Jun 222017

Various stories are brought regarding women on their deathbed who gave property to one son and then changed their minds.  The rabbis rule debated what the ruling should be – can one change one’s mind or once one gives away all their possessions and subsequently dies, the first statement they made is valid?  A case is brought by a woman who keeps getting sick and giving an orchard of hers to a brother each time.  One time, he tricked her into doing it in a way that would work – he had her leave over a bit and did a kinyan.  However Rav Nachman ruled that since she said she was giving it to him because she thought she would die, once she got better, the kinyan was ineffective.  At this point the gemara clarifies the case in the mishna and explains that while there are those who understand the mishna in its simple reading, Rav Nachman and others hold that the mishna was referring only to cases where a kinyan was effected,  meaning that if one gave away not all of his possessions and then died or got better, if the gift was given without a kinyan, the person would not acquire the possessions.  Additionally, if one did do a kinyan and didn’t give away all of one’s possessions but stated that it was because the person thought they were dying, then if they got better, the gift would be returned to him/her.  Rav and Shmuel debate the case of one on one’s deathbed who gives away all of one’s possessions and adds a kinyan.  Did one intend for a shtar (document) to be given and since they died before it was given, it can no longer be given and the whole thing is invalid – or are we not concerned about that possibility?  Their opinions here seem to contradict their opinions elsewhere and then gemara responds that the situations are different in each of the cases and therefore they don’t contradict each other.

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