משום חינא אקילו רבנן גבה קא משמע לן: Due to the increased desirability that this would bring her when trying to remarry, since this would ensure she would bring assets with her into a new marriage, the Sages were lenient with her, as the Sages issued several decrees in connection with the marriage contract in order to enable women to collect more easily. Therefore, the mishna teaches us that this is not the case.
נמנעו מלהשביעה: מ"ט אילימא משום דרב כהנא דאמר רב כהנא ואמרי לה אמר רב יהודה אמר רב מעשה באדם אחד בשני בצורת שהפקיד דינר זהב אצל אלמנה והניחתו בכד של קמח ואפאתו בפת ונתנתו לעני § The mishna taught that the court refrained from administering an oath to her. The Gemara asks: What is the reason that they refrained from administering oaths to widows? If we say that it is because of the statement of Rav Kahana, as Rav Kahana says, and some say that it was Rav Yehuda who says that Rav says: There was an incident involving a person during years of famine who deposited a gold dinar with a widow, and she placed the gold dinar in a jug of flour and unwittingly baked it in a loaf of bread along with the flour, and she gave the bread as charity to a poor man.
לימים בא בעל הדינר ואמר לה הבי לי דינרי אמרה ליה יהנה סם המות באחד מבניה של אותה אשה אם נהניתי מדינרך כלום אמרו לא היו ימים מועטין עד שמת אחד מבניה וכששמעו חכמים בדבר אמרו מה מי שנשבע באמת כך הנשבע על שקר על אחת כמה וכמה After a period of time, the owner of the dinar came and said to her: Give me my dinar. She said to him: May poison benefit, i.e., take effect on, one of the children of that woman, i.e., my children, if I derived any benefit from your dinar. It was said: Not even a few days passed until one of her children died, and when the Sages heard of this matter, they said: If one who takes an oath truthfully is punished in this way for sin, one who takes an oath falsely, all the more so.
מאי טעמא איענשה דאישתרשי לה מקום דינר The Gemara first clarifies the details of the incident: What is the reason that she was punished if she in fact did not derive any benefit from the dinar? The Gemara answers: Because she benefited [ishtarshi] from the place of the dinar, as the dinar took up space in the bread, enabling her to use less flour. Therefore, she did derive some small benefit from the dinar.
ומאי מי שנשבע באמת כמי שנשבע באמת The Gemara asks: If she in fact did derive benefit from the dinar, then what is meant by the statement: One who takes an oath truthfully? Wasn’t her oath actually false? The Gemara answers: It means that she was like one who took an oath truthfully, as her oath was truthful to the best of her knowledge. In any case, this woman was punished severely for a small mistake. The severity of taking a false oath, even inadvertently, is why the Sages ceased administering oaths to widows.
אי משום הא מאי איריא אלמנה אפילו גרושה נמי אלמה א"ר זירא אמר שמואל לא שנו אלא אלמנה אבל גרושה משביעין אותה The Gemara questions if this could be the reason for the ordinance: If they refrained from administering oaths due to this reason, then why would this be limited specifically to a widow? Even a divorcée should not be allowed to take an oath to collect her marriage contract as well. Why then does Rabbi Zeira say that Shmuel says: They taught this only with regard to a widow; however, with regard to a divorcée, the court does administer an oath to her? Why would this concern not apply in the case of a divorcée as well?
אלמנה שאני דבההיא הנאה דקא טרחה קמי דיתמי אתיא לאורויי היתרא The Gemara answers: A widow is different, as she continues to live in the house with the orphans and performs many services for them in the running of the home. Therefore, there is a concern that due to the benefit they receive from her as a result of the efforts she exerts for the orphans, she will rationalize and permit herself to take an oath that she had not collected any of her marriage contract, when in fact she had received a part of it.
אמר רב יהודה אמר ר' ירמיה בר אבא רב ושמואל דאמרי תרוייהו לא שנו אלא בב"ד אבל חוץ לבית דין משביעין אותה איני והא רב לא מגבי כתובה לארמלתא קשיא § Rav Yehuda said that Rabbi Yirmeya bar Abba said: It is Rav and Shmuel who both say that they taught only that an oath is not administered to the widow in court, as the oath that one takes in court is a severe oath, which involves the mentioning of God’s name and the holding of a sacred object. However, outside of court, where an oath is not taken in this manner, the judges administer an oath to her. The Gemara asks: Is that so? But Rav does not collect payment of a marriage contract for a widow because she has not taken an oath, which indicates that he also would not administer an oath to her outside of the court. The Gemara answers: This is difficult, as it contradicts the statement of Rav Yehuda.
בסורא מתנו הכי בנהרדעא מתנו הכי אמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל לא שנו אלא בבית דין אבל חוץ לב"ד משביעין אותה ורב אמר אפי' חוץ לב"ד נמי אין משביעין אותה In the city of Sura they taught the statement with regard to the opinions of Rav and Shmuel like this, as stated above. However, in the city of Neharde’a they taught the statement with regard to the opinions of Rav and Shmuel like this: Rav Yehuda says that Shmuel says that they taught only that an oath is not administered to the widow in court; however, outside of court the judges administer an oath to her. And Rav says: Even outside of court as well, the judges do not administer an oath to her.
