Ketubot 53aכתובות נ״ג א
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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53aנ״ג א

חזייה דלא הוה ניחא ליה אמר ליה מאי דעתיך משום דאמר ליה שמואל לרב יהודה שיננא לא תיהוי בעבורי אחסנתא אפילו מברא בישא לברא טבא דלא ידיעא מאי זרעא נפיק מיניה וכל שכן מברא לברתא

Rav Pappa saw that Yehuda bar Mareimar was not amenable to the idea of entering the house. He said to him: What is on your mind? Do you not wish to enter due to that which Shmuel said to Rav Yehuda: Shinnana, do not be a partner in the transfer of an inheritance even from a bad son to a good son, as it is not known what seed will come from him? Perhaps the bad son will father worthy children. And all the more so, one should not be a partner in the transfer of an inheritance from a son to a daughter.

האי נמי תקנתא דרבנן היא דאמר רבי יוחנן משום ר' שמעון בן יוחי אמר ליה ה"מ מדעתיה לעשוייה נמי א"ל אטו מי קאמינא לך דעול ועשייה עול ולא תעשייה קאמינא אמר ליה מעלאי דידי היינו עשייה

Rav Pappa continued: Are you worried that your arrival will pressure Abba of Sura to give his daughter a more substantial dowry? But this too is an ordinance of the Sages, that a father must provide a dowry for his daughter. This is as Rabbi Yoḥanan said in the name of Rabbi Shimon ben Yoḥai, as quoted above, that the Sages enacted this matter so that a man should take the initiative and write an agreement to give his daughter a dowry as large as the portion of his possessions that his son will receive as an inheritance. Yehuda bar Mareimar said to him: This applies only if the man gives of his own free will, but should one force him as well? Rav Pappa said to him: Did I say to you that you should enter and force him? I merely said that you should enter, but do not force him. He said to him: My very entrance is an act that will effectively force him, as he will increase her dowry in my honor.

אכפייה ועול אישתיק ויתיב סבר ההוא מירתח רתח כתביה לכל מאי דהוה ליה לסוף אמר ליה השתא נמי לא מישתעי מר חיי דמר לא שביקי מידי לנפשאי

Eventually, Rav Pappa forced Yehuda bar Mareimar and he entered. He was silent, and sat without uttering a word. Abba of Sura thought that Yehuda bar Mareimar was angry with him for his failure to grant his daughter a suitable dowry. He therefore wrote down in the marriage contract all that he had as her dowry, to appease him. Ultimately, when he observed that Yehuda was still silent, Abba of Sura said to him: Even now the Master will not talk? By the Master’s life, I have left nothing for myself.

אמר ליה אי מינאי דידי אפי' האי נמי דכתבת לא ניחא לי א"ל השתא נמי אהדר בי א"ל שוייה נפשך הדרנא לא קאמינא

Yehuda bar Mareimar said to him: If you are acting for my sake, that which you wrote is also not amenable to me. Finally understanding his wishes, Abba of Sura said to Yehuda bar Mareimar: Now too, I will retract, as I acted in error. Yehuda bar Mareimar said to him: I did not speak so that you should turn yourself into the kind of person who retracts once he gives his word. You should uphold your agreement, but the agreement was not to my liking.

בעא מיניה רב יימר סבא מרב נחמן מכרה כתובתה לבעלה יש לה כתובת בנין דכרין או אין לה כתובת בנין דכרין א"ל רבא ותבעי לך מוחלת

§ Rav Yeimar the Elder raised a dilemma before Rav Naḥman: If a wife sold her marriage contract to her husband, i.e., she sold him the right not to have to pay her the marriage contract if they divorce or if she is widowed, does she have the marriage document concerning male children, or does she not have the marriage document concerning male children? Rava said to him: And you can raise the same dilemma with regard to a wife who forgoes her right to her marriage contract. Does she retain the marriage document concerning male children in this case?

אמר ליה השתא מוכרת קמיבעיא לי דאע"ג דאיכא למימר זוזי אנסוה דאמינא כמאן דקא מחו לה מאה עוכלי בעוכלא מוחלת מיבעיא

Rav Yeimar said to him: Now, the halakha of one who sells her marriage contract is a dilemma for me. As, although there is room to say that the money forced her, and that I say that she is like one who is struck with a hundred strikes [ukelei] of a hammer [ukela], i.e., she needed liquid assets at the time and therefore she sold her marriage contract unwillingly, even so, I am still willing to entertain the possibility that she has sold the marriage document concerning male children. Then, with regard to one who forgoes her marriage contract, is it necessary to raise the dilemma?

אמר רבא פשיטא לי מוכרת כתובתה לאחרים יש לה כתובת בנין דכרין מאי טעמא זוזי אנסוה מוחלת כתובתה לבעלה אין לה כתובת בנין דכרין מאי טעמא אחולי אחילתא

Rava said: It is obvious to me that if a wife sells her marriage contract to others, not to her husband but to someone else who is willing to pay at the present time for the chance to collect the money stated in her marriage contract if she is later divorced or widowed, she still has the marriage document concerning male children. What is the reason? The money forced her to sell, and she did not mean to renounce all her rights. It is likewise clear to me that one who forgoes the right to collect her marriage contract from her husband does not have the marriage document concerning male children. What is the reason? She has forgiven it all and has no intention of claiming anything from her husband.

