Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Daf Yomi - Kesuvos 98 - highlights

Seizure Regarding Vows and Evaluations

There was a woman who seized a silver cup as partial payment for her kesuvah, and then demanded food support. When they came to Rava, he said to the orphans: “Give her food support, as nobody holds like the opinion of Rabbi Shimon who say that we do not say that some of the money is like all of the money.

Rabbah the son of Rava sent the following question to Rav Yosef. If a woman sells without Beis Din, does she need to take a vow (that she did not receive more money than what she claims she received for the sale)?

Rav Yosef replied: You should first ask whether or not she must announce the sale of the possessions (in order to get as much money as possible for the good of the estate)!

Rabbah replied: I do not have any question about announcement. This is because Rabbi Zeira says in the name of Rav Nachman that if a widow seizes a field for herself based on her own evaluation of the property, what she has done is invalid. What is this case? If she announced beforehand that the property was for sale, why is what she has done considered invalid? She must not have announced, and the seizure is invalid because she seized the field for herself. This implies that if she would have seized it and sold it to someone else, it would be valid even without announcement.

The Gemora answers that this is not proof, as the case is where she did announce that the field was up for sale. She is told: “Who evaluated this for you?” [This is why her seizure is invalid.]

This is akin to a case of someone who had deposited by him a large amount of fodder (or coral, see Rashi DH “Kista”) which belonged to orphans. He evaluated it at four hundred (zuz) and took it for himself, and it then went up in value to six hundred. When the case went before Rabbi Ami he said to the man: “Who evaluated this for you?” The law is she needs to take a vow, but she does not need to announce the sale.


A widow whose kesuvah was worth two hundred, and she proceeded to sell something from the estate worth one hundred for two hundred, or something worth two hundred for one hundred, has received her kesuvah. A widow who kesuvah is worth one hundred and she sells something worth a manah and a dinar for just one hundred, the sale is invalid. Even if she says I will give back a dinar to the inheritors, the sale is invalid. Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel says that her sale is always valid (she just makes up the monetary difference to the inheritors). This is true unless she got cheated to the point where the amount would but an entire nine kav of field, half a kav of garden, or according to Rabbi Akiva a beis rova (a different size that according to Rabbi Akiva is called a garden). If her kesuvah was worth four hundred, and she sold one hundred to one person and one hundred to another, and to the last person she sold something that was actually worth a manah and a dinar for just a manah, only the last sale is invalid and the others are valid.

Who Gets the Profit?

The Gemora asks: Why is the case where she sells something worth two hundred for one hundred different, in that we say she has to take the loss? The Gemora assumes that it must be because the orphans say to her that she lost out on her own value of the item she was given (that was two hundred). Accordingly, the Gemora asks: Why in the case where she sold something worth one hundred for two hundred can’t she say that she is still owed one hundred, as the extra hundred was her self-made profit!

Rav Nachman says in the name of Rabah bar Avuhah: Rebbi taught here that all of the profit goes to the owner of the money (not a messenger who sells for more than instructed).

This is as stated in the following Beraisa. The Beraisa states: If another unit was given to the messenger (who was making a purchase for someone), Rabbi Yehudah is of the opinion that everything goes to the owner of the monies. Rabbi Yosi states: They divide the money.

The Gemora asks: Didn’t Rabbi Yosi state in a different Beraisa that this goes to the owner? Rami bar Chama answers: This is not difficult. In a case where the seller is suuposed to supply a certain amount of goods and he adds units to the buyer, the addition is a present which the messenger and owner split evenly. In a case where the sale is for a set value and the seller decides to reduce the price of the buyer, the addition is a reduction in the sale which goes to the owner.

Rav Papa states: The law is that where the sale is for a set amount of units, the messenger and owner split what is extra. If the seller merely reduces the price for the buyer, the addition is to the benefit of the owner.

The Gemora asks: What is novel about this teaching? The Gemora answers that Rav Papa is confirming that the answer stated above (Rami bar Chama’s explanation of Rabbi Yosi) is halachically valid.

The Rebellious Messenger

The Gemora inquires: If someone told his messenger to sell a half-kur of land, an instead he sold an entire kur, what is the law? Did he merely add on to his instructions, in which the case the sale for the half-kur should still be valid? Or is he considered to have went against orders, and therefore the entire sale is invalid?

Rav Yaakov from Pakod River said in the name of Ravina that we can answer this question from the following Beraisa. The Beraisa states: If a person said to his messenger to give a piece of food (i.e. meat) to each guest, and the messenger instructs each to take two pieces, and they each take three pieces, everyone has transgressed using hekdesh (items dedicated to the Temple, as the food had been dedicated to be sold/used for the Temple). Rav Yaakov explains that if the messenger is considered to have merely added another piece to the instruction of the host, it is understandable why the owner is considered to have used hekdesh. However, if he is considered to have totally disobeyed the orders of the host, why should the host be considered to have transgressed hekdesh? Doesn’t the Mishna say that if a messenger carries out such orders the owner (in this case host) transgresses, but if he did not the messenger transgresses?

The Gemora answers: The case above is where the messenger said to the guests to take one piece with the permission of the owner and one more because the messenger allowed. The guests went ahead and took three pieces.