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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Kethuboth

Folio 17a

The bride as she is.1  And Beth Hillel say: 'Beautiful and graceful bride'!2  Beth Shammai said to Beth Hillel: If she was lame or blind, does one say of her: 'Beautiful and graceful bride'? Whereas the Torah3  said, 'Keep thee far from a false matter.'4  Said Beth Hillel to Beth Shammai: According to your words,5  if one has made a bad purchase in the market, should one praise it6  in his eyes or depreciate it?7  Surely,8  one should praise it in his eyes. Therefore,9  the Sages said: Always should the disposition of man be pleasant with people. — When R. Dimi came,10  he said: Thus they sing before the bride in the West:11  no powder12  and no paint13  and no waving14  [of the hair], and still a graceful gazelle.

When the Rabbis ordained R. Zera they sang before him thus: No powder and no paint and no waving [of the hair], and still a graceful gazelle. When the Rabbis ordained R. Ammi and R. Assi they sang before them thus: Such as these, such as these ordain unto us, [but] do not ordain unto us of the perverters15  or babblers,16  and some say: of the half-scholars17  or one-third-scholars.18 — When R. Abbahu came from the Academy to the court of the Emperor,19  hand-maids20  from the Imperial house went out towards him and sang before him thus, 'Prince of his people, leader of his nation, shining light,21  blessed be thy coming in peace!'

They tell of R. Judah b. Ila'i that he used to take a myrtle twig and dance before the bride and say: 'Beautiful and graceful bride.' R. Samuel the son of R. Isaac danced with three [twigs].22  R. Zera said: The old man is putting us to shame.23  When he24  died,25  a pillar of fire came between him and the whole [of the rest of the] world. And there is a tradition that a pillar of fire has made such a separation26  only either for one in a generation or for two in a generation only.27  R. Zera said: His twig28  [benefited] the old man, and some say: His habit29  [benefited] the old man, and some say: his folly30  [benefited] the old man. — R. Aha took31  her32  on his shoulder and danced [with her]. The Rabbis said to him: May we [also] do it? He said to them: If they33  are on you34  like a beam,35  [then it is] all right. and if not, [you may] not.

R. Samuel b. Nahmani said [that] R. Jonathan said: it is allowed to look intently at the face of the bride all the seven [days]36  in order to make her beloved to her husband.37  But the law is not according to him.

Our Rabbis taught: One causes a funeral procession38  to make way39  for a bridal procession,40  and both of them41  for the King of Israel. One tells of King Agrippa that he made way for a bride, and the Sages praised him. — They praised him — from this it would seem that he did well. Did not R. Ashi say: Even according to him, who says [that] if a king forgoes his honour, his honour is forgone, if a king forgoes his honour, his honour is not forgone. for a Master said:42  'Thou shalt set a king over thee,'43  [this means] that his awe shall be over thee?44  — It was [at] a cross-road.45

Our Rabbis taught: One interrupts46  the study of the Torah for the sake of a funeral procession47  and the leading48  of the bride [under the bridal canopy]. They tell of R. Judah b. Ila'i that he interrupted the study of the Torah for the sake of a funeral procession49  and the leading50  of the bride [under the bridal canopy]. This applies only51  when there are not sufficient people at the funeral procession,52  but if there are sufficient people one does not interrupt [the study of the Torah].53  And how many are sufficient? R. Samuel the son of Ini said in the name of Rab: Twelve thousand men and six thousand trumpets.54  And some say: Twelve thousand55  men and among them six thousand trumpets.56  'Ulla said: For instance when people form a line from the city-gate to the burial place. R. Shesheth, and some say R. Johanan said: Its taking away57  is like its giving.58  As its giving was in [the presence of] sixty myriads59  [of people], so [has] its taking away [to be] in [the presence of] sixty myriads [of people]. And this is the case only60  with regard to one who read [the Bible] and studied [the Mishnah.]

