Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Daf Yomi - Kesuvos 97 - Highlights

Widow Selling the Estate

The Gemora asks: How does the widow sell her husband’s property (to be used for her support)?

Rav Daniel bar Katina said in the name of Rav Huna: We allow her to sell his property once a year, and the buyer pays her in installments once every thirty days (it is done in this manner in order to ensure that she does not take money that doesn’t belong to her; she is to be supported only until she remarries).

Rav Yehudah says: We allow her to sell his property once every six months, and the buyer pays her in installments once every thirty days.

The Gemora cites a braisa supporting Rav Huna’s opinion and then cites a braisa supporting Rav Yehudah’s opinion.

Ameimar rules in accordance with Rav Yehudah. (97a)

Widow Seizing Land that she Sold

They inquired of Rav Sheishes: If the widow sold property from the husband’s estate in order to be supported, may she collect from that very same property for her kesuvah?

The Gemora explains the inquiry: Rav Yosef ruled: When a widow sells property from her husband’s estate with a guarantee (that the purchaser will be compensated if the land is seized by a creditor), the obligation to pay for this guarantee rests upon the orphans (because they are responsible to pay for her support and kesuvah). Since the orphans are responsible, she may seize the property that she previously sold, or perhaps, the purchasers can tell her, “If others would seize the property, the orphans are responsible for your guarantee, but you did accept to guarantee that you yourself will not seize the property”?

Rav Sheishes proves from a braisa that she may not collect for her kesuvah from land that she had sold as means to be supported. (97a)

A Seller Rescinding

The Gemora inquired: If a seller of property decided that he did not need the money (it was well known that he was selling property because he needed cash for another business transaction, and now, the other sellers retracted from the deal), is the sale automatically invalid (as if it was stipulated that he was selling the property on condition that the money would be used for this other transaction) or not?

The Gemora attempts to bring a proof from the following incident: A man sold property to Rav Papa for he needed money to buy oxen. At the end, he did not need the money and Rav Papa returned the property to him.

The Gemora deflects the proof: Perhaps Rav Papa was acting beyond the literal letter of the law?

The Gemora attempts to bring a proof from another incident: There was once a food shortage in Nehardea. All the people sold their mansions. Eventually, wheat arrived and Rav Nachman told them: The law is that the mansions must be returned to their original owners!

The Gemora deflects the proof: There also, the sales were made in error since it became known that the ship carrying the wheat was waiting in the port.

The Gemora notes that this would explain the following conversation: Rami bar Shmuel said to Rav Nachman: If you rule like this, you will cause them trouble in the future (for people will be fearful of selling). He replied: Is a food shortage a daily occurrence? Rami bar Shmuel retorted: Yes, a food shortage in Nehardea is indeed a common occurrence!

The Gemora issues a ruling: If a seller of property (thinking that he needed the money) decided that he did not need the money, the sale is automatically deemed invalid. (97a)


The Mishna states: A widow, whether after the erusin or after the nisuin, may sell without Beis Din (provided that three people determine that she is not underselling the property).

Rabbi Shimon says: After the nisuin, she may sell without Beis Din (for she is selling it to be supported and she is not required to wait); after the erusin, she may sell only through Beis Din because she does not a right to be supported, and whoever does not have this right may sell only through Beis Din. (97a)

Moveable Property for her Support

The Gemora asks: Why does the Tanna Kamma permit the widow from erusin to sell the property without Beis Din; she is not selling it to be supported?

Ula says: It is because of favor (a woman will not refrain from marriage if she realizes that it is not so difficult to sell the property).

Rabbi Yochanan said: It is because a man would not want that his wife should be exposed to a court of law.

The difference between them would be a case of a divorcee.

The Gemora cites the next Mishna which states: A divorcee may sell only through Beis Din. This would provide support to Rabbi Yochanan’s opinion, for according to him, it is understandable why there is a distinction between a widow and a divorcee.

The Gemora defends Ula by stating that this Mishna is following the opinion of Rabbi Shimon. (97a – 97b)