Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Food for Thought - Kiddushin 59

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*** The Mishna had stated: And similarly, if a man says to a woman, “Become betrothed to me after thirty days,” and someone else betroths her within thirty days, she is betrothed to the second person.

The Ramban writes that the first kiddushin was not totally voided, and therefore, if within the thirty days, the second man dies or divorces her, the first kiddushin will be valid. Proof to this is from the language of the Mishna when it states that she is mekudeshes to the second one, and it does not say that she is not mekudeshes to the first one.

The Rashba disagrees and holds that the action of the second marriage negates the verbal arrangement of the first one. He adds that the language of the Mishna does not prove otherwise, for once we have established that the second marriage is valid; it is obvious that the first one is voided.

*** Ravin Chasida went to betroth a woman for his son, but instead ended up marrying her himself.

The Gemora asks: Doesn’t the braisa say that in such a case what is done is done, but it is a deceptive act?

The Gemora answers: In the case of Ravin Chasida, the girl was not going to be given to his son in any event (the family did not agree to it).

The Gemora asks: He still should have first notified his son that this was the situation before going ahead and marrying her himself!?

The Gemora answers: He was worried that in the interim, someone else would betroth her.

The Ritva asks: Why was he concerned? Doesn’t the Gemora (Moed Katan 18b) say that every day a Heavenly voice pronounces: “The daughter of this individual is designated for that man”?

He answers that this was Ravin Chasida’s second marriage, for he already had a son, and the Heavenly voice only makes this proclamation by a first marriage.

Furthermore, he answers that perhaps someone will marry her as a result of their prayer. The Gemora in Moed Katan even states that another man might desperately want a certain woman as a wife and he cannot bear the fact that she will be married to another man; subsequently he will pray that she dies.

*** The Gemora asks: What is the law regarding someone who interferes with a poor person who is trying to get a loaf? Rabbi Abba answered: He is called an evildoer.

Rashi writes that the poor man saw a loaf that was abandoned by its owner, and he wanted to acquire it for himself. If another person snatches it away from him, he is a wicked man.

Tosfos writes that there is no ethical breach to do this when the item is ownerless, for if the other person will not acquire the loaf, he will not be able to get it anywhere else. He is not required to lose because of the poor man. The poor man only has a claim to the object when he wishes to purchase the item from another; there the poor person can claim that the “snatcher” is ruining his opportunity to profit.