. Chanina bar Papa, R. Yitzchak Nafcha): He does not get an extra share.
(e) R. Avahu: Does the Halachah follow you, or us?
(f) R. Yirmeyah: The Halachah follows us, we are older than you.
(g) R. Avahu: The Halachah does not depend on age, rather, on reason!
(h) Question (R. Yirmeyah): What is your reason?
(i) Answer (R. Avahu): Since the future sons cannot receive the bequest, it is as if he said to him 'acquire just like the donkey' -- that is, since the unborn sons cannot acquire and the bequest included both born and unborn sons, neither acquire .
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