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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Kethuboth

Folio 68a

on the silver [coloured] cloths1  or on the gold [coloured] ones?'2  'It is in view of such cases' [R. Hanina] remarked, 'that R. Eleazar said: Come let us be grateful to the rogues for were it not for then, we3  would have been sinning every day, for it is said in Scripture, And he cry unto to the Lord against thee, and it be sill unto thee.4  Furthermore, R. Hiyya b. Rab of Difti5  taught: R. Joshua b. Korha said, Any one who shuts his eye against charity is like one who worships idols, for here6  it is written, Beware that there be not a base7  thought in thy heart etc. [and thine eye will be evil against thy poor brother]8  and there9  it is written, Certain base7  fellows are gone out,10  as there9  [the crime is that of] idolatry, so here also [the crime is like that of] idolatry'.11

Our Rabbis taught: If a man pretends to have a blind eye, a swollen belly or a shrunken leg,12  he will not pass out from this world before actually coming into such a condition. If a man accepts charity and is not in need of it his end [will be that] he will not pass out of the world before he comes to such a condition.

We learned elsewhere: He13  may not be compelled to sell his house or his articles of service'.14  May he not indeed?15  Was it not taught: If he was in the habit of using gold articles he shall now use copper ones?16  — R. Zebid replied. This is no difficulty. The one17  refers to the bed and table: the other to cups and dishes. What difference is there in the case of the cups and dishes that they are not [to be sold]? Obviously because he can say, '[The inferior quality] is repulsive to me', [but then, in respect of] a bed and table also, he might say [the cheaper article] is unacceptable to me! — Raba the son of Rabbah replied: [This17  refers] to a silver strigil.18  R. Papa replied: There is no difficulty: one19  [refers to a man] before he came under the obligation of repayment,20  and the other refers to a man21  after he had come under the obligation of repayment.22


GEMARA. Samuel stated: In respect of the marriage outfit31  the assessment32  is to be determined by [the disposition of] the father.33

All objection was raised: 'The daughters are to be maintained and provided for34  out of the estate of their father. In what manner? It is not to be said, "Had her father been alive he would have given her such and such a sum" but the estate is valued and she is given [her due share]'. Does not ['provided for' refer to] the marriage35  outfit?36  — R. Nahman b. Isaac replied: No; [it refers to] her own maintenance.37  But, surely, it was stated: 'Are to be maintained and provided for'; does not one [of the expressions]38  refer to the marriage39  outfit and the other to her own maintenance?40  — No; the one as well as the other refers to her own maintenance,40  and yet there is no real difficulty, for one of the expressions38  refers41  to food and drink and the other41  to clothing and bedding.

We learned: THE SAGES, HOWEVER, SAID, SOMETIMES A MAN IS POOR AND BECOMES RICH OR RICH AND BECOMES POOR. THE ESTATE SHOULD RATHER BE VALUED AND SHE BE GIVEN [THE SHARE THAT IS HER DUE]. Now what is meant by POOR and RICH? If it be suggested that POOR means poor in material possessions, and RICH means rich in such possessions, the inference [should consequently be] that the first Tanna holds the opinion that even when a man was rich and became poor she is given as much as before; but, surely, [it may be objected] he has none [to give]. Must it not then [be concluded that] POOR means poor in mind42  and RICH means rich in mind,43  and yet it was stated, THE ESTATE SHOULD RATHER BE VALUED AND SHE BE GIVEN [THE SHARE THAT IS HER DUE]. from which it clearly follows that we are not guided by the assumed disposition [of her father], and this presents an objection against Samuel!44  He45  holds the same view as R. Judah. For we learned, R. JUDAH RULED: IF A MAN HAD GIVEN HIS FIRST DAUGHTER IN MARRIAGE, THE SECOND SHOULD RECEIVE AS MUCH AS THE [FATHER] HAD GIVEN TO THE FIRST. [Why], then, [did he not] say, 'The halachah is in agreement with R. Judah'?46  — If he had said, 'The halachah is in agreement with R. Judah', it might have been assumed [to apply] only [where her father had actually] given her47  in marriage, since [in that case] he has revealed his disposition, but not [to a case where] he had not given her47  in marriage,48  hence he45  taught us49  that R. Judah's reason is that we are guided by our assumption [as to whit was her father's disposition], there being no difference whether he had already given her50  in marriage or whether he had not given her in marriage; the only object he51  had52  in mentioning [the case where a father] gave her50  in marriage was to let you know the extent of the ruling53  of the Rabbis54  [who maintain] that although he had already given her50  in marriage and had thereby revealed his disposition, we are nevertheless not to be guided by the assumption [as to what may have been the father's disposition].

