ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Bava Basra 116
(a) After the civil war with Binyamin, almost the entire tribe was wiped
out - only six hundred refugees remained.
(b) Out of these, four hundred married women from Yavesh Gilad (in
Binyamin). The remaining two hundred married - women whom they 'grabbed'
(with the sanction of the Chachamim) from the vineyards of Shiloh.
(a) Due to the tragic circumstances, the Chachamim issued a decree
"Va'yomru, Yerushas P'leitah le'Vinyamin, ve'Lo Yimacheh Sheivet
mi'Yisrael". The gist of this decree according to Rebbi Yitzchak quoting
Bei Rebbi Ami, was - that for the time being, daughters of the deceased's
sons from the tribe of Binyamin would not inherit together with their
fathers' brothers (sons of the deceased). It did not however, apply to women
whose fathers had only sisters. The Chachamim waived the principle of 'Lo
P'lug' (not differentiating between one case and another), because they
asserted that no father would agree to any of his children losing their
inheritance for no reason.
(b) The decree was necessary - for fear that if there were many cases of men
from Binyamin having daughters and no sons, large chunks of Binyamin's
inheritance would pass over to other tribes, should those daughters marry
men from other tribes.
(c) The Chachamim issued this decree (depriving the granddaughters of the
deceased of their lawful inheritance) - on the basis of the principle
'Hefker Beis-Din Hefker' (the right of Beis-Din to declare any property they
see fit, Hefker).
(d) The decree did not extend to a case where a man from Binyamin left only
daughters and one granddaughter, the daughter of ...
1. ... a daughter who died - in which case they would all inherit equally
(in spite of the above fear).
2. ... a son who died - in which case the daughter of the son would inherit
(as she would in other cases), because the alternative (in both cases) would
be for the closest male relative to inherit and we assume that the father
would not wish his descendants to lose their inheritance, and besides,
rather than lose the inheritance completely, we assume that they will make a
point of marrying into the same tribe.
(a) Rebbi Yochanan Mishum Rebbi Shimon bar Yochai learns from the
'Gezeirah-Shavah' "*ve'Ha'avartem* es Nachalaso le'Vito" (Pinchas) and "Yom
*Evrah* ha'Yom ha'Hu" - that Hashem is angry with (and hates) anyone who
deliberately refrains from marrying and having children to inherit him.
(b) Rebbi Yochanan and Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi argue over the Pasuk in
Tehilim, which states that someone who dies and does not leave behind ...
when he dies must have been lacking in Yir'as Shamayim. One of them says
that this refers to someone who does not leave behind children. According to
the other one - it refers to someone who leaves behind no disciples.
(c) When Rebbi Yochanan used to say 'Dein Garmeih de'Asira'ah Bir' - he was
referring to a tooth of his tenth (and last) son to die in his lifetime,
which he wrapped and carried around with him.
(d) He said it as a consolation to people who felt bitter on account of
(e) The reason that he wrapped particularly a tooth and not another bone
was - because, unlike other bones, the tooth (as well as the hair and the
nails) of a dead person, do not render Tamei those who touch it.
(a) We try and prove from this episode - that Rebbi Yochanan must be the one
to say that the Pasuk is referring to someone who leaves behind no
disciples, because had he held that it referred to sons, then based on the
Pasuk in Tehilim "Ashrei N'sui Pesha, K'suy Chata'ah" (from which Chazal
derive that it is a Chutzpah to publicize one's sins), he would never have
said what he did.
(b) Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi must therefore have interpreted the Pasuk
("Asher Ein Chalifos Lamo ... ") - with regard to someone who dies, leaving
behind no sons to inherit him.
(c) He interpreted the Pasuk "Bacho Sivkeh la'Holech" too - with regard to
someone who died, leaving behind no sons to inherit him.
(d) This Limud affected his daily life - inasmuch as he would only interrupt
his Torah-study to visit a Beis Avel, if the deceased left no sons (since
the grief there was more intense).
(a) Our previous statement clashes with what we said a little earlier -
inasmuch as, if Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi holds that a person who dies leaving
behind no sons, lacks Yir'as Shamayim, then he would have been unlikely to
visit such a Beis Avel.
(b) We therefore reverse their opinions. Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi is the one
to establish the Pasuk with regard to someone who leaves behind no
disciples, and Rebbi Yochanan, with regard to one who leaves behind no
sons - only that is what he holds in the name of his Rebbe, Rebbi Shimon bar
Yochai (as we saw in the previous quotation). He personally, agrees with
Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi, which will explain why he said 'Dein Garmeih
(c) Rebbi Pinchas ben Chama initially explains that the Pasuk writes
'Shechivah' with regard to David Hamelech, but Miysah with regard to Yo'av,
the commander - because David left behind sons when he died, whereas Yo'av
(d) To conform with the Pasuk which lists Ovadyah ben Yechiel as a direct
descendant of Yo'av however, he amends this to read - that David left behind
sons like himself, whereas Yo'av did not.
