Blog Yomi – Kesubos #84/Daf 86-87

We normally think of the כְּתוּבָּה as a document that stipulates the monetary rights of the bride, but in our Daf today on דף פ״ו עמוּד ב we open with a wrinkle that the husband writes or declares that affects whether or not his wife is exempt from taking a נֶדֶר or שְׁבוּעָה. As we will see, this consideration about requiring her to take an oath will pertain to her claim about the amount she has received relative to what is owed to her through the כְּתוּבָּה. But first, the text of the Mishnah itself:

כָּתַב לָהּ ״נֶדֶר וּשְׁבוּעָה אֵין לִי עָלַיִךְ״ — אֵין יָכוֹל לְהַשְׁבִּיעָהּ, אֲבָל מַשְׁבִּיעַ הוּא אֶת יוֹרְשֶׁיהָ, וְאֶת הַבָּאִים בִּרְשׁוּתָהּ

If one wrote to his wife in the כְּתוּבָּה: I do not have the right to administer a vow or an oath upon you, he cannot administer an oath to her. However, he can administer an oath to her heirs, and to those who come on her authority, either as her representatives or because they purchased her כְּתוּבָּה.

״נֶדֶר וּשְׁבוּעָה אֵין לִי עָלַיִךְ וְעַל יוֹרְשַׁיִךְ וְעַל הַבָּאִים בְּרִשּׁוּתֶיךָ״ — אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהַשְׁבִּיעָהּ, לֹא הִיא, וְלֹא יוֹרְשֶׁיהָ, וְלֹא אֶת הַבָּאִים בִּרְשׁוּתָהּ. אֲבָל יוֹרְשָׁיו מַשְׁבִּיעִין אוֹתָהּ וְאֶת יוֹרְשֶׁיהָ, וְאֶת הַבָּאִים בִּרְשׁוּתָהּ

If the husband wrote: “I do not have the right to administer a vow or an oath upon you, or upon your heirs, or upon those who come on your authority”, he cannot administer an oath to her; not to her, nor her heirs, nor those who come on her authority. But the husband’s heirs can administer an oath to her, and to her heirs, and to those who come on her authority.

״נֶדֶר וּשְׁבוּעָה אֵין לִי, וְלֹא לְיוֹרְשַׁי, וְלֹא לַבָּאִים בִּרְשׁוּתִי עָלַיִךְ, וְעַל יוֹרְשַׁיִךְ, וְעַל הַבָּאִים בִּרְשׁוּתִיךְ״ — אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהַשְׁבִּיעָהּ, לֹא הוּא וְלֹא יוֹרְשָׁיו וְלֹא הַבָּאִים בִּרְשׁוּתוֹ, לֹא אוֹתָהּ וְלֹא יוֹרְשֶׁיהָ, וְלֹא הַבָּאִים בִּרְשׁוּתָהּ

If he wrote: Neither I, nor my heirs, nor those who come on my authority have the right to administer a vow or an oath upon you, or upon your heirs, or upon those who come on your authority, he cannot administer an oath to her or to them; not he, nor his heirs, nor those who come on his authority may administer an oath, not to her, nor to her heirs, nor to those who come on her authority.

הָלְכָה מִקֶּבֶר בַּעְלָהּ לְבֵית אָבִיהָ, אוֹ שֶׁחָזְרָה לְבֵית חָמִיהָ וְלֹא נַעֲשֵׂית אַפּוֹטְרוֹפְּיָא — אֵין הַיּוֹרְשִׁין מַשְׁבִּיעִין אוֹתָהּ. וְאִם נַעֲשֵׂית אַפּוֹטְרוֹפְּיָא — הַיּוֹרְשִׁין מַשְׁבִּיעִין אוֹתָהּ עַל הֶעָתִיד לָבֹא, וְאֵין מַשְׁבִּיעִין אוֹתָהּ עַל מַה שֶּׁעָבַר

If a woman who was exempted from an oath by her husband went from her husband’s grave, immediately after her husband’s death, to her father’s house, without handling her late husband’s property, or in a case where she returned to her father-in-law’s house and did not become a steward (אַפּוֹטְרוֹפְּיָא) over the property at all throughout this period, then the heirs cannot administer an oath to her with regard to her actions in their father’s lifetime, as the husband exempted her from an oath to the heirs. And if she became a steward, the heirs may administer an oath to her about the future, i.e., anything she did with the property after the death of her husband, but they cannot administer an oath to her with regard to what took place in the past, during her husband’s lifetime.

The burning issue on everyone’s mind, including Rashi, is: “What kind of שְׁבוּעָה are we talking about? The Gemara begins by posing this question: שְׁבוּעָה מַאי עֲבִידְתֵּהּ, on which Rashi comments:

איזו שבועה סתם שאשה חייבת לבעלה או ליורשיו דקתני דכי לא פטרה משביעה וכי פטרה אין משביעה

רַב יְהוּדָה says in the name of רַב that it is referring to אַפּוֹטְרוֹפְּיָא שֶׁנַּעֲשֵׂית בְּחַיֵּי בַעְלָהּ, as it was common for a man to leave his wife in charge of his property while exempting her from taking an oath.

