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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Baba Bathra
"I thought I had a son; now, [however] that I have no son, [let] my estate [be given] to X"; [or] if a person was lying ill in bed, and on being asked to whom his estate [shall be given]. he replied, "I thought my wife was with child; now' [however] 'that my wife is not with child, [let] my estate [be given] to X"; and it [subsequently] transpired that he had a son or that his wife was pregnant, his gift is invalid,'1 Is it to be assumed that this [statement represents the view of] R Simeon b. Menasya and not [that of] the Rabbis?2 — It may even be said [to represent the view of] the Rabbis, [but] 'I thought' is different.3 And what did he that raised the question imagine?4 — It might be suggested that he5 was merely mentioning his grief,6 hence [it was necessary] to teach us [that this is not so].
R. Zera said in the name of Rab: Whence [is it proved] that the gift of a dying man7 [is considered valid] by the Torah? — For it is said, Then ye shall cause his inheritance to pass to his daughter8 [which9 implies that] there exists another transfer which is [the same] as this [one]. And which is it? It is the gift of a dying man.10 R. Nahman in the name of Rabbah b. Abbuha said: [It may be derived] from the following.11 Then shall ye give his inheritance unto his brethren,12 [which13 implies that] there exists another giving which is like this [one]. And which is it? It is the gift of a dying man.14 Why does not R. Nahman derive it from, Then ye shall cause to pass?14 — He requires that [expression] for [the following], according to Rabbi. For it was taught: Rabbi said, In [the case of] all [the relatives15 the expression of] 'giving' is used but here16 [the expression] used is that of 'causing to pass',17 [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 and her husband are her heirs.18 And why does not R. Zera derive it from, Then shall ye give?19 — This is the usual [expression] of Scripture.20
R. Menashya b. Jeremiah said: [It21 may be derived] from the following:22 In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death; and Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, 'Thus saith the Lord; Set thy house in order for thou shalt die, and not live',23 by mere verbal instruction.24
Rami b. Ezekiel said: [It21 may be derived] from the following: And when Ahitophel saw that his counsel was not followed. he saddled his ass and arose, and got him home into his city and set his house in order, and strangled himself.25 by mere verbal instruction.26
Our Rabbis taught: Ahitophel advised his sons three things: Take no part27 in strife, and do not rebel against the government of the House of David, and [if] the weather on the Festival of Pentecost is fine sow wheat28 Mar Zutra stated: It was said, 'cloudy'29 The Nehardeans said in the name of R. Jacob: 'Fine' [does] not [mean] absolutely fine, nor does 'cloudy' mean completely overcast, but even [when it is] 'cloudy' and the north wind blows [the clouds], it is regarded as 'fine'.30
R. Abba said to R. Ashi: We rely upon [the weather information] of R. Isaac b. Abdimi. For R. Isaac b. Abdimi said: [At] the termination of31 the last day of Tabernacles, all watched the smoke of the wood pile.32 [If] it33 inclined towards the north, the poor rejoiced and landowners34 were distressed because [that35 was an indication] that the yearly rains would be heavy36 and the crops would decay.37 [If] it inclined towards the south, the poor were distressed and landowners rejoiced because [that38 was an indication] that the yearly rains would be scanty and the crops could be preserved.39 [If] it inclined towards the east, all were glad;40 towards the west, all were distressed.41
A contradiction was raised: The east [wind] is always beneficial; the west [wind] is always harmful; the north wind is beneficial for wheat that reached42 [the stage of] a third [of its maturity].43 and harmful for olives in blossom; and the south wind is injurious' for wheat that reached42 [the stage of] a third [of maturity] and beneficial for olives in blossom. And R. Joseph. (others say Mar Zutra and others say. R. Nahman b. Isaac), said: Your mnemonic is, 'Table in the north and candelabra in the south;44 the one45 Increases Its own46 and the other47 increases Its own.48 — There is no difficulty: This49 for us,50 and that51 for them52
It was taught: Abba Saul said: Fine [weather at] the Festival of Pentecost is a good sign53 for all the year.
Baba Bathra 147b
— In respect of the prayer of the High Priest [on the Day of Atonement]1
Raba,2 however, said in the name of R. Nahman: The [validity of a verbal] gift of a dying man is a mere [provision] of the Rabbis3 lest his mind become affected.4 But did R. Nahman say so?5 Surely R. Nahman said: Although Samuel had stated that if a person sold a bond of indebtedness to another and subsequently6 remitted [the debt] it is remitted,7 and that even an heir may remit,8 Samuel, [nevertheless]. admits that if he presented it to him as the gift of a dying man, he cannot [subsequently] remit it.9 [Now]. if it is agreed'10 that [this11 is] Biblical, one can well understand the reason why one cannot remit [the debt]; if, however, It is maintained10 that [this is merely] Rabbinical, why should he not be able to remit [it]? — It is not Biblical; but was given12 [the same force] as [a law] of the Torah.13
Raba said in the name of R. Nahman: If a dying man said, 'Let X live14 in this house', or,'Let X eat the fruit of this date-tree', his Instructions are to be disregarded15 unless he used the following expression:16 'Give this house to X that he may live in it', or 'Give this date-tree to X that he may eat of its fruit'17 Does this mean to imply18 that R. Nahman holds the opinion that [only] the rights19 that a man in good health may confer,20 may also be conferred by21 a dying man, [while those] which a man in good health cannot confer,21 can neither be conferred by a dying man?21 Surely Raba said in the name of R Nahman:
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