BACKGROUND TO THE DAILY DAF
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BAVA BASRA 142-144 - Two weeks of study material have been dedicated by Mrs. Estanne Abraham Fawer to honor the tenth Yahrzeit of her father, Rav Mordechai ben Eliezer Zvi (Rabbi Morton Weiner) Z'L, who passed away on 18 Teves 5760. May the merit of supporting and advancing Dafyomi study -- which was so important to him -- during the weeks of his Yahrzeit serve as an Iluy for his Neshamah.
[142a - 21 lines; 142b - 39 lines]
1) [line 1] LECHESHE'TELED - for when she gives birth (i.e. he is not giving the Maneh to the fetus now, but rather he is saying that the Maneh should be given to the child after he is born)
2) [line 7] GER SHE'MES (NICHSEI HA'GER SHE'MES)
(a) When a Jew dies, his closest relatives inherit his estate (according to the hierarchy established by the Torah as recorded in Bamidbar 27:8-11). Since all of the Jews are related to each other (at least through Yakov Avinu and his sons), every Jew must have heirs. A convert, however, may have no heirs (since his non-Jewish relatives do not inherit his estate). When a convert dies without heirs, his estate becomes Hefker (ownerless). The first person who takes possession of his belongings becomes their owner.
(b) In order to take possession of the estate of a convert who dies without any heirs, one must make a Ma'aseh Kinyan, a formal Halachically-binding act denoting the acquisition of any part of the estate, as in all cases of taking possession of items that are Hefker. Depending on what object one is acquiring, different Kinyanim are used. The forms of Kinyan that may be used for the acquisition of the Metaltelin (mobile items) of a Ger are Hagbahah (i.e. lifting the item), Meshichah (i.e. pulling the item or causing it to move) and Chatzer (i.e. bringing the item into one's private domain). The only form of Kinyan that may be used for the acquisition of the land of a Ger is Chazakah (i.e. performing an act that is normally performed only by an owner).
3) [line 7] BIZBEZU YISRAEL NECHASAV - Jews took for themselves his property
4) [line 10] HECHEZIK B'SHENIYAH, KANAH - if he makes a second Kinyan Chazakah on the property, then he acquires it (KINYAN CHAZAKAH - see Background to Bava Basra 100:3)
5) [line 12] LAMAH LEHU ACHZUKEI BA'SHENIYAH - why do they need to make a second act of Kinyan Chazakah (their first act of Chazakah should suffice to acquire the property for them)
6) [line 15] RAFUY MERAPI'AN B'YDAIHU ME'IKARA - it (the first Chazakah that they made on the convert's property) was very weak to begin with (since they were not sure whether or not the convert had a son to inherit him, they did not have absolute resolve to acquire his property)
7) [line 3] PIRCHES TELASA PIRCHUSEI - it twitched three twitches (spasmodic jerking motions)
8) [line 5] MIDI D'HAVAH A'ZENAV HA'LETA'AH SHE'MEFARCHESES - similar to the tail of a lizard which twitches spasmodically (even though there is no life in the tail)
9) [line 6] MEMA'ET B'CHELEK BECHORAH - he reduces the double portion that the firstborn receives. Aas the Rashbam explains, a son who is even one day old reduces the double portion that the firstborn receives. For example, Yakov died right after his third son, Levi, was born. Yakov's property (12 Maneh) is divided into 4 portions of 3 Maneh each. 6 Maneh (2 portions) are given to Reuven, the Bechor, 3 Maneh (1 portion) is given to Shimon and 3 Maneh (1 portion) is given to Levi. Levi then dies, and Reuven and Shimon split his share, each receiving 1 1/2 Maneh, so that Reuven has a total of 7 1/2, and Shimon has 4 1/2. If a third son (Levi) had never been born, then Reuven would have received 8 Maneh (2 portions of 4 Maneh each) and Shimon 4 Maneh. Hence, Levi reduces the double portion that Reuven receives. If Levi was a fetus at the time of his father's death, then he would not diminish the portion of the Bechor, but he would diminish the regular portion. Thus, Reuven would receive 4 Maneh as his Bechor-portion (as if Reuven and Shimon were the only heirs), and the remaining 8 would be divided among the three brothers, such that each receives 2 2/3 Maneh. Then, if Levi dies, Reuven and Shimon split his share, each receiving an additional 1 1/3, such that Reuven ends up with 8 (4 + 2 2/3 + 1 1/3) and Shimon ends up with 4 (2 2/3 + 1 1/3) -- as if Levi had never been born.