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. One does not exaggerate in praising the bride. If she is not beautiful one does not say that she is.
  2. Every bride has to be regarded and praised as beautiful and graceful.
  3. I.e., the Pentateuch.
  4. Ex XXIII. 7.
  5. I.e., according to the view you have just expressed.
  6. The thing purchased.
  7. In the text 'in his eyes' is repeated here.
  8. Lit., 'you] must say'.
  9. Lit., 'from here'.
  10. To Babylonia.
  11. I. e., Palestine.
  12. [H]. A powder used for painting the eye-lids. stibium.
  13. [H] A paint for the face.
  14. [H] means 'making the hair beautiful' either by dyeing it or by dressing it. It may also denote making the hair into locks. V. Levy and Jast. 'Waving' is perhaps the best translation. It may also refer to painting the face. Cf. Shah. 34a and Jast. s.v. [H] I. One painting refers to the eyes, one to the cheeks, and one, perhaps, to the lips.
  15. I.e., Immature scholars who pervert the reasons of the law (Rashi). V. Sank. ag.
  16. I.e., men who cannot substantiate their decisions who cannot argue properly (Rashi).
  17. V, Levy
  18. V. Levy. On these terms v. also Sank. (Son. ed) p. 65 notes.
  19. At Ag where he had his academy.
  20. In Sank. 14a. 'the matrons'.
  21. Lit., 'lamp of light'.
  22. [He used to throw up three twigs one after the other and catch them in turn (Rash).]
  23. Through his myrtle dance before the bride.
  24. R. Samuel the son of R. Isaac.
  25. Lit., 'when his soul was at rest'.
  26. I.e., that such an apparition was seen.
  27. I.e., for one man or two men in a generation. Only for very great and pious men such a phenomenon occurs.
  28. With which he danced at weddings before the bride. This good deed was the cause of the apparition.
  29. Of dancing before the bride.
  30. Of dancing with three twigs before the bride (Rashi). The words in the text for 'twig', 'habit' and 'folly' are almost alike.
  31. Lit., 'caused her to ride'.
  32. The bride.
  33. The brides.
  34. I.e., on your shoulders.
  35. I.e.. awaking no sensual desire.
  36. Of the wedding week.
  37. When he (the husband) sees that all look at her intently (admiring her beauty), her beauty enters his heart (Rashi).
  38. Lit., 'the dead'.
  39. Lit., 'to pass by'.
  40. Lit., 'before a bride'.
  41. Lit., 'and this and this'.
  42. In Kid. 32b it says [H], 'for it is said'. Here [H] is used referring apparently to R. Ashi.
  43. Deut. XVII. 15.
  44. That thou shalt respect him, v, Sot. (Sonc. ed.) p. 204.
  45. Where Agrippa made way for a bride. and people might have thought that be had to go in the other direction.
  46. Lit., 'one abolishes', 'suspends'.
  47. Lit., 'for the bringing out of the dead'.
  48. Lit., 'for the bringing in'.
  49. Lit., 'for the bringing out of the dead'.
  50. Lit., 'for the bringing in'.
  51. Lit., 'in what (case) are these words said'?
  52. Lit., 'when there is not with him all his requirement'.
  53. This limitation only applies to the funeral procession. but not to the leading of the bride to the canopy
  54. I.e., trumpeters.
  55. So the correct reading in Meg. 29a. Our text 'thirteen thousand'.
  56. I.e., trumpeters.
  57. I.e., the taking away of the Torah. When a scholar dies the Torah which he knew and studied is taken away, as far as his knowledge and his study are concerned.
  58. I.e., as the giving of the Torah on Sinai.
  59. I.e.. 600,000.
  60. Lit., 'and these words (have been said)'.

Kethuboth 17b

But for one who taught [others] there is no limit.1

AND IF THERE ARE WITNESSES THAT SHE WENT OUT WITH A HINUMA etc. What is hinuma.? — Surhab b. Papa said in the name of Ze'iri: A myrtle-canopy.2  R. Johanan said: A veil under which the bride [sometimes] slumbers.3

R. JOHANAN THE SON OF BEROKA SAYS, etc. It was taught: This was [regarded as] a proof in Judaea; what is [the proof in] Babylonia? — Rab said: The dripping of oil on the heads4  of the scholars.5  R. Papa said to Abaye: Did the master speak of oil [used] for cleaning [the head]?6  — He said to him:7  Orphan,8  did not your mother do the dripping of the oil on the heads of the scholars at the time9  of the event?10  As that [case when] one of the scholars was occupied with [the wedding of] his son in the house Of Rabbah b. 'Ulla — and some say, Rabbah b. 'Ulla was occupied with [the wedding of] his son in the house of one of the scholars — and he dripped oil on the heads of the scholars at the time of the event.11  — What [sign is there at the wedding of] a widow? — R. Joseph taught: A widow has no roasted ears of corn [distributed at her wedding].12

