16) Conclusion

The Torah[96] refers to the Halachos of inheritance as “A decree of Mishpot (justice).” In these Halachos, perhaps more than in any other, the Jew submits himself to the eternal wisdom of the Master of creation and His holy Torah.

Those who give their daughters to inherit in any way that is Halachically invalid, not only declare that they are unwilling to follow the Torah’s laws, but furthermore they are causing others to transgress, because any property taken by a daughter without the agreement of the sons is considered by the Torah as stolen property.

Throughout the generations, Chazal made various takanos in order to ensure that daughters are not left without anything after their father dies, starting with Issur Nechasim Leparnassas Habass and Mezonos Habonos, both mentioned in the Mishnah, and continuing with further Takanos of the Rishonim that ensured that women were provided for, such as Takanas Shu”m and Takanas Toledo, and the later Takanos of Slutzk, Damascus and Yerusholayim.

In particular, the device of the Shtar Chatzi Zochor was instituted specifically in order to allow a man to ensure that his daughters received an appropriate share of his estate. As is clear from all the above, this was universally practiced throughout the Ashkenazi communities for some centuries, and it is unclear when and why it fell into disuse. There seems to be no reason why it should not be reintroduced and widely practiced, in order to facilitate a Halachically acceptable transfer of property to a deceased’s daughters.

In the merit of our adherence to the Halachos of inheritance, may we see the in our days the fulfillment of the verse, “Tzion bemishpot tipodeh veshoveho bitzedokoh.”

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