Feb 262017

Two people claimed ownership over a boat, the law of “may the stronger one prevail” kicks in.  If one of them asks the court to seize the property to prevent that law from kicking in to buy time in which he/she can find evidence to support his/her claim, can they?  And if the court does seize it, can they release it in the event that no further proof is found.  If two claim ownership to land but neither can prove it, Rav Nachman says: “the stronger one prevails.”  There are many interpretations explaining the logic behind this law (which seems more like anarchy than a law).  The gemara then compares it to various other cases of doubtful situations where either the law is that it gets split 50/50 or the judges can decide which side gets the item in question.  The gemara now reverts back to the first mishna regarding how long it takes for one to have a chazaka on the land.  It brings an example where one can have a chazaka immediately.  Rav Zevid limits this case and his explanation is questioned by Rav Ashi.  In the end it seems clear that if one had a sharecropper or sold one rights to the fruits of the property, one must make sure that before three years pass, one must state a protest or explain that the person has rights only to the fruits.  Otherwise, the other can claim ownership.  The same is true for land used for collateral where the fruits the lender eats are used to pay back the loan (mashkanta d’sura)

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