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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Baba Bathra

Folio 143a

at the College, and he expressed his approval'.1  He went to him [when the other] explained2  Would anyone acquire possession if he were told, 'Acquire ownership as an ass'?3  For it was stated: [If one was told]. 'Acquire possession like an ass'. he does not acquire ownership. [If. however. one was told]. 'You and an ass [shall acquire possession].' R. Nahman said: He acquires the ownership of a half.4  And R. Hamnuna said: The statement is invalid '5  And R. Shesheth said: He acquires the ownership of all.

R. Shesheth said: Whence do I derive this?6 — For it was taught: R. Jose said: In cucumbers, the inner portion only' is bitter.7  Consequently. when a person is giving [a cucumber] as a heave-offering8  he [must]add9  to the external part of it,10  and [thus] gives the heave-offering. [But] why? [This is surely the same as the case of] 'You and the ass'!11  — There it is different; for Biblically it12  is perfect terumah,' for R. Elai said, 'Whence [is it inferred] that if one separates a heave-offering from an inferior quality for the [redemption of] a superior quality that his offering is valid? For it is said. And ye shall bear no sin by reason of it, seeing that ye have set apart from it the best thereof.13  [From this it is to be inferred that if you do not set apart from the best, but of the worst, you shall bear sin]; if, [however, the inferior quality] does not become consecrated, why should there be any bearing of sin!14  Hence [it follows] that if one separates a heave-offering from an inferior quality for [the redemption of] a superior quality, his offering is valid.'15

R. Mordecai said to R. Ashi: R. Iwya raised an objection [from the following Mishnah]: It once happened with five women, among whom there were two sisters. that a person gathered a basket of figs which were16  theirs and[which] were' [also of the fruit] of the Sabbatical year17  and said, 'Behold you are all betrothed18  unto me by this basket',19  and one of them accepted on behalf of all. The Sages said: The sisters are not betrothed.20  [From this it follows that] only the sisters were not consecrated. but the strangers were consecrated;21  but why? This [is surely the same case as] 'You and the ass'!22  — He said unto him: This is indeed [the reason] why I saw R. Huna b. Iwya in [my] dream: Because R. Iwya raised the objection. Have we not [however]. explained [the Mishnah23  as referring only to the case] where he said, 'She who is [legally] suitable among you for cohabitation shall be betrothed unto me'?24

A certain [person] said to his wife, 'My estate shall belong to you and to your children' — R. Joseph said: She acquires the ownership of half [of it]. R. Joseph. furthermore, said: Whence do I derive this? — For it was taught:25  Rabbi said: And it shall be for Aaron and his sons,26  half for Aaron [and] half for his sons.27  Abaye said to him: This28  is quite correct there;29  [since] Aaron was [in any case] entitled to receive a share, the All Merciful [must have] mentioned him explicitly in order [to indicate] that he is to receive a [full] half, [in the case of] a woman, [however], [who] is not entitled to be heir [at all]. it should be sufficient for her to receive like one of the children,30  [But] this is not [so] — For surely there was [such] a case at Nehardea where Samuel allowed her to receive a half; at Tiberias, and R. Johanan allowed her to receive a half. Furthermore, when R. Isaac b. Joseph came, he related [that] the Government31  once imposed crown money32  upon Bule33  and Startege33  [and] Rabbi said: Bule shall give a half and Startege a half!34  — What a comparison!35  There, when an order was issued36  on previous occasions it was directed to37  Bule, [yet] Startege contributed together with them, and the Government38  knew that they were assisting. Why. then, did they now direct the order to both Bule and Startege? [Obviously] to indicate that these [as well as] those [shall each contribute] a half.

R. Zera raised an objection: If a person said; I undertake to bring a meal.offering [of] a hundred 'isaron39  in two vessels, he [must] bring sixty40  in one vessel, and forty in the other vessel,

