Michael Levi Rodkinson.

New edition of the Babylonian Talmud. Original text edited, corrected, formulated, and translated into English (Volume 14) online

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Ginousar. And so it was with each tribe. However, the divi-
sion in the world to come will not be equal to the division of

* In the text it is deduced by analogies of expression, and omitted as of no iiU'


land in this world, as in this world, usually, the lot of one is a
field of grain, and of another, one of fruits; but in the world to
come, every one will have a share in the mountains, valleys, and
plains. As it is written [Ezek. xlviii. 31]: "The gates of
Reuben, one," etc., which means that every one will have equal
land and shares, and the Holy One, blessed be He, Himself will
assign the shares. As it is written [ibid., 29] : " And these are
their allotted division, said the Lord Eternal." We see, then,
that the Boraitha states that in the past the division was twelve
parts to the twelve tribes. Hence it was divided among the
tribes and not severally. Infer from this that so it is.

The master said : The land of Israel will be divided among
thirteen tribes. Who will be the thirteenth? Said R. Hisda:
The prince of Israel will be the thirteenth. As it is written
[ibid., 19] : " And the laborer of the city {i.e., the prince who
bears the yoke of the whole city), whom men of all the tribes
will serve." * Said R. Papa to Abayi: But why not say that to
the prince would be given a city or the like, but not a thirteenth
share of all the land ?-|- And he answered: This could not be
borne in mind. As it is written [ibid., 21] : " And the residue
shall belong to the prince, on the one side and on the other of
the holy oblation, and of the possession of the city," etc. (Hence
we see that a share was given to him by all tribes.)

The text says farther on : " It was divided by money." What
does it mean? Shall we assume that he who had good land
would pay to him who had inferior ? Does the Boraitha treat
of fools, who take money instead of good land? Therefore it
must be said that money was paid by those who had shares near
to Jerusalem to those who took their shares far from Jerusalem
(nearness to Jerusalem being preferable, as it was nearer to the
Temple and farther from the land of the natives, therefore in
less danger than if near to them). And on this point the follow-
ing Tanaim differ. R. Eliezer said that they were rewarded with
money, and R. Joshua maintains that this reward was in land,
as, e.g., compared with where a saah can be sown nearer to
Jerusalem they took five saahs.

* Leaser's translation does not correspond.

f The text has " Rungur." The Aruch e.xplains this as two words of the Persian
language: "Run" means "day," and "gur" means "hirer"; and accordingly
Rashbam construes "day-hirer." which does not fit very well. We have therefore
translated in accordance with R. (Jershom.


It says farther on: " It was divided only by lots." There is
a Boraitha, " except Joshua and Caleb." What does it mean?
That they did not take any land at all? Is it possible? It is
said above that they took the shares of the spies, etc. Hence
they took what did not belong to them. So much the more
what did belong to them. It means they did not take by lots,
but by the decree of heaven. As it is written [Joshua, xix. 50] :
" By the order of the Lord did they give him the city which he
had asked — Timnath Serah on the mountain of Ephraim." And
Caleb — as it is written [Judges, i. 20] : " And they gave Hebron
unto Caleb as Moses had spoken." But was not Hebron one of
the cities of refuge ? It means the suburbs and villages around
the city.

MISHNA IV,: A son and daughter are equal concerning in-
heritance. However, a son takes two shares of the estate of his
father, but not of the estate of his mother; and the daughters
are fed from the estate of their father, but not from that of their

GEMARA: What does the Mishna mean by its statement
that they are equal concerning inheritance? Shall we say that
they inherit together ? Is it not said above that the son and all
his descendants have preference over the daughter? Said R.
Na'hman b. Itz'hak: It means to say that they are equal con-
cerning an estate which is not yet fit for division. But have we
not learned also this: That the daughters of Z'lophchod took
three shares from the estate of their father, and when Z'loph-
chod died the land was not yet fit for division ? And, secondly,
what does the expression "however" mean? Said R. Papa:
It means to say that they are equal in taking the share of a first-
born. It means that when a first-born died childless they took
his share. But this also was already stated concerning Z'loph-
chod; because he was a first-born, a double share belonged to
him, which his daughters inherited, and in reference to him also
we do not know what the expression " however " means.
Therefore said R. Ashi : It means to say that the son and daugh-
ter are equal ; in case one has bequeathed to him or to her all
his estate, his will must be executed. Is this in accordance with
R. Johanan b. Beroka? This is said farther on by him: If one
has bequeathed to them who are legal heirs, his words must be
listened to? And even if one should say that our Mishna is in


