Sunday, June 10, 2007

MEN LIVE LONGER - Yevamos 38 - Daf Yomi

The Mishna states: If while a woman was awaiting yibum, she inherited property from her father, and subsequently sold it or gave it away, Beis Shamai and Beis Hillel agree that it is valid. (Although Beis Hillel rules that a woman who is an arusah may not sell property in which she inherited, the yevamah is permitted to do so.)

The Mishna asks: If she died, what shall they do with her kesuvah and with the property which comes in and goes out with her? (Does the yavam inherit her in the same manner that a husband inherits his wife?) Beis Shamai says: The husband’s heirs divide it with the father’s heirs (the woman’s inheritors). Beis Hillel disagrees: The property remains with those that presently possess it. The kesuvah goes to the husband’s heirs. The property which comes in and goes out with her goes to the father’s heirs.

Tosfos asks: Why is Beis Hillel’s ruling in this case different than the case in Bava Basra? The Mishna there (158a) states: If a house fell on him and on his mother, killing them both, and we are uncertain which one of them died first. The son’s heirs claimed that the mother died first and afterwards the son died. The mother’s heirs claim that the son died first and afterwards the mother died. Beis Hillel rules that the property is divided between them. Why there does he rule to divide the estate and here he rules that the property remains with those that presently possess it?

Tosfos answers: It is more common for a mother to die before the son; the Gemora in Bava Basra (108a) considers it a tragedy when a son dies in the lifetime of the mother. It is for this reason that Beis Hillel rules that the money is divided between them and we do not award the property to the mother’s heirs.

Sheorim Mitzuyanim B’halacha asks: The Gemora in Bava Basra is referring to a case where the son died from a sickness while the mother was alive; the mother is in tremendous grief and sorrow, and that is when it is regarded as a tragedy. In our case, a house fell on top of both of them, and that is a tragedy in itself. Since both of them died, the tragedy is not any more if the son died moments before the mother?

He continues that Tosfos could have said like he said in Kesuvos (52a) in the name of the Yerushalmi: It is common for women to die faster than men do. This is because women are generally weaker due to childbirth and the raising of children.