ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Bava Basra 126
BAVA BASRA 126-128 - have been generously dedicated by Dick and Beverly
Horowitz of Los Angeles, California. May they be blessed with a life of joy
and much Nachas from their children and grandchildren.
(a) When Rav Huna Amar Rav Asi says 'Bechor she'Michah Michah', he means -
that even though the Bechor does not receive an extra portion from the
property that his brothers improved - this will not apply in a case where
the Bechor specifically asked them to desist from improving it until he has
taken his Cheilek Bechorah. If he did, and they chose to ignore his request,
then he may claim an extra portion of what they improved.
(b) The underlying reason behind this ruling is - the fact that the Bechor's
Cheilek Bechorah is a Matanah (as we explained earlier) which he has the
right to claim at any time (even before the brothers have distributed the
property, as we shall see later).
(a) Rabah qualifies Rav Asi's ruling, confining it to where the brothers
picked the grapes or the olives, in which case - the Bechor takes an extra
portion of grapes without having to pay for his brothers work.
(b) He would not however, receive an extra portion in this way - if his
brothers had pressed them and manufactured wine or oil, because then, they
would acquire the finished product with 'Shinuy' (having changed the
(c) The Bechor would then receive the Cheilek Bechorah from what the grapes
or olives were worth when they were picked (to conform with the principle 'M
eshalem ke'Sha'as ha'Gezeilah').
(a) The problem with Rav Yosef, who says 'Afilu Darchum' is - how he can
argue with the accepted ruling that 'Shinuy is Koneh'.
(b) To explain Rav Yosef, we cite a statement of Rav Ukva bar Chama, who
establishes a similar case (though he says it independently, and not in
connection with Rav Asi) with regard to the other brother having to pay for
damages, should the wine or the oil subsequently spill or go off (and become
worth less than the grapes or the oil had been worth when they were picked).
(c) Rav Yosef in fact - does not now argue with Rav Asi, since each one
makes an independent statement.
(a) Rav Asi rules 'Bechor she'Natal Cheilek Pashut, Vitro', by which he
means - if a Bechor accepts a Cheilek Pashut only, in his father's property,
it indications that he is Mochel the Cheilek Bechor.
(b) The basis for Rav Asi's ruling is - the principle that we learned
earlier, that the Cheilek Bechorah is a Matanah, which he has the right to
(a) Rav Papa and Rav Papi argue over what Rava said in this regard.
According to Rav Papa, Rava said 'Vitro be'Osah Sadeh', according to Rav
Papi, he said 'Vitro be'Chol ha'Nechasim'.
(b) The basis of their Machlokes is - whether the Cheilek Bechorah belongs
to the Bechor even before the brothers divide it (Rav Papi) or not (Rav
(c) The basic reason for the ruling of ...
1. ... Rav Papa is - because before the division, it is 'a Davar she'Lo Ba
le'Olam', in which case he can neither sell it nor be Mochel it.
(d) Neither the Bechor nor any of the brothers - can be Mochel their Cheilek
2. ... Rav Papi is - because seeing as the entire Cheilek Bechorah is
considered his, whenever he decides to take it, we assume ('Anan Sahadi')
take this as an indication that he is Mochel the Cheilek Bechorah of that
section, and once he does that, we assume tat he is Mochel the entire
Cheilek Bechorah (as we just learned).
(a) Rav Papa and Rav Papi did not issue their respective rulings directly -
only following a case that came before Rava, they expressed their
interpretation of Rava's ruling (as we shall now see).
(b) A certain Bechor sold - the entire property belonging to himself and his
brother (not just his own Cheilek Bechorah and Cheilek Pashut, as some want
(c) When ...
1. ... his brother's children went to eat some of the fruit - the purchasers
beat them up ...
(d) Rava ruled 'Lo Asah ve'Lo K'lum' - which Rav Papi confined to the
Cheilek Pashut (both his and that of the Yesomim), but not of the Cheilek
Bechorah, which was his to sell at any time, but Rav Papa extended it to the
Cheilek Bechorah as well, as we explained above).
2. ... and the relatives commented to the purchasers - that not satisfied
with purchasing the Yesomim's property without their permission, he also had
to beat them up!
(a) 'Shalchu mi'Tam, Bechor she'Machar Kodem Chalukah, Lo Asah K'lum',
because they hold 'Ein Lo li'Bechor Kodem Chalukah'. The Halachah however,
is - 'Yesh li'Bechor Kodem Chalukah'.
(b) When Mar Zutra from Darishba, who was a Bechor, divided equally a basket
of peppers between himself and his brothers, Rav Ashi told him - that since
he had given up his rights to the Cheilek Bechorah in the basket of peppers,
he had also given up his rights to it in the remainder of his property.
(a) Our Mishnah invalidates a father's statement ...
