Ketubot 56b:9כתובות נ״ו ב
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
Toggle Reader Menu Display Settings
56bנ״ו ב

וקיימא לן מאי כותב אומר

And we maintain on this issue: What is the meaning of: Writes? It means: Says. In order to relinquish one’s claim to produce of the produce of his wife’s property, he does not necessarily need to write this in a document; it is sufficient to say it verbally in front of witnesses. It seems, therefore, that Rabbi Yehuda holds that a verbal stipulation is sufficient for a monetary matter of rabbinic law.

אמר אביי לכל יש כתובה ולא לכל יש פירות מילתא דשכיחא עבדו בה רבנן חיזוק מילתא דלא שכיחא לא עבדו בה רבנן חיזוק

Abaye said: There is a distinction between the two cases. Every married woman has a marriage contract, but not all husbands have the right to produce, as not every woman brings property with her into the marriage. Therefore, in relation to a common matter, such as a marriage contract, the Sages reinforced their pronouncements about it by insisting that any stipulations to change the terms must be in writing. However, with regard to an uncommon matter, such as the produce of property, the Sages did not reinforce their pronouncements about it, and a verbal declaration is sufficient.

הרי חמרים דשכיחי ולא עבדו לה רבנן חיזוק

The Gemara challenges this answer: But with regard to the halakha of donkey drivers, which is a common matter, Rabbi Yehuda does not hold that the Sages reinforced their pronouncements about it.

דתנן החמרין שנכנסו לעיר ואמר אחד מהן שלי חדש ושל חברי ישן שלי אינו מתוקן ושל חברי מתוקן אין נאמנים רבי יהודה אומר נאמנים

This is as we learned in a mishna (Demai 4:7): In the case of donkey drivers who entered a city to sell their wares, and one of them said: My produce is from the new crop and is still moist and not as good, but my associate’s produce is from the old crop, or he said: Mine is not fit for use, i.e., tithes have not been separated, but my associate’s produce is fit for use, the drivers are not afforded credibility. There is a suspicion that they may be lying. They may have an arrangement between them where one will make this statement in one city and in the next city they will alternate, in order to appear credible, so that one will always be able to sell his wares. Rabbi Yehuda says: They are deemed credible. This indicates that Rabbi Yehuda holds that a verbal stipulation is sufficient even for a common monetary matter of rabbinic law.

אמר אביי ודאי דדבריהם עבדו רבנן חיזוק ספק דדבריהם לא עבדו רבנן חיזוק רבא אמר בדמאי הקילו:

Abaye said: There is a distinction between the cases. With regard to a certain matter involving a rabbinic decree, such as the main sum of the marriage contract, the Sages reinforced their pronouncements, but with regard to an uncertain matter involving a rabbinic decree, such as the case of the donkey drivers, the Sages did not reinforce their pronouncements. Rava said: The Sages did not reinforce their pronouncements in the case of the donkey drivers because, in general, they were lenient about questions concerning the prohibition of doubtfully tithed produce [demai], since the halakha of demai is itself a stringency, as most amei ha’aretz separate tithes from their produce.

ר' מאיר אומר כל הפוחת וכו': כל הפוחת אפי' בתנאה אלמא קסבר תנאו בטל ואית לה וכיון דאמר לה לית ליך אלא מנה לא סמכא דעתה והויא לה בעילתו בעילת זנות

§ The mishna says: Rabbi Meir says: In the case of anyone who reduces the amount of the marriage contract to less than two hundred dinars for a virgin or one hundred dinars for a widow, this marriage amounts to licentious sexual intercourse. The Gemara makes an inference from the language of the mishna: The phrase: Anyone who reduces the amount of the marriage contract, means even if he made a stipulation and she agreed. Apparently, Rabbi Meir held that his stipulation in this case is void and she has the ability to collect the entire amount set by the Sages, but nevertheless since he said to her: You have only one hundred dinars, she does not rely on the marriage contract and does not see it as a true marriage, and therefore the intercourse becomes licentious sexual intercourse.

