Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Perhaps they Repented - Kiddushin 63

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The Gemora inquires: Would we execute someone by stoning (if she has relations with a man) based upon the father’s testimony (that he married her off)?

Rav said: We would not. We only believe the father with respect to a prohibition, but not for execution. Rav Assi said: We would. We believe the father for everything.

Rav Assi admits that if she would say, “I got married,” we would not stone anyone.

Rav Assi notes the apparent contradiction in his rulings: If in a case (the father said that he married her off) where we believe a man that he is able to marry her (if he comes saying that he was the one who married her), and we rule that we would execute someone by stoning (for having relations with this woman). Then, in a case (where she was the one who said that she got married) where we do not believe a man to marry her (if he comes saying that he was the one who married her), shouldn’t the halachah certainly be that we would execute someone by stoning (for having relations with this woman)!?

Rav Assi answers: There is a clear distinction. The Torah believed the father, but not her. [The only reason that she is forbidden to every man is because of the principle of “shavya anafshei chaticha d’issura” i.e. she has made for herself a forbidden piece; she is compelled to abide by her declaration.]

The Maharik (shoresh 33) writes concerning a case where one witness testifies that a certain shochet was slaughtering improperly and the shochet himself contradicts the witness; since the witness is not believed, he himself is permitted to eat all future meat slaughtered by this shochet. This is not comparable to a case where a witness testifies regarding wine that is forbidden on account of it being yayin nesech because here there is a possibility that the shochet will repent and slaughter properly.

The Pri Chadash (Y.D. 1, 14) asks: Why don’t we apply the principle of “shavya a’nafshei chaticha d’issura,” one who states that something is forbidden, even if he is not believed in respect to everyone else, renders the object forbidden to him (as is evident from the Gemora in Kesuvos 9a)? All the meat slaughtered by this shochet should be forbidden to this witness!?

The Pri Megadim (Sifsei Daas, ibid, 41) answers that the Maharik is referring to a case where the witness retracted and said that he had testified falsely. In such cases, the principle of “shavya a’nafshei chaticha d’issura” does not apply.

Rav Elyashiv answers: The reason why one can render the object forbidden with the principle of “shavya a’nafshei” is not because he is believed in respect to himself; rather, it is because it is regarded as an oath. The witness is taking a vow forbidding himself from this particular object. Accordingly, he explains that the witness who testified regarding the shochet it making a vow that he will not eat the meat from this animal, however, he will not be prohibited, on account of his vow, against eating from any other animal that this shochet slaughters.

The Mishna Lemelech (Hilchos Shechitah 1:26) challenges the ruling of the Maharik from a Gemora (Kesuvos 44a) which discusses a case where two deeds were given over regarding the same field. The ruling is that the second deed cancels the first one. Rafram explains that the recipient has admitted to the other that the first deed is invalid. Accordingly, the Gemora continues that these witnesses must be regarded as legally unfit for further evidence concerning this recipient since he is stating that they put their signatures to an invalid document. We do not say that they should be valid witnesses later, for perhaps they repented. What is the difference between the two cases?

The Shaar Hamishpat (92:7) answers: The Maharik rules that all meat slaughtered by this shochet will be permitted to eat by the witness because there is a double doubt; perhaps, he has slaughtered the animal properly and perhaps he repented. Just because he slaughtered improperly (according to the witness’ testimony) one time, it is not logical that we should prohibit his slaughtered meat forever. However, in respect to testimony, once the recipient has stated that these witnesses testified falsely, they will be disqualified to offer testimony for him forever. Even according to those that hold that we can apply the principle of a double doubt in regards to monetary judgments, here, it will not apply. What can be said? Perhaps the witnesses will testify truthfully and perhaps they repented. This logic is not applicable by testimony, for testimony functions as a proof, and if we are uncertain if the witnesses repented or not, they cannot be accepted as witnesses because we have no proof that they are testifying truthfully. Therefore, they will not be believed for all future testimonies regarding this recipient.

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Stealing from an Idolater

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The Gemora (Kiddushin 63) proves that Rabbi Meir holds a man may sell something that is not yet in existence from the following braisa: If a man said to a woman, “You shall be betrothed to me after I convert,” or “After you shall convert,” or “After I shall have been set free from slavery,” or “After you have been set free,” or “After your husband dies,” or “After your sister (my wife) dies,” or “After your yavam has submitted to chalitzah from you,” she, Rabbi Meir ruled, is legally betrothed! [The kiddushin is effective when the respective conditions are fulfilled, though at the time of the betrothal they were still unfulfilled; this indicates that an act that involves something that is not yet in existence is nevertheless, valid.]

