TalmuDigest

For the week ending 16 January 2010 / 29 Tevet 5770

Bava Batra 149 - 155

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll
  • Confession of a dying man
  • The dilemma of the convert Issar
  • What is considered the minimum amount of real estate
  • What is included in gift of movable property
  • When a gift is valid only if everything is given
  • What is included in a gift of everything to the Sanctuary
  • Retractable gifts
  • Will of a dying man with or without a formal element of transaction
  • When the document fails to mention whether the giver was a dying man
  • The sale in Bnei Brak by a suspected minor
  • Is certification of a loan document necessary if debtor admits to the loan
  • The age which qualifies one to make a sale

A Questionable Expression

  • Bava Batra 153a

A gift made by a healthy person is not retractable while one made by a man facing death is not effective until after his death, and can therefore be retracted if the giver recovers.

What happens if the gift document reads that the gift is being made to the recipient "in life and death" – is this to be interpreted as a gift to be effective in his lifetime or only upon his death?

The ruling of the Sage Rav is that this is considered as the gift of a man facing death. The reason for his mentioning "in life" is that he wants to avoid pronouncing death upon himself and expresses the hope that Heaven will grant him the ability to recover and live.

Rashbam notes that this is in accordance with the counsel of the Sages to avoid "opening your mouth to Satan" by mouthing something of a negative connotation.

What the Sages Say

"It can be assumed that witnesses will not sign on a document of sale unless they, the seller and the buyer, are all adults."

  • Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish - Bava Batra 155a

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