accordance with R. Johanan, and the succeeding Mishna is in
accordance with them who differ with R. Johanan, is it not a
rule that in such a case the Halakha does not prevail with the
anonymous Mishna? And still, what means the word " how-
ever " ? Therefore said Mar b. R. Ashi : It means that the son
and daughter are equal in all cases concerning inheritance, be it
the estate of father or mother. However, there is a difference
between them, that the son takes two shares from the estate
of the father, but does not from the estate of his mother."

The rabbis taught: It is written [Deut. xxi. 17] : " To give
him a double portion," which means a double portion as against
one brother. But perhaps it means a double portion from all
the estate, and should be discussed thus : His share, when he has
five brothers, should be equal to that when he has only one.
As in the latter case he takes two shares from the whole estate,
so it should be with the former. On the other hand, it can be
discussed thus: His portion, when he has five brothers, should
be equal to that when he has only one brother, in this respect,
that as in the latter case he takes twice as much as his brother,
so it should be in the former case, that he takes twice as much
as all of them. Therefore it is written [ibid., 16] "Among his
sons, what he hath." We see, then, that the Torah treats of the
inheritance as among all one's sons; hence we have to take the
second supposition, and not the first. It is also written [I Chron.
V. i] : " And the sons of Reuben, the first-born of Israel, for he
was the first-born; but when he defiled his father's bed, his birth-
right was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel, so
that the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the first birth."
And it is also written [ibid., 11]: "For Judah became the
mightiest of his brothers, and the prince descended from him ;
while the first birthright belonged to Joseph."

Now the case of the first-born is mentioned concerning
Joseph, and also concerning generations ; as in the case of
Joseph, it was only twice as much as each of the brothers. As
it is written [Gen. xlviii. 22] : " Moreover, I have given unto
thee one portion above thy brothers." So also is it with the
case mentioned as to generations, that the first-born should have
only one portion more than hib brothers. It is written farther
on: "Which I took out of the hand of the Emorite with my
sword and with my bow." Did he indeed take it with sword


and bow? Is it not written [Ps. xliv. 7] : " For not in my bow
will I trust, and my sword shall not help me," ? Therefore we
must explain that " with his sword " he means prayer, and " with
my bow " supplication.

To what purpose was it necessary to cite all the verses ? Lest
one say that the cited verse in the above Boraitha is needed for
R. Johanan's above theory; therefore the other cited verse, etc.

Said R. Papa to Abayi : How is it inferred from the last cited
verse that Jacob gave Joseph twice as much as to all his broth-
ers ? Perhaps he presented to him only a like estate ? And
he answered: To thy question the Scripture says [Gen. xlviii.
5] : " Ephraim and Manasseh shall be unto me as Reuben and
Simeon. (Hence we see that he had twice as much as his
brothers, who each were counted as one tribe, and he for

R. Helbo questioned R. Samuel b. Na'hmeni : What is the
reason that Jacob took away the privilege of the first-born from
Reuben and gave it to Joseph ? You ask for the reason. Does
not the Scripture state the reason : " When he defiled his father's
bed"? I mean to say: Why did he give it to Joseph? And
he rejoined : I will tell you a parable to which this case is similar:
There was one who had raised an orphan in his house. At a
later period the orphan became rich, and thought, I will recom-
pense my benefactor (because Joseph supported his father in the
years of famine, therefore he recompensed him). Said R. Helbo
to him : And how would it be if Reuben had not sinned : then
Jacob would have given nothing to Joseph? Thereto I shall
tell you what R. Jonathan your master said concerning this:
The first-born had to come from Rachel, As it is written [ibid.,
37] : " These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph." But
Leah was preferred by virtue of her prayers. Because of the
very chastity of Rachel, the Holy One, blessed be He, returned
it to her. And what were Rachel's virtues? As it is written
[ibid., 12] : " And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father's
brother, and that he was Rebekah's son." The brother of her
father ? Was he not the son of her father's sister ? It was thus :
He asked her whether she would marry him, and she said, Yea,
but my father is very shrewd, and you cannot persuade him.
And to the question : What does it mean ? she answered : I have
a sister who is older than myself, and my father will not give me


