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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Kethuboth
who, if he takes them as a gift, has not the same advantage [as if he had taken them for his debt].1
In what manner does [a widow] sell [her deceased husband's property] for her maintenance?2 — R. Daniel son of R. Kattina replied in the name of R. Huna: She sells [portions of it] once in twelve months3 and the buyer supplies her maintenance [in instalments]4 once every thirty days. Rab Judah, however, stated: She sells once in six months and the buyer provides her maintenance [in instalments] once every thirty days.
It was taught in agreement with R. Huna: [A widow] sells5 once in twelve months and the buyer supplies her maintenance [in instalments] once every thirty days. It was also taught in agreement with Rab Judah: [A widow] sells once in six months and the buyer provides her maintenance [in instalments] once every thirty days.
Amemar said: The law is that [a widow] sells [sufficient land to suffice her] for six months and the buyer provides her maintenance [in instalments] once every thirty days. Said R. Ashi to Amemar: What [about the ruling] of R. Huna? — 'I', the other replied, 'have not heard of it', by which he meant,6 'I do not approve of it'.
R. Shesheth was asked: May [a widow] who sold [land] for her maintenance subsequently distrain on it7 for her kethubah? This question was raised on [the basis of a ruling of] R. Joseph who stated, 'If a widow has sold [any of her deceased husband's estate]8 the responsibility for the indemnity falls upon the orphans,9 and if the court sold [any such property] the responsibility for the indemnity again falls upon the orphans'10 What [then, it was asked, is the ruling]? May she, since the responsibility for the indemnity falls upon the orphans, distrain [on the land],11 or is it possible that [the buyers] may tell her,12 'Granted that you have not accepted general13 responsibility for indemnity, did you not indeed accept responsibility [against distraint] by yourself either?'14 — You, he replied, have learned it: '[A widow]15 may continue to sell16 until [only the estate of] the value of her kethubah [remains], and this is a support to her since she might thus collect her kethubah from the residue'. Thus17 it may be inferred that only if she left [estate corresponding to the value of her kethubah] may18 [she collect her kethubah]. but if she did not leave [so much of the estate,19 she may] not.20 But is it not possible that he21 was merely tendering good advice, in order that people might not call her a swindler?22 — If so,23 he21 should have stated, 'She collects her kethubah from the remainder', why [then did he also add,] 'A support to her'? Consequently it must be inferred that only if she left [estate corresponding to the value of her kethubah] may18 [the widow collect her kethubah], but if she did not leave [so much19 she may] not.20
The question was raised: If a man sold [a plot of land]24 but [on concluding the sale] he was no longer in need of money, may his sale25 be withdrawn26 or not?27 Come and hear: There was a certain man who sold a plot of land to R. Papa because he was in need of money to buy some oxen, and, as eventually he did not need it, R. Papa actually returned the land to him! — [This is no proof since] R. Papa may have acted beyond the strict requirements of the law.28
Come and hear: There was once a dearth at Nehardea29 when all the people sold their mansions,30 but when eventually wheat arrived31 R. Nahman told them: The law is that the mansions must be returned to their original owners! — There also the sales were made in error since it eventually became known that the ship32 was33 waiting in the bays.34 If that is so,35 how [explain] what Rami b. Samuel said to R. Nahman, 'If [you rule] thus you will cause them36 trouble in the future',37 [whereupon] he replied, 'Is dearth a daily occurrence?' and to which the former retorted, 'Yes, a dearth at Nehardea is indeed a common occurrence'?38
And the law is that if a man sold [a plot of land]39 and [on concluding the sale] was no longer in need of money the sale may be withdrawn.
MISHNAH. A WIDOW, WHETHER [HER HUSBAND DIED] AFTER [HER] BETROTHAL40 OR AFTER [HER] MARRIAGE41 MAY SELL [OF HER DECEASED HUSBAND'S ESTATE] WITHOUT [THE SANCTION OF] BETH DIN. R. SIMEON RULED: [IF HER HUSBAND DIED] AFTER MARRIAGE41 SHE MAY SELL42 [OF HIS ESTATE] WITHOUT [THE SANCTION OF] BETH DIN,43 [BUT IF ONLY] AFTER [HER] BETROTHAL, SHE MAY NOT SELL [ANY OF THE ESTATE] EXCEPT WITH [THE SANCTION OF] BETH DIN, SINCE SHE IS NOT ENTITLED TO MAINTENANCE, AND ONE WHO IS NOT ENTITLED TO MAINTENANCE MAY NOT SELL [SUCH PROPERTY] EXCEPT WITH [THE SANCTION OF] BETH DIN.
what, however, is the reason1 [for conferring this privilege2 upon one widowed] after betrothal?3 — 'Ulla replied: In order to [enhance the] attractions4 [of matrimony].5 R. Johanan replied: Because no man wants his wife to suffer the indignity [of appearing] in court. What is the practical difference between them?6 — The practical difference between them is the case of a divorced woman. For according to him who replied, 'In order to [enhance the] attractiveness [of matrimony]' a divorced woman also may7 claim [the privilege8 of the provision for matrimonial] attractiveness; but according to him who replied, 'Because no man Wants his wife to suffer the indignity [of appearing] in court' a divorced woman [is not entitled to the privilege since] the man does not care [for her dignity].
