Tuesday, July 31, 2007


As per your request, here is an explanation of tosfos, 89a s.v. Mai Tayma.

The Gemora states: The reason that the Rabbis instituted a kesuvah (an obligation for the husband or his estate to pay the wife a certain amount of money in case he divorces her or dies) is in order for it to be not so light in his eyes to divorce her.

Tosfos asks: From this Gemora, it seems apparent that a kesuvah obligation is merely Rabbinic in nature; yet it is written in the kesuvah explicitly that one is obligated Biblically to present his wife with two hundred silver zuzim, according to the law of Moshe and Israel.

Tosfos answers that our Gemora is referring to a kesuvah given to a widow, where the obligation is only a Rabbinic one in order that the husband should not easily divorce her.

Tosfos explains our Gemora: Just as the Rabbis enacted that there is a kesuvah obligation to a widow for the aforementioned reason, so too, the Rabbis penalized a virgin, where the kesuvah obligation is a Biblical one, that if she went and married another man based on the testimony of one witness, and the husband reappeared, she should not receive her kesuvah in order for the husband to divorce her easily.

Many Rishonim disagree with Tosfos and maintain that the kesuvah obligation is merely Rabbinic even for a virgin.

The Rosh explains: The phrase “according to the law of Moshe and Israel” which is written in the kesuvah does not mean that there is a Biblical obligation; it is merely stipulating the type of silver that the husband is required to give to his wife.


Anonymous said...

Welcome back!!!!