Said Raba to R. Hisda: In our discourse we stated55  in your name, 'The halachah is in agreement with R. Judah. The other replied: May it be the will [of Providence] that you may report in your discourses all such beautiful sayings in my name. But could Raba, however, have made such a statement?56  Surely, it was taught: Rabbi said, A daughter who is maintained by her brothers is to receive57  a tenth of [her father's] estate;58  and Raba stated that the law is in agreement with Rabbi!59  — This is no difficulty. The former60  [is a case] where we have formed some opinion about him;61  the latter62  is one where we have not formed any opinion about him.63  This explanation may also be supported by a process of reasoning. For R. Adda b. Ahaba stated: It once happened that Rabbi gave her64  a twelfth of [her father's] estate. Are not the two statements contradictory?65  Consequently66  it must be inferred that the one67  [refers to a father of whom] some opinion had been formed while the other68  [refers to one of whom] we have formed no opinion. This is conclusive proof.

[To turn to] the main text.69  Rabbi said, A daughter who is maintained by her brothers is to receive a tenth of [her father's] estate. They70  said to Rabbi: According to your statement, if a man had ten daughters and one son the sons should receive no share at all on account of71  the daughters? He replied: What I mean is this: The first72  [daughter] receives a tenth of the estate, the second [receives a tenth] of what [the first] had left, and the third [gets a tenth] of what [the second] had left, and then they divide again [all that they had received] into equal shares.

