ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Bava Basra 139
(a) Our Mishnah states 'Hini'ach Banim Gedolim u'Ketanim, Ein ha'Gedolim
Misparnesin al-Yedei ha'Ketanim, ve'Lo ha'Ketanim al-Yedei ha'Gedolim'.
'Misparnesin' - refers to clothes (a higher priority among the older sons);
and 'Nizunin' - to food (a higher priority with the younger ones).
(b) The sons then distribute their father's property - equally (irrespective
of their individual needs).
(c) When the Tana says ..
1. ... 'Nas'u Gedolim, Yis'u Ketanim', he means - that if the older sons get
married, and pay their wedding expenses from the money in the kitty, then
the younger ones are entitled to claim an equal amount from the kitty to do
(d) The equivalent rulings will apply if the deceased left older and younger
daughters. When the Tana concludes 'Zeh Chomer be'Banos mi'be'Banim ... ',
he means - that whereas, when there are sons, they are obligated to sustain
their sisters from the property of their father, there is no such Halachah
when there are only daughters (as we just explained).
2. ... 've'Im Amru Ketanim, Harei Anu Nos'in ke'Derech she'Nasatem Atem, Ein
Shom'in Lahem', he means - that if the father paid the wedding expenses of
the older sons during his lifetime, the younger brothers have no claim to
the money in the kitty to pay for their weddings as compensation.
(a) Rava rules that if the oldest of the brothers wears smart clothes from
the kitty - the other brothers are not allowed to take clothes to compensate
(b) The reason for this concession (which is only Bedieved) is - because the
oldest brother acts as their representative, and it is to their benefit that
he looks smart.
(c) Our Mishnah, which forbids the older brothers to take more clothes than
the younger ones - is speaking about one of the other brothers, who do not
benefit his siblings by wearing nice clothes.
(d) Despite the fact that there is no real reason to permit it, the Tana
finds it necessary to forbid it - because we might otherwise have thought
that the brothers want each other to look respectable.
(a) Avuhah bar Geniva asked Rava whether, in a case where a single woman
borrowed money and then got married, the creditor had the right to claim
from her husband's property or not. The criterion for being able to claim is
that - a husband must be considered an heir (from whom a creditor may even
claim an oral loan), and not a purchaser (from whom he is only permitted to
claim a written one).
(b) Rava tried to resolve Avuhah's She'eilah from our Mishnah. We have
already explained 'Nas'u Gedolos, Yis'u Ketanos'. He interpret it to mean -
'Nas'u Gedolos le'Ba'al' (if the older daughters were sustained from the
kitty and then got married), 'Yis'u Ketanos mi'Ba'al' (the younger daughters
may claim their dues from the husbands property).
(c) We know that Rava's interpretation of the Mishnah is right - because
Rebbi Chiya quoted a Beraisa to that effect.
(d) We nevertheless refute Rava's proof, on the grounds that Parnasah is
different than Parnasah - because due to the Kol that accompanies it (which
is not the case by Mezonos), it is considered like a written loan.
(a) Rav Papa brings a support for Rava's opinion from a letter sent by Ravin
from Eretz Yisrael. The letter stated that if a man died leaving an Almanah
1. ... and a daughter - the Almanah is sustained from her husband's estate.
(b) When a case came before Rav Yehudah, nephew of Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi
Chanina, where the daughter had died, and the husband had inherited her
(father's) property, he ruled - that there too, the Almanah continues to be
sustained by the daughter's husband.
2. ... and a daughter who then got married (bringing her father's property
into her husband's domain) - the Almanah continues to be sustained from her
(c) The Almanah continues to be fed from her deceased husband's estate -
either until she marries, or until she either claims her Kesuvah or the
Yorshin decide to pay it.
(d) Rav Papa proves his point - from the fact that the Almanah is permitted
to claim Mezonos from the daughter's husband. Now if he was a Loke'ach, this
would not be the case, because of the principle 'Mazon ha'Ishah ve'ha'Banos
Lo Torfi mi'Meshabdi' (though from the Yorshin, she may).
(a) The Mishnah in Bechoros rules that the Cheilek Bechorah does not go back
into the kitty in the Yovel - because it is a Matanah (as we learned
earlier), which does not go back in the Yovel.
(b) The Tana there - says the same about a husband who inherits his wife.
(c) By citing this Mishnah, Abaye means to ask - why Rav Papa needs to cite
Ravin to prove that a husband is a Yoresh. Why can he not learn this from
the Mishnah in Bechoros, who would certainly require the husband's property
to revert to the owner, if he considered a husband a Loke'ach.
(d) Rava retorts by citing Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Chanina, who cites in turn,
Takanas Usha 'ha'Ishah she'Machrah mi'Nechsei Milug be'Chayei Ba'alah,
u'Meisah, ha'Ba'al Motzi mi'Yad ha'Lekuchos' - which indicates that a
husband is a Loke'ach (the first Loke'ach, to boot), and not a Yoresh (who
certainly has no right to claim from the Lekuchos). Consequently, says Rava,
we remain with the dilemma with which we began, is a husband a Yoresh or a
(a) Rav Ashi therefore concludes that the Chachamim issued the husband with
a dual status - sometimes he is considered a Yoresh, and sometimes, a
***** Hadran Alach 'Yesh Nochlin' *****
(b) This Takanah is basically to his advantage, like we find in the case of
1. ... Yovel, where his status as a Yoresh exempts him from having to return
the property when Yovel arrives.
(c) The one exception is the case of Ravin, where the fact that he is
considered a Yoresh obligates the daughter's husband to sustain his
father-in-law's Almanah - in order to safeguard the Almanah, whose husband
undertook to sustain her for the period concerned.
2. ... Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Chanina, where his status as the first Loke'ach
enables him to claim his wife's property from subsequent Lekuchos.
(d) They did not consider him a Yoresh in the case of Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi
Chanina however, to safeguard the rights of the Loke'ach - because (unlike
the father's Almanah, who was entirely blameless), the Lekuchos have only
themselves to blame, for purchasing the property from a woman that was
Meshubad to her husband.
***** Perek Mi she'Meis *****
(a) Our Mishnah teaches that if a man dies, leaving behind sons and
daughters and a large estate, his sons inherit the property, but remain
obligated to sustain their sisters - until they either become Bogros (six
months after they attain puberty), or get married.
(b) If he leaves only a small estate - then the daughters are sustained, and
the sons must go begging.
(c) Raban Gamliel however, agrees with Admon, who says - that it is not fair
for a male to lose his inheritance simply because he is a male (this will be
explained in the Sugya).
(d) In Kesuvos - we rule like Admon in all the cases where Raban Gamliel
agrees with him.
(a) According to Rav Yehudah Amar Rav, 'a large estate' constitutes
sufficient to sustain them all for twelve months. When, after Rav's death,
Rav Yehudah came to learn by Shmuel, he told him - that this was the opinion
of Raban Gamliel bar Rebbi, but that, according to the Chachamim, it had to
be enough to feed the girls until they reached the age of Bagrus (because
that is how long their father undertook to feed them for).
(b) Ravin (or Rabah bar bar Chanah) Amar Rebbi Yochanan - also ruled like
the Rabbanan of Raban Gamliel bar Rebbi.
(c) This does not mean that the daughters then take all the property and the
sons have to go begging for alms, Rava concludes - but that whatever is
needed to sustain the daughters until they attain Bagrus, and their brothers
take the remainder. And it is when that runs out, that they will need to go
begging for alms.