The Acharonim ask: The Gemora in Bava Kamma (70b) explains that the acquisition using money (kinyan kesef) functions in the following way: When the seller receives the money, he becomes obligated to give the item being exchanged with the money. Now according to those that hold that it is permitted to steal from a gentile, how can the idolater betroth this woman with money after he converts? The woman is not obligated to return the money, and if she will lose the money, she would not be required to compensate him! If so, where is the kinyan?

Reb Shimon Shkop answers based upon the opinion of the Yereim, who says that even according to those that hold that it is permitted to steal from a gentile, one cannot fulfill his mitzvah with an esrog that he stole from a gentile. This is because it is not regarded as “his,” for the Torah did not render their money ownerless that anyone has the right to possess their money. “Stealing from an idolater is permitted” means that there is no prohibition against keeping that which was stolen from them. However, since it does not belong to the Jew, he still has an obligation to return it to its rightful owner, and he would be liable to compensate the gentile if he would lose it. Accordingly, the kinyan of money would still apply to an idolater.

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Kiddushin 62 - Two Perutos

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The Mishna states: One cannot take off terumah from what is detached from the ground in order to exempt things still attached to the ground. If he does, it is invalid.

Rav Assi asked Rabbi Yochanan: If someone says that the fruit of this row that is detached should be terumah for the fruit of this row that is still attached or visa versa, but he adds that this should take effect when the fruit becomes detached, what is the law? [Perhaps the attached fruit should be regarded as something that has not yet come into the world (for it is not yet subject to the halachos of terumah)?]

Rabbi Yochanan answered: Anything that is in his hands to do is not considered as if it is lacking an action (and it is therefore valid). [If one has the ability to change its status, the transaction can be valid, even though it presently is still not in the world.]

The Gemora asks a question from a statement of Rabbi Oshaya. Rabbi Oshaya says: If someone gives a perutah to his wife and says that this is her kiddushin for after he divorces her, it is invalid. However, according to Rabbi Yochanan this should be valid!?

The Gemora answers: Although he can indeed divorce her, he cannot make her accept kiddushin afterwards (this is not “in his hands”).

We should therefore be able to answer Rabbi Oshaya’s question. He asked: If someone gives two perutos to a woman, and says, “With the first one, I am betrothing you today, and with the second one, I am betrothing you after I divorce you,” what is the law? According to the above statement (he cannot make her accept kiddushin), the kiddushin should be invalid!?

The Gemora answers: Being that she is already accepting kiddushin from him now, it is possible that the kiddushin after future divorce is also valid.

What would be the halacha if one purchased a field with one perutah and stipulated that he is buying it back after he gives it back to the seller?

The Rashba proves from out Gemora that it will be ineffective because the Gemora needs to say a case where there were two perutos.

The Chasam Sofer makes a distinction: Our Gemora needs to discuss a case with two perutos, for kiddushin cannot take effect without a perutah. However, regarding a field, there are other ways to acquire a field, and it would not be necessary to have two perutos.

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Teaching Torah to an Idolater who Plans on Converting - Kiddushin 62

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The Rambam (Issurei Bi’ah 14:2) writes that we inform the prospective convert the essentials of the faith, which is the unity of God and the prohibition of idolatry, and they go on at great length about these matters.

The Machaneh Chaim (Y”D II, 45) asks: Why isn’t this forbidden on account of a gentile studying Torah? The Gemora in Sanhedrin (59a) states explicitly that a non-Jew who studies Torah is liable for death.

He answers by citing a Medrash Tanchuma in Parshas Vayelech: The numerical value of Torah is six hundred and eleven. The remaining two mitzvos which complete the six hundred and thirteen are the two mitzvos which were given by Hashem directly at Har Sinai. This is the explanation of the verse: The Torah that Moshe commanded us to observe. Moshe instructed us regarding six hundred and eleven mitzvos; the other two were from Hashem.

The prohibition against teaching an idolater Torah is only applicable to the six hundred and eleven mitzvos that Moshe taught us. The other two, I am Hashem your God and the Unity of God; one would be permitted to teach to them. This is where the Rambam derived his ruling from; we can go on with great length discussing the unity of God and the prohibition of idolatry.

The Maharsha (Shabbos 31a) writes that it is permitted to teach Torah to an idolater who wishes to convert. He proves this from the incident with Hillel and the convert.

Reb Akiva Eiger (41) disagrees and maintains that it is forbidden to teach Torah to an idolater even if he is planning on converting. Hillel taught the convert Torah only after he converted.

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Concern for an Unfulfilled Condition

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The braisa (Kiddushin 60) had stated: If someone says, “This is your get on condition that you give me two hundred zuz,” even if the get is torn or lost, she is divorced. She should not marry someone else until she gives him the money.

