Marital Land Sales and Claims :Bava Basra 51

Todays daf 51 of Bava Basra gives some great scenarios. The mishna stated a wife cannot claim “Chazaka” or presumptive ownership of a poperty owned by her husband. The Gemara answers “obviously” She is allowed to live there, she is allowed to eat the produce of the land, of course she cannot claim to own it. The Talmud then throws in the wrench. The wife says: I bought with money.” The Talmud still deflects that statement and says, it is not a sale. THe Talmud brillantly explains that the husband accepted the money in order to find out where or what location she was hiding money or hiding her money. The whole sale is a ruse to make her “reveal” the hiding place of the cash….. Wow.

Before all the women libbers go nuts, there is successful way she can claim she owns it. That is by a dcoument of a gift or in hebrew a Shtar Matana”- a document giving someone a gift. What is the difference between the two? The answer is obvious. In the case of the gift document, the husband is not snooping aournd or suspicious where she is packing away her money or maybe hoarding his money. He give it tot her outriht with no exchange and therefore is not on a hunting expedition to uncover her assets.

One ‘s initial reaction is a little off putting. Are marriages a little Machiavellian. It is still two days after Purim and the Shikkerdovid’s head is a little waterlogged. Maybe someone can unravel this Lady MacBeth scenario.

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1 Response to Marital Land Sales and Claims :Bava Basra 51

  1. Jonathan D. Field, MD says:

    Great question posed by the shikker Dovid. I think in the time of the good more women’s rights were severely curtailed. This may be a scenario to protect her as we see it work we have come to call “social policy” of the tomorrow

    Sent from my iPhone


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