Wednesday, December 05, 2007
The Mishna states: A widow is supported from the property inherited by the orphans and they are entitled to her earnings. They are not obligated in her burial. Her inheritors, the inheritors of her kesuvah are obligated to bury her. (95b)
Orphans Supporting the Widow
The Gemora inquires: Does the Mishna say, “A widow is supported,” or is it saying, “A widow who is supported”?
The Gemora explains: Is the Mishna saying that the widow is supported from the property inherited by the orphans, and it would be like the people of Galil, and the orphans will always be obligated to support the widow (as the people of Galil would explicitly write in their kesuvahs)? Or perhaps, the Mishna is saying that the orphans can support the widow, but if they desire, they would not be required to support her; and this would be like the people of Yehudah (who write that the orphans will support her until they decide to pay her the kesuvah)?
The Gemora attempts to bring a proof from that which Rabbi Zeira said in the name of Shmuel: The findings of a widow belong to herself. If the orphans are always obligated to support her, her findings should belong to them, just as her findings would belong to her husband! This proves that the orphans may decline to support her by paying her the kesuvah.
The Gemora deflects the proof: The reason why the findings of a woman belong to her husband is because we do not want there to be animosity between them; however, by the orphans, there is no such concern, and perhaps, she may keep possession of her findings. (95b – 96a)
Chores of a Widow and a Student
Rabbi Yosi bar Chanina said: All chores that a wife performs for her husband, the widow must perform for the orphans, except for diluting the wine, making his bed and washing his hands, face and feet.
Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said: All chores that a slave performs for his master, a student must perform for his teacher, except for untying his shoes (people might thing that he is a Canaanite slave).
Rava qualifies this ruling: If people recognize the student, he may untie his teacher’s shoes.
Rav Ashi qualifies this ruling: If he is wearing tefillin, he may untie his teacher’s shoes even if people do not recognize him.
Rabbi Chiya bar Abba said in the name of Rabbi Yochanan: If a teacher prevents his student from serving him, it is as if he is withholding kindness from him.
Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak said: It is also removing from the student his fear of Heaven. (96a)
Moveable Property for her Support
Rabbi Elozar said: If a widow seized moveable property (as support; although only real estate is mortgaged for this), she is not required to return it.
The Gemora cites a braisa which supports this ruling.
Rav Dimi related an incident that occurred with the daughter-in-law of Rabbi Shabsai, where she grabbed a sack full of money, and the Chachamim did not have the strength to take it away from her.
Ravina qualifies the ruling: This is true only in respect to her support; however, if she took moveable property for her kesuvah, she is required to return it.
Mar bar Rav Ashi challenges Ravina: What should be the difference between her support and her kesuvah?
Rabbi Yitzchak bar Naftoli said to Ravina: Rava has ruled according to you. (96a)
Widow’s Silence Regarding Support
Rabbi Yochanan ruled in the name of Rabbi Yosi ben Zimra: A widow who did not demand support for two or three years loses her right to be supported.
The Gemora states: A rich widow loses this right only after remaining silent for three years, whereas a poor widow loses her right even after two years.
The Gemora also differentiates between a modest widow, who loses this right only after remaining silent for three years, whereas an immodest widow loses her right even after two years.
Rava rules: She only loses her right to be compensated for the pat years; however, she may now demand to be supported for the future. (96a)
Rabbi Yochanan’s Inquiry
Rabbi Yochanan inquires: If the orphans claim that they gave her money for support, but she denies it, who is required to present proof?
The Gemora explains: Is the property of the deceased husband regarded as being in the orphan’s possession, and therefore, the widow is required to bring proof (for she is attempting to take money which is in their possession)? Or perhaps, the property of the deceased husband is regarded as being in the widow’s possession, and therefore, the orphans would be required to bring proof that they did indeed pay her?
The Gemora attempts to resolve this inquiry by citing the following braisa: Levi taught: If the widow has not remarried, the orphans are required to bring the proof; if she has remarried, she is required to bring the proof.
Rav Simi bar Ashi said: This is actually a Tannaic dispute. For we learned in the following braisa: A widow may sell portions of her deceased husband’s estate, but she must specify in writing, “These I have sold for my support,” and “These I have sold for my kesuvah.” These are the words of Rabbi Yehudah. Rabbi Yosi, however, ruled: She may sell portions of his estate and she is not required to specify the purpose in writing, and so her power is great.
