Sunday, October 28, 2007

Daf Yomi - Kesuvos 56 - Highlights

Does the Law Follow Rabbi Elozar ben Azaryah?

Rabbi Chanina sat before Rabbi Yanai and stated that the law follows Rabbi Elozar ben Azaryah (see Mishna 54b). Rabbi Yanai told him: “Go read your statement outside, as the law does not follow Rabbi Elozar ben Azaryah.”

Rav Yitzchak bar Avdimi said in the name of Rabeinu that the law follows Rabbi Elozar ben Azaryah. Rav Nachman said that Shmuel said that the law follows Rabbi Elozar ben Azaryah, but he himself holds that it does not. Nahardai said in the name of Rav Nachman (bar Yaakov, see Rashash) that the law does follow Rabbi Elozar ben Azaryah. Even though Rav Nachman cursed that “any judge who judges like Rabbi Elozar ben Azaryah such and such should befall him,” even so this is the law. The Gemora concludes that the law follows the ruling of Rabbi Elozar ben Azaryah.

What is the Fondness that Creates Marriage?

Rabin asked: If a woman entered the wedding canopy but did not yet have marital relations, what is her status? Is the fondness shown by having her enter the husband’s domain that creates the status of marriage, or is it the fondness shown by marital relations?

The Gemora suggests that we can prove this from Rav Yosef’s teaching that he wrote her the kesuvah based on the fondness shown on the first night. If Rav Yosef is talking about her being taken into the wedding canopy, this is understandable, as this only happens on the first night of their marriage. However, it is difficult to say that he is talking about marital relations, as isn’t this an occurrence that happens after the first night of marriage as well? He therefore must be talking about her being taken into the wedding canopy.

The Gemora asks: Why then does he state the first night? Is this ceremony only applicable at night and not during the day? The Gemora counters that according to the other reason this would also be difficult, as marital relations are not necessarily had only at night and not during the day! This is apparent from Rava’s statement that in a darkened house it is permitted (to have marital relations during the day).

The Gemora answers that the possibility that Rav Yosef is referring to marital relations is not difficult, as Rav Yosef could be teaching us that marital relations should normally be done at night. However, the question regarding the fact that the wedding ceremony is not always at night still stands.

The Gemora answers that this too is not difficult. Rav Yosef was relating that since the wedding ceremony allows the couple to have marital relations, it is normal to perform it at night.

Rav Ashi asked that if the bride entered the wedding canopy and then became a niddah, what is the law? If we say that the fondness displayed by her husband taking her into the wedding canopy is what makes her married, it is possibly only due to the fact that this allows marital relations. Perhaps taking her into the wedding canopy when it does not yet allow relations is not considered enough of an acquisition (due to the lack of fondness). Perhaps it does not matter (whether or not he can now have marital relations). The Gemora says that this is unresolved.

Does Rabbi Yehuda indeed hold that one can write a receipt? Doesn’t the Mishna state that if someone pays back a partial amount of a debt, Rabbi Yehuda states that a new document should be written with the new amount and exchanged for the old one? Rabbi Yosi said a receipt should be written.

Rabbi Yirmiyah answered that the case of our Mishna (54b) is when the receipt is written within the text of the kesuvah itself. Abaye says that it is even when the text is not written within the kesuvah. In a regular case of a loan where the borrower definitely paid back part of it, it is possible he might lose his receipt and the lender will take out the loan document and collect the amount again. However, here (in the case of a kesuvah) he might never even give her anything! She is merely telling him something (that if I ever get to a stage where I have to collect the kesuvah I forgo half of its value). If he decides to guard her signed statement, he does, and if he doesn’t, he causes himself to loose.

The Gemora asks: It is understandable that Abaye does not want to give Rabbi Yirmiyah’s explanation, as Rabbi Yehudah never mentioned that this receipt is actually written in the text of the kesuvah. However, why doesn’t Rabbi Yirmiyah agree with Abaye?

The Gemora answers that being that Rabbi Yehuda did not endorse generally giving receipts on loans, he decreed that here too it should not be done (despite the reasoning of Abaye).

