The Talmud will now raise a series of difficulties against this kal vehomer argument. Money works in betrothal because it can be used to redeem sacred things and second tithe. But huppah cannot, therefore, huppah cannot be used for betrothal.
But intercourse does not work to redeem sacred things and second tithe and nevertheless it does work in betrothal. So too should huppah.
The problem is that intercourse does work to acquire a yevamah and thus is a valid means of betrothal. But huppah does not work to acquire a yevamah and therefore cannot be used for betrothal.
The Talmud now tries to take money and intercourse together and use them both as a kal vehomer to prove that huppah can acquire in betrothal. Money and intercourse are both means to acquire “elsewhere” (in purchases or in the case of the yevamah) and in betrothal. Huppah acquires “elsewhere” (in marriage) and therefore should also acquire here, as a means of betrothal.
The Talmud refutes the comparison—sex and money are pleasurable and therefore acquire in betrothal. Huppah is not.
A document works for betrothal and nevertheless there is not pleasure in it. So too should huppah.
But the problem is that a document has the power to release a woman in divorce. Therefore it acquires in betrothal. Huppah is not a means of divorce and therefore we have no reason to think it would acquire in betrothal.
Money and intercourse are also not means of divorce and therefore they should prove that huppah can acquire. But this again could be refuted because there is pleasure with money and intercourse. As it did above, the argument goes around in circles. But what all three have in common is that they all acquire (money and documents acquire things, intercourse acquires a yevamah) and acquire in betrothal, so too huppah acquires elsewhere (in marriage) and should also acquire here.
The Talmud now refutes the commonality—money, document and intercourse can all be performed against her will whereas huppah cannot (money buys the handmaiden, document frees a divorcee against her will, and intercourse acquires the yevamah).
But R. Huna could respond that money does not work against her will to betroth her in marriage. Therefore, there is no “commonality” and the three together can be used to demonstrate that huppah is a means of betrothal.
So after all of this the Talmud has finally provided some support for R. Huna.
Rava raises two difficulties on R. Huna. First of all, the mishnah teaches there are three ways of betrothal, not four. Second, huppah acquires in marriage only when preceded by betrothal. But without prior betrothal, why should we think there is any efficacy to huppah whatsoever.
Abaye answers Rava’s two difficulties on R. Huna. The mishnah only taught means of betrothal that could be learned through midrash. And R. Huna’s argument was based on the awareness that huppah acquires in marriage only after betrothal through money. He simply noted that money never acquires in marriage, even after betrothal. But huppah does aquire after betrothal. Therefore it is as strong as money and should acquire in betrothal as well.
Today’s sugya discusses how kiddushin with money is performed.
This baraita teaches two things: 1) he must say to her certain words, words that can clearly be construed as words of betrothal. There are a variety of different phrases he may use to betroth her. 2) He must give the money to her. She cannot say the words and give the money to him. Yes, this is most definitely not egalitarian.
R. Papa notes that since there are two factors—giving the money and making the declaration, it is difficult to tell which is determinative. Particularly he wants to know if the kiddushin is valid if the husband gave the money and the wife made the declaration. It is interesting that R. Papa does not even consider what the rule would be if the woman gave the money.
The first resolution is to say that the husband must both give and say.
According to this interpretation, the second clause seems to clarify an unclear point in the first clause. In any case, the result is the same—he must give the money and make the statement.
Here we see the slimmest of more egalitarian possibilities. If she makes the declaration, maybe the kiddushin are valid as long as he gives the money. The kiddushin would be valid and to be divorced she would need a get. We will also see that in rabbinic thinking the statement is less significant than the giving of the money.
In today’s sugya Shmuel continues to discuss the language of kiddushin.
The main thing that Shmuel says is that the husband must actively betroth her to him. He cannot betroth himself to her.
The same holds true for divorce. He has to send her forth, divorce her. He cannot divorce himself from her.
R. Papa notes that in Shmuel’s formulation the man does not say “to me.” He just says “you are betrothed.” How then do we know that he is not acting as an agent to betroth her to someone else? This is what is called “ambiguous abbreviations.” It seems, R. Papa notes, that here Shmuel holds that ambiguous abbreviations are valid.
But elsewhere Shmuel seems to hold the opposite. If a person says “I will be” he has taken a nazirite vow only if a nazirite is walking by. If not, then although this does seem to be some sort of nazirite vow formula, he is not a nazirite.
The answer is that he does say “Behold you are betrothed to me.” Without the words “to me” the statement is too ambiguous and she is not betrothed.
If the man says “Behold you are betrothed to me” she is obviously betrothed. Shmuel seems to be teaching us nothing.
The Talmud answers that the second half of each of Shmuel’s statement is what he is teaching us. As stated above, the man must betroth the woman or send her away in divorce. He cannot use language that makes it seem like he is betrothing himself to her or sending himself away from her.