Rav Simi explains the dispute: Rabbi Yehudah maintains that she is required to specify the purpose of the sale because he holds that the property of the deceased husband is regarded as being in the orphan’s possession, and therefore, she is the one required to bring the proof. Rabbi Yosi, however, holds that she is not required to specify the purpose of the sale because he maintains that the property of the deceased husband is regarded as being in the widow’s possession, and therefore, she is not required to bring any proof.
The Gemora disagrees with the proof: Perhaps both Tannaim hold that the property of the deceased husband is regarded as being in the widow’s possession, and the orphans are required to bring the proof; Rabbi Yehudah does not obligate her to bring proof; rather, he is offering her good advice, so that people will not refer to her as a woman with an insatiable appetite.
Alternatively, we can disagree with Rav Simi’s proof as follows: Perhaps both Tannaim hold that the property of the deceased husband is regarded as being in the orphan’s possession; Rabbi Yosi maintains that she does not have to specify the purpose of her sale in accordance with Abaye the Elder. For Abaye the Elder said: To what may the ruling of Rabbi Yosi be compared to? To the instructions of a dying man who said, “Give two hundred zuz to So-and-so, my creditor.” The creditor may take them as settlement of his debt or, if he prefers, he may take them as a gift. Now, is he not at an advantage if he chooses to take them as a gift, for then, he can still collect his debt from land which was sold? (96a – 97a)
There were two documents regarding the sale of the same piece of property that were brought before Rav Yosef. In one of the documents, it was recorded that the document had been written on the fifth of Nissan, while the other document said that it had been written in Nissan (but no specific date was mentioned). Rav Yosef gave the property to the one whose document was dated on the fifth of Nissan. The other fellow asked Rav Yosef, “Why should I lose out”? Rav Yosef replied, “You are at a disadvantage because perhaps your document was signed on the twenty-ninth of Nissan.” He asked Rav Yosef, “Will the master write for me a document stating that I may seize any properties sold by the seller from Iyar and on?” Rav Yosef responded, “The purchasers can tell you, ‘your document was signed on the first of Nissan (and therefore, the buyer holding the document dated on the fifth of Nissan took the property that actually belongs to you).’”
The Gemora asks: is there any remedy for this buyer?
The Gemora answers: The holders of the two documents should write out authorizations for each other (so that the purchasers cannot rebuff any of them because he can demand reimbursement for himself or on behalf of the other fellow, who appointed him as a “power of attorney” to seize the property for him). (94b – 95a)
The Mishna states: If one was married to two wives, and sold his field (which was pledged for their kesuvos), and the first wife wrote to the purchaser, “I have no right or claim against you,” (after the husband dies) the second wife may take from the purchaser, and the first one from the second one (since the first one waived her rights in this property only to the purchaser), and the purchaser from the first one (since she waived her rights to him); and they go around in circles until they reach a compromise among themselves. And similarly, this would apply to a creditor and a woman who is her husband’s creditor. (95a)
Surrendering her Rights
The Gemora asks: Does she in fact surrender her rights to the property when she waived her rights to the purchaser? But we learned in a braisa: If one says to his fellow (a partner in the field): “I have no claim or rights regarding this field,” or he says: “I have no business with it,” or he says: “My hand is removed from it,” it is considered as if he said nothing (since he is not stating that he is giving his share to his partner)?
The Gemora answers: The Mishna is discussing a case where the buyer made a kinyan (chalipin; one took a kerchief from the other in order to formalize the transfer) with the wife.
The Gemora asks: Why does the kinyan help? Let the wife say that she only agreed to the sale in order to please her husband (for this way, it would be easier for him to sell the property)? The Gemora proves that this is a valid claim from a Mishna in Gittin (55b).
Rav Zeira answers in the name of Rav Chisda: Our Mishna is following the opinion of Rabbi Meir and the Mishna in Gittin is following the opinion of Rabbi Yehudah. For we learned in a braisa: If a husband wrote a contract for the first buyer of a field of his wife, and she did not sign a consent form and then he wrote a contract for another buyer of a field of hers and that she did sign for, she loses thereby her claim to her kesuvah (if her husband has no free property left; she cannot obviously collect from the second field because she has agreed that the husband should sell it; she cannot recover her kesuvah even from the first buyer since he will claim that when he had bought his field, her husband was still left in the possession of that field which he subsequently sold to the second purchaser); these are the words of Rabbi Meir. Rabbi Yehudah, however, said: She may claim, “I merely meant to please my husband; what claim can you have against me?” Rebbe ruled anonymously in our Mishna in accordance with Rabbi Meir and he ruled in Gittin like Rabbi Yehudah.