Rashi explains that we are concerned that she will remarry, and if she doesn’t give the money, it will emerge that she was never divorced, and her second marriage would be an adulterous one!

The Ran writes that we can derive from this halachah to any case where a man divorces his wife with a condition; she may not remarry before the condition is met, for otherwise, her second marriage would be an adulterous one!

The Ran challenges this principle from a Gemora in Gittin (83a): Rabbi Akiva said: What happens if after this Get (if one divorces his wife and stipulates that she can marry anyone except for one certain man), she marries a man and has children from him, and then subsequently he divorces her or dies? If she now goes and marries the man that her first husband forbade her to marry, this would make her first Get invalid and the children from her second marriage are rendered mamzeirim! The Gemora asks: According to this question all conditions made in gittin should not be valid, as she could always marry someone first, have children, and then not fulfill the condition! This is the question on Rabbi Akiva’s question.

It would seem from this Gemora that we are not concerned by an ordinary condition that it will not end up being fulfilled!?

The Ran differentiates between conditions that require an action, and those that don’t. In our case, the woman must give the two hundred zuz to the man. Here we are concerned that due to an accident, she will not give him the money. However, in the case in Gittin, we are not concerned that she will willingly violate the condition.

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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.

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A Single Grain is Sufficient

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Rabbi Chiya bar Avin inquired of Rav Huna (Kiddushin 58) : Is the “benefit of gratitude” regarded as money or not?

The Gemora comments: Let us say that this is a matter of a Tannaic dispute, for we learned in a braisa: If one steals the tevel (untithed produce) of his fellow, he is obligated to pay him for the value of the entire tevel (including the terumah and ma’aser that is mixed in, according to its value to him based upon his ability to choose who he wants to give them to). Rabbi Yosi the son of Rabbi Yehudah says: He is only obligated to pay him for the value of the chulin. It must be that Rebbe holds that the ability to choose who to give something to has a monetary value, while Rabbi Yosi holds it does not.

The Gemora rejects this, and gives an alternate explanation to their argument. Everyone holds that the matanos (gift portions for the Kohen) that were not yet separated are considered as if they were separated, and the “benefit of gratitude” is not regarded as money, and the dispute is regarding Shmuel’s ruling, for Shmuel said: One grain of wheat can exempt an entire pile (and there would be no need to separate any more terumah). Rebbe holds of Shmuel’s ruling (and the thief would be required to pay the full value, for the owner could have exempted himself with one grain of wheat), and Rabbi Yosi the son of Rabbi Yehudah does not.

The Acharonim ask that Shmuel is only discussing the Biblical requirement, but the Chachamim instituted that one must give at least one sixtieth of his produce to the Kohen as terumah! If so, the thief should be exempt from paying the value of terumah that he is Rabbinically required to give!?

The Oneg Yom Tov answers based on the Tosfos Ri”d, who says that even Rabbinically speaking, one grain of wheat can exempt an entire pile from the prohibition of tevel. The Chachamim instituted that there is a mitzvah of giving to the Kohen. This, however, the owner could claim that he would not have given, and the thief would therefore be required to pay the entire amount.

The Mishnah Lamelech disagrees and holds that if one does not give at least one-sixtieth to the Kohen, it is Rabbinically regarded as tevel. Accordingly, the thief should not be required to pay the entire amount!?

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Nullified Metzora Bird

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The Gemora (Kiddushin 57) had stated: One verse comes to include the metzora bird that is set free in the category of permitted birds. Another verse comes to include the slaughtered metzora bird in the category of forbidden birds.

The Gemora asks: Perhaps it is exactly the opposite!?

Rava answers: It is not logical to assume that the Torah said that the bird should be sent away in a matter where it will create a stumbling block (for if this would be the bird that is forbidden, someone might mistakenly find this bird and eat it, for there is no way to recognize that this was a metzora bird).

The Acharonim ask: What stumbling block would there be? The metzora bird will become nullified because of the majority of birds in the world that are permitted!?

The Shaar Hamelech answers: We are concerned that someone will find the metzora bird before it intermingles with other birds.

The Peleisi answers: The halachah is that if there is one person in the world that recognizes the forbidden item, it is not nullified, even for the people who do not recognize it. Accordingly, we are concerned that a person will be standing on the top of a mountain and will see where the metzora bird went.

Reb Shimon Shkop answers that the principle of nullification does not apply here, for all the birds in the world are not intermingled with each other in one location; rather, they are all scattered about. And even though it will be permitted, for we follow the majority and say that this one came from the permitted birds, the metzora bird does not lose its prohibited status and will therefore still be considered a stumbling block.

The Chasam Sofer answers that we are not concerned with the finder, for he will not violate any prohibition. We are concerned that the sender will violate the prohibition of outrightly nullifying a prohibition.

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