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It is well known Esav sold his 'birthright' to Yaakov. Can a father decide arbitrarily which son he wants to favor as his bachor? If so -under what conditions?

  • Yosef and Reuvein – sam May 2 '14 at 17:14
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    The chumash says explicitly that he cant make his beloved wife's son the bchor if he isnt – preferred May 2 '14 at 17:15
  • I'm just thinking about the grounds for a father with one wife simply wanting to ignore the older son. – seekingclarity May 2 '14 at 17:16
  • Why should it make a difference how many wives he has got. – preferred May 2 '14 at 17:17
  • does your above citation cover the whole subject? – seekingclarity May 2 '14 at 17:19
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If a father says "my bechor will not take double" or says "he will inherit like a regular son" it is invalid. It violates the commandment of not diverting inheritance Devarim 21:16

If the son agrees to give up his portion some permit it. Nesivos 281:6

See pischei choshen hilchos yerushah 4:6-8 for a complete discussion .

A firstborn's portion is unchangeable. A non firstborn may be increased since he is receiving an inheritance. A non inheriting relative (daughter among sons) cannot be set to receive an inheritance

The details for actually setting this up and possible workarounds such as writing a halachik will are complex and will often not be done properly without the assistance of professional halachik advisers (Business Halacha Institute and dinonline.org among others.)

  • SO a man cannot completely diss-inherit his son -halachikly anyway. – seekingclarity May 2 '14 at 17:53
  • @seekinclarity only bechor. Regular son can be chsnged – Yoni May 2 '14 at 18:12

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