In contrast, רַב נַחְמָן said in the name of רַבָּה בַּר אֲבוּהּ that is referring to a woman who claims that she received partial payment of her marriage contract (עַל הַפּוֹגֶמֶת כְּתוּבָּתָהּ), who must take an oath that she received no more than the amount she admits to. The Mishnah is referring to a husband who exempted his wife from this oath.

As an aside, this language of “עַל הַפּוֹגֶמֶת כְּתוּבָּתָהּ” is very interesting. The word פָּגוּם means blemish, so it is as if the כְּתוּבָּה was blemished from its original value by the fact that the wife has taken drawn down part of its provisions. As Rabbi Stern noted, it’s like making a qualified withdrawal from one’s pension fund.

See the source image

אֲזַל רַב מָרְדֳּכַי, אַמְרַהּ לִשְׁמַעְתָּא קַמֵּיהּ דְּרַב אָשֵׁי: בִּשְׁלָמָא לְמַאן דְּאָמַר עַל הַפּוֹגֶמֶת כְּתוּבָּתָהּ — דְּמַסְּקָא אַדַּעְתַּהּ: דִּלְמָא מִצְטָרְכִי לִי זוּזֵי וְשָׁקֵילְנָא מִכְּתוּבְּתַאי, וְאָמְרָה לֵיהּ: כְּתוֹב לִי דְּלָא מַשְׁבְּעַתְּ לִי. אֶלָּא לְמַאן דְּאָמַר עַל אַפּוֹטְרוֹפְּיָא שֶׁנַּעֲשֵׂית בְּחַיֵּי בַעְלָהּ, אִיהִי מִי הֲוָת יָדְעָה דְּמוֹתֵיב לַהּ אַפּוֹטְרוֹפְּיָא, דְּאָמְרָה לֵיהּ: ״כְּתוֹב לִי דְּלָא מַשְׁבְּעַתְּ לִי״

Rav Mordechai said this halacha before Rav Ashi, and asked him the following question: Granted, according to the one who says that it is referring to a woman who claims that she received partial payment of her כְּתוּבָּה, it would have entered her mind that this might happen, as she thinks: Perhaps I will require money, and I will take what I need from my כְּתוּבָּה up front. She therefore says to her husband before their marriage: Write for me that you will not administer an oath to me when I come to collect the rest of my כְּתוּבָּה. However, according to the one who says that it is referring to a woman who became an אַפִּיטְרָפּוּס during her husband’s lifetime, did she know beforehand that her husband would establish her as an אַפִּיטְרָפּוּס, to know to say to him: Write for me that you will not administer an oath to me?

It turns out the halacha takes the timing of all this into consideration as follows:

שֶׁעָבַר מַאי עֲבִידְתֵּיהּ? אָמַר רַב יְהוּדָה אָמַר רַב: עַל אַפּוֹטְרוֹפְּיָא שֶׁנַּעֲשֵׂית בְּחַיֵּי הַבַּעַל

It was with regard to this statement that the Gemara asked: What is the purpose of mentioning the past? What oath would they have wanted her to take with regard to the past? And it was in response to this question that Rav Yehuda said that Rav said: It is referring to a woman who became an אַפִּיטְרָפּוּס during her husband’s lifetime.

אֲבָל בֵּין מִיתָה לִקְבוּרָה מַשְׁבְּעִינַן לַהּ. וְרַב מַתְנָא אָמַר: אֲפִילּוּ בֵּין מִיתָה לִקְבוּרָה לָא מַשְׁבְּעִינַן לַהּ, דְּאָמְרִי נְהַרְדָּעֵי: לִכְרָגָא וְלִמְזוֹנֵי וְלִקְבוּרָה — מְזַבְּנִינַן בְּלָא אַכְרָזְתָּא

The Gemara presents a dispute as to what is considered the past, first continuing the quote from Rav Yehuda: But they can administer an oath to her with regard to her conduct between her husband’s death and his burial. And Rav Masana said: Even concerning her actions between her husband’s death and his burial, they cannot administer an oath to her, as the Sages of נְהַרְדָּעֵי show great empathy and say: For the purpose of paying head tax [כְרָגָא], and for payment to provide for children’s sustenance [מְזוֹנֵי], and for burial [קְבוּרָה], we sell property inherited by orphans without an announcement. Why? Because in these urgent matters, the court is not particular about a possible loss incurred by the heirs. Similarly, the woman need not take an oath with regard to how she conducted her affairs for her husband’s funeral, because in such a time of stress she cannot manage her accounts in a precise manner.

