Previous Folio / Baba Bathra Contents / Tractate List / Navigate Site

Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Baba Bathra

Folio 141a

according to Abaye. however,1  what [is meant by], 'he receives maintenance like a daughter'? — Granted your argument is right [how will you explain], according to Raba, what [is the meaning of] 'he inherits like a son'?2  But, [you must explain it as meaning that] 'he is entitled to inherit but [actually] receives nothing', so here3  [it may be explained as] 'entitled to maintenance but [in fact] receives nothing'.

IF A MAN SAID: SHOULD MY WIFE BEAR A MALE CHILD etc. Does this imply that a daughter is dearer to him, than a son?4  Surely R. Johanan said in the name of R. Simeon b. Yohai: The Holy One, blessed be He, is filled with wrath against anyone who does not leave a son to be his heir, for it is said, And you shall cause his inheritance to pass unto his daughter,5  and by the expression of 'causing to pass'6  'wrath'7  is implied, for it is said, That day is a day of wrath!8  — As regards succession, a son has preference;9  as regards maintenance, a daughter is given preference.10

And Samuel said: We deal here11  with [the case of a mother] who gave birth for the first time, and [this12  is to be understand] in accordance with [a saying] of R. Hisda. For R. Hisda said: [If a] daughter [is born] first, it is a good sign for the children. Some say, because she rears her brothers; and others say, because the evil eye13  has no influence over them.14  R. Hisda said: To me, however, daughters are dearer than sons.15

If preferred it may be said that [the Tanna of our Mishnah] is in agreement16  [with the view of] R. Judah. Which [view of] R. Judah? If it is suggested, [that relating to the exposition] of 'in all';17  for it was taught.18  And the Lord blessed Abraham with all.17  R. Meir said, [the meaning is] that he had no daughter; [and] R. Judah said, [the meaning is] that he had a daughter whose name was 'Inall',19  it may be objected20  that [from this] one may only infer21  that, according to R. Judah, the All Merciful did not deprive Abraham even of daughter; this is no proof, however,22  that [a daughter] is better than a son! But [it is] this [saying of] R. Judah: It was taught:23  'It is a meritorious act to feed one's daughters; and how much more so one's sons' — since [the latter] are engaged in the study of the Torah, these are the words of R. Meir R. Judah said, 'It is a meritorious act24  to feed one's sons and how much more so one's daughters' — in order that they be not degraded.25

But how is one to understand that Baraitha which teaches,26  '[if] she gave birth to a male and a female, the male receives six [gold] denarii27  and the female receives two [gold] denarii'?28  — R. Ashi replied: I interpreted29  this reported tradition,30  before R. Kahana, [as dealing] with [the case of] one who inverted the order [of his first instruction] by making a statement like the following:31  '[If] a male [be born] first, [he shall receive] two hundred zuz,32  and the] female [born] after him [shall receive] nothing: [if a] female [be born] first, [she shall receive] a maneh, [and the] male [born] after her [shall receive] a maneh'; and she gave birth to [both] a male and a female, and it is not known which of them was born33  first. The male does, [consequently]. receive a maneh [which is] in any case [due to him].]34  The other maneh [however] is money of doubtful ownership35  and is to be divided.36

And how is one to understand the Baraitha which teaches37  [that 'if] she gave birth to a male and a female, he only receives one maneh38  — Rabina replied: [This is possible] where [the promise of the sum of money was made by the father]. 'to him who will bring me tidings';39

