Ketubot 55aכתובות נ״ה א
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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55aנ״ה א

לשבח לשבועה ולשביעית

It is also relevant to an increase in value, as she does not collect the main or additional sums from the increased value of the property in a case where the husband’s estate was not sufficient at the time of his death to pay the entire cost of her marriage contract but the heirs later increased the value of the property; to an oath, because if the wife is required to take an oath in order to receive her marriage contract, the additional sum is also included in that oath; and to the Sabbatical Year, as the marriage contract is not annulled with other debts in the Sabbatical Year, and this includes the additional sum as well.

ולכותב כל נכסיו לבניו לגבות מן הקרקע ומן הזיבורית וכל זמן שהיא בבית אביה ולכתובת בנין דכרין

And with regard to one who writes a document transferring all of his property to his sons and leaves his wife a specific plot of land for her marriage contract, this teaches that she receives both the main and the additional sums of her contract only from that land. The aforementioned halakha also teaches that she collects the payment only from land, and specifically from land of inferior quality; and that a widow loses her ability to collect the main and additional sums as long as she is in her father’s home for more than twenty-five years after her husband’s death; and the principle also applies to the stipulation in the marriage contract that the male offspring inherit their mother’s dowry when her husband passes away in addition to the inheritance they receive together with their other brothers. These halakhot apply equally to the additional sum of the marriage contract.

איתמר כתובת בנין דכרין פומבדיתא אמרי לא טרפא ממשעבדי ירתון תנן

§ It was stated that there was a debate among the Sages with regard to the stipulation in the marriage contract that the male offspring inherit the sum stipulated in their mother’s marriage contract. The Sages of Pumbedita say: It is not seized from liened property that has been sold by the father. This is because we learned in a mishna (52b) that the text of the stipulation is: They will inherit the money set aside for their mother’s marriage contract. From this phrase it is clear that the stipulation follows the halakhot of inheritance, and therefore their inheritance can be taken only from property in the father’s possession at the time of his death, but not from property that he had sold.

בני מתא מחסיא אמרי טרפא ממשעבדי יסבון תנן והלכתא לא טרפא ממשעבדי ירתון תנן

The residents of Mata Meḥasya say: It is seized from liened property that has been sold. Their tradition is that the mishna states that the text of the stipulation is: They will take the money set aside for their mother’s marriage contract. It is as if the husband transferred this property to the sons, and as their acquisition precedes those of the other buyers, they may seize the sold property from the buyers. The Gemara concludes that the halakha is that it is not seized from liened property that has been sold, as the mishna states: They will inherit.

מטלטלי ואיתנהו בעינייהו בלא שבועה

There is another dispute between the Sages of Pumbedita and the residents of Mata Meḥasya, with regard to one who set aside payment for his wife’s marriage contract from movable property, and these objects are in their pure, unadulterated state at the time of the execution of the marriage contract after the husband’s death. In this case, all agree that the widow may take them without an oath that confirms that her husband did not leave her any other money for the payment of her marriage contract, as it is clear that he set aside these objects for that purpose.

ליתנהו בעינייהו פומבדיתא אמרי בלא שבועה בני מתא מחסיא אמרי בשבועה והלכתא בלא שבועה

However, if the movable objects are not in their pure, unadulterated state, e.g., they were lost, the Sages of Pumbedita say that she takes the payment for her marriage contract from other property, as all of the husband’s property is liened to the marriage contract without an oath. The residents of Mata Meḥasya say she takes her payment only with an oath, because of a concern that she may have already received other property as payment for her marriage contract. And the halakha is that she may take it without an oath, in accordance with the opinion of the Sages of Pumbedita.

ייחד לה ארעא בארבעה מצרנהא בלא שבועה בחד מצרא פומבדיתא אמרי בלא שבועה בני מתא מחסיא אמרי בשבועה והלכתא בלא שבועה

If he set aside land for her, which he demarcated on all four of its borders, she seizes the land without an oath. If he demarcated it on only one border, which is not as clear an indication, the Sages of Pumbedita say she takes it without an oath, and the residents of Mata Meḥasya say she takes it with an oath. And the halakha is that she takes it without an oath.

אמר לעדים כתבו וחתמו והבו ליה קנו מיניה לא צריך אימלוכי ביה לא קנו מיניה פומבדיתא אמרי לא צריך אימלוכי ביה בני מתא מחסיא אמרי צריך אימלוכי ביה והלכתא צריך אימלוכי ביה:

Furthermore, they had a dispute in a case where someone told witnesses: Write and sign a deed of gift and give it to the intended recipient of the gift. In such a case, if the witnesses acquired it from him on behalf of the recipient by performing a formal act of acquisition, they do not need to consult with him again, as there can be no retraction after a formal acquisition. But if they did not acquire it from him, the Sages of Pumbedita say they do not need to consult with him again, and the residents of Mata Meḥasya say they must consult with him. And the halakha is that they must consult with him again.

ר' אלעזר בן עזריה וכו': איתמר רב ורבי נתן חד אמר הלכה כרבי אלעזר בן עזריה וחד אמר אין הלכה כר' אלעזר בן עזריה

§ The mishna states that Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya says that a woman who collects the payment for her marriage contract after marriage receives the main and additional sums, while one who collects it after betrothal receives only the main sum. It was stated: Rav and Rabbi Natan differed with regard to this issue. One said the halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya. And one said the halakha is not in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya.

תסתיים דר' נתן הוא דאמר הלכה כר' אלעזר בן עזריה דשמעי' ליה לרבי נתן דאזיל בתר אומדנא דאמר רבי נתן הלכה כרבי שמעון שזורי במסוכן

It may be concluded that Rabbi Natan is the one who said that the halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya, as we have heard that Rabbi Natan follows the principle of assessing intention. Even if one did not make an explicit statement, the court assesses what his intention must have been and decides the halakha based on that assessment. It is clear that he follows this principle, as Rabbi Natan said that the halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Shimon Shezuri in the case of an ill person in danger. If this person says: Write a bill of divorce for my wife, that is understood as: Write it and give it to her, as his intention is to absolve her from the requirement of levirate marriage by means of the bill of divorce. Although he did not explicitly state this, Rabbi Natan holds that in such a situation the court assesses that this was the husband’s intent and follows it.