Today’s section concludes the long discussion over whether the movables must be heaped onto the land through which they are acquired.
Rav explains that if the person only says “and write the deed” he can retract from his instruction to write the deed. But he cannot retract from the granting of the field itself. The transfer of the land has already occurred and cannot be taken back. However, if he stipulates “on condition” then the land is not transferred until the deed is written. Therefore, he can retract from both elements.
R. Hiyya b. Abin adds in another type of document—one which the seller writes before the sale even occurs. In this case, once he transfers the land, the deed belongs to the buyer no matter where it is. This seems to prove that the movables (in this case the deed) need not be on the land, for the seller has transferred ownership of the field and through it he has transferred the document as well.
The Talmud rejects this as proof—the deed is like the land. It is not a different type of movable, like sheep or barrels. The deed is not transferred by being connected to the land—it simply is part of the transaction of the land.
The Talmud notes that the mishnah which taught that movables could be acquired with land was itself used as a source to connect to the acquisition of the deed with the land. This implies that this deed is considered like other movables. It is acquired through acquisition of the land.
And that folks ends our discussion of this issue. Movables may be acquired together with land even if the movables are not on that piece of land.
I should note that in the middle ages a technique developed whereby a person could transfer movables based on the idea that every Jew owns “four cubits of land in Israel.” I would give you (temporarily) my four cubits of land and with that I could also give you my movables, even if the movables were far way. This facilitated the transfer of movables without one actually having to own land, let alone put the movables on the land.
Today’s section continues to deal with transferring movables together with land.
Does the seller have to say that he is transferring ownership of the movables “by means of” the land? Or can he just say “and with it”?
The Talmud answers by noting that we had a number of cases where someone was transferring movables with land and in none of them did he say “by means of.” He only said “and with it.” Seems like he does not need to say “by means of.”
The problem with making a deduction from words not found in the baraita is that there are other words absent from it. According to the Talmud the seller must say, “let him acquire it” and nevertheless “let him acquire it” is not found in the baraita. So too “by means of” must be stated even though these words are not found in the baraita.
This is the end of a long passage so a halakhic statement is in order. The law is, as we saw earlier, that the movables need not be heaped on the land. But the seller must say “acquire it” and “by means of.” So the proper phrasing would be “acquire these sheep by means of the land I am also selling/giving to you.” Sounds like a game of Settlers of Catan!
Today’s section continues to ask halakhic questions related to purchasing movables together with land.
Can one sell the field and give the movables with it? The answer is brought from Rabban Gamaliel’s giving the tithe to R. Joshua. He rents him the land (which is like selling) and gives him the tithe. Thus one can sell land and give away movables through the sale.
Can one split the land from the movables—giving the land to one person and the movables to another?
The Talmud tries to prove this from the continuation of R. Gamaliel’s giving away of tithes. He gives the tithes to the poor, through Akiva, but he rents the place to Akiva. This seems to prove that one can give the land to one person and the movables to another.
The Talmud offers two rejections of using this source as as proof. First of all, maybe the land was not rented to R. Akiva. It might have been rented only for the tithe, in which case it was, in a sense, rented to the poor, those who also received the tithes.
Alternatively, R. Akiva may be considered like the poor because he is the charity collector. Thus R. Gamaliel was giving to R. Akiva, and not to the poor. Again, the one receiving the land was also receiving the movables.
In today’s section Rava puts an important limitation on the halakhah that one can acquire movables by acquiring land.
If the buyer pays the whole price, for both the land and the movables, then he has acquired both the land and the movables. But if he pays only part of the money, he acquires only what he pays for.
The Talmud cites a baraita that supports Rava’s rule. This first part of the baraita is not relevant though to the rule. It simply compares the things that can be done with money and things that can be done with a deed. Money can be used to redeem holy things, including second tithe. The deed can be used to divorce but money cannot.
The baraita now compares money and deed with hazakah, the idea that one can acquire something by acting as its owner. A Hebrew slave can be acquired through money and deed but not by acting as a slave to someone. But hazakah is stronger because when acquiring multiple pieces of land from one person, a person can take possession of one and thereby acquire them all. When it comes to buying the land with money or deed, the money or deed must cover all of the pieces.