to you while she is not married. Then he said : I am his brother
in shrewdness. She then asked him : Is it, then, allowed to the
upright to be shrewd? And he answered : Yea; as it is written
[II Sam. xxii. 27] : " With the pure thou wilt show thyself pure,
and with the perverse thou wilt wage a contest." And then he
furnished her with some signs, that when she should be brought
to him he would ask her for these signs, that he might be sure
that she was not exchanged for Leah. Thereafter, when Leah
was brought to him instead of Rachel, the latter thought, Now
Leah will be ashamed, and confided to her the signs. And this
is what is written [Gen. xxix. 25] : " And it came to pass that
in the morning, behold, it w^as Leah," from which it is to be
inferred that until the morning he did not know that she was
Leah, because of the signs which Leah received from Rachel.

Abba Halipha Qruyah questioned R. Hyya b. A1)ba : Of
Jacob's children who came to Egypt in sum you find seventy;
however, if you will number them in detail, you will find only
sixty-nine. And he answered: There was a twin with Dinah.
As it is written [ibid., xlvi. 15] : ''With Dinah his daughter."
According to your theory there was a twin with Benjamin also,
as the same expression was used? He said then: A valuable
pearl was in my hand, and you were about to abstract it. So
said R. Hama b. Haninah: This was Jochebed, whose mother
was pregnant, and bore her before the walls (above, p. 263).

R. Helbo questioned again R. Samuel b. Na'hmeni : It is
written [Gen. xxx. 25] : "And it came to pass, when Rachel
had borne Joseph," etc. Why when Joseph was born? And
he answered : Because Jacob our father saw that the descendants
of Esau would become submissive to the descendants of Joseph
only. As it is written [Obadiah, i. 18]: "And the house of
Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the
house of Esau a stubble." Helbo obejcted to him from [I Sam.
xxx. 17] : " And David smote them from the twilight even unto
the evening of next day," etc. Hence we see that they were
submissive also to David, who was a descendant of Judah, and
not of Joseph. Answered Samuel : The one who made you read
the prophets did not do so with the Hagiographa, in which it is
written [I Chron. xii. 21] * "And as he was going over to

* In the Hebrew I'ib'.e it is verse 21 ; in Leeser's, verr.e 20, because he put
together verses 5 and 6.


Ziklag . . . captains of the thousands that belonged to
Manasseh." Hence they were submissive to the descendants
of Joseph. R. Joseph objected from [ibid., iv. 42 and 43] :
" And some of them, even of the sons of Simeon, five hundred
men, went to mount Seir, having at their head Pelatyah and
Nearyah and Rephayah, and Uzziel, the sons of Yishi. And
they smote the rest of the Amalekites that were escaped, and
dwelt there unto this day." Said Rabba b. Shila: Yishi was a
descendant of Manasseh. As it is written [ibid., v. 24] : And
these were the heads of their family divisions: namely, Epher
and Yishi."

The rabbis taught : " The first-born takes a double share in
the shoulders, in two cheeks and the maw, in the consecrated
things, and also in the improvement of the estate which was
improved after the father's death. How so ? If the father left
them a cow which was hired to others, or she was pasturing on
the meadow and she brought forth offspring, the first-born takes
a double share. If, however, the heirs build houses or plant
orchards, the first-born does not take a double share."

Let us see how was the case with the shoulders, etc. If al-
ready in the father's hand, it is self-evident; and if not when still
alive, then it was not yet in existence; and there is a rule that a
first-born does not take a double share in that which is fit, but
not yet in existence? The Boraitha treats of a case where the
priest has acquaintaince among people who usually give such
a gift to him only, and the cattle were slaughtered while the
father was still alive. And the Tana of the Boraitha holds that
the above gifts are considered separated immediately after
slaughtering, although they were not as yet taken off. It states
farther on: If the father left them a cow, etc. Let us see: It
teaches that the first-born takes a double share, even when it
was under the control of others. Is it not self-evident that so
much the more does the rule apply when It was pasturing on
the meadow under proper control ? It comes to teach us that
the case " hired out to others " should be equal to pasturing in
the meadow in this respect, that the heirs not needing to feed it,
the improvement came of itself; but not when the heirs fed it,
as then the improvement would be considered as made by the
heirs, of which no double share is given. And this Boraitha is
in accordance with Rabbi of the following Boraitha : A first-born


does not take a double share in the improvement of an estate
which was improved after the father's death. Rabbi, however,
said: I say that he takes, provided the improvements came by
themselves, but not if improved by the heirs.