בעי רבא מוכרת כתובתה לבעלה כמוכרת לאחרים דמי או כמוחלת לבעלה דמי בתר דבעיא הדר פשטא מוכרת כתובה לבעלה כמוכרת לאחרים דמי

However, Rava raised a dilemma about the following case: With regard to one who sells her marriage contract to her husband, is she considered like one who sells to others, i.e., she has not relinquished the marriage document concerning male children, or is she considered like one who forgoes her right to collect her marriage contract from her husband, i.e., she has forfeited everything? After he raised the dilemma he subsequently resolved it: One who sells her marriage contract to her husband is considered like one who sells to others, as she is assumed to have done so due to financial constraints.

מתיב רב אידי בר אבין מתה אין יורשין של זה ואין יורשין של זה יורשין כתובתה והוינן בה כתובתה מאי עבידתה

Rav Idi bar Avin raised an objection: We learned in a mishna (Yevamot 87b) that if a woman’s husband went overseas, and after hearing the testimony of one witness that he was dead the woman married again, and then her first husband returned, both husbands must divorce her, and she does not receive payment of her marriage contract from either man. That mishna proceeds to state that if she died, neither the heirs of this one, the first husband, nor the heirs of that one, the second husband, inherit the sum stipulated in her marriage contract. And we discussed the following question: With regard to a marriage contract, what is its purpose? In other words, the mishna just said that she is not entitled to a marriage contract, so how can it even be suggested that the heirs might inherit it?

ואמר רב פפא כתובת בנין דכרין ואמאי הכא נמי לימא יצר אנסה

And Rav Pappa said: This is referring to the marriage document concerning male children. Not only does she forfeit her marriage contract, but she also loses the right to the marriage document concerning male children, as her sons do not inherit from her at all. Rav Idi bar Avin explains his objection. But if, according to the above statement, a wife who sells her marriage contract has not relinquished the marriage document concerning male children, why does the mishna in Yevamot state that none of the woman’s heirs inherit the proceeds of her marriage contract? Here too, in that mishna, let us say that her desire to marry another man forced her to marry her second husband. Why should she forfeit the marriage document concerning male children?

התם קנסא הוא דקנסוה רבנן

The Gemara answers: There it is a penalty with which the Sages penalized her. In other words, the reason is not that she automatically forfeits the marriage document concerning male children, along with the marriage contract itself. Rather, her loss of the marriage document concerning male children is one of several penalties the Sages imposed upon her for remarrying on the basis of the testimony of a single witness without conducting her own thorough investigation into her husband’s fate. Therefore, one cannot learn from that halakha with regard to the issue at hand.

יתיב רבין בר חנינא קמיה דרב חסדא ויתיב וקאמר משמיה דרבי אלעזר מוחלת כתובתה לבעלה אין לה מזונות אמר ליה אי לאו דקאמרת לי משמיה דגברא רבא הוה אמינא לך (משלי יז, יג) משיב רעה תחת טובה לא תמוש רעה מביתו

Ravin bar Ḥanina sat before Rav Ḥisda, and he sat and said the following halakha in the name of Rabbi Elazar: One who forgoes her right to collect her marriage contract from her husband does not receive her sustenance from him. Rav Ḥisda said to him: Had you not said this halakha to me in the name of a great man, I would have said to you that this is an injustice, in accordance with the verse “who rewards evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house” (Proverbs 17:13). After she relinquishes to her husband her right to her marriage contract, which was a favor to her husband, she loses her sustenance as well.

יתיב ר"נ ועולא ואבימי בר רב פפי ויתיב רב חייא בר אמי גבייהו אתא ההוא גברא דשכיבא ארוסתו אמרי ליה זיל קבר או הב לה כתובתה אמר להו רב חייא תנינא אשתו ארוסה לא אונן ולא מיטמא לה וכן היא לא אוננת ולא מיטמאה לו מתה אינו יורשה מת הוא גובה כתובתה

The Gemara relates: Rav Naḥman was sitting, and Ulla and Avimei bar Rav Pappi were sitting as well, and Rav Ḥiyya bar Ami was sitting with them, when a certain man came before them whose betrothed wife had died. They said to him: Go and bury her, or give her heirs the sum stipulated in her marriage contract. Rav Ḥiyya said to them, in surprise at their response: But we learned that with regard to one’s betrothed wife he neither assumes the status of an acute mourner nor becomes ritually impure for her if he is a priest, and similarly, she neither assumes the status of an acute mourner nor becomes ritually impure for him. If she died he does not inherit from her, and if he died she collects payment of her marriage contract.

טעמא דמת הוא הא מתה היא אין לה כתובה מאי טעמא אמר רב הושעיא שאין אני קורא בה לכשתנשאי לאחר תטלי מה שכתוב ליכי

Rav Ḥiyya infers the following from this statement: The reason for this halakha is that he died, from which it may be inferred that if she died she does not have a marriage contract, nor any of the stipulations of a marriage contract. The Gemara asks: What is the reason that her marriage contract is canceled upon her death? Rav Hoshaya said: The reason is that I do not read with regard to her the condition stated in the marriage contract: When you marry another he may take what is written for you, as she cannot marry another.

כי אתא רבין אמר ריש לקיש ארוסה שמתה אין לה כתובה אמר להו אביי זילו אמרי ליה

The Gemara relates another incident: When Ravin came from Eretz Yisrael to Babylonia he said that Reish Lakish said: A betrothed woman who died does not have a marriage contract. Abaye said to the scholars who recited this halakha in Ravin’s name: Go, and say to Ravin: