shall not our perfect Torah be as [convincing] as your idle talk!1 [Your deduction is fallacious for] the reason2 why a son's daughter [has a right of inheritance is] because her claim is valid where there are brothers,3 but can the same he said of the [deceased's] daughter whose right [of inheritance] is impaired where there are brothers?4 Thus they were defeated. And that day was declared a festive day.5
And they said: 'They that are escaped must be as an inheritance for Benjamin,2 that a tribe be not blotted out from Israel',6 R. Isaac of the school of R. Ammi said: [This] teaches that a stipulation was made concerning the tribe of Benjamin that a son's daughter is not to be heir [together] with [his] brothers.7
R. Johanan said in the name of R. Simeon b. Yohai: The Holy One, blessed be He, is filled with anger against any one who does not leave a son to he his heir. [For] here it is written, And you shall cause his inheritance to pass,8 and there it is written, That day is a day of wrath.9
Such as have no changes, and fear not God;10 R. Johanan and R. Joshua b. Levi [are in dispute as to the exposition of this text]. One says: Whosoever does not leave behind a son.11 And the other says: Whosoever does not leave a disciple.11 It may he proved [that it was] R. Johanan who said 'a disciple'; for R. Johanan said:12 This is the bone of my tenth son.13 Thus it is proved that it was R. Johanan who said 'a disciple'. But since R. Johanan said, 'a disciple', R. Joshua b. Levi [must have] said 'a son'! [Is it not a fact,] however, that R. Joshua b. Levi did not go to a house of mourning unless it was the house of him who died without leaving any sons, for it is written, But weep sore for him that goeth away,14 and Rab Judah said in the name of Rab [that this means], 'he who goes [from the world] without [leaving] male children'?15 — But [it must be] R. Joshua b. Levi who said, 'a disciple'. Since, however, it is R. Joshua b. Levi who said 'a disciple', R. Johanan must have said, 'a son', a contradiction [then arises again16 between one statement] of R. Johanan and another statement of his?17 — There is no contradiction; one [statement] is his own;18 the other, his teacher's.
(Mnemonic19 Hadad, Poverty, Sage.)
R. Phinehas b. Hama gave the following exposition: With reference to the Scriptural text, And when Hadad heard in Egypt that David slept with his fathers, and that Joab the captain of the host was dead,20 why was [the expression of] 'sleeping' used in the case of David, and [that of] 'death' in the case of Joab? 'Sleeping' was used in the case of David because he left a son; 'Death' was used in the case of Joab because he left no son. Did not Joab leave a son? Surely, it is written, Of the sons of Joab, Obadiah the son of Jehiel!21 — But, [this is the reply,] with David who left a son like himself [the expression of] 'sleeping' was used; with Joab who did not leave a son like himself, 'death' was used.
R. Phinehas b. Hama gave the following exposition: Poverty in one's home is worse than fifty plagues, for it is said, Have Pity upon me, have pity upon me, O ye my friends; for the hand22 of God hath touched me,23 and his friends answered him, Take heed, regard not inquiry; for this hast thou chosen rather than poverty.24
R. Phinehas b. Hama gave the following exposition: Whosoever has a sick person in his house should go to a Sage25 who will invoke [heavenly] mercy for him; as it is said: The wrath of a king26 is as messengers of death,' but a wise man will pacify it.27
THIS IS THE GENERAL RULE: THE LINEAL DESCENDANTS OF ANY ONE WITH A PRIORITY TO SUCCESSION TAKE PRECEDENCE. A FATHER TAKES PRECEDENCE OVER ALL HIS DESCENDANTS. Rami b. Hama inquired: [With regard to the claims of] a father of the father28 and a brother of the father,28 as, for example, [the claims of] Abraham and Ishmael upon the possessions of Esau,29 who takes precedence? — Raba said: Come and hear: A FATHER TAKES PRECEDENCE OVER ALL HIS DESCENDANTS.30 And Rami b. Hama?31 —
Baba Bathra 116b
Rami b. Hama inquired: [Regarding the claims of] the father of his4 father and his4 brother as, for example. [the claims of] Abraham and Jacob upon the possessions of Esau, who takes precedence? — Raba said: Come and hear! A FATHER TAKES PRECEDENCE OVER ALL HIS DESCENDANTS.5 And Rami h. Hama?6 — [A father might take precedence over] HIS DESCENDANTS but not [necessarily over] the descendants of his son.7 Logical reasoning [leads to] the same [conclusion]; for it is stated, THIS IS THE GENERAL RULE: THE LINEAL DESCENDANTS OF ANY ONE WITH A PRIORITY TO SUCCESSION TAKE PRECEDENCE. If, [then,] Isaac8 had been [alive], Isaac would have taken precedence.9 now, also, that Isaac [himself] is not [alive], Jacob10 [should] take precedence.
MISHNAH. THE DAUGHTERS OF ZELOPHEHAD11 TOOK THREE SHARES IN THE INHERITANCE [OF CANAAN]:12 THE SHARE OF THEIR FATHER WHO WAS OF THOSE WHO CAME OUT OF EGYPT,13 AND HIS SHARE AMONG HIS BROTHERS IN THE POSSESSIONS OF HEPHER,14 [WHICH CONSISTED OF TWO], SINCE HE15 WAS A FIRSTBORN SON [WHO] TAKES TWO SHARES.16
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