web analytics
July 8, 2015 / 21 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


No Landlords (Arachin 29b)


Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

After its conquest by Joshua, the land of Israel was divided into twelve equal parts in accordance with the number of the tribes of Israel. Each male member of each tribe that actually left Egypt was entitled to a piece of land equal in size to the total size allocated to his whole tribe divided by the number of men of twenty or over in his tribe that left Egypt.

This family land was forever to remain the property of the family unit within the tribe and not pass to another tribe. In this way, the children of each family unit within a tribe could look to their father for financial support. The father’s portion of property was the “Family Bank.” It could be drawn upon to support the family. It could also be used to support the sons of the family, their wives and their children when the sons married. The father did not need to worry about his daughters when they married because the “Family Bank” of the husband’s family unit would take care of them.

There were at least two ways in which this divinely mandated distribution of the land could be altered. One was by way of inheritance by a daughter, who in the absence of sons would inherit her father’s estate and then marry a man from another tribe. Upon her death, the land would pass to her husband or her children belonging to another tribe. In order to restrict such diversions, the Torah limits the right of the daughter to inherit the estate of her father to situations where she has no brothers.

The other way in which the distribution of the land could be altered was by way of sale or gift. If total freedom of permanent disposition of land were permitted, it would not take long before the allocation of the land God considered equitable would be reshuffled according to the fortuitous, and not always so equitable laws of economics.

In order to restrict such diversions, the Torah instituted the laws of Jubilee under which land sold in perpetuity or for an unspecified period of time would revert back to its original owner at the Jubilee Year. From Jubilee year to Jubilee, however, land could be freely sold, subject to certain reversionary rights. For the purpose of determining which reversionary rights applied, land in Israel, during the era in which the laws of Jubilee applied, was divided into three categories.

The first category was known as sdeh achuzah, the ancestral field. The term sdeh achuzah refers to a piece of land allocated to its original owners in the time of Joshua, as opposed to any buildings that may have been erected on such land. A sdeh achuzah the owner purported to sell in perpetuity or for an unspecified period of time would revert to its original owner at Jubilee.

Accordingly, any such attempted sale during a Jubilee cycle was not a conveyance of the ownership of the land but a sale of the right to use the land and enjoy its crops. The sales price was calculated on the bases of the value of the crops it yielded each year multiplied by the number of years remaining to the Jubilee year. Thus, if a field that would yield $100,000 worth of crops each year were sold ten years prior to the Jubilee Year, it could not be sold for more than $1,000,000. In addition to the law that a sdeh achuzah sold in perpetuity or for an unspecified period of time would revert to its original owner at the Jubilee Year, the Torah also gave the original owner the right of mandatory redemption of the field to be exercised not earlier than a date commencing two years after the sale.

Thus, in our example, in which the original owner sold the field ten years before the Jubilee Year for $1,000,000, the original owner had an inalienable right, commencing two years from the date of the sale, to demand that the purchaser sell the field back to him for $800,000, that being the original purchase price less the two years during which the purchaser enjoyed the use of the field.

During the two﷓year period following the sale, the purchaser was given an undisturbed right to use the land. If for any reason the purchaser was unable to benefit from the crops of the land – as would be the case if one of the two years were a Shemittah year or, if as a result of weather conditions, there were no crops – then the two years would begin to toll from the time these conditions ceased.

Although the laws of sdeh achuzah only applied when the law of Jubilee applied and therefore do not apply today, they demonstrate the uniqueness of the Torah in moving away from the system of Egypt in which there were no buyback rights to land sold. Raphael Grunfeld’s book, “Ner Eyal on Seder Moed” (distributed by Mesorah) is available at OU.org and your local Jewish bookstore. His new book, “Ner Eyal on Seder Nashim & Nezikin,” will be available shortly.

About the Author: Raphael Grunfeld’s book, “Ner Eyal on Seder Moed” (distributed by Mesorah) is available at OU.org and your local Jewish bookstore. His new book, “Ner Eyal on Seder Nashim & Nezikin,” will be available shortly.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “No Landlords (Arachin 29b)”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Billboard posted by CAMERA during the Hamas war against Israel.
Flip-Flopping on Felling of Terrorist Groups’ Founders
Latest Judaism Stories
17th_of_Tammuz_(medium)_(english)

17th of Tammuz: Beginning 3 weeks of mourning for the destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

Rabbi Avi Weiss

With Ruth, The Torah seems to be stating that children shouldn’t be punished for the sins of parents

Neihaus-070315

Without a foundation, one cannot hope to build a structure.

Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

Why do we have a parsha in Sefer Shemos named after Yisro who was not only a former idolater, but actually served as a priest for Avodah Zarah!

Question: Should we wash our hands in the bathroom with soap and water, or by pouring water from a vessel with handles three times, alternating hands? I have heard it said that a vessel is used only in the morning upon awakening. What are the rules pertaining to young children? What is the protocol if no vessel is available? Additionally, may we dry our hands via an electric dryer?

Harry Koenigsberg
(Via E-Mail)

This Land Is ‘My’ Land
‘[If The Vow Was Imposed] In The Seventh Year…’
(Nedarim 42b)

The Shulchan Aruch in the very first siman states that one should rise in the morning like a lion, implying that simply rising form bed requires strength of a lion, in line with the Midrash.

Attempts to interpret the message of Hashem in the absence of divine prophecy ultimately may twist that message in unintended ways that can lead to calamitous events.

Suddenly, the pilot’s voice could be heard. He explained that this was a special day for those passengers on board who lived in Israel.

If the sick person is thrust into a situation where he is compelled to face his sickness head on, we who are not yet sick can encourage him by facing it with him.

All agree that Jews ARE different. How? Why? The Bible’s answer is surprising and profound.

What’s the nation of Israel’s purpose in the world? How we can bring God’s blessings into the world?

“Is there a difference between rescuing and other services?” asked Ploni.

To my dismay, I’ve seen that shidduch candidates with money become ALL desirable traits for marriage

Bil’am’s character is complex and nuanced; neither purely good nor purely evil.

More Articles from Raphael Grunfeld
Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

If the sick person is thrust into a situation where he is compelled to face his sickness head on, we who are not yet sick can encourage him by facing it with him.

Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

Less clear, however, is whether the concept applies to the area of civil law such as the law of transfer of property.

Conversely, no part of the Land within the boundaries delineated in Numbers 34 may be relinquished for any purpose whatsoever.

Although it is true that the Final Redemption will be accelerated when all Jews repent and accept the rule of Torah, there is also another scenario for the Final Redemption.

Should just a few communities settle the Land of Israel? Should there be a mass emigration of all Jews worldwide to Israel?

Why did so many of our great sages from the Rambam to Rabbi Moshe Feinstein live outside Israel?

God and the divine origin of His Torah are facts even though we do not fully comprehend them.

In order to be free of the negative consequences of violating a shvu’ah or a neder, the shvu’ah or neder themselves must be annulled.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/no-landlords-arachin-29b/2012/02/08/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: