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Nachalot - Chapter 8

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Nachalot - Chapter 8


When the fields of a person who was taken captive, or who fled, or who left voluntarily but was reported to have died are given to a relative in a share-cropping arrangement, we do not entrust them to a minor, lest he ruin the property.

Conversely, we do not give a minor's property to a relative in a share-cropping arrangement. This is a safeguard, lest that person claim that the property belongs to him, that it is his portion that he received through inheritance. The minor's property is not even given to a relative of a relative.

What is implied? There were two brothers, one older and one younger, and the younger was taken captive or fled, we do not give the younger brother's field to the older brother. For the younger brother will not be able to protest. Perhaps the older brother will take possession of the property and after many years, he will claim: "This is my portion that I received through inheritance; I took possession as an inheritance."

Even the son of the brother of the minor who was taken captive is not given the property in a share-cropping agreement, lest he claim: "I inherited this portion because of my father."


כְּשֶׁמּוֹרִידִין קָרוֹב לְנִכְסֵי הַשָּׁבוּי אוֹ בּוֹרֵחַ אוֹ לְנִכְסֵי הַיּוֹצֵא לְדַעַת שֶׁשָּׁמְעוּ בּוֹ שֶׁמֵּת. לֹא יוֹרִידוּ קָטָן שֶׁמָּא יַפְסִיד הַנְּכָסִים. וְאֵין מוֹרִידִין קָרוֹב לְנִכְסֵי קָטָן שֶׁמָּא יִטְעֹן וְיֹאמַר זֶה חֶלְקִי הַמַּגִּיעַ לִי בִּירֻשָּׁתִי. וַאֲפִלּוּ קָרוֹב מֵחֲמַת קָרוֹב אֵין מוֹרִידִין. כֵּיצַד. הָיוּ שְׁנֵי אַחִים אֶחָד גָּדוֹל וְאֶחָד קָטָן וְנִשְׁבָּה הַקָּטָן אוֹ בָּרַח. אֵין מוֹרִידִין הַגָּדוֹל לְתוֹךְ שָׂדֵהוּ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהַקָּטָן אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לִמְחוֹת. וְשֶׁמָּא יַחֲזִיק זֶה הָאָח וּלְאַחַר שָׁנִים יֹאמַר זֶה חֶלְקִי שֶׁהִגִּיעַ לִי בִּירֻשָּׁתִי וּמֵחֲמַת יְרוּשָׁה בָּאתִי. וַאֲפִלּוּ בֶּן אָחִיו שֶׁל זֶה הַקָּטָן הַנִּשְׁבָּה אֵין מוֹרִידִין אוֹתוֹ לִנְכָסָיו שֶׁמָּא יֹאמַר שֶׁמֵּחֲמַת אָבִי יָרַשְׁתִּי חֵלֶק זֶה:


No relative is ever given possession of the property of a minor, not even a person whose family connection stems from one's maternal brother, who is not fit to inherit. This is an extra safeguard.

Even if there is a document recording the division of the estate, whether homes or courtyards, the property should not be given to the relative. Even if the relative states: "Write a document stating that I received the field as part of a sharecropping agreement," he should not be given the field. Perhaps the documents will be lost, and after a long period the person will claim that he received it as an inheritance, or that he received it as an inheritance from a relative who received it as an inheritance.

An incident once occurred concerning an old woman who had three daughters. The old woman and one daughter were taken captive. A second daughter died and left a son below the age of majority. The Sages said: We do not give the property to the remaining daughter in a sharecropping agreement, for perhaps the elderly woman died and thus one third of the estate would belong to the minor, and we do not give a relative property belonging to a minor. Similarly, we do not give the property to the minor. For perhaps the old woman is still alive, and the property of a person taken captive should not be given to a minor.

"What should be done instead? Since a guardian must be appointed for the half designated for the minor, we appoint a guardian for the old woman's entire estate."

Afterwards, it was reported that the older woman died. Our Sages said: "The remaining daughter should receive the third that is her portion of the inheritance. The minor should receive the third that is his portion of the older woman's estate. And a guardian should be appointed for the third that belongs to the daughter in captivity, because of the portion of it that the minor might receive. For if the daughter in captivity also dies, the minor would receive one half of her third." Similar principles apply in all analogous situations.