Rav Papa answers: Our Mishna can be referring to a divorcee (where, she obviously cannot claim that she only waived her right to please her husband), and it would be according to everyone.
Rav Ashi offers an alternative answer: Both Mishnayos reflect the view of Rabbi Meir, for Rabbi Meir maintains his view (that she would forfeit her kesuvah) only there, where two buyers are concerned, since in such a case, they can tell her, “If you only consented in order to please your husband, you should have done so in the case of the first buyer,” but where there is only one buyer, even Rabbi Meir would admit that the sale is invalid. And our Mishna is referring to a case where the husband had first written a contract for another buyer (and his wife did not agree, and then he made another sale, which is the case of our Mishna, where she did agree; she cannot present the claim that she only consented to please her husband, for she should have done the same by the first sale as well). (95a)
Collecting from Mortgaged Property when Free Property has been Ruined
The Gemora cites a Mishna in Gittin (48b): A creditor may not collect from mortgaged property (that has been sold) when there is still available free property (by the debtor).
The Gemora inquires: If the free property became ruined, may the creditor collect from the properties that have been sold?
The Gemora attempts to resolve this inquiry from the following braisa: If a husband wrote a contract for the first buyer of a field of his wife, and she did not sign a consent form and then he wrote a contract for another buyer of a field of hers and that she did sign for, she loses thereby her claim to her kesuvah; these are the words of Rabbi Meir. Now, if you would think that if the free property became ruined, the creditor may collect from the properties that have been sold; while it is understandable that she has lost the right to collect her kesuvah from the second field, shouldn’t she be entitled to collect her kesuvah from the first field (which was akin to being ruined when she initially lost her right to collect from it)?
Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak answers: The braisa only meant that she lost her right to collect her kesuvah from the second field.
Rava challenges this answer: Firstly, the language of the braisa strongly indicates that she has completely lost her right to the kesuvah. Secondly, there is a different braisa, where it can be derived that in our case, the woman, after forfeiting her right to collect from the second field, cannot go and collect it from the first one!
The Gemora answers: There (by signing an agreement on the second sale), she has caused the loss with her own hands (and that is why she cannot collect from the first one; it is not similar to the case of our inquiry, where the field became ruined by itself).
Rav Yeimar said to Rav Ashi (attempting to resolve this inquiry): It is everyday incidents (that creditors collect from sold properties after free property has been ruined). For there was a borrower who once pledge a vineyard to the lender for ten years (the terms of this deal were that the creditor was to enjoy the produce of the vineyard during the ten years in payment of his loan, while the vineyard itself was to return to the borrower at the end of that period without any further payment or obligation on his part) but it aged after five years (and could not produce grapes any longer). When the lender came to the Rabbis, they wrote out a document allowing him to collect from the purchasers. (This demonstrates that creditors collect from sold properties after free property has been ruined.)
The Gemora notes: There also, it was they who caused the loss with their own hands to themselves. For, it is common knowledge that a vineyard should age, and they should not have bought any of the debtor’s mortgaged land.
The Gemora rules: The law, however, is that where free property has been ruined; they may collect from mortgaged property. (95a – 95b)
Abaye said: If a man said to a woman, “My property shall be yours and after you (your death) it shall be given to so-and-so,” and then she got married (and later died), her husband is regarded as a purchaser of her property, and her successor has nothing in place of her husband.
The Gemora asks: In accordance with whose view was Abaye’s ruling made?
The Gemora answers: It is reflecting the opinion of the following Tanna. For it has been taught in a braisa: If one man said to another, “My property shall be yours and after you it shall be given to so-and-so,” and the first recipient went down and sold the property, the second one may take the property from those who bought it (after the first one dies); these are the words of Rebbe. Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel ruled: The second one may receive only that which the first has left.
The Gemora asks: But could Abaye have issued such a ruling? Didn’t Abaye say: Who is a cunning rogue? One who advises (the first recipient) to sell the property in accordance with the ruling of Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel.?
