The Weekly Daf

For the week ending 29 August 2009 / 8 Elul 5769

Bava Basra 9 - 15

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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Buyout and Sellout

Case 1
Case 2
The Cases: Two brothers inherit property from their father. One of them wants to share the entire property jointly while the other insists on dividing it. If the property is large enough that even after a division each party will be left with enough to continue using it for its original function then a division can be forced. Where the parties will be left with too little to make a division practical the brother insisting on ending the partnership has the right to insist that either his brother buys him out or allows him to buy his share. Two brothers, one wealthy and one poor, inherit an olive press from their father who used it for making oil for his private purposes. The wealthy brother, who owns olive trees, can say to his poor brother who owns none: "Bring olives and use our press." The poor brother cannot insist that his wealthy sibling buy him out.
The Problem: Why in Case One can the brother who wants to dissolve the partnership insist on a buyout and cannot do so in Case Two?
The Solution: The right to demand a buyout of indivisible property is limited to a two-way situation where a choice is offered to either sell out or buy out. In Case One the brother reluctant to dissolve the partnership is offered this choice while in Case Two the poor brother, incapable of buying out his wealthy brother, is offering only the option of being bought out and therefore cannot compel his brother to take that option.

  • Bava Basra 13b

but True

Rabbi Yosef momentarily passed from this world. When he recovered, his father, Rabbi Yehoshua, asked him what he saw in Heaven.

"I saw an upside-down world. Those who are held in high esteem here are looked down upon there while those looked down upon here are looked up to there."

"You saw a clear world," his father corrected him. "But tell me, how are Torah scholars rated up there?"

"The same esteem which they enjoy here," replied rabbi Yosef, "is accorded to them there. I also heard them proclaim 'How fortunate is the man who comes here holding onto his Talmud knowledge.'"

  • Bava Basra 10b

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