We learned: And a divorced woman may not sell [of her former husband's estate]9 except with the sanction of Beth din.10 Now, according to him who replied, 'Because no man wants his wife to suffer the indignity [of appearing] in court' the ruling is well justified since for a divorced wife one does not care; but according to him who replied, 'In order to [enhance the] attractions [of matrimony'. why should not] a divorced woman11 also be entitled to claim [the privilege of the provision for matrimonial] attractiveness? — This represents the view of R. Simeon.12 If [this represents the view of] R. Simeon [the objection arises: Was not this principle] already laid down in the earlier clause, AFTER HER BETROTHAL SHE MAY NOT SELL etc.?13 — It might have been presumed [that his ruling applied] Only to a woman widowed after [her] betrothal, since in her case there was not much affection,14 but that a divorced woman, in whose case there was much affection,15 may16 demand [the privilege of the provision for matrimonial] attraction.17 But have we not learned this18 also: WHO IS NOT ENTITLED TO MAINTENANCE which includes,19 does it not, a divorced woman?20 — No, [it includes one who is both] divorced21 and' not divorced,22 as [the one spoken of by] R. Zera who stated: Wherever the Sages described a woman as both divorced and not divorced22 her husband is responsible for her maintenance.23
Come and hear: As she24 may sell [of her deceased husband's estate] without [the sanction of] Beth din so may her heirs, those who inherit her kethubah, sell [such property] without [the sanction of] Beth din. Now, according to him who replied, 'Because no man wants his wife to suffer the indignity [of appearing] in court' one can well see the reason for this ruling;25 for as it is disagreeable to him26 that she should suffer indignity so it is also disagreeable to him that her heirs should suffer indignity. According to him, however, who replied, 'In order to [enhance the] attractiveness [of matrimony]', what [consideration for] attractiveness [it may be objected] could there be in respect of her heirs?27 — 'Ulla interpreted this [to be a case where] her daughter, for instance, or her sister, Was her heir.28
MISHNAH. [A WIDOW WHO] SOLD HER KETHUBAH OR PART OF IT, OR PLEDGED IT OR PART OF IT, OR PRESENTED IT OR PART OF IT, TO A STRANGER, MAY NOT SELL THE RESIDUE [OF HER DECEASED HUSBAND'S ESTATE]29 EXCEPT WITH (THE SANCTION OF] BETH DIN.30 THE SAGES, HOWEVER, RULED: SHE MAY SELL [THE LAND PLEDGED FOR HER KETHUBAH] EVEN IN FOUR OR FIVE INSTALMENTS31 AND [IN THE MEANTIME]32 SHE MAY SELL [OF HER HUSBAND'S ESTATE TO PROVIDE] FOR HER MAINTENANCE WITHOUT [THE SANCTION OF] BETH DIN, ENTERING, [HOWEVER, IN THE DEED OF SALE,] 'I SOLD [THE LAND TO PROVIDE] FOR MY MAINTENANCE'.33 A DIVORCED WOMAN, HOWEVER, MUST NOT SELL [SUCH PROPERTY] EXCEPT WITH [THE SANCTION OF] BETH DIN.
GEMARA. Who [is the author of the first ruling in] our Mishnah?34 — It is R. Simeon. For it was taught: If a woman sold [all] her kethubah or pledged it, or mortgaged [the land that was pledged for] her kethubah to a stranger, she is not entitled to maintenance.35 R. Simeon ruled: Even if she did not sell or pledge [all] her kethubah, but half of it only, she loses her maintenance.36 Does this37 then imply that R. Simeon holds the view that we do not regard part of the amount38 as being legally equal to the full amount, while the Rabbis maintain that part of the amount is legally regarded as the full amount? But, [it may be objected], have we not in fact heard the reverse? For was It not taught: And he39 shall take a wife its her virginity40 excludes one who is adolescent41 [some of whose] virginity is ended; so R. Meir. R. Eleazar and R. Simeon permit42 [the marriage] of one who is adolescent?43 — There44 they differ [on the interpretation] of Scriptural texts,45 R. Meir being of the opinion that 'virgin'46 implies even [one who retains] some of her virginity; 'her virginity'47 implies only one who retains all her virginity;48 'in her virginity'49 implies only50 [when previous intercourse with her took place] in a natural manner,51 but not when in an unnatural manner.52 R. Eleazar and R. Simeon, however, are of the opinion that 'virgin' would have implied a perfect virgin; 'her virginity' implies even [one who retains] only part of her virginity;
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