Monday, September 03, 2007

Connection between the Conclusion of Yevamos to the Beginning of Kesuvos

Tractate Yevamos concludes with the following Gemora: Rabbi Elozar said in the name of Rabbi Chanina: Torah scholars increase peace in the world, for it is said: And all your children shall be disciples of Hashem; and abundant shall be the peace of your sons. In other places (Brochos 64b), the Gemora adds: Do not read banayich, your sons, but rather, bonayich, your builders. This is referring to the Torah scholars who increase peace in the world. Torah scholars strengthen the spiritual and physical dimensions of the world. They are actually building the world.

Tractate Kesuvos commences with the following halacha: A virgin is married on Wednesday.

What is the connection between the conclusion of Yevamos with the beginning of Kesuvos?

Sefer Sedeh Tzofim explains as follows: There is a dispute (Yevamos 65b) regarding if women are obligated in the mitzvah of procreation or not. The Gemora explains the argument. It is written [Breishis 1:28]: And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and conquer it.” Since it is the practice of men to conquer in battle, and not a woman, this indicates that the verse was addressed to men, and not to women. The Gemora asks: The term vechivshua, and conquer it, is a plural expression, and it would seem that the Torah is addressing the man and the woman to conquer the earth. Why would one opinion maintain that the obligation is only to the man? The Gemora answers: it is because it is written without a vav, and it may be read vechovshah, which is in the singular form.

Sefer Nachalas Binyomin explains that this opinion maintains that we say yeish eim lemasores, the transmitted written form has primacy, and that is why we expound the word in the singular to mean that only the man is obligated in the commandment of procreation, and not the woman. However, if we would hold yeish eim lemikra, the pronounced form has primacy, the word is read in its plural form, and we would be compelled to say that the mitzvah of procreation is applicable to the man and the woman.

Our Gemora says: A virgin is married on Wednesday. Tosfos asks: Why didn’t the Mishna say: A man marries a virgin on Wednesday? Tosfos answers: If it would have said it in that manner, we would have thought that a man may marry a woman even against her will; the Mishna says: She is married to teach us that marriage can only be effected with her consent.

The Shitah Mikubetzes adds: One might think that if the kiddushin was accomplished with her consent, one may effect nisuin, even against her will; it is for this reason that the Mishna says: She is married (nisuin), only if she agrees.

The sefer Shem Yisroel writes that this is only true if you hold that a woman is not obligated in procreation. However, if you would maintain that a woman is obligated in this mitzvah, she can be compelled to perform nisuin, once she has agreed to the kiddushin.

We can now explain the connection between the two tractates. It is evident from the Gemora at the end of Yevamos that that we say yeish eim lemasores, the transmitted written form has primacy, for Rabbi Elozar said in the name of Rabbi Chanina: Torah scholars increase peace in the world, for it is said: And all your children shall be disciples of Hashem; and abundant shall be the peace of your sons. In other places (Brochos 64b), the Gemora adds: Do not read banayich, your sons, but rather, bonayich, your builders. We do not follow the principle of yeish eim lemikra, the pronounced form has primacy, but rather, according to its written from.

This is why the next Mishna, the commencement of Kesuvos says: A virgin is married on Wednesday. We see from this language that we cannot force the woman into nisuin even if she already performed kiddushin willingly. This is because she is not obligated in the mitzvah of procreation. She is not included in this mitzvah because we say yeish eim lemasores, the transmitted written form has primacy, and the verse states: vechovshah, which is in the singular form, even though it is read vechivshua, in its plural form.

2 comments:

badrabbi said...

The Torah, clearly in Gen 1:28 state: "and God blessed them and said unto them". 'Them' is a plural. He told 'them' to conquer the earth.He told 'them' to procreate. In any case, it would be impossible if the man had to procreate by himself!

Second, the word "conquer" does not always apply in situations of war. One can conquer many things, including the world, his evil inclinations, his competition, etc. Not all conquering involves actual wars.

[Edited by blog author]

Avromi said...

Even though the Torah says' and God said to them, it does not mean that they are both obligated in procreation; rather, only the man is obligated, but the Torah addresses the man and the woman because procreation requires the woman as well.