Kiddushin 4b:3קידושין ד׳ ב
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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4bד׳ ב

קמ"ל (שמות כא, יא) ויצאה חנם כו'

Therefore the superfluous phrase: “Then shall she go out for nothing, without money” (Exodus 21:11), teaches us that even an ailonit can be sold as a Hebrew maidservant and is released upon reaching adulthood.

ולמר בר רב אשי דאמר ולאו ק"ו הוא הא אמרינן מילתא דאתיא בק"ו טרח וכתב לה קרא ה"מ היכא דליכא לשנויי אבל היכא דאיכא לשנויי משנינן :

The Gemara asks: And according to the opinion of Mar bar Rav Ashi, who said: But is it not an a fortiori inference that adulthood releases a woman from her master’s authority, how does he respond to the fact that we say in general, with regard to a matter that can be derived through an a fortiori inference, the verse nevertheless takes the trouble and writes it explicitly? The Gemara answers: That matter applies only where there is no other way to resolve the difficulty of why a halakha is written when it could be derived through an a fortiori inference. But when there is another, more substantial way to resolve the difficulty, one resolves it in that manner.

ותנא מייתי לה מהכא דתניא (דברים כד, א) כי יקח איש אשה ובעלה והיה אם לא תמצא חן בעיניו כי מצא בה וגו' אין קיחה אלא בכסף וכן הוא אומר (בראשית כג, יג) נתתי כסף השדה קח ממני

§ The Gemara notes: And a tanna cites the halakha that a woman can be betrothed with money from here, a different source. As it is taught in a baraita that when the verse states: “When a man takes a woman and engages in sexual intercourse with her, and it comes to pass, if she finds no favor in his eyes, because he has found some unseemly matter in her, and he writes her a scroll of severance” (Deuteronomy 24:1), in this verse, the term taking is only with money. And so it says: “I will give money for the field; take it from me” (Genesis 23:13).

והלא דין הוא ומה אמה העבריה שאינה נקנית בביאה נקנית בכסף זו שנקנית בביאה אינו דין שתקנה בכסף

The Gemara asks: But is there any need for this derivation? Could this not be derived through an a fortiori inference, as follows: And if a Hebrew maidservant, who cannot be acquired as a maidservant through intercourse, nevertheless can be acquired through money, is it not logical that this woman, who can be acquired through intercourse for the purpose of betrothal, can likewise be acquired through money?

יבמה תוכיח שנקנית בביאה ואינה נקנית בכסף מה ליבמה שכן אין נקנית בשטר תאמר בזו שנקנית בשטר

Nevertheless, this a fortiori inference can be refuted. A yevama proves otherwise, as she is acquired by the yavam through intercourse, and yet she cannot be acquired through money. The Gemara rejects this refutation: What is unique about a yevama is that she cannot be acquired through a document. Will you say that the same applies to this woman, who can be acquired through a document for the purpose of betrothal, and consequently the acquisition of money applies to her as well?

ת"ל כי יקח איש הא למה לי קרא הא אתיא לה אמר רב אשי משום דאיכא למימר מעיקרא דדינא פירכא

The Gemara reiterates its question. The verse states: “When a man takes a woman.” Why do I need a verse for this purpose? It was already derived through this a fortiori inference, as the proposed refutation of this inference was rejected. Rav Ashi said: It is needed because one can say that the refutation of the a fortiori inference is present from the outset, i.e., there is a difficulty with the comparison between a woman and a Hebrew maidservant.

מהיכא קא מייתית לה מאמה העבריה מה לאמה העבריה שכן יוצאה בכסף תאמר בזו שאינה יוצאה בכסף ת"ל כי יקח איש

Rav Ashi elaborates: From where do you derive that a woman can be betrothed with money? It is derived through an a fortiori inference from the case of a Hebrew maidservant. This derivation can be refuted. What is unique about a Hebrew maidservant is that she can be released with money, i.e., she pays her master her value as a maidservant and she is then freed, and therefore she can likewise be acquired through money. Will you say the same with regard to this woman, who cannot be released, i.e., divorced, through money? Since this a fortiori inference is rejected, one must rely on the source cited in the baraita, that the verse states: “When a man takes.”

