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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Baba Bathra
are presented in court,1 in which case Rab rules that the property should be divided between the claimants, and Samuel that the judges should assign it according to their own discretion?2 — In that case there is no chance that further evidence should come to light,3 here there is a chance that further evidence may come to light.4 But why should the ruling here be different from what we have learnt: 'If a man exchanges a cow for an ass and it calves, and similarly if a man sells a female slave and she bears a child, if the seller says that the birth took place before the sale5 and the purchaser that it took place after the sale,6 they must share the offspring'?7 In that case each
Baba Bathra 35b
had [at some time] a pecuniary interest [in the article in dispute].1 but in this case of R. Nahman, if the property belonged to one, It never belonged to the other.
The Nehardeans laid down that if an outsider2 comes and seizes the property, he is not forced to surrender it,3 because R. Hiyya taught: He who robs the public4 is not a robber in the legal sense.5 R. Ashi said: He is indeed a robber in the legal sense,6 and why [does R. Hiyya say that] he is not a robber in the legal sense? Because he is unable to make restitution like an ordinary robber.7
THEIR PERIOD OF HAZAKAH IS THREE YEARS FROM DAY TO DAY. R. Abba said: If [the claimant of a piece of land] helps [the man In possession] to lift a basket of produce on to his shoulders, this at once creates a presumption [that the land belongs to the latter].8 R. Zebid said: If, however, he pleads, 'I have installed him [as a metayer] with a right to the produce [but not the ownership of the land],' his plea is accepted. This too is only the case if the plea is made within three years [of the alleged transfer], but not later. Said R. Ashi to R. Kahana: If he had made him a metayer [for more than three years], what was he to do?9 He said: He should have lodged a protest within three years. For, were you not to say so, then what about the so-called 'mortgage of Sura'10 containing the stipulation, 'On the termination of these [X] years this land shall be given up without payment.' Now suppose the mortgagee suppresses the mortgage bond and asserts that he has bought the land; are we indeed to say that his plea is to be accepted? Would the Rabbis make a regulation11 which would expose the mortgager to unfair loss? But the fact is that he can protect himself by lodging a protest within three years; and so in this case also he can protect himself by lodging a protest within three years.
Rab Judah said in the name of Rab: A Jew who derives his title from a non-Jew is on the same footing as a non-Jew:12 just as a non-Jew cannot prove his right save through producing a deed of sale,13 so the Jew who derives his title from a non-Jew [to a field originally belonging to a Jew] cannot prove his right save through producing a deed of sale.14 Said Raba: If, however, the Jew pleads,
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