Monday, 27 February 2017

Bava Batra 36: Chazaka with Gentiles/Jews, Slaves, Infant Slaves, Goat Food, and Different Types of Fields

The Gemara discusses the following ideas:

  • Cases where a Gentile's claim to disputed property is disbelieved, but a Jew who makes the same claim in the Gentile's name is deemed credible
  • Other related cases of disputed chazaka:
    • the Jew was present when the sale happened - credible
    • a sickle and rope were used to cull ties from the date tree that he bought - credible
    • if the Gentile possesses a field from the fence built to block wild donkeys - not credible
    • profiting from orla - not credible
    • profiting from the fodder of the land - credible only in Mechoza where this is done regularly
    • consumption of produce from land that is fissured (has irrigation ditches) - not credible unless the land is of inferior quality
    • members of the household of the Exilarch - not credible
The Gemara then discusses chazaka in other areas.  Slaves are compared to animals as property.  The understanding is that slaves are only subject to chazaka after three years of ownership.  A baby who is a slave is subject to chazaka immediately.  One of the proofs for this is the fact that "a mother does not forget her son", and this could not be an abandoned child.  

The Gemara then looks at goat behaviour to determine chazaka regarding ownership of the peeled barley that they consume.  

The rabbis return to our previous Mishna to discuss further concepts.  They consider what was meant by Rabbi Yishmael's claim of three months of possession in the first year, three months in the third year, and twelve months in the middle to establish chazaka.  Does plowing the land establish chazaka?  Does it make a difference whether the growing time is shorter, for minor produce, or longer, for major produce?  What about planting as a determinant of chazaka?  Does it matter whether we are speaking of a grain field also called a "white field"?   And might it make a difference which types and how many trees were planted in a treed field?  The rabbis consider these for much of amud (b).  

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