More Discussions for this daf
1. Inheritance from mother 2. A husband inheriting from his wife 3. Daughter's rights

Stuart asked:

The Torah says in Numbers 27:8 - "When a Man dies and he has no son, you shall pass his inheritance to his daughter."

In Bava Basra, page 111 A, at the top it says "and any daughter who inherits a legacy from the tribes of the children of Israel ...." (Numbers 36:8) The Gemorra learns from this and the Rashbam gives a proof that a daughter inherits from her mother.

The Gemorra now asks, from where is it derived that a son inherits from his mother? The Gemorra tries to prove this through a Kal Vachomer. The issue then becomes whether or not the son inherits from the mother, and if so, does the son inherit after the daughter, equally with the daughter or does the son precede the daughter (like inheriting from the father, the son precedes the daughter).

The Gemorra says -- just as we know that a son is the first inheritor from the father followed by the daughter, should it not be that because a daughter inherits from her mother that the son should then follow the daughter? That would be a true Kal Vachomer. Through this we learn that the son does inherit from the mother, but now, we have to determine in what position he inherits -- after the daughter, equally, or before the daughter.

If you go by the Kal Vachomer, the son inherits after the daughter. BUT HERE THE GEMORRA TAKES IT TWO STEPS FURTHER and says that the son precedes the daughter. We could not find any reasoning here as to how the Gemorra moves two steps ahead of the Kal Vachomer. As you know, and as it is stated on this page, the son's right to inherit his mother's estate (the derived law) cannot be greater than the daughter's right to inherit from her father (the source law). therefore, the son should inherit from the mother after the daughter.

How can the Kal Vechomer work like this?

Stuart, USA

The Kollel replies:

Look ahead. The Gemara ask that we should say "Dayo" (limit the Kal va'Chomer to the limitations of the source), and brings this as the reasoning of those who hold that male and female are on equal footing in the mothers inheritance. The Gemara answers that there is a Hekesh.

D. Zupnik

Zach Samuels wrote back:


Your answer does not answer my question. I did read ahead and the Gemorra also says that a son inherits before the daughter from the mother. But there is no proof for this.

Again, using the Kal Vachomer - the daughter inherits after the son from the father. Therefore, the son should inherit after the daughter from the mother. But the Gemorra jumps to equal inheritance and then says the son precedes the daughter with no further proof!!! We don't get it.

Thanks for your help.

Zach Samuels

Hospital for Special Surgery

535 East 70th Street

New York NY 10021

The Kollel replies:

There is no need to break it down into two steps: The Kal va'Chomer will make the son and daughter equal with regard to the inheritance of the mother. Once we learn from the daughter that the son receives some of his mother's inheritance, there is no reason that the son and daughter should not be on equal footing.

That is, we are not learning the rules of inheritance from the mother directly from the inheritance of the father. Rather we are using the rules of inheritance from the father to show that the son is a "greater" heir (i.e. he is the "Chamur" of the Kal va'Chomer). We can then derive that the son inherits his mother just as the daughter (the "Kal") inherits her mother. This places the son and daughter on equal footing regarding the mother.

The Tana Kama uses a Hekesh, as the Gemara writes later, to place the son *before* the daughter with regard to his mother's inheritance.

D. Zupnik