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מסכת בבא קמא:





 

Steinsaltz

The halakha favors her; she may take the belongings. And Rav Ami said: The halakha favors him; he may retain the items and return their value.

The Gemara explains that Rav Yehuda said that the halakha favors her because they are the assets of her paternal family, whose prestige will suffer if they aren’t returned. Therefore, they are hers. Rabbi Ami said that the halakha favors him, since the Master said in the mishna, with regard to guaranteed property: If they die, their death is his loss, and if they increase in value, their increase is his gain. Since he bears financial responsibility for their loss, they partake of teruma. Apparently, the slaves belong to the husband. Therefore, he is obligated to return only their monetary value. Rav Safra said in rejection of Rabbi Ami’s reasoning: Does the mishna teach that they are his? It teaches only that he bears financial responsibility for their loss, but actually they are not his.

The Gemara asks: And do they partake of teruma wherever he bears financial responsibility for their loss, even if they are not his actual possession? But didn’t we learn in a mishna (Terumot 11:9): An Israelite who rented a cow from a priest may feed it vetches [karshinin] of teruma, since the animal belongs to a priest? With regard to a priest who rented a cow from an Israelite, although its feed is incumbent upon him, he may not feed it vetches of teruma, as it does not belong to him. This indicates that the requirement for enabling an acquisition to eat teruma is possession, not responsibility.

The Gemara rejects this proof: And how can you understand that the case of the rented cow is parallel to the case of guaranteed property? Though the renter is indeed liable for theft and loss, is he liable for unavoidable accidents, for emaciation, i.e., the cow became thinner or weaker for any reason, or for any other decrease in its value? Certainly he is not. In fact, the case of guaranteed property is similar only to the latter clause of that mishna: In the case of an Israelite who appraised a cow upon renting it from a priest under an arrangement where he guaranteed its value to the owner, he may not feed it vetches of teruma, as it is considered his own. However, a priest who appraised a cow upon renting it from an Israelite may feed it vetches of teruma. This indicates that guaranteed property is considered the acquisition of its recipient with regard to enabling it to eat teruma.

Rabba and Rav Yosef sat at the conclusion of Rav Naḥman’s sermon, and they sat and said: It is taught in a baraita in accordance with the opinion of Rav Yehuda, and it is taught in another baraita in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Ami. It is taught in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Ami in the following baraita: If a slave’s owner strikes him and knocks out his tooth or blinds him in an eye, he is set free. Slaves of guaranteed investment go free at the loss of a tooth or an eye caused by the husband, but not at such loss caused by the wife. This indicates that they belong to the husband.

Conversely, it is taught in a baraita in accordance with the opinion of Rav Yehuda: When a woman brings appraised, guaranteed property into her marriage to her husband, if the husband wishes to sell it, he may not sell it, as it belongs to her. And not only that, but even when her husband brought property into the marriage and added it to her dowry as an appraised, guaranteed gift of his own, even if the husband wishes to sell that gift he may not sell it. With regard to a case in which either the husband or wife unlawfully sold this property for subsistence, there was an incident like this that came before Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel, and he said: Although the husband executed the sale, he may repossess the property from the purchasers, as the sale is void.

Rava said that Rav Naḥman said: The halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rav Yehuda. Rava said to Rav Naḥman: But isn’t it taught in a baraita in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Ami? He replied: Although it is taught in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Ami, Rav Yehuda’s rationale, that the wife may take the objects in question because they are assets of her paternal family and their complete removal from her domain would hurt the family’s prestige, is more reasonable.

The Gemara relates an incident: A certain woman brought into her marriage to her husband a robe [itztela] of fine wool [meileta], which was deemed guaranteed property by her marriage contract. Her husband subsequently died, and the orphans took that robe and spread it over the corpse as a shroud. The woman demanded that the robe be returned to her.

Rava said: The dead has acquired it, as deriving benefit from anything consecrated for the dead is prohibited. Nanai, son of Rav Yosef, son of Rava, said to Rav Kahana: But didn’t Rava say that Rav Naḥman said that the halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rav Yehuda? Accordingly, the woman’s robe must be returned. He said to him: Doesn’t Rav Yehuda admit that the robe has not yet been collected? And since it has not yet been collected, it remains in his possession, and his inheritors can render its use as a burial shroud prohibited.

The Gemara adds that in this regard Rava conforms to his standard line of reasoning, as Rava said: Consecration of property, the prohibition against benefiting from leavened bread on Passover,

Talmud - Bavli - The William Davidson digital edition of the Koren No=C3=A9 Talmud
with commentary by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz Even-Israel (CC-BY-NC 4.0)
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