Bava Batra 155bבבא בתרא קנ״ה ב
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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155bקנ״ה ב

היינו דקאתו ואמרו ליה מהו לבודקו אלא אי אמרת מבן עשרים כי בדקו ליה מאי הוי והא תנן בן עשרים שלא הביא שתי שערות יביאו ראיה שהוא בן עשרים והוא הסריס לא חולץ ולא מיבם

this is the reason that they came and said to Rabbi Akiva: What is the halakha? Is it permitted to examine the corpse? But if you say that he can sell the property from the time he is twenty years old, even if they examine him, what of it? But didn’t we learn in a mishna (Nidda 47b): With regard to a twenty-year-old man who did not develop two pubic hairs, proof must be brought that he is twenty years old, and then he is no longer considered a minor. And he is the sexually underdeveloped man, who is excluded from the mitzva of levirate marriage. Therefore, if his married brother dies childless, he neither performs ḥalitza nor enters into levirate marriage with his widow. Since a twenty-year-old is considered an adult even if he has not developed signs of puberty, there is no reason to examine the body.

לאו איתמר עלה אמר ר' שמואל בר רב יצחק אמר רב והוא שנולדו בו סימני סריס אמר רבא דיקא נמי דקתני והוא הסריס שמע מינה

The Gemara replies: Wasn’t it stated with regard to that mishna: Rabbi Shmuel bar Rav Yitzḥak says that Rav says: And is this the halakha only where he developed the signs of a sexually underdeveloped man? Otherwise, a twenty-year-old who has not developed two pubic hairs is still considered a minor. The examination of the deceased could therefore be effective to see if he has other signs of being sexually underdeveloped. Rava said: The language of the mishna is also precise, as it teaches: And he is the sexually underdeveloped man. The usage of the definitive article indicates that the mishna is referring to one who is clearly a sexually underdeveloped man. The Gemara affirms: One can conclude from the mishna that the mishna is speaking of one who developed the signs of a sexually underdeveloped man.

וכי לא נולדו לו סימני סריס עד כמה תני ר' חייא עד רוב שנותיו כי אתא לקמיה דרבי חייא אי כחיש אמר להו ליברי ואי אברי אמר להו ליכחוש דהני סימני זמנין דאתו מחמת כחישותא זמנין דאתו מחמת בריותא

The Gemara asks: And if he did not develop the signs of a sexually underdeveloped man, until when is he considered a minor if he does not develop two pubic hairs? Rabbi Ḥiyya teaches in a baraita: He is considered a minor until most of his years have elapsed, i.e., until he is thirty-five years old. When the case of one who had not developed pubic hair would come before Rabbi Ḥiyya, he would offer the following advice: If the person was thin, he would say to those appearing in court: Cause him to become fat, and if he was fat, he would say to them: Cause him to become thin. This is because these signs indicating puberty sometimes develop due to excessive thinness, and sometimes they develop due to corpulence.

איבעיא להו תוך זמן כלפני זמן או כלאחר זמן (אמר) רבא אמר רב נחמן תוך זמן כלפני זמן רבא בר רב שילא אמר ר"נ תוך זמן כלאחר זמן

§ A dilemma was raised before the Sages: During the time, i.e., the year, when a minor comes of age with regard to selling his deceased father’s property, i.e., during his eighteenth or twentieth year, is this year considered as before the time that he comes of age or is it considered as after the time? Does one come of age at the beginning or end of that year? Rava says that Rav Naḥman says: During that time is considered as before the time, and he does not come of age until the year has elapsed. Rava bar Rav Sheila says that Rav Naḥman says: During that time is considered as after the time, and he is considered as having come of age during that year.

והא דרבא לאו בפירוש איתמר אלא מכללא איתמר דההוא תוך זמן דאזיל זבין נכסי ואתא לקמיה דרבא אמר להו לא עשה ולא כלום מאן דחזא סבר משום דתוך זמן כלפני זמן ולא היא התם שטותא יתירתא חזא ביה דהוה קא משחרר להו לעבדיה

The Gemara notes: And this statement of Rava was not stated explicitly; rather, it was stated by inference. As there was a certain person who was during the time, i.e., the year, when one comes of age who went and sold his father’s property, and the case came before Rava. Rava said to the litigants: He did not do anything, and the sale is not valid. One who observed Rava’s ruling assumed that he ruled in this manner because he maintained that during the time when he comes of age is considered as before the time. But that is not so. The reason for Rava’s ruling was that there, Rava observed excessive mental incompetence in the behavior of that individual, as he was emancipating his slaves. Since Rava saw that he was mentally incompetent, he invalidated the sale.

שלח ליה גידל בר מנשיא לרבא ילמדנו רבינו תינוקת בת ארבע עשרה שנה ויום אחד יודעת בטיב משא ומתן מהו שלח ליה אם יודעת בטיב משא ומתן מקחה מקח וממכרה ממכר

§ Giddel bar Menashya sent an inquiry to Rava: Let our teacher instruct us: With regard to a girl who is fourteen years and one day old who understands the nature of business negotiations, what is the halakha? Can she sell property that she inherited from her father? Rava sent a reply to Giddel bar Menashya: If she understands the nature of business negotiations her purchase is a valid purchase and her sale is a valid sale.

