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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Baba Bathra
[It is written.] And every daughter that possesseth an inheritance in the tribes1 of the children of Israel;2 how can a daughter inherit [from] two tribes?1 — [Obviously] only when her father is from one tribe and her mother from another tribe, and both died, and she inherited [from] them. [From this] one may only [derive the law in respect of] a daughter. whence [may the law respecting] a son [he derived]?3 — One may derive it by an inference from minor to major: If a daughter, whose claims upon her father's property are impaired,4 has strong legal claims upon the property of her mother, should a son, whose claims upon the property of his father are strong, not justly have strong legal claims5 upon the property of his mother? And by the same argument:6 As there,7 a son takes precedence over a daughter, so here,8 a son takes precedence over a daughter. R. Jose son of R. Judah and R. Eleazar son of R. Jose said in the name of R. Zechariah h. Hakkazzab:9 Both a son and a daughter [have] equal [rights] in [the inheritance of] a mother's estate.10 What is the reason? — It is sufficient for [a law that is] derived by argument to he like [the law] from which it is derived.11 And does not the first Tanna12 expound. 'It is sufficient [etc.]'? Surely, [the exposition of] Dayyo13 is Pentateuchal! For it was taught:14 'An example15 of an inference from minor to major [is]. And the Lord said to Moses: 'If her father had but spit in her face, should she not hide in shame seven days?'16 [Would not one expect, by] inference from minor to major, [that in the case] of the divine presence, [she should hide in shame for] fourteen days?17 — But [it is held that] it is sufficient for [a law that is] derived by argument. to he like [the law] from which it is derived'!18 — Elsewhere he does expound Dayyo,19 hut here it is different, because Scripture says, in the tribes,19 thus comparing the mother's tribe to the father's tribe: as [in the case of] the father's tribe a son takes precedence over a daughter, so [in the case of] the mother's tribe a son takes precedence over a daughter.
R. Nittai intended to decide a case in accordance with [the view of] R. Zechariah b. Hakkazzab, [but] Samuel said to him: 'In accordance with whom? In accordance with Zechariah? Zechariah faileth!'20
R. Tabla decided a case in accordance with [the view of] R. Zechariah h. Hakkazzab. R. Nahman said to him: 'What is this?' — He replied unto him: '[I rely upon] that which R. Hinena b. Shelemia said in the name of Rab [that] the halachah is in accordance with [the view of] R. Zechariah h. Hakkazzab.' He said to him: 'Withdraw, or I shall pull R. Hinena b. Shelemia from your ears!'21
R. Huna b. Hiyya intended to decide a case in accordance with [the view of] R. Zechariah h. Hakkazzab. R. Nahman said to him: 'What is this?' He replied: '[I rely upon] that which R. Huna said in the name of Rab [that] the halachah is in accordance with [the view of] Zechariah h. Hakkazzab. He said to him: 'I will send to him!'22 He grew embarrassed.23 He said to him: 'Now, had R. Huna been dead, you would have continued to oppose me.'24 And whose opinion did he25 adopt? — That of Rab and Samuel both of whom said: The halachah is not in agreement with [the view of] R. Zechariah h. Hakkazzab.
R. Jannai was [once] walking, leaning26 upon the shoulder of R. Simlai his attendant,27 and R. Judah the Prince28 came to meet them. He29 said to him: The man who comes towards us is distinguished30 and his cloak is distinguished.30 When he31 came nigh him [R. Jannai] touched it [and] said to him: This [cloak] — its [legal minimum] size [as regards Levitical uncleanness is but] that of32 sackcloth!33 He31 inquired of him: Whence [is it derived] that a son takes precedence over a daughter in [the inheritance of] a mother's estate? — He replied to him: From34 tribes;35 [where the plural indicates that] the mother's tribe is to be compared to the father's tribe: as [in the case of] the father's tribe,36 a son takes precedence over a daughter so [in the case of] the mother's tribe,37 a son takes precedence over a daughter. He38 said to him: If [so, let it be said that] as [in the case of] the father's tribe a firstborn takes a double portion, so [in the case of] the mother's tribe a firstborn shall take a double portion'!
Baba Bathra 111b
— He1 called to his attendant: Lead on! This [man] does not desire to learn.2 What, then, is the reason?3 — Abaye replied: Scripture says: Of all that he hath,4 implying he5 and not she.6 Might it not be suggested that these words7 [apply to the case where] a bachelor married a widow;8 but [where] a bachelor married a virgin9 he10 takes [a double portion] also [in the estate of his mother]? — R. Nahman h. Isaac replied: Scripture said: For he11 is the first-fruits of his strength.12 [from which it is to be inferred that the law applies to the first fruits of] his13 strength and not of her strength. [Surely] that [word]14 is required for [the law that though one was] born after a miscarriage15 he is, [nevertheless, regarded as the] firstborn son [in respect] of inheritance, [the text implying that only] he for whom [a father's] heart grieves16 [is included in the law, but that a miscarriage], for which it does not, is excluded!17 — If so,18 the text should have read, 'For he is the first-fruits of strength';19 why his strength?20 Two [laws, therefore,] are to be deduced from it. But still, might it not be suggested that these words21 [apply only to the case of] a widower22 who married a virgin,23 but [where] a bachelor married a virgin24 the firstborn son takes [a double portion] also [in the estate of his mother]! — But, Raba said, [this is the proper reply]: Scripture states, The right of the firstborn is his,25 [and this indicates that] the right of the firstborn [is applicable] to [the estate of] a man and not to [that of] a woman.
AND A MAN [INHERITS FROM] HIS WIFE etc. Whence is this derived?26 — Our Rabbis taught:27 His kinsman,28 refers to his wife; [and this] teaches that the husband is heir to his wife. One might [say that] she also is heir to him, it is therefore expressly stated, And he shall inherit her,29 meaning he is heir to her30 but she is not heir to him. But, surely, the Scriptural verses are not written like that!31 — Abaye said: interpret thus, 'Ye shall give his inheritance unto one that is next to him; [as to] his kinswoman, he shall inherit her'. Raba said: A sharp knife is dissecting the Biblical verses!32 But, said Raba, this is what the text implies: 'Ye shall give the inheritance of his kinswoman into him';33 [Raba] holding the view [that prefixes and suffixes] may he detached from [words] and added to [others], and [a new] interpretation may [then] he given [to the Biblical text].34
The following35 Tanna derives it36 from the following37 [text]: For it was taught: And he shall inherit her,38 teaches that the husband is heir to his wife; these are the words of R. Akiba. R. Ishmael, [however], said: This is not necessary,39 for it is said, And every daughter that possesseth an inheritance in any tribe of the children of Israel, [shall be wife] unto one of the family etc.40 This text speaks of a transfer [from one tribe to another that may be occasioned] through the husband.41 Furthermore, it is said. So shall no inheritance of the children of Israel remove from tribe to tribe.42 Furthermore, it is said. So shall no inheritance remove from one tribe to another tribe.43 Furthermore it is said, And Eleazar the son of Aaron died; and they buried him it, the Hill of Phinehas his son.44 Whence could Phinehas possess [a hill] which did not belong to Eleazar?45 But this46 teaches that Phinehas took a wife who died, and he was her heir. Furthermore it is said, And Segub begat Jair, who had three and twenty cities in the land of Gilead.47
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