רב לטעמיה דרב לא מגבי כתובה לארמלתא וליאדרה וליגבייה בשני דרב קילי נדרי The Gemara points out that according to this version of their statements, Rav conforms to his standard line of reasoning, as Rav does not collect payment of a marriage contract for a widow in any case. The Gemara asks with regard to Rav’s practice: Let him administer a vow to the widow, instead of an oath, and collect the marriage contract in accordance with the mishna, which states that a widow can take a vow in place of the oath. The Gemara answers: In Rav’s time vows were treated lightly, and Rav was concerned that widows would not treat the prohibition created by the vow with appropriate severity. This would result in the orphans losing out on part of their inheritance, and the widows violating the prohibitions created by their vows.
ההיא דאתאי לקמיה דרב הונא אמר לה מה אעביד ליך דרב לא מגבי כתובה לארמלתא אמרה ליה מידי הוא טעמא אלא דלמא נקיטנא מידי מכתובתי חי ה' צבאות אם נהניתי מכתובתי כלום אמר רב הונא מודה רב בקופצת The Gemara relates: There was an incident involving a certain widow who came before Rav Huna and attempted to collect payment of her marriage contract from the orphans. He said to her: What can I do for you, as Rav does not collect payment of a marriage contract for a widow. The widow said to him: Isn’t the reason that I cannot collect payment only because of a concern that perhaps I already took some payment of my marriage contract? I swear as the Lord of Hosts lives that I did not derive any benefit from my marriage contract. Rav Huna says: Even though the court does not administer an oath to a widow, Rav concedes with regard to one who leaps and takes an oath of her own initiative that her oath is accepted, and she can collect payment of her marriage contract.
ההיא דאתאי לקמיה דרבה בר רב הונא אמר לה מאי אעביד ליך דרב לא מגבי כתובה לארמלתא ואבא מרי לא מגבי כתובה לארמלתא The Gemara relates: There was an incident involving a certain widow who came before Rabba bar Rav Huna to collect payment of her marriage contract. He said to her: What can I do for you, as Rav does not collect payment of a marriage contract for a widow, and my father, my master, i.e., Rav Huna, does not collect payment of a marriage contract for a widow?
אמרה ליה הב לי מזוני אמר לה מזוני נמי לית ליך דאמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל התובעת כתובתה בב"ד אין לה מזונות She said to him: If I cannot collect payment of the marriage contract, then provide sustenance for me from my husband’s property, to support me until I remarry. He said to her: You also do not have any right to sustenance, as Rav Yehuda says that Shmuel says: One who demands payment of her marriage contract in court has no right to receive sustenance any longer. The husband committed to provide for her sustenance only as long as she does not wish to remarry. Generally, once a widow demands payment of her marriage contract, she demonstrates that she wishes now to remarry and is no longer entitled to receive sustenance from her deceased husband’s property.
אמרה ליה אפכוה לכורסיה כבי תרי עבדא לי הפכוה לכורסיה ותרצוה ואפילו הכי לא איפרק מחולשא The widow became angry and said to Rabba bar Rav Huna: May his chair be overturned, i.e., he should fall from his position of power, as he ruled for me in accordance with the different opinions of two people. Since Rabba bar Rav Huna was concerned about her curse, he overturned his chair in order to fulfill the curse literally, and then stood it up, and even so, he was not saved from the weakness that resulted from her curse.
אמר ליה רב יהודה לרב ירמיה ביראה אדרה בב"ד ואשבעה חוץ לב"ד וליתי קלא וליפול באודני דבעינא כי היכי דאעביד בה מעשה With regard to this issue, the Gemara recounts: Rav Yehuda, the student of Shmuel, said to Rav Yirmeya Bira’a: If a widow comes to collect payment of her marriage contract, administer a vow in court and administer an oath outside of court, and let the report be received in my ears that you did so, as I desire to perform an action, i.e., to enable a widow to collect payment of her marriage contract, in contrast to the statements of Rav’s students, who hold that a widow cannot collect payment of her marriage contract.
גופא אמר רבי זירא אמר שמואל לא שנו אלא אלמנה אבל גרושה משביעין אותה § The Gemara returns to the matter itself. The mishna taught that the court does not administer an oath to a widow in order to enable her to collect payment of her marriage contract. Rabbi Zeira says that Shmuel says: They taught this only with regard to a widow; however, with regard to a divorcée, the court does administer an oath to her.
וגרושה דאדרה לא והא שלחו מתם איך פלוניתא בת פלוני קבילת גיטא מן ידא דאחא בר הידיא דמתקרי איה מרי ונדרת ואסרת פירות שבעולם עלה דלא קבילת מכתובתה אלא גלופקרא אחד וספר תהלים אחד וספר איוב וממשלות בלואים The Gemara asks: Is that to say that if the court administered a vow to a divorcée and not an oath, then this is not sufficient to enable her to collect payment of her marriage contract? But didn’t they send from there, from Eretz Yisrael, a document that states the following: How so-and-so, the daughter of so-and-so, received a bill of divorce from the hand of Aḥa bar Hidya, who is called Ayya Mari, and she took a vow and prohibited the produce of the world to herself, based on the truth of her statement that she did not receive from her marriage contract anything other than one coat [gelofkera], and one book of Psalms, and a book of Job, and a book of Proverbs, all of which were worn out.