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BAVA BASRA 138 - Dedicated by Andy & Nancy Neff in memory of Leah Miriam bat Yisroel who passed away on 14 Sivan 5767 -- Lucy Rabin, beloved wife of Sidney Rabin and mother of Nancy Neff and Valerie, Doug and Andy Rabin.


1. If a man on his deathbed says, "Give 200 Zuz to A, give 300 to B...," we do not say that the beneficiaries acquire in the order that they are mentioned.
2. However, if he said, "Give 200 Zuz to A, and after him give 200 to B, and after him..., " the last person is affected first.
3. If a man says that his firstborn son should receive 200 Zuz "as is appropriate for him," he receives the 200 Zuz in addition to his double portion of the estate.
4. The Gemara says that a similar rule (3) applies to one's wife.
5. There is a dispute about whether witnesses should write that a dying man claimed that so-and-so owed him money.


1. Therefore, if a creditor comes before the estate is divided and given to the beneficiaries, the creditor may take from all of them, based on how much of the estate each one was to receive (see Rashbam).
2. If a creditor comes before the estate is divided, he takes [first] the portion of the last person mentioned. This is because the dying man clearly wanted to ensure that the first people he mentioned received from the estate, even if the later-mentioned people would not receive anything at all.
3. However, if he said, "as his firstborn portion," the firstborn may choose whether to take the 200 or his double portion.
4. If he said that his wife should receive the 200 "as is appropriate," she receives it in addition to her Kesuvah money. However, if he said, "as her Kesuvah," she may choose which amount she wants to receive.
5. Rebbi Meir: Witnesses can write that they heard a dying man say that so-and-so owed him money, and the burden of proof is on the orphans to prove that this was indeed so. Chachamim: They should not even write this down, as it could possibly be misconstrued by an uninformed Beis Din as testimony from these witnesses that so-and-so indeed owes the money.

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