The Gemora answers: Did he say that she may marry? He only said that the woman got married. (95b)
Abaye’s Second Ruling
Abaye said: If a man said to a woman, “My property shall be yours and after you (your death) it shall be given to so-and-so,” and the woman sold the property and then died, her husband may take the property from the buyer, and the woman’s successor may take it from the husband, and the buyer may take it from the successor. And ultimately, the property remains in the possession of the buyer.
The Gemora asks: But why should this case be different from our Mishna which ruled in a similar case that and they go around in circles until they reach a compromise among themselves?
The Gemora answers: in the Mishna’s case, they are all suffering some loss (because the women are owed their kesuvah and the purchaser spent money on the property) but here, it is only the buyer who suffers the loss.
Rafram reported this ruling to Rav Ashi and he asked: Could Abaye have issued such a ruling? Didn’t he, in fact, rule that a man said to a woman, “My property shall be yours and after you (your death) it shall be given to so-and-so,” and then she got married (and later died), her husband is regarded as a purchaser of her property, and her successor has nothing in place of her husband.? (How could he rule in the second case that the successor takes it away from the husband?)
Rav Ashi replied: There, Abaye was discussing an unmarried woman (and perhaps the man did not wish that the property should go to the successor even if she would get married), but here, where she was already married, he was obviously saying that the successor should acquire it, and the husband should not. (95b)
WE SHALL RETURN TO YOU,
MI SHEHAYA NASUI
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Monday, December 03, 2007
The Rishonim disagree as to the method that the judges should use to give one of the claimants the entire field. Rashi explains that “the choice of the judges” means that the judges choose to whom the property in question should be given by attempting to determine, based on logical considerations, to whom the seller would have preferred to give the field.
Tosfos argues with Rashi and maintains that “the choice of the judges” means that the judges give the field to whomever they please. They need not base their decision on whom they think the seller preferred, but rather, they base their decision on whatever considerations they deem appropriate, such as which of the two claimants needs the property more, or which one is a Torah scholar.
The Gemora maintains, at this point, that in general, it is preferable to resolve the case with “the choice of the judges” rather than to split the property, because by using this method, there is at least a possibility that the correct person will receive the entire field. Therefore, according to Shmuel, the judges give the entire field to one of the two claimants.
Kollel Iyun HaDaf discusses why Rav would disagree and hold that the property is divided because of the witnesses’ signatures.
The Mishna states: If a man was married to four wives, and died, the first precedes the second (and she may collect the entire amount pledged to her even if nothing will be left for the second woman), and the second the third, and the third the fourth. The first swears to the second (that she did not previously collect any portion of her kesuvah), and the second to the third, and the third to the fourth, and the fourth is paid without taking an oath.
Ben Nanas says: And because she is last she benefits? She also is not paid except with an oath.
If they were all written on one day, whoever precedes the other even by one hour, acquires her portion. And in Yerushalayim, they would write down the hours in their documents.
If they were all written in the same hour, and there is only a maneh in his estate, they all share equally. (93b)
Explaining the Dispute Between the Tanna Kamma and Ben Nanas
The Gemora asks: What is the point of contention between the Tanna Kamma and Ben Nanas?
Shmuel said: They argue regarding the following case: It was found that one of the fields (which were given to the three earlier wives) did not belong to the husband. (It may be assumed that the person who owns the field might appear at any moment to claim it, and one of the three wives will be deprived of her field. She would then proceed to make her claim against the field that had been reserved for the fourth wife. Ben Nanas maintains that the fourth wife must also swear that she did not previously collect any portion of her kesuvah.) The argument is regarding a later creditor who took before an earlier creditor, if his collection is deemed valid. The Tanna Kamma holds that his collection is invalid (and therefore, in our case, the collection of the fourth woman will be invalid once it becomes known that one of the three earlier wives lost the field that she initially collected with; consequently, she will go to the fourth woman and take that field). Ben Nanas maintains that the collection of a later creditor who took before an earlier creditor is deemed valid (and therefore, the fourth woman may not collect her portion without taking an oath first).
Rav Nachman in the name of Rabbah bar Avuhah offers a different explanation: Everyone agrees that the seizure of a later creditor before an earlier creditor is invalid. Here the question is whether or not we suspect that the field (collected by the fourth woman) will be neglected (and hence deteriorate). The Tanna Kamma says that we do not suspect the field will be neglected, and Ben Nanas says that we do suspect the field will be neglected.
