Bava Batra 115

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May 172017

Study Guide Bava Batra 115

In the wake of the discussion between Rabbi Yochanan and Rabbi Yehuda, the gemara finds a contradiction of sorts in the mishna and resolves it.  The mishna discusses the order of inheritance – if one is not alive, it first goes to their descendants before it continues to the next level.  There was a big debate between the Tzedukim and the Rabbis about a case where there are 2 siblings – a son and daughter but the son is no longer alive and his daughter precedes his sister for their father’s inheritance.  The Tzedukim say that the sister and the granddaughter split it 50/50.  Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai debates them and wins and sets the law according to traditional halacha.

May 162017

One cannot divide inheritance at night.  What exactly this statement means is explained by the gemara, based on a braita and a statement made by Rav Yehuda and Rav Hisda.  The statement of Rav Yehuda relates to the concept discussed in other places that a witness can’t also function as a judge.  What exactly is meant by a witness is a subject of debate among the commentaries.  When one makes a kinyan, there is a certain timeframe in which one side can change their minds.  What that timeframe is is a subject of debate between Rabba and Rav Yosef.   What type of kinyan the gemara is referring to is debated by the commentaries.   Why is the mishna repeating cases that can be inferred from the previous section?  Rabbi Yochanan says in the name of Rabbi Yehuda ben Shimon that a woman inherits from her son.  However Rabbi Yochanan questions that this goes against the mishna.  Rabbi Yehuda rejects our mishna and says that he doesn’t know who wrote our mishna!

May 142017

Study Guide Bava Batra 112

From where do we learn that a husband inherits from his wife?  Two different opinions are suggested.  One brings five verses to prove it and the gemara tries to explain why all five verses are needed.  Some of the verses are from a section in the Torah that dictates that a daughter who inherits land must marry someone from the same tribe.  Abaye raises the question of how is the problem resolved if she receives land from her mother, the land will pass out of the tribe (assuming her mother is from a different tribe).  Another halacha is brought that a husband only inherits land that the wife owned at the time of her death but if property is passed on to her after her death, (i.e. her father dies and she has no brothers), that land stays in her family.  The source for this halacha is brought (from some of the verses that were used in the earlier braita – that are now explained in a different way).

Bava Batra 110

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May 112017

Various lessons are derived from the Levi that Micha hired to work for him.  Also it is explained that he repented in the time of King David, based on a verse from Chronicles.  From where do we derive that a daughter only inherits in a case where there are no sons.  Four different possibilities are brought and discussed.

May 102017

Study Guide Bava Batra 108

What is the purpose of the small and large ditches mentioned in the mishna?  The new chapter deals with inheritance laws and the mishna discusses who can inherit from another and what is the order.  The Torah delineates the order but leaves out a father inheriting from his son.  Two different braitot are brought that each establish (using derivations from different verses) that the father comes after the son and daughter of the deceased and before the brothers and paternal uncle.   The gemara questions why the father is there and not either before the daughter or after the brother. The gemara also questions what the author of each braita would learn out from the other verse (the one he didn’t learn out this halacha from).

Bava Batra 107

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May 092017

If brothers split the inheritance and a person comes and seizes the land of one of them in repayment for a loan their father owed, what is the halacha with regards to the brother who lost his land – can he demand half the land of his brother?  Three opinions are brought.  If three judges assess land at different amounts, what is the amount that we go by?  There are three opinions brought.  If one sold half one’s land to another, the seller can give the buyer lean land and keep the better land but the seller must repay the buyer if the land isn’t valued at half.

Bava Batra 106

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May 082017

If one sells land and says it is a specific size but also says “according to its markers and borders” and shows the buyer the land, if the difference between the size stated and the actual size is wrong by less than 1/6th, the sale is valid.  But if it is more than 1/6, the buyer/seller can demand/take back the difference.  At the exact measurement of 1/6, what is the halacha?  Rav Huna and Rav Yehuda disagree and a source is brought to question Rav Huna.  However, he resolves the contradiction.  A case is brought where Abaye ruled against Rav Pappa (the buyer) even though the difference was more than 1/6th.  And Abaye explains that since it was clear Rav Pappa knew the property and knew it wasn’t the size the seller mentioned, the seller could have meant that it was such good property that it’s as if it was larger.  Brothers who split inherited property acquire the property as soon as the first brother picks his lot in a lottery.  Explanations are brought explaining how the lottery can affect a kinyan.  There is a debate between Rav and Shmuel about a case where two brothers divided property and later a third brother shows up.  Do they cancel the division and redo the whole thing or do they each give the third brother part of their portion?

Bava Batra 105

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May 072017

If someone says I am selling you land the size of a beit kur measured out with a rope give or take, what did the seller mean to say?  Is the second part of his statement showing he/she changed their mind or is it keeping open both possibilities?  Ben Nanas says we hold by the last thing one says.  Rav says that those who disagree with him, hold that we split the difference 50/50 since we don’t actually know what the seller intended.  Shmuel says that those who disagree say that we side with the one who has the land in his possession (in the case in the mishna it’s the seller).  The gemara brings various cases where the same issue is raised and uses it to see who Rav and Shmuel side with in this debate.

Bava Batra 103

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May 052017

One who sells a field – if there are parts with cracks or rocks, is it included in the field or not.  A mishna from Erchin is brought where the same measurements are brought regarding someone who consecrates a field from a sdeh achuza that has cracks and rocks.  However that mishna is explained as referring only to cracks where nothing can be planted as they are filled with water, but our mishna is referring to any kind of cracks as they make it difficult for the owner to plow.  The mishna discussed the height of the rocks but not the area of space that they take up.  This is further discussed by the gemara.   The next mishna discusses the difference between one who said he/she is selling a certain measurement of a field measured by a rope vs. someone who said they are selling a measurement give or take.  The gemara questions what the in-between case would be – if he/she just said he/she is selling a field of a particular size without specifying more than that.