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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Kethuboth

Folio 7a

he is free from punishment]?1   — There2  it is3  stored up4  and is [entirely] loose,5  here6  it7  is stored up8  but is not [entirely] loose.9  R. Ammi allowed to have first intercourse10  on Sabbath. Said the Rabbis to him: But her kethubah11  is not written yet! — He said to them: Let her seize movable goods.12  R. Zebid permitted to have the first intercourse on Sabbath. Some say: R. Zebid himself had the first intercourse on Sabbath. Rab Judah allowed to have the first intercourse on a festival. R. Papi said in the name of Raba: You shall not say [that] on a festival it13  is allowed, but [that] on Sabbath it is forbidden. It is just as well allowed on Sabbath; only it happened so.14  R. Papa said in the name of Raba: On a festival it is allowed, on Sabbath it is forbidden. Said R. Papi to R. Papa: What is your opinion? Since a wound15  has been permitted [on a festival] for a necessity. it has been permitted also when there is no necessity? If that were so, it should be permitted to put spices on coals16  on a festival, for since the kindling of fire has been allowed [on a festival] for a

    necessity, it should be allowed also when there is no necessity!17  Said he to him.18  Concerning this19  the Biblical verse said, save that which every man must eat,20  [this means] a thing which is useful21  for every man.22  R. Aha, the son of Raba, said to R. Ashi: If this were So,23  then if a deer happened to come to the hands of a person24  on a festival, [shall we say that] since it is not of equal usefulness for every person,25  is it really so that it would be forbidden to kill it? Said he26  to him:27  I say, 'a thing that is needful for every person,'28  [and] a deer is needful for every person.29  R. Jacob, the son of Idi, said: R. Johanan gave a decision30  in Zaidan:31  It is forbidden to perform the first intercourse on Sabbath. — And is there an instructive decision for a prohibition?32  — Yes, we have learned in a Mishnah:33  The school of Hillel gave a decision regarding her34  that she35  should be a Nazirite yet another seven years. Or indeed it is as that which has been taught: If the cord of the spinal column is severed in its larger portion [the animal is trefa],36  [this is] the view of Rabbi.37  R. Jacob Says: Even if it38  is [only] perforated [the animal is trefa]. Rabbi gave a decision39  according to R. Jacob.40

R. Huna said: The halachah is not as stated by R. Jacob. R. Nahman b. Isaac taught thus: R. Abbahu said: R. Ishmael b. Jacob, from Tyre asked R. Johanan in Zaidan, and I heard [it]: Is it allowed41  to have the first intercourse on Sabbath? And he42  said to him:43  It is forbidden. — And the law is: It is allowed to have the first intercourse on Sabbath.44

R. Helbo said [that] R. Huna said [that] R. Abba, the son of Zabda, said [that] Rab said: A maiden as well as a widow requires a benediction.45  — But did R. Huna say so? Did not R. Huna say: A widow does not require a benediction? — It is not difficult.46  Here47  [it speaks] of a young man48  who marries a widow, there49  of a widower who marries a widow. And when a widower marries a widow [a benediction] is not required? Did not R. Nahman Say: Huna b. Nathan said to me: A Tanna taught: Whence [is it derived that] the benediction of the bridegrooms50  [has to be said] in the presence of ten [persons]? Because it is said, And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said: 'Sit ye down here'. And they sat down.51  And Boaz was a widower, who married a widow!52  — What is [the meaning of the words] 'she does not require a benediction' which R. Huna said? She does not require a benediction during all the seven days. but on one day53  she requires a benediction. But that which has been taught:54  'The Sages were anxious for the welfare of the daughters of Israel, that he55  may rejoice with her56  three days' — how is this to be understood?57  If [it speaks] of a young man, did you not say — seven;58  if of a widower, did you not say — one day?59  — If you wish, you may say [that it speaks] of a widower [and in this case] one day is for the benediction and three days are for rejoicing. And if you wish, you may say [that it speaks] of a young man [and in this case] seven [days] are for the benediction and three [days] for rejoicing.

