The mishnah also uses a number in the second clause, “and she acquires herself in two ways.” What does this number come to exclude?
The number in the second clause teaches that a married woman does not leave her marriage through “halitzah.” “Halitzah” is the release from levirate marriage, the obligation of a woman whose husband died without children to marry her husband’s brother. This woman, called the “yevamah,” is released through halitzah. We could have made a “kal vehomer” (all the more so) argument. If halitzah works to release a yevamah (a woman awaiting levirate marriage) but a divorce document, a get, does not work, then halitzah should all the more so work to release a married woman. The mishnah teaches that it does not. Halitzah is only for a woman awaiting levirate marriage.
The Torah requires a document for divorce. Halitzah, which is a ritual performed through the removal of the husband’s shoe, is not valid.
Today’s section begins to interpret the mishnah—from where is it derived that a woman is betrothed through money. However, this passage is not really from Kiddushin. It was originally composed in connection with a mishnah from Ketubot 46b according to which when a father betroths his daughter, he receives the money.
There are two questions that will be answered. 1) How do we know that betrothal can be effected through money? 2) How do we know that it goes to the father. Note that it goes to the father only if she is a minor or a young girl. Once she has hit majority age, the money is hers. The Talmud defines majority age as 12 ½.
The Talmud now begins to ask how we know that the father receives the money through which she is betrothed. Rav Judah answers with a midrash of a verse concerning a young girl who is sold into slavery. When this girl reaches a certain age, the master or his son is to marry her. If he does not, he must send her free, without the usual money used to redeem a slave. The Torah emphasizes this—“she goes out for nothing, without money.” The repetition allows Rav Judah to offer a midrash—there is no money when a girl leaves her master’s domain in this case. But in another similar case, when a girl leaves her father’s domain by being betrothed, there is money. And who receives the money—her father.
R. Judah’s midrash successfully proved that there is money when the girl leaves her father’s domain. But how do we know the father receives it? Maybe the girl who is being betrothed should receive it?
The answer is that if the father has the right to betroth her, i.e. to decide to whom she is betrothed, then shouldn’t he be the one to receive the money.
Above we said that since a father decides whom his daughter marries, he should receive the betrothal money. But a na’arah, a girl between the ages of 12 to 12.5 can decide herself to whom she is betrothed. So she should be able to receive her betrothal money, not her father. But we know that the father does receive the money. So again the question is asked, how do we know this?
The Talmud now answers with a verse taken from the context of the annulment of vows. The verse implies, to the Talmud, that all financial advantage that comes to her in her youth, while a na’arah, go to her father. This would include the money used for her betrothal.
Yesterday’s section concluded by positing that the biblical source for the idea that a father receives the betrothal money of his na’arah (between 12 and 12.5) daughter is the verse in Numbers 30 according to which all of the financial advantages accrued to a young girl go to her father. In today’s section the same law is learned from another verse, raising the question of which verse is the actual source.
The work that a daughter produces, her earnings, belongs to her father. Rav deduces this from the fact that a man may sell his daughter to be a maidservant. But if the verse from Numbers teaches that all of the financial advantages of a daughter go to her husband, why does Rav need to prove that a daughter’s handiwork goes to her father from that verse?
The Talmud now admits that the verse from Numbers does not have broader implications. It refers only to the annulment of vows and not to a father’s right to his daughter’s betrothal money. And should we suggest that just as a father has a right to annul his daughter’s vows, so too he has right to his daughter’s betrothal money, this must be rejected for one cannot derive laws regarding monetary matters from the laws of vows.
The Talmud suggests that we derive the fact that the father receives the betrothal money from the fact, learned earlier in Ketubot, that he receives any fines owed to her, such as those for rape and seduction. However, the laws of fines differ from the laws of monetary payments and therefore there is a rule that the latter cannot be derived from the former.
If a na’arah is raped/seduced the payments for the shame and blemish go to her father (we learned this earlier in Ketubot). But this cannot be a source for the father’s receiving the betrothal money because there is a difference with shame and blemish. The meaning of “since the father is involved” is not entirely clear. I believe that the words could mean that when she is shamed or blemished, the father also suffers. In any case, we still have no source for how we know that the father receives the betrothal money.
The resolution of how we know that the father receives the money goes back to the original source—the fact that when the daughter sold into slavery goes free, the master does not receive a payment. Had there been a payment, the master would have received it. Thus, logically, in the case of betrothal, where there is a payment, the money goes to the father, who is akin to the master.