The Gemora asks that the reason Rabbi Yehuda says this works is because she wrote down that she is forgoing money. This implies that if she merely says so it is not valid. Why? It is a monetary condition, and Rabi Yehuda said that a monetary condition is valid (even when going against an obligation stated by the Torah).

This is evident from the Beraisa that states that if a man says to a woman that he is betrothing her on the condition that she cannot demand from him the Torah’s obligation of support, clothing, and marital relations (see 47b), kiddushin is valid but the condition is null according to Rabbi Meir. Rabbi Yehuda says that the condition is also valid.

The Gemora answers that Rabbi Yehuda holds that kesuvah is Rabbinic in nature. The Rabbanan strengthened their words more than Torah law (and therefore stated that such a condition will only be valid when written).

The Gemora asks, the rights of a husband to benefit from his wife’s possessions are Rabbinic, and even so the Rabbanan did not strengthen their words in that case. The Mishna states that Rabbi Yehuda said that a husband can always eat the fruit of his wife’s fruit. [If his wife made a condition that he cannot derive benefit from the fruit of her fields, if she sells the fruit and buys something else he is entitled to benefit from that item.] Only if he agrees write that he will not have any rights to her possessions, nor the fruits of her possessions, nor the fruits of the fruits of her possessions and so on. We understand that “write” doesn’t really mean write, but even if he agrees to this orally. [Accordingly, why by kesuvah could she not make this stipulation orally?]

Abaye answers that every wife receives a kesuvah, but not every wife brings in fruits to a marriage. The Rabbanan therefore strengthened the common occurrence, but not the uncommon occurrence.

The Gemora asks, conspiring grain sellers are common, yet we find the sages (Rabbi Yehuda) did not strengthen the Rabbinic law in that case! The Mishna states that if wagon drivers come to town and one states that his grain is still forbidden as it is chadash, and his friend’s grain is permitted as it is yoshon, or that the tithes had not been taken off of his grain but they had been taken off that of his friend’s grain, they are not believed. Rabbi Yehuda says that they are believed.

Abaye answers that the sages only strengthened definite Rabbinic laws, not doubtful Rabbinic laws (such as the unclear status of the wagon driver’s grains known as dmai). Rava answers that this is due to them being generally lenient regarding dmai.

Rabbi Meir says that anyone who lessens the standard amount of a kesuvah, even with an explicit condition, is having promiscuous relations. This implies that his condition is invalid and she really can collect the standard amount she should have received in a kesuvah. However, because the groom told her that she will not receive that amount she is not confident that she will ever collect it, which turns their relations into promiscuity.

The Gemora asks: Don’t we know that Rabbi Meir holds that if one makes a monetary condition against the Torah it is invalid, implying that if it is against a Rabbinic law it is valid? The Gemora answers that Rabbi Meir indeed holds that kesuvah is a Torah law.

The Beraisa states that Rabbi Meir says that anyone who lessens the standard amount of a kesuvah, for a virgin two hundred and for a widow one hundred, is having promiscuous relations. Rabbi Yosi says that one is allowed to do so. Rabbi Yehuda says that if he wants he can write a kesuvah of two hundred for a virgin and she can write that she has already received one hundred, and he can write one hundred for a widow and she can write that she received fifty.

Does Rabbi Yosi really hold this is permitted? Doesn’t the Beraisa state that one cannot make a kesuvah from movable objects in order to “fix the world” (as they might lose their value). Rabbi Yosi stated: what kind of “fixing the world” does this do? Their value is not set and they devaluate!

The Gemora asks: This is the very reason that the Tana Kama just gave! The Gemora explains that it must be that the Tana Kama stated that this law is only true if he does not take responsibility that they will not get lost. However, if he assumes this responsibility then he may base the kesuvah on movable objects. Rabbi Yosi said: what kind of “fixing the world” is this as this still does not cover the fact that they might devaluate (something with which the Tama Kama was apparently not concerned).

The Gemora therefore asks, if Rabbi Yosi there was so worried about the possibility that the movable items will devaluate, does it make sense that he would allow a woman not to receive a kesuvah altogether?

The Gemora answers that it does. In the case of devaluation the woman is not aware of the possibility and therefore does not forgo the devaluation. In our case the woman is fully forgoing her rights to a kesuvah.