Abaye states: They argue about the law of Abaye Keshisha. Abaye Keshisha taught: The orphans discussed (that one who collects from them can only collect if he takes a vow) are adult orphans, and this is certainly true regarding orphans who are minors. The Tanna Kamma does not agree with Abaye Keshisha, while Ben Nanas does agree with Abaye Keshisha. (93b – 94a)
Do Partners or Brothers Represent Each Other in Beis Din?
Rav Huna states: If two brothers or two partners have a case against someone, and only one of them goes to court, the other brother or partner cannot later say to that person “You are not the person who I went to court with.”[He cannot say afterwards that he wants to judge his portion of the case separately.] Once the other brother or partner went, we assume him to be a messenger of the other brother or partner in the case.
When Rav Nachman went to Sura they asked him: What is the law in the case stated above? He answered: This is a Mishna. The first wife swears to the second wife, the second wife swears to the third wife, the third wife swears to the fourth wife. The Mishna does not say that the first wife must also swear to the third wife. Why? This is because the second wife is like the messenger of the third wife.
The Gemora asks: Is this comparable (to the case of two brothers or partners)? In the case of our Mishna, taking a vow against one person is akin to taking a vow against one hundred people (with the same claim), but in this case the partner or brother can claim that if he was present he would have made better claims.
The Gemora says: This that we say that the brother or partner can have another trial is only if he wasn’t in the city for the first trial. If he was, he cannot have another trial, as he should have come. (94a)
Selling the Same Field on the Same Day to Two Different Buyers
The law was taught regarding a case of someone who sold the same field to two people on the same day. Rav says they should split the field, and Shmuel says the law is the choice of the judges (they should decide who to give it to).
The Gemora asks: It seems that Rav holds like the opinion of Rabbi Meir that the signatures on a document are what validates a transaction, and Shmuel holds like Rabbi Elozar that the witnesses of the giving over of a document validates a transaction.
[Rav must say the field should be split because the documents say the exact same thing, meaning that there is no reason one should be chosen over the other. However, Shmuel who says one can be chosen over the other must reason that the giving over of the document, which may have been done at different times, should qualify the earliest recipient as the owner. One therefore can be chosen over the other.]
The Gemora answers: This is incorrect. Both Shmuel and Rav agree with Rabbi Elozar that the giving over of the documents validates the transaction. They are merely arguing what is a more appropriate ruling in this situation. Rav says it is more appropriate to divide the field, while Shmuel says the choice of the judges is more appropriate.
The Gemora asks: Can we in fact establish that Rav holds like Rabbi Elozar? Didn’t Rav Yehuda say in the name of Rav that the law follows Rabbi Elozar only in regards to divorce documents, and Shmuel remarked even in regular documents? This shows that regarding regular documents Rav generally did not hold like Rabbi Elozar!
The Gemora therefore concludes that the original answer, which is that Rav holds like Rabbi Meir and Shmuel holds like Rabbi Elozar, is correct.
The Gemora asks a question from a Beraisa: If two identical documents (of sale to two different people) are dated on the same day, the two parties split what was sold. This Beraisa is clearly a strong question on the opinion of Shmuel!
Shmuel answers: This (Beraisa) is the opinion of Rabbi Meir, and I hold like Rabbi Elozar.
The Gemora asks: If this is Rabbi Meir, how can this be reconciled with the second part of the Beraisa that states if someone wrote a document for one person, then wrote a second document and gave it to someone else, the person who received the document first makes the acquisition? If this is the opinion of Rabbi Meir, why should he acquire? Rabbi Meir holds the acquisition is validated by the document being written and signed by witnesses!
The Gemora answers: Rav and Shmuel’s exact argument is indeed argued by the Tanaim. The Beraisa says that (in a case where a messenger is sent to give money to someone who he finds to be dead, and then he hears that the person who sent him died) the Chachamim say the money should be divided. [This means it should be divided among the inheritors of the intended recipient and the inheritors of the person who sent the messenger.] However, here they say that the messenger should give it to whom he feels should get it.