When they inherited a promissory note, the first-born took
a double share ; and if there was left a promissory note from the
father, the first-born had to pay a double share. If, however,
he says, " I will not pay double and also not take a double
share," he may do so. What is the reason of the rabbis? It
is written [Deut. xxi. 17] : "To give him a double portion."
We see that the Scripture considers this a gift; and a gift is not
considered unless it comes to one's hand. The reason of Rabbi
is, because it is written " a double portion." We see, then, that
the Scripture equals this to an ordinary share; and as concerning
an ordinary share it is considered belonging to the heir even
before it reaches his hand, the same is the case with the double

Said R. Papa: In case the father left a small tree, and pend-
ing the time of inheritance it became large; or unmanured earth,
which has improved by itself, all agree that a double share is
given. In what they differ is, in a case where the father dies
when the seeds are as yet growing, and at the time of dividing
the inheritance had been made into sheaves; or date-trees were
as yet blooming, and at the time of dividing bore dates. Ac-
cording to one, it is to be considered an improvement by itself;
and according to the other, it is considered changed to another
article, of which a double share is not to be given.

Rabba b. Hana in the name of R. Hyya said: If one has
acted in accordance with the decision of Rabbi, the act is valid;
and the same is when he has acted in accordance with the de-
cision of the sages. And the reason is because R. Hyya was
doubtful whether the Halakha prevails with Rabbi when he
differs with an individual, or it is so even when he differs with a
majority (as in this case a majority differs with him). Hence it
cannot be considered a wrong act if one has acted according to
one of the decisions. Said R. Na'hman in the name of Rabh : It
is prohibited to act in accordance with Rabbi [as he holds that
the Halakha prevails with Rabbi against an individual only].
R. Na'hman, however, liimself maintains that it is permitted to
act in accordance with Rabbi [as he holds that the Halakha pre-


vails with Rabbi even against a majority]. Said Rabha: It is
prohibited to act in accordance with Rabbi to start with ; how-
ever, if one did so, his act is vahd [and his reason is, that in such
a case where Rabbi differs with the majority, the college has to
teach in accordance with the majority to start with, but it
cannot compel the one who acted in accordance with Rabbi to
ignore his act].

It was taught: R. Na'hman taught in the Mechilta and
Siphre, it is written [Deut. xxi. 17] : " Of all that is found in his
possession," means to exclude the improvement which was
made by the heirs after the father's death, but not that which
improved by itself. And this is in accordance with Rabbi.
Rami b. Hama, however, taught in the above-mentioned books
that it excludes that which improved by itself, and so much the
more that which was improved by the heirs. And this is in ac-
cordance with the sages.

R. Jehudah said in the name of Samuel: A first-born does
not take a double share in a loan. According to whom is it?
It cannot be in accordance with the rabbis, as they exclude him
even from an improvement which is under the heirs' control;
so much less of a thing which is not under their control. It
must then be said that this is in accordance with Rabbi. But
then the Boraitha which states : " If they inherit a promissory
note, the first-born takes a double share in the loan, as well as in
the interest," wih not be in accordance with both the rabbis and
Rabbi. It may be that Samuel's statement is in accordance
with the sages; and nevertheless he has to teach this, lest one
say, because he holds the promissory note in his hand, it is to
be considered as already collected, he comes to teach us that it
is not so.

