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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Baba Bathra
[from the fact] that in one case1 [there are] two [advantages]2 and in the other3 [only] one?4 — The very [law of a son's precedence in the case of the redemption of a] field of [his father's] possession was deduced by the Tanna from this very argument, viz., 'Surely levirate marriages only take place where there is no son, but where there is a son there is no levirate marriage'!5
[But why not] say [thus]: 'His kinsman,6 refers to the father. This teaches that a father takes precedence over a daughter.7 One might [assume] that he [also] takes precedence over [a] son, it was therefore expressly stated that is next [to him],6 [which implies,] he who is nearest takes the precedence'? — Since in respect of levirate marriages a son and a daughter have the same8 standing, a son and a daughter must have the same standing in the case also of inheritance.9 [Why again not] say [thus]: 'His kinsman,6 refers to the father. This teaches that a father takes precedence over the [dead man's] father's brothers. One might [assume] that he also takes precedence over brothers, it was therefore expressly stated, that is next,10 [which implies], he who is nearest takes the precedence'? — The father's brothers do not require any Scriptural text;11 [for] from whom12 do the father's brothers derive their right? From the father; should [then] the brothers of the father inherit when the father [himself] is alive! But, surely, the Scriptural verses are not written in this [order], for it is written, And if his father have no brethren etc.!13 — The verses are not written in [the proper] order14 [of succession].
The following Tanna derives it15 from the following: For it was taught: R. Ishmael, son of R. Jose, gave the following exposition: [It is written,] If a man die, and have no son, [then ye shall cause his inheritance to pass unto his daughter].16 [This implies that] where there is a daughter the inheritance is passed from the father,17 but no inheritance is passed from the father, where there are [only] brothers.18
But [why not] say [thus]? Where there is a daughter the inheritance is passed from the brothers,19
Baba Bathra 109b
but no inheritance is passed from the father even where there is a daughter'?1 — If so2 the Torah should not have written3 [at all]. Then ye shall cause [his inheritance] to pass [unto his daughter].4
According to him who infers it5 from, then ye shall cause [his inheritance] to pass,6 what is [the phrase], his kinsman, to be applied to? — He applies7 it, to [the following], as it was taught: His kinsman,8 refers to his wife: [and this] teaches that the husband is heir to his wife.9 And according to him who infers its from his kinsman, to what does he apply [the expression], then ye shall cause [his inheritance] to pass?10 — He applies it to [the following]; as it was taught: Rabbi said: In [the case of] all [the relatives],11 [the expression of] 'giving' is used, but here,12 [the expression] used is that of 'causing to pass',13 [in order to teach] you that no other but a daughter causes an inheritance to pass from one tribe to [another] tribe, since [in her case] her son or her husband are her heirs.14
What [reason] is there for deducing that she'ero15 refers to the father? — Because it is written, She is thy father's near kinsman:16 Why not [rather] say [that] she'ero refers to the mother since it is written, She is thy mother's near kinswoman?17 — Raba replied: The Scriptural text says. that is next to him of his family, and he shall possess it;18 the family of the father is regarded19 [as the proper] family [but] the family of the mother is not regarded19 [as the proper] family; for it is written, by their families, by their father's houses.20 [But] is not the mother's family regarded19 [as the proper] family? Surely it is written, And there was a young man out of Bethlehem in Judah — of the family of Judah — who was a Levite, and he sojourned there;21 [now], this is self-contradictory, [for] it is said, 'who was a Levite', which clearly indicates that he descended from Levi, [and it is also said], 'of the family of Judah,' which clearly shows that he descended from Judah; must it not then be concluded that his father [was of the tribe] of Levi and his mother [of that] of Judah, and [yet the text] speaks [of him as] 'of the family of Judah'! — Raba, son of R. Hanan, replied: No;22 [he may have been] a man whose name was Levi.23 If so, [is] this [the reason] why Micah said, 'Now know I that the Lord will do me good, seeing I have a Levite as my priest'?24 — Yes; [he was glad] that he happened to obtain a man whose name was Levi. But was Levi his name? Surely his name was Jonathan, for it is said, And Jonathan the son of Gershom, the son of Manasseh, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of the Danites?25 — He said unto him: But [even] according to your argument, [it may be objected], 'Was he the son of Manasseh? Surely he was the son of Moses, for it is written, the son of Moses: Gershom, and Eliezer';26 but [you must say that] because he acted [wickedly] as Manasseh,27 the Scriptural text ascribed his28 descent to Manasseh, [so] also here29 [it may be said that], because he acted [wickedly] as Manasseh who descended from Judah, the Scriptural text ascribed his28 descent to Judah.30 R. Johanan said in the name of R. Simeon b. Yohai: From here [one may infer] that corruption is ascribed28 to the corrupt.31 R. Jose b. Hanina said: [This32 may be inferred] from the following: [It is written,] And he33 was also a very goodly man, and he was born after Absalom;34 was not Adonijah the son of Haggith, and Absalom the son of Maacah? But because he33 acted in the same manner as Absalom who rebelled against the king, the Scriptural text associated35 him with Absalom.
R. Eleazar said: One should always associate36 with good [people]; for behold, from Moses who married the daughter of Jethro,37 there descended Jonathan38 [while] from Aaron, who married the daughter of Amminadab, there descended Phinehas.39 But did not Phinehas descend from Jethro? Surely it is written, And Eleazar40 Aaron's son took him one of the daughters of Putiel to wife;41 does not this mean that he descended from Jethro who crammed42 calves for idol worship? — No; [it means] that he descended from Joseph who conquered43 his passions.44 Did not, however, the tribes sneer at him and say.45 'Have you seen this Puti-son?46 A youth whose mother's father crammed calves for idol-worship should kill the head47 of a tribe in Israel!'
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