One morning, the mother of Rami bar Chama wrote that her possessions should go to Rami bar Chama. Later that afternoon, she wrote that she is giving all her possessions to Mar Ukva bar Chama. Rami bar Chama came before Rav Sheshes, who said that he should keep the possessions. Mar Ukva bar Chama came before Rav Nachman, who said that he should keep the possessions.
Rav Sheishes said to Rav Nachman: Why did you rule this way? Rav Nachman retorted to Rav Sheishes: Why did you rule this way? Rav Sheishes replied: He (Rami) was first. Rav Nachman replied: Are we in Yerushalayim where the hour is written on the document? Rav Sheishes said: Even so, why did you rule the way you did? Rav Nachman replied: It was the choice of the judge. Rav Sheishes said: I also ruled by choice of the judge! Rav Nachman replied: Firstly, I am a professional judge and you are not. Secondly, you did not originally issue your ruling because of “the choice of the judge” (but rather because of your mistaken assumption that because the document was chronologically first it should have more validity). (94a – 94b)
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Rashi explains that each of their kesuvah’s were signed on the same day, for otherwise, the one which was signed first would be entitled to collect her kesuvah first.
The Haflaah asks: The Chachamim instituted that a man is responsible for a kesuvah even if he does not write one; accordingly, the halacha should be that the one who was married first should be entitled to collect her kesuvah first?
The Haflaah adds that they obviously were not married on the same day, for the Gemora in Moed Katan (8b) states that we may not intermingle one joyous occasion with another, and that is why one may not marry a woman during the festival; so too, there should be a prohibition against marrying multiple women on the same day!
He answers that although a man is responsible for a kesuvah even without writing one, his property is not mortgaged for the payment, and therefore, the woman who was married first will not have any stronger rights that the women who married later.
It is noteworthy that the Rambam in Hilchos Ishus (10:13) writes that one is permitted to marry two women on the same day. The Haflaah writes that our Mishna is the source where the Rambam derived this halacha from.
The Mishna states: If someone was married to three wives, and died, this one's kesuvah is a maneh, and this one’s two hundred, and this one’s three hundred, and there is only a maneh (and each of their kesuvah’s were signed on the same day), they all share equally (since they all have a lien of one hundred on his property).
If there were two hundred (in his estate), the one of a maneh takes fifty, whereas the one’s of two hundred and three hundred each receives three gold dinars (seventy five zuz; they all have a lien on the one hundred, but only two of them have a lien on the remainder).
If there were three hundred, the one of a maneh takes fifty; the one of two hundred takes a maneh; and the one of three hundred, takes six gold dinars.
And similarly, if there were three people who put money in a fund, and it diminished or increased, they divide it in the same manner. (93a)
Explanation of the Second Ruling
The Gemora asks (on the Mishna’s second ruling): Why does the first one receive fifty; the one hundred should be divided amongst the three of them and she should only take thirty-three and a third?
Shmuel answered: The Mishna is referring to a case where the one who is entitled to the two hundred zuz wrote to the woman who was entitled to one maneh, “I have no claim whatsoever upon the maneh.”
If so, asks the Gemora, let us examine the latter part of the ruling: Whereas the one’s of two hundred and three hundred each receives three gold dinars. Why, let the third woman tell the second one, “You have removed yourself from the first maneh” (and therefore, the second woman should only receive fifty)?
The Gemora answers: She only removed herself from any claim upon the first maneh (she did not remove herself from the kesuvah itself; she didn’t remove herself from any claim regarding the third woman either; she, therefore, receives an amount equal to that of the third woman). (93a)
Explanation of the Third Ruling
The Mishna had stated: If there were three hundred, the one of a maneh takes fifty; the one of two hundred takes a maneh; and the one of three hundred, takes six gold dinars.
The Gemora asks: Why does the second one receive a maneh, she should only be entitled to seventy-five zuz (since we are discussing a case where the second woman wrote to the first woman, “I have no claim whatsoever upon the maneh”)?
Shmuel answered: The Mishna is referring to a case where the one who is entitled to the three hundred zuz wrote to the woman who was entitled to the two hundred zuz and to the one who was entitled to one maneh, “I have no claim whatsoever upon the first maneh.” (The second woman, however, did not waive any of her rights; therefore, the first two women divide the one hundred equally and the second two women divide the second hundred equally; the third woman takes the third hundred herself.) (93a)
An Alternative Explanation
Rav Yaakov from Nehar Pekod offers an alternative explanation to the Mishna: The first case (the second ruling) is referring to a case of two seizures (of moveable, mortgaged property by the wives) and the latter case is referring is referring to two cases of seizures.
