Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Chupah on Shabbos and Yom Tov

The Mishna had stated: The father is entitled to the earnings of his daughter.

The Gemora (Kesuvos 47a) asks: What is the source for this?

The Gemora answers: It is learned from that which Rav Huna said in the name of Rav: How is it known that a daughter’s earnings belong to her father? It is because it is written [Shmos 21:7]: When a father shall sell his daughter as a maidservant. The Torah juxtaposes the words “daughter” and “maidservant” to teach the following: Just as the earnings of a maidservant belong to her master, so too, the earnings of a daughter belong to her father.

The Gemora asks: Perhaps, the Torah is only referring to a minor, whom a father may sell as a maidservant; however, in respect to a na’arah, whom the father may not sell, her earnings belong to her?

The Gemora answers: It can be derived through the following logical argument: If it would be imagined that her earnings does not belong to him, how would the father have the right to deliver his daughter to the chupah (bridal chamber)? How could he consign her when he thereby prevents her from doing her work (during her preparations for chupah and its ceremony)?

Rav Achai objects to this line of reasoning and asks: Perhaps the father pays her compensation for her loss of work during the time of the chupah? Alternatively, he may deliver her to the chupah at night (when she is not working anyway)! Alternatively, he may deliver her to the chupah on Shabbos and Yom Tov (in which time, it is forbidden to perform any labor)!

Tosfos asks: How can we be discussing a case where he married her on Shabbos or Yom Tov? The Gemora in Moed Katan (8b) states that one may not get married even during Chol Hamoed, for one is not permitted to intermingle one source of joy with another. It is evident from a Gemora in Chagigah (8b) that this is a Biblical halacha. Certainly, it should be forbidden to marry on Yom Tov!?

Tosfos answers that we are referring to a case where he married her an hour before Yom Tov; in respect to performing labor, it is regarded as Yom Tov, for one is Biblically obligated to add time before Yom Tov and to treat it as if the Yom Tov began; however, it is not considered Yom Tov for the obligation of simcha yet, and therefore, one is permitted to marry during that time. It is at this time, where she anyways may not perform any labor, the father would deliver her to the chupah, and he would not be causing her any loss whatsoever.

Reb Akiva Eiger asks: Not all labor is forbidden to do on Shabbos and Yom Tov; isn’t the father still preventing her from performing that type of work? The fact that it is forbidden to receive compensation for work performed on Shabbos will not be a sufficient explanation in our Gemora, for that is only a Rabbinical prohibition, and we are discussing a Biblical one!

Reshash answers that our Gemora does not mean that it is forbidden to perform labor on Shabbos, for there are many types of permitted labor that one may perform on Shabbos. Our Gemora means that it is not common for one to be working and receiving compensation for labor on Shabbos and Yom Tov. This is why it is not considered that the father is causing her to lose by marrying her off; she probably would not have been working anyway!

This could be proven from the Gemora’s alternative answer that the father delivered her to the chupah at night. It is not forbidden to perform labor at night; however, it is uncommon. The father is not causing her to lose by delivering her to the chupah at night.

It would seem from Tosfos, however, that we are searching for a time where performing labor would be forbidden, and that is why Tosfos explained the case to be referring to the additional time added before Yom Tov, when it is Biblically forbidden to perform labor at that time.