AND R. JOSHUA ADMITS THAT IF ONE SAYS TO HIS FELLOW etc. But let him13  teach: R. Joshua admits that in [the case when] one says to his fellow,'this field belonged to you14  and I have bought it of you' [he is believed]? — Because he would have to teach [in] the last clause: If there are witnesses that it was his and he says. 'l have bought it of you'. he is not believed.15  [And] how shall we imagine this case? If he ate [the fruits of] it [during the] years of hazakah16  why should he not be believed? And if he did not eat [the fruits of] it [during the] years of hazakah it is self-evident that he is not believed!17  — If so, with regard to his father18  also [one could argue]: If he19  ate [the fruits of] it [during the] years of hazakah. why should he not be believed?20  And if he did not eat [the fruits of] it [during the] years of hazakah, it is self-evident that he is not believed! We grant you with regard to his father, [because] there may be a case, as, for instance, when he ate [the fruits of] it two [years] during the life of the father and one [year] during the life of his son.21  And [this would be] according to R. Huna, for R. Huna said: One does not acquire the ownership of the property of a minor by the undisturbed possession of it during the prescribed period. even if [he continued in the possession after] the minor had become of age.22  But R. Huna comes to let us hear [what is already taught In] our Mishnah!23  — If you wish. you may say. R. Huna says. 'what is to be derived from our Mishnah by implication.'24  And if you wish, you may say, 'he lets us hear, even if he had become of age'.25

But let him26  [after all] teach with regard to himself27  and put the case when he28  ate [the fruits of] it two [years] in his presence29  and one [year] in his absence,30  and, for instance, when he31  fled? — Because of what did he flee? If he fled because of [danger to his] life,32  it is self-evident that he33  is not believed. since he cannot protest!34  And if he fled because of money [matters].35  he ought to have protested.36  because it is established for37  [that] a protest in his absence38  is a [valid] protest!39  For we have learned: There are three countries with regard to hazakah: Judaea, Trans-Jordan and Galilee.40  [If] he41  was in Judaea and someone took possession [of his land] in Galilee, [or he' was] in Galilee and Someone took possession [of his land] in Judaea, it is no hazakah42  until he is with him in the [same] province.43  And we asked44  concerning it,45  What opinion does he46  hold? If he holds that a protest in his absence47  is a [valid] protest,48  this should apply also to Judaea and Galilee.49  And if he holds [that] a protest in his absence is not a [valid] protest. it should not he [a valid protest] even if they are both in Judaea?50  [And] R. Abba the son of Memel said: Indeed, he holds [that] a protest in his absence is a [valid] protest, but our Mishnah speaks51  of a time of lawlessness.52  — And why does he just speak of Judaea and Galilee?53  '