He explains: They initially seized seventy-five zuz (and therefore, they each received twenty-five zuz). Then, they seized one hundred and twenty-five zuz (and now, we consider again the debt owed to each woman; hence, they divide the seventy-five zuz owed to them, with each receiving twenty-five, and the remaining fifty is divided amongst the last two women).
The latter case is explained as follows: They initially seized seventy-five zuz (and therefore, they each received twenty-five zuz). Then, they seized two hundred and twenty-five zuz (and now, we consider again the debt owed to each woman; hence, they divide the seventy-five zuz owed to them, with each receiving twenty-five; the next hundred zuz is divided equally amongst the last two women and the remaining fifty zuz belongs to the third woman). (93a)
The Gemora cites a braisa: The Mishna’s rulings follow the opinion of Rabbi Nosson; however, Rebbe says: I do not agree with Rabbi Nosson regarding this and I hold that all the monies are divided equally (the estate being equally mortgaged to all three women, the woman who claims the smallest amount has no less a right to it than the women who claim the bigger amounts have a right to theirs; only in the case of contributors to a common fund are profits and losses to be divided in proportion to the respective amounts contributed). (93a)
Money in a Fund
The Mishna stated: And similarly, if there were three people who put money in a fund, and it diminished or increased, they divide it in the same manner.
Shmuel said: If two people put money into a fund, one gave a maneh and the other gave two hundred zuz, the profit is shared equally.
Rabbah said: It stands to reason that Shmuel’s ruling applies where an ox was jointly purchased for plowing and was used for plowing (so that the share of one partner in the ox is as essential as that of the other, the animal being useless for work unless it is whole); where, however, an ox was purchased for plowing and was used for slaughter, each of the partners receives a share in proportion to his investment (since the animal can be divided).
Rav Hamnuna, however, ruled: Where an ox was jointly purchased for plowing, even if it was used for slaughter, the profit must be equally divided.
The Gemora asks on Rabbah from the following braisa: If two people put money into a fund, one gave a maneh and the other gave two hundred zuz, the profit is shared equally. Is this not referring to a case where the ox was purchased for plowing and was used for slaughter? It would then be a refutation to Rabbah!
The Gemora deflects the challenge: It is referring to a case where the ox was jointly purchased for plowing and was used for plowing.
The Gemora asks: But we may then infer that if the ox was purchased for plowing and was used for slaughter, the halacha would be that each of the partners receives a share in proportion to his investment. Then, we could have learned that case in the end of the braisa instead of the following case which was taught: If one person purchased healthy oxen for two hundred zuz and the other person purchased weak oxen for a hundred zuz and afterwards, they formed a partnership, each of the partners receives a share in proportion to his investment (since weak oxen do not perform work equal to that of healthy oxen). The braisa should have made a distinction in the first case itself? The following is what the braisa should have taught: When do these words (the profit is shared equally) apply? It applies only when the ox was purchased for plowing and was used for plowing; however, if it was purchased for plowing and used for slaughter, the halacha would be that each of the partners receives a share in proportion to his investment.?
The Gemora answers: That is actually what the braisa was in fact saying. When do these words (the profit is shared equally) apply? It applies only when the ox was purchased for plowing and was used for plowing; however, if it was purchased for plowing and used for slaughter, it is as if one person purchased healthy oxen for two hundred zuz and the other person purchased weak oxen for a hundred zuz and afterwards, they formed a partnership, and the halacha would be that each of the partners receives a share in proportion to his investment.
The Gemora asks from our Mishna which states: And similarly, if there were three people who put money in a fund, and it diminished or increased, they divide it in the same manner. Now, if the Mishna means that they suffered a loss or that they generated a profit, and nevertheless, the Mishna rules that each of the partners receives a share in proportion to his investment. This would be inconsistent with Shmuel’s opinion!
Rav Nachman answers in the name of Rabbah bar Avuha: No! The Mishna is referring to a case where they now have new coins (which are easier to spend) or they now have coins that were voided by the government, and are now only suitable to be used as an application upon a wound on the bottom of one’s foot (since the face value of the coins are still the same, they each would receive a share in proportion to their investment). (93a – 93b)