Ben Bag Bag must now explain why a slave can eat terumah immediately and we’re not concerned about nullification of the sale, whereas a betrothed girl cannot. The answer is that there is no way that the sale of a slave could be annulled by “simpon.” If the flaw is internal or hidden, then the owner should not care about it, because the slave is bought only for work. If the flaw is visible outside of the clothes, then the purchaser accepted the flaw when he bought the slave. If the slave turns out to be a thief or gambler, the sale cannot be annulled. And if the slave turns out to be an armed robber or condemned to die, the sale cannot be invalidated because the purchaser should have known about this before he bought the slave.
Both Ben Bag Bag and Ben Batera agree that a woman does not eat terumah until she enters the huppah, so what is it that they’re arguing about? In other words, what is the practical difference between the two reasons why a woman does not eat terumah until she enters the huppah—for fear that she will give the terumah to her family (Ben Batera), or fear that the betrothal will be annulled (Ben Bag Bag)? There are two such differences. First of all, if the husband accepts all of his wife’s defects, then Ben Bag Bag would say that she can eat terumah immediately. But Ben Batera would say she cannot lest she give the terumah to her family members. The other difference is a case where the father delivered his daughter to the husband’s agents or even if the father’s agents have gone with the husband’s agents. In both of these cases the marriage could still be annulled, so Ben Bag Bag would not allow her to eat terumah. But she is no longer with her family, so there is no fear that she will give to her family.
This week’s daf begins to address the dispute between Bet Shammai and Bet Hillel in the Mishnah. According to Bet Shammai a woman cannot be betrothed for less than a dinar. Bet Hillel says a perutah, a lesser sum.
According to R. Zera, Bet Shammai requires a dinar for betrothal because they assume that a woman would not allow herself to be betrothed for a lesser amount.
Abaye objects. If the issue is that we assume that a woman will not agree to be betrothed for less than a dinar, then what about rich women, such as the daughters of R. Yannai. We might assume that they would not agree to be betrothed for less than a heap (a tarkav is a measure of weight) of dinars. And then, if such a woman did accept a dinar as kiddushin, we would have to say that she is not betrothed due to our assumption. But this seems a strange, and incorrect thing to say. Would Bet Shammai really say such a thing?
R. Zera responds that in his opinion, Bet Shammai requires a dinar only if the woman does not knowingly accept the betrothal. For instance, he betroths her at night and she does not see the coin he gives her. Or he betroths her through an agent. However, if she wants to accept less than a dinar, she does have a right to do so.
Note that while this lowers the amount of kiddushin, it gives the woman greater agency. She can get betrothed, even according to Bet Shammai, for whatever amount she wants, as long as we are sure she agrees to it.
R. Joseph gives a different reason for Bet Shammai. A dinar is a silver coin of Tyrian coinage (from Tyre, no relation to Tyrion, the diminutive Game of Thrones hero). Such coinage was considered to be the standard coinage in the Roman Empire, at least according to rabbinic thinking. [Reality was a bit more complicated, but there is some truth to there being a standard coinage and local coins]. Since the money for betrothal is mentioned in the Torah, it must be in Tyrian coinage. Local coinage can be used for obligations not found in the Torah. The Talmud will continue to explore this statement below.
Today’s sugya discusses the statement we learned yesterday about whether the coins referred to are Tyrian coins or the lower value provincial coins.
This is the same statement we saw at the end of yesterday’s passage.
The Talmud now examines whether R. Asi’s rule is always true. There is a concept called “partial admission.” Let me illustrate this. Reuven claims that Shimon owes him something and Shimon admits that he owes him some of what Reuven claims but not the whole amount. Shimon now must take an oath that he does not owe him the rest. For this to happen, Reuven’s claim must be for at least two ma’ahs and Shimon must deny at least a perutah. But why two ma’ahs? Why not one? After all, a dinar would seem to be the minimum amount for any money mentioned in the Torah and as the Talmud shows, the source of this oath is from a verse (it is derived midrashically from there).