ואיצטריך למיכתב ויצאה חנם ואיצטריך למיכתב כי יקח איש דאי כתב רחמנא כי יקח הוה אמינא קידושין דיהב לה בעל דידה הוו כתב רחמנא ויצאה חנם

After mentioning an additional proof for the option of betrothal with money, the Gemara comments: And it was necessary for the Torah to write, with regard to a Hebrew maidservant: “Then shall she go out for nothing,” and it was also necessary to write: “When a man takes a woman.” As, if the Merciful One had written only: “When he takes,” I would say: The betrothal money that the husband gives her is invariably hers. Therefore, the Merciful One writes: “Then shall she go out for nothing,” to teach that when she is not an adult her father has the right to her betrothal money.

ואי כתב רחמנא ויצאה חנם הוה אמינא היכא דיהבה (ליה) איהי לדידיה וקידשתו הוו קידושי כתב רחמנא כי יקח ולא כי תקח :

And conversely, had the Merciful One written only: “Then shall she go out for nothing,” I would say that in a case where she gave him money and betrothed him, it is a valid betrothal, as this verse does not specify who gives the money to whom. Therefore, the Merciful One writes: “When he takes,” and not: When she takes, to teach that only a man may betroth a woman, not vice versa.

ובעלה מלמד שנקנית בביאה והלא דין הוא ומה יבמה שאין נקנית בכסף נקנית בביאה זו שנקנית בכסף אינו דין שנקנית בביאה

The baraita continues to interpret the verse. The phrase: “And engages in sexual intercourse with her” (Deuteronomy 24:1), teaches that a woman can be acquired through intercourse. Why is it necessary for the verse to state this explicitly? Could this not be derived through an a fortiori inference: And if a yevama, who cannot be acquired through money, can be acquired through intercourse, is it not logical that this woman, who can be acquired through money, as derived above, can also be acquired through intercourse?

אמה העבריה תוכיח שנקנית בכסף ואין נקנית בביאה מה לאמה העבריה שאין קנינה לשום אישות תאמר בזו שקנינה לשום אישות

The Gemara counters: The case of a Hebrew maidservant proves otherwise, as she is acquired through money and yet she cannot be acquired through intercourse. The Gemara dismisses this refutation: What is distinct about a Hebrew maidservant is that her acquisition is not for the sake of marriage, as she is acquired as a servant. Will you say the same with regard to this woman, whose acquisition is for the sake of marriage? Therefore, it is logical that a woman can be acquired through sexual intercourse.

ת"ל ובעלה ולמה לי קרא הא אתיא לה אמר רב אשי משום דאיכא למימר מעיקרא דדינא פירכא מהיכא קא מייתית לה מיבמה

The Gemara reiterates its question. The verse states: “And engages in sexual intercourse with her.” But why do I need a verse for this purpose? It was already derived through the above a fortiori inference. Rav Ashi said: It is needed because it is possible to say that the refutation of the a fortiori inference is present from the outset. From where do you derive that intercourse is a mode of acquisition? From the case of a yevama.

מה ליבמה שכן זקוקה ועומדת תאמר בזו שאין זקוקה ועומדת תלמוד לומר ובעלה :

One could say: What is unique about a yevama is that she is bound to the yavam and stands waiting for him to act, and for this reason sexual intercourse is sufficient to render her his wife. Will you say the same with regard to this woman, who is not bound and is not standing waiting for anyone? It is therefore possible that intercourse is not enough to acquire a woman in ordinary circumstances. Consequently, the a fortiori inference does not bear close scrutiny. For this reason an additional proof is required, that the verse states: “And engages in sexual intercourse with her.”