לא אמר כלום מאי טעמא כל מעשה בית דין כמאן דנקיט שטרא בידיה דמי he has said nothing. His claim is not accepted. What is the reason that he is not believed? It is because one who is owed any money based on a court enactment is considered like one who is holding a promissory note in his hand, against which a claim of repayment is not accepted without supporting evidence.
א"ל רבי חייא בר אבא לרבי יוחנן ולא משנתינו היא זו (כתובות פח ב) הוציאה גט ואין עמו כתובה גובה כתובתה Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba said to Rabbi Yoḥanan: But what are you adding? Isn’t this principle stated in a mishna (Ketubot 88b), which teaches: If a woman produced a bill of divorce, and there was no accompanying marriage contract, she collects payment of her marriage contract? This is an example of Rabbi Yoḥanan’s principle that a court enactment enables one to collect a debt even without the relevant document.
א"ל אי לאו דדלאי לך חספא לא משכחת מרגניתא תותה Rabbi Yoḥanan said to him: True, this mishna is a source for my principle; but had I not lifted up the shard for you, you would not have found a pearl beneath it. In other words, if Rabbi Yoḥanan had not pointed out the principle, Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba would not have realized that it was underlying the ruling of the mishna.
אמר אביי מאי מרגניתא דלמא במקום שאין כותבין כתובה עסקינן דגט היינו כתובתה אבל במקום שכותבין כתובה אי נקיטא כתובה גביא אי לא לא גביא Abaye said: What qualifies this proof as a pearl? It is not a compelling proof, as perhaps in the mishna we are dealing with a place where they do not write a marriage contract, as in such a place, a woman’s bill of divorce is the same as her marriage contract. But in a place where they do write a marriage contract, if she is holding a marriage contract then she collects payment, and if not, she does not collect payment. There is no proof from the mishna in support of Rabbi Yoḥanan’s principle.
הדר אמר אביי לאו מלתא היא דאמרי דאי סלקא דעתך במקום שאין כותבין כתובה עסקינן אבל במקום שכותבין כתובה אי נקיטא כתובה גביא אי לא לא גביא אלמנה מן האירוסין במאי גביא Abaye then said: What I said is not correct. As, if it enters your mind that we are dealing with a place where they do not write a marriage contract, but in a place where they do write a marriage contract, if she is holding a marriage contract then she collects payment, and if not she does not collect payment, then through what means does a widow from her betrothal collect payment of her marriage contract? She has neither a marriage contract nor a bill of divorce.
בעדי מיתת בעל לטעון ולימא פרעתיה וכי תימא הכי נמי אם כן מה הועילו חכמים בתקנתן If it is suggested that she can collect payment by means of witnesses to the death of her husband, let the husband’s heir, from whom she is demanding payment, claim and say: I paid it; she has no proof that she did not receive the money. And if you would say that indeed, the heir can claim that he has paid what he owes, if so, what did the Sages accomplish with their ordinance that a widow from betrothal receives payment of her marriage contract? The heirs can always exempt themselves.
א"ל מר קשישא בריה דרב חסדא לרב אשי ואלמנה מן האירוסין דאית לה כתובה מנא לן Mar Kashisha, son of Rav Ḥisda, said to Rav Ashi, questioning the underlying assumption of Abaye: And from where do we derive that a widow from her betrothal has the right to receive payment of her marriage contract?
אילימא מהא דתנן נתארמלה או נתגרשה בין מן האירוסין ובין מן הנישואין גובה את הכל דלמא היכא דכתב לה If we say that this halakha is derived from that which we learned in a mishna (Ketubot 54b): If a woman became widowed or divorced, whether from betrothal or from marriage, she collects all that she is entitled to, both the main sum of her marriage contract instituted by the Sages and the additional sum that her husband added; that mishna cannot serve as a source for the halakha that a widow from her betrothal has the right to receive payment of her marriage contract. As perhaps the mishna is referring to a case where the husband wrote a marriage contract for her, but if he did not, she does not receive any money at all.
וכי תימא מאי למימרא לאפוקי מדרבי אלעזר בן עזריה דאמר שלא כתב לה אלא על מנת לכונסה אצטריכא ליה And if you would say: In that case, what is the purpose of stating this halakha since it is obvious that she can collect payment if she has a written contract, then one could respond that it is stated to exclude the opinion of Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya, who says that a widow from betrothal does not receive that which the husband committed to pay in the marriage contract, as he wrote the marriage contract only on the condition that he would marry her. He did not intend to obligate himself in a situation where he died before their marriage. Therefore, it was necessary for the mishna to mention that a widow from betrothal who has a written marriage contract collects payment.
דיקא נמי דקתני גובה את הכל אי אמרת בשלמא דכתב לה היינו דקא תני גובה את הכל אלא אי אמרת דלא כתב לה The language of the mishna is also precise according to this understanding, as it teaches: She collects all that she is entitled to. Granted, if you say that the mishna is referring to a case where the husband wrote her a marriage contract, this is why the mishna teaches that she collects all that she is entitled to, i.e., even the amount that the husband added to the main sum of the marriage contract. But if you say that it is referring a case where he did not write her a marriage contract,