*' A message was sent from Palestine, that he takes a double
share in the loan, but not in the interest." According to whom
is this? It cannot be in accordance with the rabbis, for the
reason stated above; and also not in accordance with Rabbi,
who states in a Boraitha that he takes a double share in the loan,
as well as in the interest ? It is in accordance with the sages ;
but the Palestinians hold that a note is considered as already

Said R. A'ha b. Rabh to Rabhina : Amimar happened to be
C our city, and lectured : '' A first-born takes a double share


in a loan, but not in the interest thereof. And Rabhina an-
swered: The Nahardeans are in accordance with their theory
elsewhere (both Amimar and R. Na'hman were from Nahar-
dea), as in such a case Rabba said that if the heirs recovered real
estate on a loan of their father a double share is given, but not
if they collected money. R. Na'hman, however, holds the re-
verse : A double share is given if money is collected, but not on
real estate. Said Abayi to Rabba : There is a difficulty concern-
ing your decision, and also concerning the decision of R. Na'h-
man. Concerning your decision, the reason of which is to be
supposed that their father left to them not this money now col-
lected, as he left a promissory note only; but why should it not
be the same with the estate? Did, then, their father leave real
estate to them? Moreover, you, master, said that the reason
given by the Palestinians concerning the case of a certain old
woman (stated farther on) seems to you a right one, and this
certainly contradicts your present decision. And concerning
R. Na'hman's there is also the same difficulty, as his reason must
be that there is no double share from the collected estate, be-
cause they did not inherit it from their father. Why should it
not be the same with money, as the collected money was not of
the inheritance of their father. Moreover, did not R. Na'hman
say in the name of Rabba b. Abuhu, that if orphans have recov-
ered real estate for a debt to their father, and there was a credi-
tor to whom their father was indebted, the creditor might take
away the estate which they recovered? (Hence he (R. Na'h-
man) considers the recovered estate as if left by the deceased —
why, then, should there not be given a double share?) An-
swered Rabba :There is no difficulty concerning my statement,
nor concerning R. Na'hman's, as we both have pointed out only
the reason of the Palestinians by which, according to my
theory, a double share is given from real estate, but not for
money; and to R. Na'hman's it is the reverse. But our own
opinion is, that neither from real estate nor from money is a
double share given.

What was the case of the old woman, mentioned above?
There was one who wrote in his will : " My estate shall be given
to my old grandmother, but after her death it shall belong to
fny heirs." The deceased had a married daughter, who died
while her husband and the deceased grandmother were still


alive; and her husband, after the death of the old woman, de-
manded the estate of his father-in-law, which was in the hand
of his grandmother. And R. Huna's decision was: His claim is
right, as the will states, " After her, my heirs shall inherit it,"
which is to be explained, " My heirs, and the heirs of my heirs."
R. Anan's decision, however, was : His claim is not to be con-
sidered, as the will states, " to my heirs," and he was not his heir,
but the heir of his daughter. And the Palestinians sent a mes-
sage: The Halakha prevails with R. Anan, but not for his rea-
son, as, according to his reason, even should his daughter leave
a son, he would also not inherit; and this is not so, as the reason
why the husband could not inherit is, that the law that the hus-
band inherits from his wife holds good only when she left real
estate, but not such an estate as was not as yet in her hands, but
to come, which is not the case with a son, who inherits this also.

But shall we assume that R. Huna holds that one may inherit
even an estate which was not as yet in the hands of his wife?
Said R. Elazar : This case was discussed by great men, and the
final decision, with its reason, will be rendered by a small man
like my humble self. Every one who says " after thee " is to
be considered as if he were to say " from to-day " (i.e., the above
will states " after her," which means the estate shall belong to
" my heirs from to-day, but they are not to use the products
so long as the old woman is alive "). Rabba, however, said: It
seems to me that the reason given by the Palestinians is good
as, according to that will, if the old woman should sell the
estate, the sale would be valid.

R. Papa said : The Halakha prevails that a husband does not
inherit a property which was to come in the future to his wife,
and the same is the case with a first-born. He — the first-born —
also does not take a double share in a recovered loan, in real
estate or money; and, furthermore, if the first-born owes money
to his father, the share which belongs to a first-born is to be
divided, half to himself and the other half to his brothers. (The
reason is, according to Rashbam, because this share is con-
sidered doubtful money, as it is not certain that the first-born

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Online LibraryMichael Levi RodkinsonNew edition of the Babylonian Talmud. Original text edited, corrected, formulated, and translated into English (Volume 14) → online text (page 7 of 19)