(a) Based on the Pesukim in Iyov "Chanuni Chanuni Re'ai, ki Yad Elokah
Nag'ah Bi" and "Hishamer Al Teifen el On, Ki al Zeh Bacharta me'Oni" (said
by Iyov and his friends respectively) Rebbi Pinchas bar Chama states - that
poverty is equivalent to fifty plagues.
(b) The reference there to fifty plagues - is contained in the word "Yad"
(since we find the term "Etzba Elokim Hi" used in Va'eira, with regard to
the ten plagues, as the Ba'al Hagadah explains).
(c) And Rebbi Pinchas bar Chama learns from the Pasuk "Chamas Melech
Mal'achei Ma'ves, ve'Ish Chacham Yechaprenah" - that someone who has a sick
person in his house, should ask a Chacham to pray for him.
(a) Rava resolves Rami bar Chama's She'eilah who would take precedence in
the property of Eisav, Avraham (the deceased's grandfather) or Yishmael (his
father's brother) - from our Mishnah 'ha'Av Kodem le'Chol Yotz'ei Yereicho'.
(b) The connection between our Mishnah and the current case, where Avraham
was not Eisav's father, but his grandfather is - the fact that Avraham does
not inherit Eisav directly, but from Yitzchak (who is included in the
statement, and) who inherits from Eisav (even in the grave).
(c) Rami bar Chama certainly knew about this Mishnah - but he was occupied
with another She'eilah at the time, and could not give this She'eilah his
(a) Rami bar Chama received the same response, when he asked who would take
precedence in the property of Eisav, Ya'akov his brother, or Avraham his
grandfather. The reason that he asked this She'eilah (in spite of having
heard Rava's response to his previous She'eilah) is - because he
differentiated between the direct offspring of a man (whom he always
precedes), and his grandchildren (whom he sometimes does not).
We have already learned that the daughters of Tz'lofchad inherited their
father's portion in Eretz Yisrael as well as his portion in the property of
his father Cheifer. Both Tz'lofchad and Cheifer received portions in Eretz
Yisrael, despite the fact that neither of them entered it - because in the
opinion of this Tana, Eretz Yisrael was distributed to those who left Egypt,
and not to those who entered Eretz Yisrael.
(b) In fact, Rami bar Chama's argument is more logical than Rava's - due to
the principle in our Mishnah 'Kol ha'Kodem be'Nachalah, Yotz'ei Yereicho
Kodmin'. Consequently, seeing as the inheritance goes backwards through
Yitzchak, as we just explained, and if Yitzchak had died after Eisav,
Ya'akov would have inherited him (and not Avraham), it is also Ya'akov who
will inherit Eisav should he die *after* Yitzchak.
(a) The B'nos Tz'lofchad received a third portion - that of the Bechorah to
which Tz'lofchad was entitled in his father's property.
(b) In spite of the fact that a Bechor does not receive a double portion of
the property that his father does not yet have in his possession ('Ra'uy'),
the B'nos Tz'lofchad inherited this portion - because Eretz Yisrael already
belonged to K'lal Yisrael from before (as we shall see later), and was not
(c) Neither will it make any difference whether Tz'lofchad died after
Cheifer or before him - because, either way, his daughters would have
inherited his Cheilek Bechorah.
(d) Despite the fact that Tz'lofchad was the Bechor, the Pasuk in Divrei
Hayamim writes "ve'Sheim ha'Sheini Tz'lofchad" - with reference to his being
the second generation after Gil'ad (his grandson).
(a) If Ya'akov, who is not a Bechor, dies in the lifetime of his father
Yitzchak, his oldest son Reuven, will inherit a double portion in Ya'akov's
property, but not in the property of Yitzchak, his grandfather, when he
subsequently dies - because he only inherits him though his father Ya'akov,
who was not a Bechor. If he would be, then he would indeed inherit it (like
the Cheilek Bechor of Tz'lofchad, which his daughters inherited).
(b) The Yerushalmi learns from the 'Gezeirah-Shavah' "Mishpat" (by the
Cheilek Bechor) "Mishpat" (by the Cheilek Pashut) - that just as one
considers the father alive as regards his son inheriting the Cheilek Pashut
of his grandfather's property when he dies, so too, do we consider him
alive, as regards inheriting the Cheilek Bechorah (of his father).
(a) We can indeed extrapolate from the Mishnah that everyone who left Egypt
received a portion in Eretz Yisrael - provided he had reached the age of
twenty at the time.
(b) Assuming that two brothers, Reuven and Shimon, both of whom where more
than twenty when they left Egypt, died in the desert - then Reuven's ten
sons and Shimon's one son who entered Eretz Yisrael would each inherit their
father's one portion.
(a) Our Mishnah refers to the three portions of the B'nos Tz'lofchad. In
fact, they received a fourth portion - their father's portion in the
inheritance of one of his brothers, who died in the desert.
(b) The reason that the Tana does not bother to mention it is - because we
already know that a daughter takes her father's portion of his inheritance,
so there is no point in mentioning it, because it would not teach us