But what happens, the Talmud asks, if a man makes a gift thinking he is about to die, and then he recovers? He is placed in an awkward position: He may have given away all his property on the assumption that he wouldn’t need it anymore, and when he recovers he is destitute. To prevent this outcome, the Mishna in Bava Batra 146b explains that a gift from a dying man who recovers “does not stand.” But this is the case only if it was a gift of everything he owned because a person presumably would not give away all his property unless he believed he was going to die. If, on the other hand, he reserved for himself “any amount of land,” the assumption is that this provision was meant to suffice for him in case he recovered, so that the rest of his gift remains in force.Earlier Daf Yomi columns are noted here and links.
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