To Part b

Original footnotes renumbered.
  1. I.e., white linen (Rashi).
  2. Silk cloths dyed. (Rashi a.l.; cf. also Rashi on Ezek. XVI, 16). [H] or [H] may be compared with [G], cushion', 'pillow' (v. Levy); 'will you recline at dinner', he was asked, 'on the linen, or silken pillows?' The noun is also rendered, 'table outfit', the expressions, 'silver' and 'gold' being taker, literally; 'Will you dine with the silver outfit (i.e., with the outfit used in connection with silver vessels) or with the gold outfit?' (Jast.).
  3. Who do not always respond to every appeal for charity.
  4. Deut. XV, 9.
  5. Dibtha, below the Tigris.
  6. In connection with the duty of assisting the poor.
  7. [H]
  8. Deut. XV, 9.
  9. Concerning idolatry
  10. Deut. XIII, 14, the expression base, [H] (v. supra n. 12), occuring in both cases.
  11. It is only thanks to the rogues who claim charity under false pretences that we have an excuse for not responding to every appeal.
  12. V. Rashi; 'a hump' (Jast.) [H] may be rendered 'leg', 'foreleg' or 'shoulder'. The rt. [H] in Piel is to be taken according to Rashi's interpretation in the sense of 'binding', 'forcing', or 'outraging'. It is taken by Jast. as denom. of [H] 'to make high and arched shoulders', 'to cause or pretend to be humpbacked'.
  13. One who owns less than two hundred zuz and wishes to take a share in the poor man's gifts. The possessor of two hundred zuz is forbidden to participate in the poor man's gifts.
  14. Though the proceeds of such a sale would raise the man's capital above the two hundred zuz limit. Pe'ah VIII, 8.
  15. Lit., 'and not?'
  16. Which proves that a poor man is expected to sell his costlier goods before he is allowed to take alms. Why then was it stated here that he is not compelled to sell 'his artical of service'?
  17. The last mentioned Baraitha which orders the sale of 'articles of service'.
  18. There can be no hardship in using instead of one made of a cheaper metal.
  19. The Mishnah from Pe'ah, according to which one is not compelled to sell his articles of service.
  20. I.e., if he possessed less than two hundred zuz and applied for assistance before receiving any help under false pretences. As there is no claim against him he is not to be compelled to sell his articles of service.
  21. Who, being in possession of two hundred zuz, accepted alms under false pretences.
  22. I.e., after it had been discovered that did not belong to the poor classes and was ordered by the court to refund all sums he had received unlawfully. In such a case, if he is unable to meet the claim otherwise, he is compelled to sell his costly articles and to content himself with the use of cheaper ones.
  23. And much more so if without her consent.
  24. Lit., 'wrote'.
  25. As her share in the estate of her deceased father.
  26. Though she had accepted the amount during her minority V. supra note 1.
  27. Viz., a tenth of the estate.
  28. Who marries after his death.
  29. The amount he gives to his first daughter is, therefore, no criterion for his second
  30. The second daughter.
  31. Of an orphan.
  32. I.e., the amount to be given to the orphan on marriage out of her father's estate.
  33. She is to receive a bigger or a smaller amount in accordance with her fathers reputation for generosity or niggardliness.
  34. This is explained anon.
  35. Lit., ['the parnasah of her husband', parnasah being a technical term to denote the estate set aside for the dowry of the orphaned daughter. Frankel MGWJ 1861, p. 119 connects it with the [G] cf. supra p. 408. n. 6].
  36. A contradiction against the ruling of Samuel.
  37. Before marriage, while she is still with her brothers.
  38. 'To be (a) maintained and (b) provided for'.
  39. V. p. 416, n. 13.
  40. V. p. 416, n. 15.
  41. Lit., 'that'.
  42. Niggardly; having the mind or disposition of a poor man.
  43. Generous.
  44. Who stated that the amount is determined by what is known of the disposition of her father. How, it is asked, could Samuel differ from a Mishnah?
  45. Samuel.
  46. Which would have been a shorter statement and would have included the name of its author also.
  48. Since his disposition had not beers revealed.
  49. By his specific ruling.
  51. The compiler of our Mishnah.
  52. Lit., 'and that.'
  53. Lit., 'power'.
  54. The Sages
  55. Or: Shall we state etc. (cf Rashi, s.v. [H] Bezah 28a)
  56. That the amount to be given to an orphan on marriage is determined, as R. Judah ruled, by the disposition of her father.
  57. On marriage.
  58. Ned. 39b.
  59. I.e., that the amount the daughter is to receives is a legally, prescribed proportion. How then could he have said that the halachah was in agreement with R. Judah (v supra note 7)?
  60. Lit., that', the statement that the halachah follows R. Judah (v. supra note 7 )
  61. The orphan's father. Knowing his disposition it is possible to determine accordingly what amount his daughter shall be allowed on marriage.
  62. Lit., 'that', the law that the proportion she is to receive is always a tenth of the estate.
  63. If he was unknown to the court and no one is able to supply reliable information on the point.
  64. An orphan on marriage.
  65. According to the former statement Rabbi allowed only one tenth while according to the latter he allowed a twelfth.
  66. To reconcile the contrary statements.
  67. The case where a twelfth had been allowed.
  68. Cf. supra p. 418, n. 13.
  69. A citation from which has been discussed supra..
  70. The scholars at the college.
  71. Lit.,'in the place of'.
  72. It is at present assumed, 'the first to marry'.
Tractate List

Kethuboth 68b

But did not each one receive what was hers?1  — It is this that was meant: If all of theme wish2  to marry at the same time they are to receive equal shares.3  This provides support for [the opinion] of R. Mattena; for R. Mattena has said: If all of them wish to marry at the same time they are to receive one tenth. 'One tenth'! Can you imagine [such a ruling]?4  The meaning must consequently be that5  they are to receive their tenths at the same time.6

Our Rabbis taught: The daughters,7  whether they had attained their adolescence before they married or whether they married before they had attained their adolescence, lose their right to maintenance8  but not to their allowance for marriage outfit; so Rabbi. R. Simeon b. Eleazar said: If they also attained their adolescence, they lose the right to their marriage outfit.9  How should they proceed?10  — They hire for themselves husbands11  and exact their outfit allowance. R. Nahman stated: Huna told me, The law is in agreement with Rabbi.