To Part b

Original footnotes renumbered.
  1. Lit., 'and he bowed his head concerning it,' i.e., 'nodded assent'.
  2. Lit., said to him.'
  3. Surely not! the man would in such a case acquire as little possession as the ass: so in this case, just as the unborn brothers cannot acquire ownership of their shares, neither can the lad acquire the ownership of his share.
  4. The owner having implied by his statement that he wished the man and the ass to acquire equal shares.
  5. Lit., 'he said nothing'. Since the animal and the man were given simultaneous possession. the owner has thereby intimated his desire that one shall not acquire ownership without the other; and since the animal cannot acquire ownership. the man also cannot.
  6. That though the ass and the man were given possession simultaneously. the man acquires ownership of the whole.
  7. Lit., 'you have not bitter in a cucumber but the inner (portion) which is in it'.
  8. For another forty-nine cucumbers. The heave-offering (terumah, v. Glos.) must contain a fiftieth of the produce.
  9. The outer and sweet portion of another cucumber.
  10. Bitter produce cannot he consecrated as Terumah. Consequently without such an addition, the cucumber which he set aside as heave-offering might represent less than a fiftieth of the produce. should it happen to have a rather large bitter core.
  11. As here, though the sweet and the bitter portion of the cucumber are simultaneously included in the terumah, and though the latter is unfit for it, the former is, nevertheless, regarded as proper terumah, so in the case of possession given simultaneously to a man and an ass, though the latter cannot acquire possession. the former should well acquire it.
  12. The bitter portion of the cucumber.
  13. Num. XVIII, 32.
  14. Surely no wrong has been done, since his action is null and void, and he has to give another heave-offering.
  15. Supra 84b, B.M. 56a. Since, as has been proved, an inferior quality may be used as a heave-offering for the redemption of a superior quality, a bitter cucumber might well be used as a heave-offering. Hence this case cannot be compared to that of possession that was given to a man and an ass where the ass cannot possibly be regarded as qualified to acquire ownership.
  16. Lit., 'was'. treating the figs as one unit, 'basket of figs'.
  17. Which are free to all.
  18. Lit., 'consecrated', 'Consecration' in this formula implies 'marriage bonds',
  19. Betrothal is effected by the man's handing over to the woman a coin or an object of value,
  20. I.e., the betrothal is null and void.
  21. Kid. 50b.
  22. As here the betrothal of the strangers is valid though that of the sisters is not, so in the case of possession given to a man and an ass, the man should acquire ownership though the ass does not. The two cases are parallel, since in the one case the betrothal was simultaneous and in the other possession was given simultaneously. How, then, in view of the decision of the Sages in the case of the women. could it he held that in the case of the man and the ass the man does not acquire ownership?
  23. Declaring valid the betrothal in the case of the strangers.
  24. Since the sisters were accordingly excluded, the betrothal of the others could rightly he regarded as valid. In the case of the man and the ass both were included; as that of the ass must be invalid so may be that of the man.
  25. A.Z. 10b, San, 21a, Yomah 17b.
  26. Lev, XXIV, 9
  27. As the mention of Aaron at the side of his sons implies that his share shall be equal to the total of their shares, so the mention by the husband of his wife at the side of his sons implies that her share shall be equal to the total of theirs, i.e., half the estate for her and the other half for the sons,
  28. That an individual mentioned at the side of many receives a half of the whole.
  29. In the case of Aaron and his sons'
  30. Had not her husband specifically named her she would have received nothing, the mention of her can entitle her to one share only like any one of the other heirs.
  31. Lit.. 'the royal house'.
  32. Aurum coronarium; v. supra 34, n. 1,
  33. 'Place names' (Goldschmidt). 'Men and governors' (Rashi.). 'Townsmen and villagers' (R. Gershom). 'City council', 'senate', ([G]), and 'city magistrate' ([G]) (Jast.). [The Bule and Startege were the two sections of the wealthy citizens who were held responsible to the Roman government for the full amount of different public burdens. Buchler, A., The Political and Social Leaders of Sepphoris, etc., 39ff.; see also Krauss, Synagogale Altertumer, p. 183.]
  34. Though one of these may have been wealthier or more numerous than the other. This proves that the mention of two names implies that the bearers of these names, whether consisting of many or few, give. or receive, collectively, equal shares. Hence, in the case of the estate given to one's wife and sons, the former should receive a share equal to the total received by the sons, i. e. a half!
  35. Lit., 'thus, now'.
  36. Lit., 'they were writing'.
  37. Lit., 'they were writing on'.
  38. Lit., 'king'.
  39. A tenth part of an ephah.
  40. The largest quantity allowed.
Tractate List

Baba Bathra 143b

and if he brought fifty in one vessel and fifty in the other, he has [also] fulfilled his duty. [From this it follows that only] if he had [already] brought, has he fulfilled his duty;1  but that this is not the proper thing to do.2  Now, if it could be assumed that in any such case 'half and half' [is meant]. this3  [should have been allowed] even at the outset! — What a comparison! There, we are in a position to testify4  that this person first intended [to bring as] big [an] offering [as possible], and that [the reason] why' he said, 'In two vessels' [was] because he knew that it was impossible to bring [all] in one vessel.5  [Hence] we order him to bring as much as it is possible.