לְעוֹלָם אֵין מוֹרִידִין קָרוֹב לְנִכְסֵי קָטָן אֲפִלּוּ קָרוֹב מֵחֲמַת אֲחֵי הַאֵם שֶׁאֵינָן רְאוּיִין לִירַשׁ. הַרְחָקָה יְתֵרָה הִיא זוֹ וַאֲפִלּוּ יֵשׁ בֵּינֵיהֶן שְׁטַר חֲלוּקָה בֵּין בְּבָתִּים בֵּין בְּשָׂדוֹת לֹא יֵרֵד. וַאֲפִלּוּ אָמַר כִּתְבוּ עָלַי שְׁטַר אֲרִיסוּת לֹא יֵרֵד שֶׁמָּא יֹאבְדוּ הַשְּׁטָרוֹת וְיַאַרְכוּ הַיָּמִים וְיִטְעֹן וְיֹאמַר שֶׁזֶּה חֵלֶק יְרֻשָּׁה בָּא לוֹ (מֵחֲמָתוֹ אוֹ) מֵחֲמַת מוֹרִישָׁיו. מַעֲשֶׂה בְּאִשָּׁה אַחַת שֶׁהָיוּ לָהּ שָׁלֹשׁ בָּנוֹת וְנִשְׁבֵּית הַזְּקֵנָה הִיא וּבַת אַחַת וּמֵתָה בַּת שְׁנִיָּה וְהִנִּיחָה בֵּן קָטָן. וְאָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים אֵין מוֹרִידִין זוֹ הַבַּת הַנִּשְׁאָרָה לַנְּכָסִים שֶׁמָּא מֵתָה הַזְּקֵנָה וְנִמְצְאוּ שְׁלִישׁ נְכָסִים אֵלּוּ לַקָּטָן וְאֵין מוֹרִידִין קָרוֹב לְנִכְסֵי קָטָן. וְכֵן אֵין מוֹרִידִין לְזֶה הַקָּטָן בַּנְּכָסִים שֶׁמָּא עֲדַיִן הַזְּקֵנָה בַּחַיִּים וְאֵין מוֹרִידִין קָטָן לְנִכְסֵי שָׁבוּי. אֶלָּא כֵּיצַד עוֹשִׂין. מִתּוֹךְ שֶׁצָּרִיךְ לְהַעֲמִיד אַפּוֹטְרוֹפּוֹס לַחֲצִי שֶׁל קָטָן מַעֲמִידִין אַפּוֹטְרוֹפּוֹס עַל כָּל נִכְסֵי הַזְּקֵנָה. אַחַר זְמַן שָׁמְעוּ שֶׁמֵּתָה הַזְּקֵנָה אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים תֵּרֵד הַבַּת הַנִּשְׁאָרָה לִשְׁלִישׁ הַנְּכָסִים שֶׁהוּא חֵלֶק יְרֻשָּׁתָהּ וְיֵרֵד הַקָּטָן לִשְׁלִישׁ שֶׁהוּא חֶלְקוֹ מִנִּכְסֵי הַזְּקֵנָה. וְהַשְּׁלִישׁ שֶׁל בַּת הַשְּׁבוּיָה מַעֲמִידִין לוֹ אַפּוֹטְרוֹפּוֹס מִפְּנֵי חֵלֶק הַקָּטָן שֶׁמָּא מֵתָה גַּם הַבַּת הַשְּׁבוּיָה וְיֵשׁ לְזֶה הַקָּטָן חֲצִי הַשְּׁלִישׁ שֶׁלָּהּ. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

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The Mishneh Torah was the Rambam's (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon) magnum opus, a work spanning hundreds of chapters and describing all of the laws mentioned in the Torah. To this day it is the only work that details all of Jewish observance, including those laws which are only applicable when the Holy Temple is in place. Participating in one of the annual study cycles of these laws (3 chapters/day, 1 chapter/day, or Sefer Hamitzvot) is a way we can play a small but essential part in rebuilding the final Temple.
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