Monday, December 03, 2007

Daf Yomi - Kesuvos 94 - Highlights


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)