ולישלח ליה תינוק מעשה שהיה כך היה ולישלח ליה תינוקת בת שתים עשרה שנה ויום אחד מעשה שהיה כך היה

The Gemara asks: But Giddel could have sent this question to Rava with regard to a boy. Why did he not do so? The Gemara answers: The incident that took place, took place in this way. The Gemara asks: But he could have sent this question to Rava with regard to a girl who is twelve years and one day old, at which age a girl reaches her majority. Why did he not do so? The Gemara answers: The incident that took place, took place in this way.

(והא דרבא לאו בפירוש איתמר אלא מכללא איתמר ד) ההוא פחות מבן עשרים דאזל זבין נכסי [אבוהו כגידל בר מנשיא] אתא לקמיה דרבא אמרו ליה קרוביה זיל אכול תמרי ושדי ביה קשייתא בי רבא עבד הכי אמר להו זביניה לאו זביני

The Gemara notes: And this statement of Rava was not stated explicitly; rather, it was stated by inference, as it was inferred from the following incident. There was a certain person who was under twenty years old and understood business negotiations who went and sold his father’s property, in accordance with the ruling that Rava sent to Giddel bar Menashya, and the case came before Rava. The seller’s relatives said to the one who sold the property: Go eat dates and throw the pits into Rava’s house, in order to prove to Rava that their relative was not mentally competent. He did so. Rava said to them: His sale is not a valid sale.

כי קא כתבו ליה שטרא אמרו ליה לקוחות זיל אימא ליה לרבא מגלת אסתר בזוזא שטרא דמר בזוזא אזל א"ל אמר להו זביניה זביני אמרו ליה קרוביה לקוחות אגמרוהו אמר להו מסברי ליה סבר כיון דמסברי ליה וסבר מידע ידע והאי דעבד הכי חוצפא יתירא הוא דהוה ביה

When they were writing for him a writ containing the decision, the buyers said to the seller, in order to prove that he was mentally competent: Go and say to Rava: The scroll of Esther, which is a large scroll, is bought for a dinar. Why then does the short writ containing Master’s ruling also cost a dinar, which was the scribe’s fee? The seller went and said this to Rava. Rava said to them: His sale is a valid sale. The boy’s relatives said to Rava: The buyers taught him to say that. Rava said to them: Even so, when they explain the matter to him he understands. Since, when they explain a matter to him he understands, he knows what he is doing. And the reason that he acted in this manner, throwing the pits into Rava’s house, was because of excessive impudence that was in him, not mental incompetence.

אמר רב הונא בריה דרב יהושע ולעדות עדותו עדות אמר מר זוטרא לא אמרן אלא למטלטלי אבל למקרקעי לא

§ Rav Huna, son of Rav Yehoshua, says: And with regard to the testimony of one who is not old enough to sell property that he inherits from his father, his testimony is valid testimony. Mar Zutra said: We said that his testimony is valid only with regard to movable property, but not with regard to land.

א"ל רב אשי למר זוטרא מ"ש מטלטלי דזביניה זביני אלא מעתה הא דתנן הפעוטות מקחן מקח וממכרן ממכר במטלטלין ה"נ דעדותן עדות א"ל התם בעינא (דברים יט, יז) ועמדו שני האנשים וליכא

Rav Ashi said to Mar Zutra: In what way is movable property different from land? It is different because with regard to movable property his sale is a valid sale. But if that is so, consider that which we learned in a mishna (Gittin 59a): A purchase made by young children is a valid purchase, and a sale made by them is a valid sale. These halakhot apply to transactions involving movable property. Is it possible that also in the case of young children their testimony is valid testimony? Isn’t it an established halakha that minors are disqualified from bearing witness? Mar Zutra said to Rav Ashi: There, with regard to testimony, I require the witnesses to be men, as the verse states: “Then the two men shall stand” (Deuteronomy 19:17), which is interpreted as referring to witnesses, and this requirement is not fulfilled in the case of young children.

אמר אמימר ומתנתו מתנה א"ל רב אשי לאמימר השתא ומה זביני דמקבל זוזי אמרת דלא דלמא מוזיל ומזבין כל שכן מתנה דלא מטי ליה ולא מידי א"ל

§ Ameimar says: With regard to one who is not old enough to sell property that he inherits from his father, if he gave a gift from the property, his gift is a valid gift. Rav Ashi said to Ameimar: Now, if with regard to a sale, in which he receives money, you say that the Sages instituted an ordinance that he is not authorized to sell, lest he reduce the price of the property and deplete his father’s estate, all the more so in the case of a gift he is not authorized to give a gift, as nothing at all comes into his possession in exchange. Ameimar said to Rav Ashi: