Bava Basra 141a-Sons

The Talmud Bava Basra continues with its discussion of inheritance. The Mishna on 140b begins strangely with the “TumTum”, or the child who gender is ambiguous and the Talmud wants to know it status an for inheritance. On the page 141, the Talmud quotes a statement that Gd is angry or unhappy one someone does not have a son inherit him. The Talmud uses the language that one should not “maneach” the inheritance of his son. Does that mean divert? take away?. What if you don’t have a son? Does it mean Hashem is angry with people who only have girls.

The Shikkerdovid would like to weigh in. The answer is that a father-son relathionship is hard and complex. We expect our sons to be everything. We expect them to be better than ourselves. We hold our sons to really high standards. When get angry at them, we are depleting the not only the affection or love, but the ability to transfer our values and ideas. How can a son love or follow a father who only demands and never really openly shows his love. (Even if the demand is a form of love itself). The Talmud is teaching that although the nature of the father-son relationship has the potential to fray, breakdown or become icy, we can never break the relationship and alienate our sons. We must give them the “inheritance” which is love, connection, values, and yes money… even if we have a special place in our heart for our daughters.

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2 Responses to Bava Basra 141a-Sons

  1. Michael Altman says:

    side note: while many in “our” community (and all the more so those to the right of it) are quick to mock issues related to gender fluidity, the Tanaim and Amoraim where much more understanding and had a series of categories to reflect that our species does not have just two genders.

  2. shikkerdovid says:

    Holy Rabbi Altman, is correct. It is the opinion of Abaye that a person whose reproductie organs are not visible or can be easily discerned is a disctinct “creation.” The Talmud uses the language, “a creature of into itself.

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