And the law is in accordance with [the view] of R. Joseph6  in the case of 'Field',7  'Subject'8  and 'Half'.9

A certain [man] once sent home pieces of silk. R. Ammi said: Those which are suitable for the sons [belong] to the sons; [those] suitable for the daughters. [belong] to the daughters. [This,] however, has only been said [in the case] where he has no daughter-in-law, but if he has a daughter-in-law. [it is assumed that] he sent it for his daughter-in-law. If, however, his daughters were not married, [the gift belongs to them because] one would not neglect one's daughters10  and send to his daughter-in-law.

Once a certain [person] said. 'My estate [shall be given] to my sons' — He had a son and a daughter. [Do] people call a son. 'sons';11  or perhaps, they do not call a son. 'sons', and his intention was12  to include13  his daughter in the gift? — Abaye said, Come and hear: And the sons of Dan: Hushim,14  Raba said to him: Perhaps [this is to be explained]. in accordance with the Tanna of the School of Hezekiah, that they were as numerous as the leaves15  of a reed! But, said Raba. And the sons of Paliu: Eliab.16  R. Joseph said, And the sons of Ethan: Azariah.17

A certain [person] once said, 'My estate [shall be given] to my sons'. He had a son and a grandson. [Do] people call a grandson. son';18  or not? — R. Habiba said: People call a grandson 'son'.18  Mar son of R. Ashi said: People do not call a grandson. 'son'19  [A Baraitha] was taught in agreement with the view of Mar son of R. Ashi: He who is forbidden by a vow [to have any benefit] from [his] sons is allowed [to derive benefits] from [his grandsons].20


GEMARA. R. Habiba son of R. Joseph son of Raba said in the name of Raba: [The law of our Mishnah]33  is 'applicable34  only [to the case] where the improvement of the estate was effected out [of the funds] of the estate, but if it was improved at the expense of the elder brothers,35  the profits belong to themselves.36  [But] this is not [so]! For, surely. R. Hanina said,' Even if their father had left them37  nothing but

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Original footnotes renumbered.
  1. Lit., 'yes '.
  2. Lit.,'for the outset, not',
  3. The division of the meal-offering into two equal parts of fifty 'isaron each.
  4. Lit., 'witnesses'.
  5. The largest quantity that may be brought in one vessel as a meal.offering is sixty 'isaron., V. Men. 103b.
  6. Though throughout the Talmud the law is in agreement with the view of Rabbah whenever he disagrees with R. Joseph.
  7. When one of the heirs has a field near the field that is to be divided (supra 12b).
  8. V. supra 114a, 'so long as they are dealing with the same subject'.
  9. The case of a testator who expressed the wish that his estate be divided between his wife and his sons, supra 143a.
  10. Whom it is his duty to maintain.
  11. Hence all his estate was meant to be given to his son.
  12. Lit., 'he came'.
  13. Lit., 'to draw in'.
  14. Gen.XLVI. 23. The plural sons, is used. although the name of one son only is given.
  15. Or 'knots'. Hushim, [H] may also he rendered 'leaves' or 'knots'.
  16. Num. XXVI, 8. Cf. n. 5, supra.
  17. I Chron. II, 8.
  18. Hence the estate would he divided between the son and the grandson.
  19. And the whole estate would consequently be given to the son who, as mentioned above, might be called 'sons'.
  20. Which proves that grandsons are not regarded as sons.
  21. Before it was divided between the heirs.
  22. Lit., 'for the middle'. I.e., the profits are equally divided between all the heirs, adults and minors.
  23. The adults.
  24. To the minors, in the presence of a court or witnesses, or in public.
  25. Lit., 'eat'.
  26. If despite their wish the estate was not divided
  27. Lit., 'they have improved for themselves'.
  28. I.e., the widow.
  29. That was left by her husband.
  30. All the heirs receive equal shares in the profits.
  31. V.. supra note 5.
  32. Cf supra note 7.
  33. That the profits are to be equally divided between all the heirs.
  34. Lit., 'they taught'.
  35. Lit., 'through themselves'.
  36. V. supra note 7
  37. His children, adults and minors.
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