והא שמעינן ליה לרבי מאיר דאמר כל המתנה על מה שכתוב בתורה תנאו בטל הא בדרבנן תנאו קיים קסבר ר' מאיר כתובה דאורייתא:

But we have heard that Rabbi Meir said that anyone who stipulates counter to that which is written in the Torah, his stipulation is void. This implies that if someone makes a stipulation on a rabbinic law his stipulation does stand, and therefore there is still a question as to why the stipulation about the marriage contract is void, as a marriage contract is a rabbinic ordinance. The Gemara responds: Rabbi Meir holds that a marriage contract is a requirement of Torah law. Consequently, if one made a stipulation to reduce the amount of the marriage contract, this is a stipulation counter to that which is written in the Torah, and it is void.

תניא רבי מאיר אומר כל הפוחת לבתולה ממאתים ולאלמנה ממנה הרי זו בעילת זנות רבי יוסי אומר רשאי רבי יהודה אומר רצה כותב לבתולה שטר של מאתים והיא כותבת לו התקבלתי ממך מנה ולאלמנה מנה והיא כותבת לו התקבלתי ממך חמשים זוז

It is taught in a baraita: Rabbi Meir says: In the case of anyone who reduces the amount of the marriage contract to lower than two hundred dinars for a virgin or one hundred dinars for a widow, this marriage amounts to licentious sexual intercourse. Rabbi Yosei says: One is permitted to reduce the amount by making a verbal stipulation, provided the wife agrees. Rabbi Yehuda says: If one wishes, he may write for a virgin a document for two hundred dinars, and she may write him a receipt stating: I received one hundred dinars from you. And similarly, for a widow one may write one hundred dinars and she may write for him: I received fifty dinars from you.

וסבר רבי יוסי רשאי ורמינהי אין עושין כתובת אשה מטלטלין מפני תיקון העולם אמר רבי יוסי וכי מה תיקון העולם יש בזו והלא אין קצובין ופוחתין

The Gemara asks: And does Rabbi Yosei actually hold that he is permitted to reduce the amount? The Gemara raises a contradiction based on a baraita: Collection of a woman’s marriage contract may not be made dependent upon movable property. This is a rabbinic decree enacted for the betterment of the world. Rabbi Yosei said: What betterment of the world is accomplished by this decree? The Gemara answers: The price of the movable property is not fixed, and therefore it might become devalued.

תנא קמא נמי אין עושין קאמר אלא לאו הכי קאמר במה דברים אמורים בשלא קבל עליו אחריות אבל קבל עליו אחריות עושין ואתא רבי יוסי למימר כי קיבל עליו אחריות אמאי עושין והלא אין קצובין ופוחתין

The Gemara analyzes the text of the baraita: The first tanna also said: A marriage contract may not be made dependent on movable property. What is Rabbi Yosei’s disagreement with him? Rather, is it not that this is what the first tanna said: In what case is this statement said? In a case where one did not provide a guarantee for the movable property. But if one did provide a guarantee, the marriage contract may be made dependent on it. And Rabbi Yosei comes to say: Even if one provided a guarantee, why can the marriage contract be made dependent on it? The price is not fixed, and it may become devalued.

השתא ומה התם דדלמא פחתי חייש רבי יוסי הכא דודאי קא פחתה לא כל שכן הכי השתא התם לא ידעה דתחיל הכא ידעה וקא מחלה

Now that the meaning of the baraita has been clarified, the Gemara asks: Just as there, in the case of movable property, where perhaps it will be devalued, Rabbi Yosei is concerned that the wife might not receive the full value of her marriage contract, here, where it will definitely be devalued, is it not all the more so clear that he would be concerned? The Gemara responds: How can these cases be compared? There, she does not know if her marriage contract will be devalued, and there is no reason to suppose that she will waive his obligation to her. But here, she knows and she waived it.

אחתיה דרמי בר חמא הות נסיבא לרב אויא

The Gemara relates: The sister of Rami bar Ḥama was married to Rav Avya.