To Part b

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. Who asserted that a tumtum receives nothing.
  2. Since the estate is small, 'inheriting like a son' really signifies 'receiving nothing'. How then, could the expression of inheriting be used?
  3. I.e., according to Abaye.
  4. Since the bequest to her was two hundred zuz, while to a son it was a maneh only (i.e., one hundred zuz).
  5. Num. XXVII, 8.
  6. [H]
  7. [H] of the same root ([H]) as ha'abara, denominative of weha'abartem.
  8. Zeph. I, 15. Wrath, [H]
  9. Lit., 'better to him', since he perpetuates the name of the tribe.
  10. It is more difficult for a woman to earn her living, and a father would naturally desire to make provision for her maintenance rather than for that of a son.
  11. In our Mishnah, where preference is given to a daughter.
  12. The preference of the father for her first daughter.
  13. V. Glos.
  14. The birth of a male child first may cause the envy of other mothers
  15. His daughters married husbands who were among the greatest of their generation. viz., Raba, Rami b. Hama: and Mar 'Ukba b. Hama (Tosaf.)
  16. Lit., 'this according to whom'?
  17. Gen. XXIV, 1.
  18. Tosef. Kid. V.
  19. [H] 'in all'; v. supra 16b.
  20. Lit., 'say'.
  21. Lit., 'you have heard him'.
  22. Lit., 'did you hear him?'
  23. Tosef. Keth. IV.
  24. Though there is no legal obligation after a certain age.
  25. In their search for a livelihood. From this it follows that, according to R. Judah, a father would provide for a daughter more than for a son. Hence it may be concluded that our Mishnah represents this view.
  26. Lit., 'but that which is taught … in what'.
  27. A gold denar = 25 zuz.
  28. Making a total of two hundred zuz. In an ordinary case, in view of the principle enunciated in our Mishnah, a daughter should receive the greater share [According to R. Gershom this Baraitha is not quoted as an argument, but for the purpose of obtaining information on its interpretation.]
  29. Lit., 'I said'.
  30. The Baraitha cited.
  31. Lit., 'when he said'.
  32. l.e., eight gold denarii.
  33. Lit., 'came out'.
  34. If he was born first, the maneh is certainly due to him, since in such a case, his father had really allotted him two hundred zuz. But even if he was born second he is still entitled by virtue of the definite instructions of his father, to the one maneh
  35. Because it is not known to whom that second maneh belongs. Had it been certain that the son was born first he would have been entitled to that maneh also. Had it been certain, on the other hand, that the daughter was born first she would have been entitled to that maneh; hence it is of doubtful ownership.
  36. Between the son and the daughter. The first maneh being due to the son in any case, is given to him in full (four gold denarii), with the addition of a half (two gold denarii) of the second maneh. Hence he receives a total of one maneh and a half (six gold denarii). The daughter, being entitled to half a maneh, receives, therefore, two gold denarii.
  37. Lit., 'but that which was taught … how do you find it'.
  38. The expression 'he only receives one maneh', implies that though it might have been assumed that he receives more than that sum, he receives only one maneh. Under what circumstances is this possible?
  39. Whether the child born was male or female.
Tractate List / Glossary / / Bible Reference

Baba Bathra 141b

as it was taught: '[If a person said]: "He who will bring me tidings whereby the womb of my wife was opened, shall receive, if the child be a male, a maneh", [then] if she gave birth to a male he receives a maneh. [If. however.] he said: "[He will receive] a maneh if [he brings 'me tidings that she gave birth to] a female", [then] if she gave birth to a female, he receives a maneh, [and if] she gave birth to a male and a female, he only receives a maneh'. But surely'. he did not speak of a 'male and a female'!1  — [This refers to the case] where he also said, 'He shall also receive a maneh if [he brings tidings that] a male and a female [were born]'. What. then. [did he mean] to exclude?2  To exclude a miscarriage.3

[Once] a certain [man] said to his wife: 'My estate shall be his with whom you are pregnant — R. Huna said, 'This is [a case of] making an assignment to an embryo through the agency of a third party, and whenever such an assignment is made, [the embryo does] not acquire possession.

R. Nahman raised an objection against R. Huna's ruling: IF A MAN SAID: SHOULD MY WIFE BEAR A MALE CHILD, HE SHALL RECEIVE A MANEH, [AND HIS WIFE] DID BEAR A MALE CHILD, HE RECEIVES A MANEH!4  — He replied to him: [As to] our Mishnah. I do not know' who is its author.5  But should he not have replied to him [that] it6  [represents the view' of] R. Meir who stated [that] a man may convey possession of a thing that has not [yet] come into the world!7  — [It is possible to] say that R. Meir holds this view8  [only when possession is conveyed] to that which is [already'] in the world;9  [but] has he been heard [to hold the same view when possession is conveyed] to that which is not [yet] in the world!10

But let him reply to him that it11  [represents the view of] R. Jose who said [that] an embryo acquires [possession]! For we learnt:12  'An embryo disqualifies [his deceased father's slaves from eating the heave.offering[13 but does not confer the right of eating it [on his mother];14  these are the words of R. Jose'?15  — An inheritance which came to one under the ordinary laws of succession,16  is different.17

But let him reply to him [that] it18  [represents the view of] R. Johanan b. Beroka who said, that there was no difference between an inheritance and a gift! For we learnt:19  R. Johanan b. Beroka said: If [a person] said [it]20  concerning one who is entitled to be his heir,21  his instruction is legally valid22  — [It is possible to] say that R. Johanan b. Beroka has been heard [to hold the view only where possession is given] to that which is [already] in the world;23  [but] did he say [that the same law applies also] to that which is not in the world!24