1. ... 'Ish P'loni B'ni Bechor' - because maybe he means that he is the
Bechor of his mother (who requires Pidyon ha'Ben), but not of himself.
(b) If a father wanted to declare his son the Bechor to inherit a double
portion, Rav Yosef will teach us, he would need to say - 'Ish P'loni B'ni
Bechori' (leaving us in no doubt that he was his Bechor, and not [just] the
B'chor of his mother).
2. ... 'Ish P'loni B'ni Lo Yirash Im Echav' - because the Torah declares his
son to be a Yoresh (and how can anyone negate what the Torah says ['Masneh
al Mah she'Kasuv ba'Torah'])?
(c) It is possible for a person to deprive one of his sons of his
inheritance - by giving his property as a Matanah to his other sons, or to
anybody else, during his lifetime.
(d) Such a procedure would normally require a Kinyan - unless he was a
Sh'chiv-Mera giving away all his property.
(a) The Tana permits a father to give even the Cheilek Bechorah to one of
his sons, provided he uses a Lashon Matanah - like the Rabbanan. According
to Rebbi Yochanan ben Berokah, provided he gives his property to another
heir, he may even use a Lashon Yerushah.
(b) The Tana presents specifically a case of brothers and not strangers (not
to preclude strangers who are not heirs, but) - to stress that even though
the father is giving the Bechorah to other heirs, his words are only valid
if he used a Lashon of Matanah, and not of Yerushah.
(c) The Rabbanan concede that even if the father uses a Lashon Yerushah, his
words are valid however - as long as he inserts a Lashon Matanah either at
the beginning, in the middle or at the end.
(a) Rebbi Meir invalidates any condition that absolves a husband from
providing his betrothed wife with food, clothes and marital rights. Rebbi
Yehudah -validates the first two, because they concern money, and he holds
('Davar she'be'Mamon, Tena'o Kayam').
(b) We therefore suggest that the author of our Mishnah, which negates a
stipulation that discounts an heir from inheriting (a Davar she'be'Mamon),
cannot be Rebbi Yehudah. The problem with that would be - that it would not
then conform with the principle 'Rebbi Meir ve'Rebbi Yehudah, Halachah
ke'Rebbi Yehudah (so why did Rebbi present a S'tam Mishnah [which is not
followed by a Machlokes] like Rebbi Meir?).
(c) We reconcile our Mishnah with Rebbi Yehudah however - by differentiating
between Kidushin (where the woman knows about the condition, and is Mochel
because she considers it worth her while) and Yerushah, where the Bechor
stands to gain nothing by being Mochel, and only remained silent in
deferrence to his father.
(a) In a case where witnesses testified that someone was a Bechor (regarding
inheritance), on the basis of the fact that his father referred to him as 'a
foolish Bechor', Rabah bar bar Chanah ruled - that he was probably the
Bechor of his mother, but not of his father, since that is what people
tended to call a Bechor of his mother.
(b) Shichchas father advised people who complained to him that he had a pain
in the eye - to go and see Shichchas his son, since he was a Bechor, and his
spit was an acknowledged cure for sore eyes.
(c) Rebbi Chanina accepted their testimony in the knowledge - that it is the
Bechor of a father whose spit is good for sore eyes, and not the Bechor of a
(a) A Tumtum is - a person whose sexual organs are covered, and whose sex is
(b) A Tumtum she'Nikra is - one whose skin was torn open, and whose sex was
(a) In connection with a Tumtum she'Nikra ...
1. ... Rebbi Ami learns from the Pasuk "*ve'Hayah* ha'Ben *ha'Bechor*
la'Seni'ah" - that a Tumtum she'Nikra veNimtza Zachar (whose sex was not
known at the time of birth [the reason in all three cases]), does not
inherit a double portion.
(b) The case with regard to the latter Halachah is - for example, in the
event that a father left nine Manim and three sons, a Bechor, a Pashut and a
Tumtum, they divide the nine Manim into three portions (as if there was no
Tumtum), of which the Bechor takes one (the three that constitute the
Cheilek Bechorah). Then all three sons divide the remaining six Manim
between them, and each one receives two Manim.
2. ... Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak learns from the Pasuk "Ki *Yih'yeh* le'Ish
ben Sorer u'Moreh" - that a a Tumtum she'Nikra ve'Nimtza Zachar cannot
become a ben Sorer u'Moreh.
3. ... Ameimar learns from the Pasuk "*ve'Yaldu* Lo Banim ... ve'Hayah Bein
ha'Bechor" - that a Tumtum she'Nikra veNimtza Zachar does not detract from
the Cheilek Bechorah.
(c) We learn this from the above Pasuk - which implies that the Bechor only
divides his Cheilek Bechorah against children who are known to be sons at
the time of birth.