ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Bava Basra 109
(a) We refute the suggestion that "She'ero" comes to give the deceased's
father precedence ...
1. ... over his daughter (but not over his son from "ha'Karov") - because
seeing that a daughter is equivalent to a son regarding absolving her mother
from Yibum, she is also equivalent to a son regarding Yerushah.
(b) If not for the proof that a daughter is on the same level as a son, we
would have placed her - after both her father and brother.
2. ... over his father's brother - because it is obvious that a father takes
precedence over his own brother, who, to begin with, only inherits his
nephew through him (his brother).
(c) We finally learn from "She'ero" - that a father takes precedence over a
brother, despite the three advantages that the latter has over the former,
as we discussed earlier in the Sugya.
(a) According to our current explanation, the Pesukim are written in the
wrong order - because "She'ero" (denoting a father), is written only after a
father's brother, even though the latter is derived from the former.
(b) We are able to Darshen the Pesukim in the wrong order - due to the Pasuk
"ha'Karov", which instructs us to place the heirs in the correct order, in
spite of their having been written in the wrong one.
(c) The Torah nevertheless needs to list all the heirs (and does not rely on
the Pasuk "ha'Karov" which indicates the correct order of the majority of
them) - because we learn various side D'rashos from the Torah's choice of
words (as we shall see later in the Sugya).
(a) In the Pasuk "ve'Ha'avartem es Nachalaso le'Bito", Rebbi Yishmael
b'Rebbi Yossi in a Beraisa, interprets the word "ve'Ha'avartem" to imply -
that we take the inheritance away from the deceased's father, who ought to
inherit when there is no son, and give precedence to his daughter ...
(b) ... to preclude the deceased's brothers, who do not take precedence over
their father. In any event, he now learns from here (rather than from
"She'ero") - that a father inherits.
(c) We refute the suggestion that "Bas" comes before "Achim" but not before
"Av" - on the grounds that the Torah would not then need to insert the word
"ve'Ha'avartem", since it explicitly writes "ve'Im Ein Lo Bas, u'Nesatem es
(d) Based on the fact that, according to this Tana, "She'ero" does not refer
to the deceased's father, his overview of the order of heirs differs
radically with that of the previous Tana - in that according to him, the
Pesukim are written in the right order (sons, daughters, father, brothers
and father's brothers), as opposed to the previous Tana, as we explained
(a) Rebbi Yishmael b'Rebbi Yossi learns from "She'ero" - that a husband
inherits his wife.
(b) The basic translation of "She'ero", according to him is - 'flesh'.
(c) The first Tana, on the other hand, explains "ve'Ha'avartem" like Rebbi,
who learns from the fact that by all other relatives, the Torah writes
"u'Nesatem", and by Bas, "ve'Ha'avartem" - that a man's daughter (in the
event that she inherits him) moves his inheritance from his tribe to another
tribe, via either her husband or her son, should either of these later
(a) According to the first Tana, we learn from the Pasuk "She'er Avicha
Hi" - that "She'er" in the Parshah of Yerushah too, refers to the deceased's
(b) In view of the Pasuk "Ki She'er Imcha Hi", Rava learns from the Pasuk
1. ... "*mi'Mishpachto*, ve'Yarash Osah" - that it cannot refer to the
deceased's mother, because we learn from ...
2. ... "le'Mishpechosam le'Veis Avosam" - that 'Mishpachas Av Keruyah
Mashpachah (but not Mishpachas Eim)'.
(a) We query this last D'rashah from the Pasuk, which writes (in connection
with Pesel [the image of] Michah) "Vayehi Na'ar ... mi'Mishpachas Yehudah,
ve'Hu Levi" - which we initially interpret to mean - that his father was
from Yehudah, and his mother from Levi.
(b) The problem is - that this implies that 'Mishpachas Eim Keruyah
Mishpachah', which clashes with Rava's previous statement.
(c) Rava bar Rav Chanan resolves the problem by explaining "ve'Hu Levi" to
mean (not that he descended from the tribe of Levi, but) - that his name was
(d) Despite the fact that he was not even a Levi maternally, his 'employer'
boasted that G-d had done him a good turn by providing him with a Levi as a
Kohen - because his name alone was a sure sign that Hashem was on his side.
(a) The Sugya makes a strange twist however, concluding that he was a
hundred per cent Levi. The man's real name was - Yonasan ben Gershom ben
(b) The 'Nun' in Menasheh is 'hanging' - because it is only there as a hint,
as we shall now see), since his grandfather's real name was Moshe (Rabeinu).
(c) The Navi writes ...
1. ... "ben Menasheh" - because he behaved like King Menasheh, who (later in
history) would be guilty of spreading idolatry more than any other king.
2. ... "mi'Mishpachas Yehudah" - because King Menasheh came from the tribe
(a) Rebbi Yochanan Mishum Rebbi Shimon bar Yochai learns from the previous
two statements - that one 'hangs' the evil deeds of someone who is not so
well-known on those of someone who is already infamous.
(b) Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Chanina learns it from the Pasuk (with regard to
Adoniyah, son of David) "ve'Gam Hu Tov To'ar Me'od, ve'Oso Yaldah Achar
Avshalom" - which is clearly coming to compare Adoniyah to his half-brother
Avshalom the ultimate rebel (who gave Adoniyahu his cue to rebel against his
own father King David).
(c) This Pasuk would otherwise appear strange, since Adoniyah's mother was
Chagis, whereas Avshalaom's was Ma'achah.
(a) Moshe's marriage to the daughter of Yisro, who all his life, had been an
idolater (in spite of the fact that he became a Ba'al-Teshuvah) - resulted
in Moshe's grandson Yonasan becoming an idolater.
We conclude however, that Pinchas descended from Yisro too - by citing the
tradition that the tribes accused Pinchas of being the son of this 'ben
Puti', whose maternal grandfather fattened calves for idolatry.
(b) See, in contrast, how Aharon, who married the daughter of the Tzadik
Aminadav (Nachshon's father), had a grandson called Pinchas, which prompted
Rebbi Rebbi Elazar to stress the importance of marrying into a good family
(although Gedolim have said that nowadays this might not be an important
factor in choosing a Shiduch).
(c) We query this however, from the Pasuk "ve'Elazar ben Aharon Lakach Lo
mi'Benos Putiel Lo le'Ishah" - which we initially interpret to mean from the
daughters of Yisro, who *fattened calves* for idolatry ('*she'Pitem Agalim*
(d) We attempt to resolve this by interpreting "mi'Benos Putiel" to mean -
'mi'Benos Yosef (she'Pitpet be'Yitzro [who struggled with his
Yeitzer-ha'Ra], and not "mi'Benos Yisro ... ').
(a) We finally explain "mi'Benos Putiel" to mean - that in fact, he
descended from both Yosef and Yisro, because one of mother's parents was a
descendant of one, and the other, of the other (though we do not know which
is which [see previous statement]).
(b) This vindicates Rebbi Elazar's statement about choosing the family into
which one marries - inasmuch as Pinchas was further removed than Yonasan was
(perhaps the third of fourth generation) from Yisro (see also Agados
(c) Elazar's wife could not have actually been the daughter of Yisro -
because then how would the connection with the tribe of Yosef have fitted
(d) We prove this interpretation of "mi'Benos Putiel" from the actual words
themselves - either from the extra 'Yud' in Putiel (which comes to add
something), or from the word "mi'B'nos", which implies two daughters, the
daughter of 'Pitput' (Yosef) and the daughter of 'Pitum' (Yisro).