Blog Yomi – Kesubos #31/Daf 32

In the preceding blog yomi, we left off with the transition from the bottom of דף ל״א עמוּד ב into דף ל״ב עמוּד א. There seemed to be an apparent contradiction between our Mishnah and a Mishnah in מַסֶכֶת מַכּוֹת as it impacts the violation of עַרָיוֹת and the dual penalties of 1) flogging/מַכּוֹת and 2) monetary punitive damages. We were analyzing קָם לֵיה בְּדְרָבָּה מִינֵיה, which normally results in receiving the greater penalty which one would think is the physical pain of receiving מַכּוֹת, as opposed to monetary damages to pay to the girl’s father. There are two types of monetary damages, one involving a fixed amount called a קְנַס, in our case חַמִישִׁים כֶּסֶף, and an unspecified amount for בּוֹשֶׁת וּפְגָם (degradation and humiliation) or for צַעַר (pain from the physical rape). We tried to resolve the apparent contradiction by saying that the Mishnah there says you get מַכּוֹת and do not pay a קְנַס because it involves one’s sister who is a שׁוֹטָה so there is no בּוֹשֶׁת וּפְגָם, and who is a מְפוּתָּה so there is no צַעַר because she was a willing participant.

Major Concepts of the Talmud

Rabbi Pinchas Doron-Spalter authored a brilliant volume, Major Concepts Of The Talmud, from Alef to Gimmel. It was intended to be an encyclopedic resource guide covering covering the entire range of key terms in the Gemara, but subsequent volumes never came out. That leaves us with just א through ג, which enables us to find בּוֹשֶׁת or Embarrassment, under which Rabbi Doron-Spalter writes: “An imbecile (shoteh) does not receive compensation, because being an imbecile is already a great embarrassment.” The reference for this is given as Bava Kamma 86b, which states:

אלא מאי משום זילותא אפילו שוטה נמי אמרי שוטה אין לך בושת גדולה מזו

Rather, what do you mean by stating that the compensation is due to בּוֹשֶׁת? If compensation is granted due to בּוֹשֶׁת, then a שׁוֹטֶה should receive compensation as well. The Sages say in response: With regard to a שׁוֹטֶה you can have no greater humiliation than this; so there is no added compensation for בּוֹשֶׁת due to rape.

This again is troubling on the surface, as it treats the שׁוֹטֶה as a pariah of sorts with limited if any feelings. For reference, we covered the issue of אֵיזֶהוּ שׁוֹטֶה, who is a שׁוֹטֶה, previously here. As noted by Rabbi Louis Jacobs, stigma regarding mental illness persists in the Orthodox Jewish Community to this day.

The Gemara continues, looking at the issue through the eyes of עוּלָּא:

See the source image

אַלְמָא קָסָבַר עוּלָּא: כָּל הֵיכָא דְּאִיכָּא מָמוֹן וּמַלְקוֹת — מָמוֹנָא מְשַׁלֵּם, מִילְקָא לָא לָקֵי. מְנָא לֵיהּ לְעוּלָּא הָא? גָּמַר מֵחוֹבֵל בַּחֲבֵירוֹ: מָה חוֹבֵל בַּחֲבֵירוֹ דְּאִיכָּא מָמוֹן וּמַלְקוֹת — מָמוֹנָא מְשַׁלֵּם, מִילְקָא לָא לָקֵי; אַף כֹּל הֵיכָא דְּאִיכָּא מָמוֹן וּמַלְקוֹת — מָמוֹנָא מְשַׁלֵּם, מִילְקָא לָא לָקֵי

Apparently, עוּלָּא maintains that in any case where there is liability to both pay money and receive lashes, e.g., one who rapes his sister who is a נַעַרָה, one pays money but does not receive מַכּוֹת. The Gemara asks: From where does עוּלָּא derive this principle? The Gemara answers: He derives it from the halacha of חוֹבֵל בַּחֲבֵירוֹ. Just as with regard to one who injures another where there is liability to both pay money for the injury and receive lashes for violating the prohibition “Lest he continues to strike him” (Deuteronomy 25:3), the halacha there is that one pays money but is not flogged, so too, in any case where there is liability to both pay money and receive lashes, one pays money but is not flogged.

Of note, Rashi comments here: קסבר עולא – דאוקי מתני’ דמכות בבוגרת ולא אוקמה למתני’ דהכא בשלא התרו בו שמעת מינה אפי’ אתרו ביה נמי ממונא משלם ולא לקי

So according to עוּלָּא, whether or not the rapist was forewarned to behave himself makes no difference. He pays the penalty and is spared the lashes. Sadly, these type of cases persist.

The bottom line? מָה לְחוֹבֵל בַּחֲבֵירוֹ — שֶׁכֵּן חַיָּיב בַּחֲמִשָּׁה דְּבָרִים. וְאִי מָמוֹנָא לְקוּלָּא — שֶׁכֵּן הוּתַּר מִכְּלָלוֹ בְּבֵית דִּין

What is the basis for the comparison between other cases and the case of חוֹבֵל בַּחֲבֵירוֹ? One who injures another cannot serve as a paradigm for cases of liability for both money and lashes because the case of one who injures another is particularly stringent, as he is liable to pay five types of indemnity: נֶזֶק צַעַר רִיפּוּי שֶׁבֶת וּבוֹשֶׁת – Injury, pain, medical costs, loss of livelihood, and humiliation. And if payment of money is a more lenient form of punishment than lashes, one could infer לְכַתְּחִילָה: If in the stringent case of injuring another, one receives the more lenient punishment, all the more so would he receive the more lenient punishment in less stringent cases. Nevertheless, חוֹבֵל בַּחֲבֵירוֹ cannot serve as a paradigm for cases of liability for both money and lashes. The reason is that there is also a lenient aspect with regard to חוֹבֵל בַּחֲבֵירוֹ, as it is permitted, in departure from its norm, in court. The court administers lashes, injuring those convicted. The leniency is that its application is selective.

And then the case of עֵדִים זוֹמְמִין, or witnesses who contradict one another, is examined. There is considerably more ground to cover, but a transformer blew in the neighborhood and we were temporarily without power, so Rabbi Stern will take you the rest of the way.

About Leonard J. Press, O.D., FAAO, FCOVD

Developmental Optometry is my passion as well as occupation. Blogging allows me to share thoughts in a unique visual style.
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