The Talmud rejects this as proof for Rava. In that case, although it looks like he does not want to bring a sacrifice, we can say that in truth, he would want to bring the sacrifice. So this is not a case where matters of the heart are ignored.
The Talmud now tries to derive the principle from the second half of the same mishnah which states that the court can force a husband to divorce his wife or free his slave in cases where the court compels him to do so. But again, this is rejected. Although he says he does not want to divorce his wife, it is a mitzvah to listen to the court.
R. Joseph tries to derive Rava’s principle from the mishnah we just learned. The man explicitly says that he thought the woman he was betrothing was something else than she turned out to be. This seems like a strong proof that “matters of the heart are not significant.”
The problem with this mishnah is that it is a stringency. It might be that the mishnah rules that she is betrothed simply as a stringency. To really prove that “matters of the heart are not significant” we will need to find a case that involves a leniency.
Abaye cites the first half of the mishnah, which rules that when he deceives her by stipulating that he is something that he is not. She is not betrothed, even if she says that she wanted to be betrothed in any case. This again seems to prove that matters of the heart are not significant. But again, this proof is rejected. She cannot just obviate his stipulation. He said, for instance, “You are betrothed to me on condition that I am a priest.” If he is not a priest, she is not betrothed under any circumstance.
In this case, the master sends his agent to get a purse left somewhere. The agent brings him something that actually belonged to the Temple. Even if the master says “I didn’t intend for you to bring that purse” the master is liable for trespassing Temple property. Again, this proves that matters of heart are not significant.
Again, it might be that in this case we don’t trust him, because all he is trying to do is get himself out of a sacrifice. In other cases, matters of the heart might be considered significant.
The Talmud now tries to find other responses the master (the one who sends the agent) could have said to exempt himself from a sacrifice. The fact that he did not state these excuses means that he is telling the truth when he says “I was thinking.” And if we nevertheless don’t believe him, it can only because “matters of the heart are not significant.”
A person who intentionally commits trespass is not liable for a sacrifice. So while theoretically he could have said “I intentionally sent him to take sacred property” people do not want to say that they would intentionally commit a sin.
However, he could have said “I remembered” that the property was holy after I sent him to get it. Since he could have said this and thereby exempted himself for a sacrifice, but did not say this, he did not need to say “I was thinking [that it was not holy].” Nevertheless, we still do not believe him. This proves Rava’s rule that matters of the heart are not significant.
Today’s section contains two more stories of people who sell their property in order to move to Israel, but in the end do not succeed in doing so. Interesting that the same phenomenon that occurred 1500 years ago still occurs. Its not easy moving to a foreign land for ideological reasons.
In this case, the man stated explicitly that his intention was to move to the land of Israel. The question is—what counts as moving to Israel? Just going there, or settling there permanently? According to the first ruling, his intention was to settle there. No one declares that they are moving to Israel without the intention of settling there. Therefore, when he comes back to Babylonia, he can renege on his sale because his intention was not fulfilled.
According to the other version, his intention was just to move there. Since he did, the sale is final even though he move back and he cannot ask to renege.
In this case, the man does not go to Israel, and the question again arises, whether he can renege on his sale. According to the first version, he could have gone and since he did not, the sale cannot be annulled. According the second version, where R. Ashi responds in the form of a question, if some unforeseen circumstance, something that could not be helped, prevents him from moving to Israel, then he can renege on the sale.
Today’s section begins with a new mishnah.
In both sections, a husband appoints an agent to betroth his wife and gives the agent instructions as to where to betroth the woman. If the husband tells the agent to betroth the woman in a certain place, she is not betrothed if the agent betroths her in another place. In such a case we can assume that the husband wanted the betrothal to be performed in that specific place.
However, if the husband merely tells the agent where to find the woman, the husband does not necessarily care if she is really somewhere else. He was only helping the agent locate her. Therefore the betrothal is valid no matter where the agent eventually finds her.
Virtually the same mishnah is taught in Gittin with regard to an agent who gives a get.
The Talmud now explains why we need both mishnayot. Had we only the mishnah about kiddushin, I might have thought that a man cares about where he betroths a woman because in some places people like him and in others people do not. He does not want the agent to betroth her in a place where people might say bad things about him.
But when it comes to divorce, he would not care if people like him or not, therefore he might not care where the agent delivers the get. Thus we needed a mishnah to teach us that even with regard to gittin, if he says “give my wife a divorce in such and such a place” the get must be given in that particular place.
On the other hand, divorce is somewhat disgraceful (perhaps too strong a word, but that does seem to be the correct translation). Therefore, he might not want to divorce her in certain places. But betrothal is not disgraceful and therefore he might not care.
Thus we need both mishnayot to teach us that the same rule applies in both cases.
It can be assumed that a husband does not want his wife to be subject to vows that will prevent her from engaging in certain activities, such as eating meat or drinking wine. Such vows would certainly disrupt the normal functioning of a marriage. If he betroths her on the specific condition that she is not subject to any vows, and after betrothal it is found out that she is subject to vows, she is not betrothed. Since the betrothal was made under false pretenses it is invalid and she does not need a get to remarry, nor does she receive her ketubah. However, if he did not make such a condition, and then later finds out that she is subject to vows, the marriage is valid. Nevertheless, since she should have told him that she had vows, he may divorce her without paying her the ketubah. In other words, the marriage was not exactly made under a false assumption and therefore she needs a get in order to remarry, but she still was dishonest with him and therefore she loses the ketubah.
The same rule concerning a woman subject to vows is also true with regard to a woman who has physical defects. If he specifically stipulated that she not have any physical defects (assumedly ones that he could not detect when she was clothed), and she does, the betrothal is invalid. If he did not make a stipulation, the betrothal is valid but he may divorce her without paying the ketubah.
With regard to physical defects, it is essential for us to know what physical defects are significant enough that they invalidate the betrothal or allow the husband to divorce her without paying the ketubah. The answer is that any defect that disqualifies a priest from serving at the altar (see Lev 21:17), also disqualifies a woman. These defects are listed in the seventh chapter of tractate Bekhorot.
The same mishnah was also taught in ketubot. The first clause of the mishnah is about kiddushin, which is why the mishnah is found here, and the second clause is about ketubot, which is why the mishnah is found there. But the entire mishnah was taught in both places.
In both of these cases the first act does not cause the woman, or women to be betrothed because there was not a perutah’s worth given to each woman. When the man later sends gifts which are worth more than a perutah, we might have thought that these gifts can now act as the betrothal money. After all, he clearly intended to betroth her and she clearly agreed. However, the mishnah rules that since these gifts were not sent with the intent of effecting betrothal, they do not act as such. We also do not assume that the man realized that his first act of betrothal was invalid and that he is now sending betrothal money.
A minor cannot betroth a woman. Betrothal requires “awareness”, and minors legally lack the required “awareness.” Therefore, if he tries to betroth a certain woman, she is not betrothed. Even if he later on sends presents to the woman whom he tried to betroth, the presents do not effect kiddushin, for they were not sent as such but rather on account of the first act of betrothal, which was invalid.