To Part b

Original footnotes renumbered.
  1. And permitted: v. Shab. 107a and 3a. Intercourse should thus be permitted on Sabbath for the first time, even when the aim is the bleeding!
  2. In the case of the abscess.
  3. The blood.
  4. In the abscess.
  5. From the flesh.
  6. In the case of the virgin-bride.
  7. The blood.
  8. In the womb.
  9. From the walls of the womb. [Read with MS.M. 'It is neither stored up nor loose,' but the result of a wound, hence forbidden.]
  10. Lit., 'to perform in the beginning'.
  11. The marriage contract; lit., 'a written deed' (v. Glos.). Marital union is forbidden before the kethubah is written.
  12. And the movable goods will be a pledge in her hand with regard to the kethubah until the marriage contract will be written, when all his real estate is mortgaged with regard to kethubah.
  13. The first intercourse.
  14. Lit., 'and the event that was was thus'. [The question was put to him on a festival and he declared it permissible.]
  15. I.e., the making of a wound.
  16. To perfume the room after dinner; v. Ber. 43a.
  17. The meaning of the question of R. Papi to R. Papa is as follows: If a distinction is to be made, regarding the first intercourse, between Sabbath and a festival and it is to be held, as R. Papa holds in the name of Rab, that it is forbidden in Sabbath and allowed on a festival, then R. Papa must hold that, since certain work was allowed on a festival for a necessity, work should be allowed on a festival even when there is no necessity for it. It is, e.g. allowed to make a wound on a festival by slaughtering an animal for the need of food. It would, therefore, according to R. Papa, be allowed to make a wound (v. supra 3b, 4b, 5b) by performing the first intercourse on a festival, although there is no necessity for it, since the first intercourse can wait until after the festival. If this view were correct, then it should have been allowed to burn spices on coals on a festival, although spices are not a necessity, since the kindling of fire on a festival is allowed for a necessity. And the accepted view is that it is forbidden to put spices on coals on a festival. Consequently, if the first intercourse is forbidden on sabbath it should be forbidden also on a festival, since it is not a necessity. R. Papa's view is therefore wrong. Generally speaking, work that is forbidden on Sabbath is forbidden on a festival. There is an exception in the case of work necessary for preparing food. This is already indicated in Ex. XII, 16; v. Meg. 7b.
  18. To R. Papi.
  19. I.e., to avoid, or anticipate the answer to, your question.
  20. Ex. XII, 16. The verse continues, 'that only may be done to you'.
  21. Literally, 'equal', 'like', 'worth'; a thing that is of equal worth for every one, namely, to eat, to do, to have.
  22. The sense of the answer is this: You cannot compare the first intercourse to spices. Spices are not of equal necessity for every person. As Rashi puts it, only people who are used to luxuries desire spices. But sexual intercourse, even the first act, is a human need, which applies to all people.
  23. I.e., if only work for a necessity to all is allowed on a festival.
  24. Lit., 'happened to meet him.'
  25. Cf. n. 6.
  26. R. Ashi.
  27. To R. Aha.
  28. R. Ashi seems to emphasize the needfulness of the object, though it may nor be of equal necessity to all.
  29. Indeed, he answers, a deer is good for every person, and therefore, it may be slaughtered on a festival.
  30. [H] means 'to teach', 'to instruct', 'to decide'. [H] denotes a decision based on traditional teaching and (on) one's own learned deductions (One might call it 'an instructive decision.'
  31. Sidon; [others: Bethsaida]
  32. I.e., does not apply the term [H], or [H] to a prohibitory decision which need not necessarily be based on tradition or powers of dedication (Rashi).
  33. Nazir 19b.
  34. [H].
  35. The Queen Helena of Adiabene, mother of King Monabaz. V. Nazir (Sonc. ed.) p. 66, n. 4.
  36. It is forbidden to use the animal for food if the larger portion of its spinal cord was severed while the animal was alive.
  37. Lit., '(these are) words of Rabbi'. Rabbi is Rabbi Judah ha-Nasi.
  38. The spinal cord.
  39. [H] v. Hul. 45b.
  40. Against his own view. The view of R. Jacob was stricter than that of Rabbi.
  41. Lit., 'How is it?'
  42. R. Johanan.
  43. To R. Ishmael.
  44. This is the conclusion of the long argument.
  45. At the celebration of the marriage. v. P.B. p. 299. Lit., 'laden (with) a blessing.' Cf. 'obliged to', 'bound to.'
  46. There is no contradiction between the two traditions.
  47. Where R. Huna says that a widow requires a benediction.
  48. A young man who was never married before.
  49. Where R. Huna says that a widow does not require a benediction.
  50. Identical with the benediction mentioned above.
  51. Ruth IV, 2.
  52. And still the benediction was required. As to Boaz having been a widower, v. B.B. 91a.
  53. On the day of marriage.
  54. V. supra 5a.
  55. The bridegroom.
  56. The bride.
  57. Lit., 'In what?' 'How?'
  58. The benediction has to be said all the seven days following the marriage ceremony, and this implies rejoicing. That the benediction has to be said all the seven days in the case of the marriage of a young man, even if the bride is a widow, is inferred from the statement that in the case of the marriage of a widower and a widow it is not required to say the benediction all the seven days (Rashi).
  59. Only on one day has the benediction to be said, and this apparently means rejoicing only on one day.
Tractate List