Raba raised an objection against R. Nahman: IF AN ORPHAN WAS GIVEN IN MARRIAGE BY HER MOTHER OR HER BROTHERS [EVEN IF] WITH HER CONSENT, AND THEY ASSIGNED TO HER A HUNDRED, OR FIFTY ZUZ, SHE MAY, WHEN SHE ATTAINS HER MAJORITY, RECOVER FROM THEM THE AMOUNT THAT WAS DUE TO HER. The reason then12  is because she was a minor;13  had she, however, been older14  her right15  would have been surrendered!16  — This is no difficulty; the one17  is a case where she protested;18  the other,19  where she did not protest.20  This expla nation may also be supported by a process of reasoning. For otherwise21  there would arise a contradiction between two statements of Rabbi.22  For it was taught, 'Rabbi said, A daughter who is maintained by her brothers is to receive a tenth of [her father's] estate', [which implies] only when23  she is maintained24  but not25  when she is not maintained.26  Must it not in consequence be concluded that one [statement deals with one] who protested and the other [with one] who did not protest. This proves it.

Rabina said to Raba: R. Adda b. Ahaba told us in your name, If she attained her adolescence she need not lodge a protest;27  if she married she need not lodge a protest;27  but if she attained her adolescence and was also married it is necessary for her to lodge a protest.28  But could Raba have made such a statement? Surely, Raba pointed out an objection against R. Nahman [from the Mishnah of] AN ORPHAN, and the other replied that 'the one is a case where she protested, the other where she did not protest'!29  — This is no difficulty. One30  is a case where she is maintained31  by them;32  the other,33  where she is not maintained by them.34

R. Huna stated in the name of Rabbi: [The right35  to] marriage outfit is not the same as that36  conferred by a condition in a kethubah.37  What is meant by 'is not the same as that conferred by a condition in a kethubah'? Should it be suggested38  that whereas for the allowance for a marriage outfit even property pledged39  may be seized,40  [for the fulfilment of an obligation36  under] the terms of a kethubah no pledged property41  may be seized,42  what [new point, it may be objected,] does this teach us? Surely it is a daily occurrence [that pledged property] is seized for marriage outfit but not for maintenance! [Should it], however, [be suggested that] whereas for a marriage outfit movable objects also may be seized, [for the fulfilment of an obligation under] a condition in a kethubah only real estate. but not movable objects, may be seized, [it may be objected that,] according to Rabbi, for the one as well as the other43  [movable objects] may be seized. For it was taught: Both landed property and movable property may be seized for the maintenance of a wile or daughters;44  so Rabbi! What, then, is meant by '[The right to] marriage outfit is not the same as that conferred by a condition in a kethubah'? — As it was taught: If a man45  said that his daughters must not be maintained out of his estate he is not to be obeyed.46  [If, however, he said, that] his daughters shall not receive their marriage outfit out of his estate he is obeyed, because [the right to] marriage outfit is not the same as that conferred by a condition in a kethubah.47

