For the week ending 11 June 2016 / 5 Sivan 5776

Bava Kama 9 - 15

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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  • Till when can a purchaser of a field back out when he sees ownership contested
  • Roles of cash and property in paying for damages or in dividing inheritance
  • How much to spend on beautifying a mitzvah
  • Responsibility for damage caused by fire put in care of an incompetent
  • Comparison of responsibility for various damages
  • Damage caused by more than one person
  • Calculation of payment for death caused to animal
  • Series of laws on many subjects stated by the Sage Ulla in name of Rabbi Elazar
  • Whether a non-Jewish slave is considered real estate or chattel
  • Responsibility for damage done to Sanctuary property
  • Damage done to animal in an area jointly owned by owner of the damager and owner of victim
  • Rules of responsibility and court confiscation
  • Nature of the half payment of damage caused by ox which is not yet an inveterate goring ox

Exceptions to the Rule

When brothers who get together to divide what they have inherited from their father, every item in the inheritance must be calculated. This includes even the clothes they are wearing that are part of the estate.

The exceptions to this rule are the clothes that the sons and daughters of the heirs are wearing. This is because the evaluation must be made by the court and this would be most embarrassing for them, a consideration which moves each of the heirs to waive his claim to their clothes.

This exception, states the Jerusalem Talmud, has an exception as well. It applies only to the weekday clothes in which they would have had to appear before the court. The special clothes that they wear on Shabbat are brought to the court for evaluation.

Another exception is in regard to the nice clothes worn by the oldest of the inheriting brothers. Since he requires such clothes to successfully manage the business affairs of the estate before its division, it is assumed that the other heirs acquiesced to his clothing himself at their expense.

  • Bava Kama 11b

What the Sages Say

"A beam of wood which sells for one zuz in the city sells for a zuz while it is still in the field (despite the fact that it has to be transported – Rashi)."

  • A folk saying quoted by the Sage Rava - Bava Kama 11a

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