And let him reply to him [that] it25  [represents the view of] R. Johanan b. Beroka and [that] he holds the [same] opinion as R. Jose!26  Who can say that he27  holds such an opinion!28

Let him, then, reply to him [that our Mishnah speaks of the case] where [the money was offered by a husband] 'to him who would bring me tidings'!29  — If so,30  [explain] the last clause wherein it is stated, AND IF THERE IS NO [OTHER] HEIR BUT THIS ONE, HE INHERITS ALL [THE ESTATE]. If [the Mishnah speaks] of a reporter31  what has he to do with heirship!32

Then let him reply to him [that our Mishnah speaks of the case] where she has [already] given birth [to the child]!33  — If so,34  the last clause is wherein it is stated. IF [HOWEVER] HE SAID: whatever MY WIFE SHALL BEAR, SHALL RECEIVE [A CERTAIN PORTION]. HE RECEIVES [IT] [instead of]. WHATEVER SHE SHALL BEAR, should have [read]. 'whatever she has born'!

- To Next Folio -

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. He only spoke of the birth of a male or a female; why then should he give the maneh when twins were born?
  2. If the maneh was promised to the reporter in the case of the birth of a male. a female or twins. i.e.. apparently in all possible cases. what need was there for the father to specify them, at all? It would have been sufficient for him, to say. that he would pay the maneh to him who would report'whereby the womb of my wife was opened'. Since the three apparently possible cases were specified the intention must have been to exclude' some other possible case.
  3. By specifying male, female and twins, he implied that the maneh would be paid only when he received a report of a living child.
  4. This shows that though the assignment was made while the child was still in embryo. possession is acquired by him.
  5. Lit., 'who taught it.' I.e., its authorship is obscure and consequently unreliable.
  6. Our Mishnah.
  7. Why, then, did he say that he did not know who the author of our Mishnah was?
  8. Lit., 'that you heard.'
  9. I.e., though the object is not, the recipient is in existence.
  10. The embryo, therefore, could not acquire possession even according to R. Meir. Hence, the authorship of our Mishnah remains unknown
  11. Our Mishnah.
  12. Yeb. 67a.
  13. The heave-offering. (terumah. v. Glos.). is forbidden to laymen (Israelites and Levites). but the wife and the non-Jewish slaves of a priest are allowed to eat of it. When the priest dies. his slaves, becoming the property of his sons who are themselves priests, are still allowed to eat terumah. If however the wife of the priest, who is the daughter of an Israelite, was pregnant when her husband died, the slaves are forbidden to eat of the terumah on account of the embryo who is not regarded as a priest and who is their partial owner. (The slaves of a layman are forbidden to eat terumah.
  14. If she is the daughter of an Israelite. Only a son that was born confers this right upon his mother: but not an embryo
  15. From this it clearly follows that the embryo is regarded as the owner of the slaves, which proves that according to R. Jose an embryo does acquire possession; why. then, could not our Mishnah be attributed to R. Jose's authorship?
  16. Lit., 'of itself'.
  17. From a gift.Consequently. while R. Jose may hold the view that an embryo acquires the ownership of an inheritance, it does not follow that be would grant the embryo the right of acquiring possession of a gift, which forms the subject of our Mishnah
  18. Our Mishnah.
  19. Supra 130a.
  20. That a certain individual shall inherit all his estate.
  21. Presumably even an embryo.
  22. Which proves that, according to R. Johanan b. Beroka, an embryo acquires possession even of that to which he would not have been entitled under the ordinary laws of succession.
  23. I.e., one of the sons already born.
  24. E.g., an embryo. Hence the authorship of our Mishnah remains unknown.
  25. Our Mishnah.
  26. Supra; that an embryo may acquire possession.
  27. R. Johanan b. Beroka.
  28. That of R. Jose.
  29. i.e. that the sum of money spoken if in our Mishnah was not assigned to an embryo but promised by a husband to anyone who would report to him, on the confinement of his wife as to the sex of child (cf. supra). The question of an embryo's right of acquisition would consequently be outside the scope of our Mishnah: and R. Huna would accordingly be able to maintain, against R. Nahman's assumption, that an embryo does not acquire possession.
  30. That our Mishnah deals with a promise to a stranger, and not with an assignment to an heir.
  31. Lit., 'he who will report to me'.
  32. Lit., 'an heir, what is his work'. A reporter on the birth of one's child could not possibly he described as heir
  33. At the time the father had assigned to him the sum of money. An embryo, however, as R. Huna stated, would not acquire possession.
  34. That the Mishnah speaks of a child already born.
Tractate List / Glossary / / Bible Reference