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Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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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 their troubles.

(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 de'Asira'ah Bir'.

(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 did not.

(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 full concentration.




(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).

(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.

9) 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.


(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 therefore Ra'uy.

(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 anything.

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