Kethuboth 7b

An objection was raised: [It has been taught:] The benediction is said [at the celebration of the marriage] for a maiden seven [days] and for a widow one day. Is it not [to be understood that] even [in the case of] a widow who marries a young man [the benediction is said only on one day]? — No [only when the widow marries] a widower. But [if the widow marries] a young man, what [then]? Seven [days]?1  If that is so, let it be taught:2  The benediction is said for a maiden3  seven [days], and for a widow who marries a young man4  seven [days], and for a widow [who marries a widower]5  one day? — It taught a decided thing:6  That there is no maiden who has less than seven [days],7  and there is no widow who has less than one day.8  The [above] text [says]: R. Nahman said: Huna b. Nathan said to me: A Tanna taught: Whence [is it derived that] the benediction of the bridegrooms [has to be said] in the presence of ten [persons]? Because it is said, And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said: 'Sit ye down here'.9  But R. Abbahu said [that it is derived] from here: In assemblies bless ye God, the Lord, from the fountain of Israel.10  And how does R. Nahman expound this verse of R. Abbahu?11  — He requires it for the same purpose as has been set out in a Baraitha:12  R. Meir used to say: Whence [can it be derived] that even embryos in the bowels of their mothers sang13  a song14  by the sea?15  Because it is said, In assemblies bless ye God, the Lord, from the fountain of Israel.16  And the other one?17  — If [that were] so, let the verse say,18  'from the womb.'19  Why [does it say], 'from the fountain'?20  [To show that it is] concerning the affairs of the fountain.21  And how does R. Abbahu expound that verse of R. Nahman?22  — He requires it for expounding: an Ammonite, and not an Ammonitess, a Moabite, and not a Moabitess.23  For if you would think [that the presence of the ten men was required] for [the saying of] the benediction, would it not have been sufficient if they had not been elders?24  And the other one?25  — If you would think [that the verse was to be used] for that exposition, would it not have been sufficient if there had not been ten [persons]?26  — Yes, to make the matter public27  — and as Samuel said to R. Hanna of Bagdath:28  Go out and bring me ten29  [persons] and I will say unto thee in their presence; If one assigns [property] to an embryo, it acquires it. But the law is: If one assigns [property] to an embryo, it does not acquire it.30

The Rabbis taught: The benediction of the bridegrooms is said31  in the house of the bridegroom.32  R. Judah says: Also in the house of the betrothal33  it is said.34  Abaye said: And in [the province of] Judah they taught [the opinion of R. Judah] because [in the province of Judah] he35  is alone with her.36

Another [Baraitha] teaches: The benediction of the bridegrooms is said in the house of the bridegrooms and the benediction of betrothal in the house of betrothal. [As to] the benediction of betrothal — what does one say?37  — Rabin b. R. Adda and Rabbah son of R. Adda both said in the name of Rab Judah: Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us by his commandments and has commanded us concerning the forbidden relations and has forbidden unto us the betrothed38  and has allowed unto us the wedded39  through [the marriage] canopy40  and sanctification.41  R. Aha 'the son of Raba, concludes it.42  in the name of Rab Judah, [with the words]: Blessed art Thou, O Lord, who sanctifies Israel through canopy and sanctification. He who does not seal43  [holds that] it is analogous to the blessing over fruits and to the benediction [said on performing] religious commandments.44  And he who seals45  [holds that] it is analogous to the kiddush.46

Our Rabbis taught: The blessing of the bridegrooms is said in the presence of ten [persons]47  all the seven days.48  Rab Judah said: And that is only if new guests49  come.50  What does One say?51  Rab Judah 'and: 'Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe,