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. Of the number of people attending his funeral.
  2. So Rashi. V. next note.
  3. So Rashi. Cf. however, Levy and Jast. s. vv. Cf. also Krauss, TA., II, p. 457. note 311, and p. 458. note 316.
  4. Lit., 'head'.
  5. Rashi.' Young scholars who were present at the wedding. This was a sign that the bride was a virgin.
  6. Surely the scholars do not require such oil (Rashi) cf. also Krauss, T.A. I. p. 683. n. 187.
  7. Abaye.
  8. I.e., one who is ignorant of this custom (Rashi).
  9. Lit., 'hour'.
  10. I.e., at your wedding.
  11. Of the wedding.
  12. And the absence of the ears of corn is the sign that she is a widow (Rashi).
  13. The teacher of our Mishnah.
  14. Instead of 'to your father'. [Since the reason for R. Joshua's ruling is that it is a case where there is no slaughtered ox before you, he could have illustrated it in this way (Rashi). Tosaf.: this would be a stronger case seeing that both parties are 'sure' in their plea]
  15. And this is not the case. for the reasons to be stated immediately.
  16. 'To eat' the field meant 'to use and take' the fruits of the field. 'To eat' the field without anyone complaining about this meant undisturbed possession of the field. And if this undisturbed possession lasted three years without interruption it established ownership. V. B.B. 28ff. Both the holding of the land and the right accruing from it giving the title of ownership are called hazakah. 'Years of hazakah'; the term means both 'the years of holding' and 'the years of holding that give the right and title of ownership.' 'To eat' is similar to usus' in the Twelve Tables (VI. 3)' In the sense of 'holding' hazakah is also similar to 'usus'. In the sense of 'acquisition (of ownership) by holding for a certain period fixed by law', it is similar to 'usucapio' in Roman Law. Ulpian says. 'Usucapio est adjectio dominii per continuationem possessionis temporis lege definita.' 'Usucapio is the acquisition of ownership by possession for the length of time required by law.' The full time for 'usucapio' of lands and houses was in Roman Law (till Justinian) two years. In Talmudic Law it was three years. For the Roman Law of 'usucapio' see, Hunter, Roman Law, 4th ed., p. 205ff, Muirhead, Law of Rome, 3rd ed., p. 132f., p. 241 and p. 380. and Moyle. Justiniani Institutiones, 3th ed. p. 225ff. As to iusta causa and iustus titulus, v. Moyle. op. cit. p. 226, n. 3; in Talmudic Law cf. Baba Bathra, fol. 41a, Mishnah. [H] would correspond to usucapio. 'The taking by using' (usucapio) would after the prescribed time become 'taking (altogether). that is acquiring by use.' In Talmudic Law- 'capio' was the more dominating term. It seems that the full meaning of 'auctoritas' in 'usus auctoritas fundi' (in 'the Twelve Tables, v. Muirhead, op. cit. p. 132) was lost in the course of time. 'Auctoritas' seems to mean the authority, the right of ownership acquired by the use of the soil (real property). 'Usucapio' is not so good as 'usus auctoritas'. 'Usucapio' has, after all, in Roman Law two meanings, as hazakah in Talmudic Law. It is worthy of note that Ulpian. who came from Syria, was a contemporary of the Tannaim of the second half of the second century. Gaius also lived in the second century. vkft is not translated by 'he bad the usufruct of it', because 'usufruct' is the right of using and taking the fruits of property not one's own. (Justinian's Institutes, II. 4) v. Moyle, Engl. Translation of Justinian's Institutes, 4th ed., p. 47. v. also Hunter, op. cit., p. 396.
  17. And since he had to teach in the last clause the case where the field belonged to 'his father', he also taught in the first clause 'this field belonged to your father.'
  18. I.e., the father of the other man.
  19. The claimant, i.e., the man who says. 'This field belonged to your father and I bought it of him.'
  20. In the last clause of the Mishnah.
  21. [And the Mishnah teaches us although he did occupy for three years he is nevertheless not believed.]
  22. V. B.M. 39b. For certain business transactions, the minor became of age, in Talmudic Law, when be reached the age of twenty; v. B.B. 155a.
  23. According to the answer just given the rule stated by R. Huna is implied in the teaching of the Mishnah.
  24. What R. Huna states is not said explicitly in the Mishnah. It is to be derived by implication. And R. Huna derives it and states it as a rule.
  25. The rule as stated by B. Huna has an additional point, namely. 'even if be bad become of age'. This cannot be derived from the Mishnah by implication. This additional point is the reason why R. Huna states the rule.
  26. The teacher of our Mishnah.
  27. The other man, and not the other man's father.
  28. The present possessor.
  29. In the presence of the other man.
  30. This year in his absence does not count, as be could not protest.
  31. The other man. [And thus teach us that, although be did occupy it for three years. the year be had it in the other's absence does not count, and be is not believed.]
  32. He was in danger of bis life in the place in which be lived. He would be afraid to protest (against the man holding bis land) in his place of refuge, because be would be afraid of being pursued by those who sought his life. The fact that be did not protest during the third year would, therefore, not make the possession of the field by the present holder an undisturbed possession for the period required by the law.
  33. The present possessor.
  34. Cf. n. 11.
  35. To avoid unpleasantness because of money-matters.
  36. Wherever be is, as no personal harm would be done to him even if his place of refuge became known.
  37. I.e., it is an established rule.
  38. I.e., in the absence of the present holder.
  39. Because the protest goes from person to person until it reaches the present bolder. V. B.B. 38b.
  40. I.e.. the three provinces of Palestine mentioned in the Mishnah are regarded as three different countries in respect of hazakah.
  41. The owner of the land.
  42. The undisturbed holding of the land for the period required by law does not acquire ownership.
  43. Mishnah, B.B. 38a: 'in one province. only when both, owner and holder, are in the same province, that is in Judaea or in Galilee, v. B.B. 38a.
  44. By way of discussion,
  45. Cf B.B. 38a-b.
  46. The teacher of the Mishnah.
  47. I.e., in the absence of the present holder.
  48. Because the protest goes from person to person until it reaches the present holder, v. B.B. 38b.
  49. I.e., if the one is in Judaea and the other is in Galilee in due course the protest made by the owner in one province will reach the holder in the other province.
  50. Lit., 'even Judaea and Judaea also not'. Even if they are in the same province, but in different places. The protest is still In his absence.
  51. Lit., 'and the Mishnah they taught'.
  52. In the text: [H] 'Lawlessness'. A lawlessness brought about by war or by other causes. Through the lawlessness there is no communication between the two provinces, so that the protest cannot reach the holder of the land. And if the protest cannot reach the holder of the land, the protest, if made, would have no force. And as the protest would have no force, the possession of the holder does not become an undisturbed possession. Cf. Rashbam, B.B. 38a.
  53. Lit., 'and why are Judaea and Galilee different that he takes (them)'? The meaning of the question is: 'Lawlessness may also occur between towns in the same province.'