The Gemara then expends considerable real estate on debating what a husband can make his wife swear about, versus what his heirs can make her swear. And the bottom line? If the wife is coming to collect anything from the orphans, from the יְתוֹמִים, she has to swear. How do we know this?

אָמַר רַב נַחְמָן אָמַר שְׁמוּאֵל מִשּׁוּם אַבָּא שָׁאוּל בֶּן אִימָּא מִרְיָם: בֵּין ״דְּלָא שְׁבוּעָה״, בֵּין ״דִּנְקִי שְׁבוּעָה״, בֵּין ״דְּלָא נֶדֶר״, וּבֵין ״דִּנְקִי נֶדֶר״, בֵּין ״מִנִּכְסַי״, וּבֵין ״מִנִּכְסַיָּא אִילֵּין״ — בֵּין הוּא וּבֵין יוֹרְשָׁיו אֵין מַשְׁבִּיעִין אוֹתָהּ. אֲבָל מָה אֶעֱשֶׂה שֶׁהֲרֵי אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים: הַבָּא לִיפָּרַע מִנִּכְסֵי יְתוֹמִים לֹא יִפָּרַע אֶלָּא בִּשְׁבוּעָה

… and ultmiately:

הַבָּא לִיפָּרַע מִנִּכְסֵי יְתוֹמִים לֹא יִפָּרַע אֶלָּא בִּשְׁבוּעָה. אָמַר רַב נַחְמָן אָמַר שְׁמוּאֵל: הֲלָכָה כְּבֶן אִימָּא מִרְיָם

A couple of interesting asides here. Whenever the Gemara uses the term “מִשּׁוּם”, it means that the individual relating the information didn’t hear it directly from the source. So in this case it is Rav Nachman saying that Shmuel said he heard that Abba Shaul ben Ima Miriam said that the wife who is coming to collect from the יְתוֹמִים has to swear. Another feature of the language used here is the reference to Abba Shaul as the son of his mother Miriam. What is fascinating is that we have two honorific titles uses for the same person: Abba in reference to Shaul and Ima in reference to (his mother) Miriam. The following is from The Stack Exchange:

Mi Yodeya

Yad Eliyahu Nashim, p. 50 says:

פלונית ומצינו עוד כעין זה שם לאשה בשבת קטן ג ובנדרים כ א וב”מ נט ב אימא שלום אשתו של ר”א ואחותו של ר”ג ונ”ל ששם זה נלקח מלשון הכתוב בשופטים ה’ עד שקמתי דבורה שקמתי אם בישראל כי לולא זאת ששמה נודע בשערים ומפורסמת יותר מבעלה היו קורין אותו על שם אביו ולכן הוסיפו תיבת אימא ולא אמרו בן מרים משום שאז היי נראה כרב מרי בר רחל המובא כ”פ בש”ס כמו בשבת קנד ב וביבמות מה ב וב”מ עג ב וזהו משום שאביו הי’ גר קראוהו על שם אמו אבל כאן קראוה אימא מרים ע”ש שהיא היתה מפורסמת בשמה עוסקת בצרכי הרבים כמו אם בישראל הנאמר בדבורה הנביאה ולא כההיא שאמרו בנדה ט ב כל שקורין לה אמא ואינה בושה מחמת זקנה ע”ש ליה

In short, the title “אימא” is an honorific and due to the piety of אימא מרים and her laboring on behalf of the needs of the community she was of greater renown than his father. Furthermore, once he was going to be known by his mother it would have been improper to simply leave it at בן מרים as this might imply something incorrect regarding his paternal parentage (e.g. son of a convert).

We Zoom ahead to the next Mishnah, which begins as follows:

הַפּוֹגֶמֶת כְּתוּבָּתָהּ — לֹא תִּפָּרַע אֶלָּא בִּשְׁבוּעָה. עֵד אֶחָד מְעִידָהּ שֶׁהִיא פְּרוּעָה — לֹא תִּפָּרַע אֶלָּא בִּשְׁבוּעָה. מִנִּכְסֵי יְתוֹמִים, וּמִנְּכָסִים מְשׁוּעְבָּדִים, וְשֶׁלֹּא בְּפָנָיו — לֹא תִּפָּרַע אֶלָּא בִּשְׁבוּעָה

A woman who affects her כְּתוּבָּה by acknowledging that she has received partial payment can collect the rest of her marriage contract only by means of an oath. Similarly, if one witness testifies that her כְּתוּבָּה is paid, she can collect it only by means of an oath. In any case where she seeks to claim her כְּתוּבָּה from the property of orphans, or from liened property that has been sold to a third party, or when not in her husband’s presence, she can collect it only by means of an oath.

There is considerably more ground to cover, but the hour is late and so for the balance of the Daf, I refer you to Rabbi Stern’s video.

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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