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Original footnotes renumbered.
  1. The benediction has to be said during seven days, just as at the marriage of a young man and a maiden!
  2. I.e., it should have been taught.
  3. On the occasion of the marriage of a maiden.
  4. On the occasion of the marriage of a widow and a young man.
  5. On the occasion of the marriage of a widow and a widower.
  6. A definite thing.
  7. On the occasion of the marriage of every maiden the benediction is said during the seven days fol lowing the marriage.
  8. On the occasion of the marriage of a widow the benediction must be said at least on one day (the day of the marriage). Usually a widow marries a widower.
  9. V. supra 7a.
  10. Ps. LXVIII, 27. An 'assembly' consists of at least ten persons; v Sanh. 2a. The 'fountain' is regarded by R. Abbahu, Midrashically, as an allusion to the young wife. Cf. Prov. V, 18: Let thy fountain be blessed, and have joy of the wife of thy youth. V. also V, 15' and lsa. LI, 1. The derivation of R. Abbahu from the verse in Psalms is this: When a marriage is celebrated and a new fountain of Israel is to enrich life, a benediction has to be said in the presence of ten persons.
  11. I.e. 'to what Midrashic use does R. Nahman put Ps. LXVIII, 27?
  12. Lit., 'to what has been taught'.
  13. Lit., 'said.'
  14. Probably the song (Ex. XV) is meant.
  15. The Red Sea.
  16. The derivation is: Even those who were still in 'the fountain' of Israel sang a song unto the Lord. In vv. 23 and 26 R. Meir no doubt saw, Midrashically., allusions to the crossing of the Red Sea. Cf. especially v. 26 with Ex. XV. 20, 21.
  17. R. Abbahu. How does he derive the idea of R. Meir just expounded, since he uses the verse in Ps. LXVIII for another purpose (benediction at the marriage in the presence of ten persons)?
  18. I.e., the verse should have read.
  19. 'From the womb' would indicate the presence of 'fruit of the womb', of an embryo. Cf. e.g., Gen. XXX, 2.
  20. 'Fountain' does not refer to present pregnancy, to an embryo, but to the source of life in the woman without implying that there is life in it now. Therefore we can also speak of the 'fountain' in the maiden.
  21. Marriage is concerned very largely with 'the affairs of the fountain.' R. Abbahu, therefore, prefers to use the verse in Ps. LXVIII for his Midrashic exposition (benediction at the marriage in the presence of ten persons).
  22. Ruth IV, 2.
  23. In Deut. XXIII, 4, it is said, An Ammonite or a Moabite shall not enter into the assembly of the Lord. The presence of ten elders was required for the interpretation that the prohibition to enter into the assembly of the Lord, that is, to be admitted into the community of Israel, applied only to Ammonite and Moabite men and not to Ammonite or Moabite women. This interpretation made the law clear, and thus Boaz could marry Ruth the Moabitess.
  24. That the presence of elders was necessary shews that the interpreting and establishing of a law was required.
  25. R. Nahman. How will he get that exposition if he uses the verse for a different purpose?
  26. If the presence of the elders was required for establishing a law, then there was no need to have ten elders. A smaller number of elders would also have been sufficient. It is different, according to R. Nahman, if the presence of the ten persons was required for saying the benediction at the marriage of Boaz and Ruth. Ten persons form a congregation; v. supra.
  27. This is the view of R. Abbahu.
  28. Bagdad. v. Rashi, Ber. 54b.
  29. So as to make his legal pronouncement public.
  30. V. B.B. 142b.
  31. Lit., 'they bless the benediction etc.' The reference is to the benediction at the celebration of the marriage held usually at the house of the bridegroom's parents as distinguished from that recited at the betrothal at the house of the parents of the bride V. infra.
  32. V. infra.
  33. On 'betrothal' v. Glos. s.v. erusin.
  34. V. p. 29, n. 13.
  35. The bridegroom.
  36. The bride. Bridegroom and bride are, in the province of Judah, closeted alone after the betrothal, (v. infra 12a). [This is forbidden without the benediction having been previously recited. V. Kallah, I.]
  37. I.e., what are the words constituting the benediction of betrothal?
  38. [Betrothal (erusin) without marriage (nissu'in) does not permit the bride to the bridegroom.]
  39. I.e., the women who are legally married unto their husbands. For the sake of clarity the post-Talmudic versions read: 'those who are wedded unto us.' V. Rashi and the Prayer-Books.
  40. Huppah v. Glos. and Kid (Sonc. ed.) p. 5, n. 7.
  41. [H] [H] together constitute the complete marriage. [Var. lec. (Ittur and others) [H] 'Huppah by means of Kiddushin', a preferable reading since the act Kiddushin (betrothal) took place in former days before Huppah.]
  42. The benediction; i.e., he adds a concluding portion.
  43. I.e., does not add the concluding portion.
  44. In those blessings there are no concluding portions. [Because their subject matter is praise and not interrupted by words of supplication or other matter (Rashi). Tosaf.: Because they are short prayers], Cf., e.g., P.B. pp. 289-291, 270.
  45. I.e., adds a concluding portion.
  46. Kiddush, 'sanctification', is the special term for the benediction said at the beginning of the Sabbath or a festival. And that benediction has a concluding portion, cf. P.B. pp. 124, 230-231, 243. [Because apart from words of praise to God it contains matter in description of the day of rest or the festival (Rashi). Tosaf.: because it is a lengthy prayer.]
  47. Lit., 'with ten'.
  48. Following the marriage.
  49. Lit., 'new faces'.
  50. The benediction of the bridegrooms is said, at the meal on every day' of the seven day's if on every succeeding day new guests, that is guests who were not there on the previous day, come to the meal. For a pretty thought as to Sabbath being 'a new guest' v. Tosaf. a.l.
  51. I.e., What is the text of the benediction?
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