Blog Yomi – Kesubos #87/Daf 90

Not quite what the beautiful message above had in mind, in our Mishnah on דף פ״ט עמוּד ב, we discuss a case in which a couple divorced and re-married and then divorced again. So there are two כְּתוּבּוֹת as well as two גִיטִין in play:

שְׁנֵי גִיטִּין וּשְׁתֵּי כְתוּבּוֹת, גּוֹבָה שְׁתֵּי כְתוּבּוֹת – If a woman had two גִיטִין and two כְּתוּבּוֹת as a result of her divorce and remarriage to the same man, the fact that she is in possession of these documents proves that she was never paid for her first כְּתוּבָּה, and she collects two כְּתוּבּוֹת.

שְׁתֵּי כְתוּבּוֹת וְגֵט אֶחָד, אוֹ כְּתוּבָּה וּשְׁנֵי גִטִּין, אוֹ כְּתוּבָּה וְגֵט וּמִיתָה — אֵינָהּ גּוֹבָה אֶלָּא כְּתוּבָּה אַחַת. שֶׁהַמְגָרֵשׁ אֶת אִשְׁתּוֹ וְהֶחְזִירָהּ — עַל מְנָת כְּתוּבָּה הָרִאשׁוֹנָה מַחְזִירָהּ

If she was in possession of two כְּתוּבּוֹת and only one גֶט; or if she had one כְּתוּבָּה and two גִטִּין; or if she had a כְּתוּבָּה, a גֶט, and witnesses to her husband’s death after their re-marriage, she collects payment of only one כְּתוּבָּה. This is because there is a presumption that one who divorces his wife and re-marries her, re-marries her with the intention of using her first כְּתוּבָּה, and she agrees that she collects payment of only the original document. This is the presumption, unless he wrote another כְּתוּבָּה for her.

As you can see, we have four scenarios in the Mishnah that the Gemara will be discussing, all through which the wife collects only one כְּתוּבָּה:

  1. כְּתוּבָּה then גֶט, followed by כְּתוּבָּה then גֶט
  2. כְּתוּבָּה followed by כְּתוּבָּה followed by גֶט
  3. כְּתוּבָּה then גֶט followed another גֶט (without a second כְּתוּבָּה being written
  4. כְּתוּבָּה then גֶט, after which the husband dies.

The Gemara begins with a question: אִי בָּעֲיָא בְּהַאי — גָּבְיָא, אִי בָּעֲיָא בְּהַאי — גָּבְיָא

The Mishnah states that if she had כְּתוּבּוֹת (A and B) and one גֶט (case #2 above), she can collect only one כְּתוּבָּה. However, it does not specify which כְּתוּבָּה she can claim. Does this mean that if she desires, she can collect payment of כְּתוּבָּה (A) or if she desires she can collect payment with כְּתוּבָּה (B)? In that case, if she prefers she can use the document that promises the larger sum, and if she prefers to use the marriage contract with the earlier date in order to be able to collect property that her husband had sold to others between the dates on the two documents, she may collect with that one. In other words, whichever כְּתוּבָּה provides her the better deal.

לֵימָא תֶּיהְוֵי תְּיוּבְתָּא דְּרַב נַחְמָן אָמַר שְׁמוּאֵל. דְּאָמַר רַב נַחְמָן אָמַר שְׁמוּאֵל: שְׁנֵי שְׁטָרוֹת הַיּוֹצְאִין בָּזֶה אַחַר זֶה, בִּיטֵּל שֵׁנִי אֶת הָרִאשׁוֹן

If that is the case, let us say that it is a conclusive refutation of a statement that Rav Nacḥman said in the name of Shmuel said: If there are two documents that are issued one after the other, each recording the same transaction of a sale or a gift and they are separated by a few days, it is assumed that the second שְׁטַר cancels the first one. Why not say in this case as well that the second כְּתוּבָּה voids the first one?

לָאו אִתְּמַר עֲלַהּ, אָמַר רַב פָּפָּא: וּמוֹדֵה רַב נַחְמָן דְּאִי אוֹסֵיף בֵּיהּ דִּיקְלָא, לְתוֹסֶפֶת כַּתְבֵיהּ. הָכָא נָמֵי בִּדְאוֹסֵיף לַהּ

The Gemara answers: Was it not stated with regard to the halacha Shmuel quoted in the name of Rav Nacḥman that Rav Pappa said: Rav Nacḥman concedes that if he added to the transaction detailed in the second document a palm tree that was not mentioned in the first document, this shows that he did not intend to cancel the first document. Rather, he wrote the second document as an addition to the first document. Here too, the Gemara is dealing with a case when he added an additional sum for her in the second כְּתוּבָּה. This proves that he wanted to add to the first כְּתוּבָּה, and not to void it.

By the way, if this sounds familiar, it’s because we had a Gemara earlier in Kesubos דף מ״ד which discussed how much extra value a palm tree added to a property can bring. Take a look here to refresh your memory, but for your convenience I’ll reproduce the pertinent part:

לָאו מִי אִיתְּמַר עֲלַהּ, אָמַר רַב פָּפָּא: וּמוֹדֶה רַב נַחְמָן דְּאִי אוֹסֵיף בֵּיהּ דִּיקְלָא, לְתוֹסֶפֶת כַּתְבֵיהּ. הָכָא נָמֵי, הָא אוֹסֵיף לַהּ מִידֵּי

The Gemara refutes this suggestion: Was it not stated with regard to this halacha of Rav Nacḥman that Rav Pappa said: And Rav Nacḥman concedes that if he added so much as a palm tree in the second document, this shows that he wrote it as an addition, and therefore the second document does not cancel the first, but adds to its sum? Here too, he added something for her, as the sum of money specified in the second marriage contract (300) is larger than that specified in the first (200).

At this point you might be asking: Wait a minute. What kind of a comparison is this? The second כְּתוּבָה of 300 is worth 50% more on paper than the first כְּתוּבָה of 200. That is a clear differential between the two that makes them non-equivalent. But the second document on the same property added only a palm tree. How much added value could that represent?

See the source image

At the 13:50 mark of his video, R’ Stefansky notes that he met an individual in Ramat Beit Shemesh who trains dogs to sniff bugs who would otherwise destroy palm trees. These dogs sell for around a hundred thousand dollars! Why so expensive? Because fertile date-producing palm trees have tremendous value, ranging up to $5,000 per year of profit! So the second land contract doesn’t negate the first, but adds value to it because of the addition of the palm tree.

Well … there is considerably more ground to cover, but as Yom Kippur approaches, I will let Rabbi Stern 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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