10a) [line 12] SURA - a town in Southern Bavel between the canals, seat of the Yeshiva founded by Rav
b) [line 12] PUMBEDISA - a town in Bavel (lit. Mouth of Bedisa, a canal of the Euphrates), the location of a great Yeshiva that existed for approximately 800 years. The scholars of Pumbedisa were known for their keen intellect (Bava Metzia 38b). To emphasize its importance as a Torah center, Rabah and Rav Yosef stated that just as one is prohibited from leaving Eretz Yisrael to Chutz la'Aretz, so, too, is one prohibited to leave Pumbedisa (Kesuvos 111a).
11) [line 15] "YAKIR" AMAR RACHMANA - the Torah says "Yakir" (Devarim 21:17), teaching that the father must have the ability to acknowledge his son as the Bechor in order for that son to inherit a double portion.
12) [line 16] V'HA LEISA D'YAKIR - and this one (the father) is no longer here such that he could acknowledge his son as the Bechor
13) [line 19] V'IM TOMAR MISHNASEINU - and if you ask from our Mishnah (which implies that a fetus can acquire ownership)
14) [line 20] DA'ATO SHEL ADAM KEROVAH ETZEL BENO - a man feels close to his son (see Insights here)
15) [line 21] RAV CHANA BAGDESA'AH - (a) Rav Chana of Baghdad (RASHBAM here); (b) Rav Chana, the expert on Agadaic literature (RASHI to Yevamos 67a)
16) [line 21] PUK AISI LI BEI ASARAH - go out and bring me ten people
17) [line 22] V'EIMAR LACH B'APAIHU - and I will say to you in their presence
18) [line 24] NICHSAI L'VANAI DI'YEHEVU LI MINEICH - my property [shall be given] to my sons that shall be born to me from you
19) [line 25] BREI KESHISHA - his older son (from a previous marriage)
20) [line 25] HA'HU GAVRA - that person (i.e. me)
21) [line 26] MAI TEHEVEI ALEI - what will be with him (you are giving away all of your property to the unborn children, leaving nothing for me!)
22) [line 26] K'CHAD MI'BERA - [you shall receive a portion] like one of the sons
23) [line 28] HAI, IS CHULAK L'TALYA BI'MEKOM BENAYA - does this one (the older son) have a portion in place of the sons (i.e does the older son receives a portion as a gift in addition to the portion that he receives as his inheritance? This is done, the Rashbam explains, by dividing the property among the total number of sons and then giving one of those equal portions to the older son and then dividing the rest again among all of the sons and giving it to them as their inheritance. Perhaps the older son only receives a portion as a Yerushah but not as a gift, because his gift was compared to the gift given to the unborn children, which does not take effect.)
24a) [line 34] HILCHESA KAVASAN - is the Halachah like us
b) [line 34] HILCHESA KEVASAICHU - is the Halachah like you
25a) [line 35] KASHISHNA MINAICHU - we are older than you
b) [line 36] DARDEKEI ATUN - you are youngsters
26a) [line 37] MIDI BI'KESHISHUSA TALYA MILSA?! - does the matter depend on old age?!
b) [line 38] B'TA'AMA TALYA MILSA - the matter depends on the reasoning
27) [last line] D'ASBARTAH NIHALEI - for I explained it (the reasoning) to him
Index to Background for Maseches Bava Basra