Bava Batra 31aבבא בתרא ל״א א
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31aל״א א

אבל שית אין לך מחאה גדולה מזו:

But if he profited from the land for only six years, so that the sale to the claimant took place before the years necessary for establishing the presumption of ownership were completed, you can have no greater protest than this, that the purported seller then sold the land to another. By doing so he indicated that he does not concede that the possessor was the rightful owner, and the possessor should have been careful to hold on to his bill of sale for even longer than three years.

זה אומר של אבותי וזה אומר של אבותי האי אייתי סהדי דאבהתיה היא והאי אייתי סהדי דאכלה שני חזקה

There was an incident where two people disputed the ownership of land. This one says: The land belonged to my ancestors and I inherited it from them, and that one says: The land belonged to my ancestors and I inherited it from them. This one brings witnesses that the land belonged to his ancestors, and that one brings witnesses that he currently possesses the land and that he worked and profited from the land for the years necessary for establishing the presumption of ownership.

אמר רבה מה לו לשקר אי בעי א"ל מינך זבנתה ואכלתיה שני חזקה א"ל אביי מה לי לשקר במקום עדים לא אמרינן

Rabba said: The judgment is in favor of the possessor, due to the legal principle that if the judgment would have been decided in one’s favor had he advanced a certain claim, and he instead advanced a different claim that leads to the same ruling, he has credibility, as why would he lie and state this claim? If the possessor wanted to lie, he could have said to the claimant: I purchased the land from you and I worked and profited from it for the years necessary for establishing the presumption of ownership, in which case he would have been awarded the land. Abaye said to Rabba: We do not say the principle of: Why would I lie, in a case where there are witnesses contradicting his current claim, as they testify that the land belonged to the ancestors of the claimant. Therefore, he should not be awarded the land.

הדר א"ל אין דאבהתך היא וזבנתה מינך והאי דאמרי לך דאבהתי דסמיך לי עלה כדאבהתי

The possessor then said to the claimant: Yes, it is true that it had belonged to your ancestors, but I purchased it from you, and by stating that which I said to you: It belonged to my ancestors, I merely meant that I rely upon my ownership of it as if it belonged to my ancestors, as I purchased it and then profited from it for the years necessary for establishing the presumption of ownership.

טוען וחוזר וטוען או אין טוען וחוזר וטוען עולא אמר טוען וחוזר וטוען נהרדעי אמרי אינו טוען וחוזר וטוען

The Gemara asks: Can he state a claim and return and state a modified version of his claim, or can he not state a claim and return and state a modified version of his claim? Ulla said: He can state a claim and return and state a modified version of his claim. The Sages of Neharde’a say: He cannot state a claim and return and state a modified version of his claim.

ומודי עולא היכא דא"ל של אבותי ולא של אבותיך דאינו טוען וחוזר וטוען והיכא דהוה קאי בי דינא ולא טען ואתא מאבראי וטען אינו חוזר וטוען מאי טעמא טענתיה אגמריה

The Gemara clarifies their respective opinions: And Ulla concedes that in a case where he had initially said to him: The land belonged to my ancestors and did not belong to your ancestors, that he cannot state a claim and return and state a modified version of his claim, as Ulla allows the litigant only to reinterpret his initial claim, not to replace it with a contradictory claim. And Ulla also concedes that in a case where he was standing in court and did not state a particular claim, and he later came in from outside and back into the court and he stated that claim, that he cannot return and state that claim. What is the reason for this? It is because it is apparent that these claims of his were taught to him by someone after he left the court.

ומודו נהרדעי היכא דאמר ליה של אבותי שלקחוה מאבותיך דחוזר וטוען והיכא דאישתעי מילי אבראי ולא טען ואתא לבי דינא וטען דחוזר וטוען מאי טעמא עביד איניש דלא מגלי טענתיה אלא לבי דינא

And the Sages of Neharde’a concede that in a case where the litigant who changed his claim said to the other litigant that when he had initially claimed: The land belonged to my ancestors, he had actually meant: It belonged to my ancestors, who purchased it from your ancestors, that he can state a claim and return and state a modified version of his claim, as this serves only to clarify, and not negate, his initial claim. And the Sages of Neharde’a also concede that in a case where he discussed the matter outside of the court and did not state a particular claim, and then he came in to the court and stated that claim, that he can return and state that claim. What is the reason for this? Because a person is apt not to reveal his claims except to the court.

אמר אמימר אנא נהרדעא אנא וסבירא לי דטוען וחוזר וטוען והלכתא טוען וחוזר וטוען:

Ameimar said: I am from Neharde’a, but I nevertheless hold that a litigant can state a claim and return and state a modified version of his claim. The Gemara concludes: And the halakha is that a litigant can state a claim and return and state a modified version of his claim.

זה אומר של אבותי וזה אומר של אבותי האי אייתי סהדי דאבהתיה ואכלה שני חזקה והאי אייתי סהדי דאכלה שני חזקה

In an incident where two people dispute the ownership of land, this one says: The land belonged to my ancestors and I inherited it from them, and that one says: The land belonged to my ancestors and I inherited it from them. The first one brings witnesses that the land belonged to his ancestors, and that he worked and profited from the land for the years necessary for establishing the presumption of ownership. And the second one brings witnesses only that he worked and profited from the land for the years necessary for establishing the presumption of ownership.

אמר רב נחמן אוקי אכילה לבהדי אכילה ואוקי ארעא בחזקת אבהתא א"ל רבא הא עדות מוכחשת היא אמר ליה נהי דאיתכחש באכילתה

Rav Naḥman said: Establish the testimony with regard to the profiting by the first litigant alongside the testimony with regard to the profiting by the second, and the two testimonies cancel each other out, leaving the testimony with regard to ownership by the ancestors of the first litigant. And therefore, establish the land in the presumptive ownership of the litigant who brought witnesses that it belonged to his ancestors. Rava objected and said to him: This testimony cannot be relied on, as it is contradicted by the other testimony. Rav Naḥman responded and said to him: Although it is so that the testimony was contradicted with regard to profiting from the land,