Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Talmud on real estate transactions

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: If You’ll Buy That, the Rabbi’ll Throw the Golden Gate in Free. This week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study examines the origin of rules for real estate transactions.
Chapter Three of Tractate Bava Batra deals with a crucial issue in real-estate law. How does a person prove that he is the legal owner of a piece of property, such as a house or a field? In modern societies, there are government registries that keep track of deeds to property. But even now, clearing title to real estate can be a complicated process, which is why most property transactions involve the purchase of title insurance. After all, how do you know, when you buy a house from someone, that he has the right to sell it to you? What if the house was never his to begin with, and he is only squatting on the property? Or what if he previously sold it to someone else? In Talmudic times, poor record-keeping and difficulties of communication made such problems even more complicated.

Earlier Daf Yomi columns are noted here and links.