- To Next Folio -

Original footnotes renumbered.
  1. Of course she did. Each one is entitled to a tenth of the value of the estate as it stood at the time she married. Why then should there be a new division in equal shares, which would deprive those who married earlier from what was their due?
  2. Lit., 'came'.
  3. After each in turn had received a tenth of the value of the estate as it stood at the moment her share was allowed to her. Since subsequently they will all pool their shares it does not matter which of them is given her share first. the only object of the allotment of the successive shares is to determine what part of the estate is to be left for the son. If there were three daughters for instance, the division would proceed as follows: One daughter would be allowed one tenth of the estate; the other 1/10 x 9/10; and the third 1/10 x 81/100. The son would, therefore, receive 1 - (1/10 - 9/100 - 81/1000) = 729/1000, and each daughter would ultimately get a 271 / (3 X 1000) of the entire estate.
  4. Certainly not. If every daughter is entitled to a tenth of the estate, several daughters, surely, should receive more than one tenth.
  5. Lit., 'but'.
  6. The reading being [H] instead of [H] (one tenth). Cf. supra n. 9.
  7. Of a man who left an estate and is survived by sons.
  8. Because the terms of a kethubah provide for the maintenance of daughters only until adolescence (v. Glos. s.v. bogereth) or marriage, whichever is the earlier.
  9. The tenth of the estate to which, as stated supra, a daughter is entitled. In his opinion it is only one who is a minor, nacarah (v. Glos.), that receives such tenth, once she has reached her adolescence, or married as a nacarah, without claiming at the time her full marriage outfit, she loses her claim to it.
  10. If they had not been married early and are desirous of securing their tenth before losing it through age.
  11. [They hire men to declare that they would marry them (Strashun)].
  12. why she may recover the amount prescribed for her marriage outfit,
  13. At the time she married.
  14. Even If she was still a nacarah at the time of marriage.
  15. To her full claim.
  16. And she would not be entitled to the balance of her marriage outfit. This anonymous Mishnah then is in agreement with the view of R. Simeon b. Eleazar. Now, since the halachah is usually in agreement with the anonymous Mishnah how could R. Nahman maintain that the halachah is in agreement with Rabbi?
  17. Rabbi's statement that she does not lose her marriage outfit.
  18. When less than her due was assigned to her.
  19. Our Mishnah.
  20. Hence it is only a minor, who cannot surrender her rights, that may recover the balance when she becomes of age. One, however, who has passed her minority (cf. supra note 8) may well surrender her right. Her silence is regarded as consent.
  21. Lit., 'for if so', that Rabbi maintains that in all cases a daughter on attaining adolescence does not lose the right to her marriage outfit,
  22. Lit., 'that of Rabbi against that of Rabbi'.
  23. Lit., 'yes'.
  24. Is she to receive a tenth of the whole.
  25. She is to receive no such allowance.
  26. I.e., after she had attained her adolescence, How then could Rabbi also have stated that a daughter always (v. supra n. 1) receives her outfit?
  27. Against the full, or partial loss of her marriage outfit allowance. Even without her protest she retains he right to the tenth of the estate that is due to her,
  28. Otherwise she loses her claim to the marriage outfit.
  29. Supra. Cf. supra p. 420, notes 11 to 14. From which it follows that once she passes her minority, though she did not attain her adolescence, a daughter loses her full claim to an outfit allowance if she did not lodge her protest on marriage. How then could it be said that according to Raba, 'if she married (provided it was before attaining her adolescence) she need not lodge a protest'?
  30. Raba's ruling that 'if she married she need not lodge a protest'.
  31. After her marriage.
  32. Her brothers. In such a case it is to be presumed that her silence was not due to her consent to lose her outfit but to the belief that, as they continued to maintain her, they would also give her in due course the full amount of her outfit allowance.
  33. The inference from our Mishnah according to which one who has passed out of her minority surrenders on marriage her right to the balance of her outfit.
  34. Hence she loses the right to her outfit unless she lodged her protest.
  35. Of a daughter.
  36. Of a daughter's maintenance.
  37. Cf. supra 52b.
  38. As a point of difference between the two rights.
  39. By the brothers (not by the father).
  40. Since it represents a fixed sum (one tenth of the estate) it had the validity of a debt incumbent upon the estate.
  41. Even if it was only the brothers who pledged it (v. Git. 48b)
  42. As the amount is not a fixed quantity it has not the same force as a debt.
  43. For maintenance as well as for marriage outfit.
  44. And much more so for marriage outfit which has the validity of a debt of a debt (cf. supra nn. 6 and 8).
  45. On his death bed.
  46. Since even a dying man, whose verbal instructions have the validity of a legal contract, cannot annul the undertaking to maintain his daughters which he entered in the kethubah.
  47. While the latter is obligatory upon the deceased and upon his heirs, the firmer has to be provided by the heirs only where the deceased did not give specific instructions to the contrary.
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