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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Kethuboth

Folio 2a



GEMARA. R. Joseph said: Rab Judah said [that] Samuel said: Why did they [the Rabbis] Say. A MAIDEN IS MARRIED ON THE FOURTH DAY? Because we have learned:3  'If the time [appointed for the marriage] arrived and they4  were not married,5  they4  eat of his [food]6  and they eat7  of terumah'8  — you might think that if the time arrived on the first day in the week he would have to supply her with food, therefore have we learned, A MAIDEN IS MARRIED ON THE FOURTH DAY.9  Said R. Joseph: Lord of Abraham!10  He [Samuel] attaches a Mishnah which was taught, to a Mishnah which was not taught! Which was taught and which was not taught? This was taught and this was taught! — But [put it this way]: he attaches a Mishnah, the reason of which was explained,11  to a Mishnah, the reason of which was not explained.12  But if it was said,13  it was said thus; Rab Judah said [that] Samuel said: Why did they say, A MAIDEN IS MARRIED ON THE FOURTH DAY? Because IF HE HAD A Claim AS TO THE VIRGINITY HE COULD GO EARLY [NEXT MORNING] TO THE COURT OF JUSTICE — well, let her be married on the first day in the week, so that if he had a claim as to virginity he could go early [on the morning of the second day of the week] to the court of justice! [The answer is:] The Sages watched over the interests14  of the daughters of Israel so that [the bridegroom] should prepare for the [wedding.] feast three days, [namely] on the first day in the week, the second day in the week, and the third day in the week, and on the fourth day he marries her. And now that we have learned 'shakedu',15  that [Mishnah] which we have learned: If the time arrived and they were not married, they eat of his [food] and they eat of terumah, [is to be understood as implying that if] the time arrived on the first day in the week, since he cannot marry [her, on the first day of the week, on account of the ordinance], he does not give her food [on the three days, from the first day of the week to the fourth day]. Therefore16  [R. Joseph concludes], if he became ill or she became ill, or she became menstruous,17  he does not give her food.

Some [scholars] there are who put this as a question: If he became ill, what is [the law]?18  [Shall I say:] There.19  the reason [he need not support her,] is because he is forced,20  and here, he is also forced?21  Or shall I say] perhaps, there.22  he is forced23  by an ordinance which the Rabbis ordained,24  [but] here, [he is] not?25  And if you will say:26  If he became ill he supplies her with food, [then the question would still be:] if she became ill, what is [the law]? Can he say unto her, 'I am here ready to marry you'? Or, perhaps, she can say unto him, 'His field27  has been flooded'?28  And if you will say [that] she can say to him [when she falls ill], 'His field has been flooded.' [then the question is,] if she became menstrous, what is [the law]? During her regular time there is no question

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. Lit., 'is taken' as wife.
  2. Lit., 'houses of judgment (law, justice)'.
  3. V. infra 57a.
  4. The maiden or the widow.
  5. The marriage did not take place through the man's fault.
  6. The man has to maintain them.
  7. If the man (the bridegroom) is a priest.
  8. The priest's share of the crop. v. Glos.
  9. And thus to teach that it is not his fault that he does not marry her on the first day in the week, because the Rabbis ordained that he has to wait with the marriage till the fourth day (in the case of a maiden), or the fifth day (in the case of a widow).
  10. An exclamation, like 'O, God!' (v. Rashi ad loc.).
  12. V. infra 57a.
  13. The saying of Samuel.
  14. Lit., 'ordinance', 'improvement.
  15. 'They (the Sages) watched', etc. — the principle just stated.
  16. Since ye find that the bride has no claim to maintenance where he is not to blame [or the delay in the marriage.
  17. After the time for the marriage had arrived and the marriage cannot take place through one of these causes.
  18. Lit., 'how is it?'
  19. When the appointed date of the marriage falls on the first day of the week, v. infra 57a.
  20. By the ordinance of the scholars, according to which he must wait till the fourth day of the week ([H]).
  21. By his illness to postpone the marriage.
  22. When the appointed date of the marriage falls on the first day of the week.
  23. To postpone the marriage.
  24. And therefore he need not support her.
  25. I.e., in this case he would have to support her since the postponement of the marriage is due to his illness.
  26. Lit., 'And if you may be able (or, find it possible) to say.'
  27. Another reading is 'thy field'. The sense is, of course, the same.
  28. I.e., it is his bad luck that she became ill, and consequently he must support her.

Kethuboth 2b

that she cannot say to him, 'His field has been flooded'. When is the question asked? [If she became menstruous] not during her regular time, what is [the law]? Since it is not during her regular time, she can say unto him, 'His field has been flooded'? Or, perhaps, since there are women who change their periods. It is as if it was her regular time? R. Ahai explained:1  [We learnt:] When the time came and they were not married, they eat of his food and they eat of terumah.'2  It does not state. 'They [the men] did not marry them [the women]' but [it says] 'They [the women] were not married.' In what case? If they prevent,3  why do they eat of his food and eat of the terumah? Hence, you must say [must you not].4  that they were forced as in this case,5  and it states 'they eat of his food and they eat of terumah'? — R. Ashi said: Indeed I can say6  [that] in the case of an accident7  she does not eat [of his].8  And [here]9  they [the men] prevented.10  And by right he ought to have stated, 'they [the men] did not marry [the women].'11  But since the first clause12  speaks of them [the women] the latter clause also speaks of them [the women]?13

Raba said: And with regard to divorce14  it is not so.15  Accordingly Raba holds [that] accident is no plea in regard to divorce.16  Whence does Raba get this [rule]? Shall I say, from what we have learned: 'Behold this is thy bill of divorce if I come not [back] from now until twelve months,'17  and he died within the twelve months, there is no divorce.18  [And we would conclude from this that only if] he died there is no divorce,19  but if he became ill20  there is a divorce!21  But perhaps indeed I might say [that] if he became ill there would also he no divorce.22  and [the Mishnah]23  lets us hear just this [rule], that there is no divorce after death.24  [That] there is no divorce after death, a previous Mishnah25  teaches: 'Behold, this is thy bill of divorce if I die,' [or] 'behold, this is thy bill of divorce from this illness,'26  [or] 'behold, this is thy bill of divorce after [my] death,' he has not said anything.27  [But] perhaps [that28  is] to exclude from that29  of our teachers, for it has been taught: Our teachers allowed her to marry again.30  And we said: Who are 'our teachers'? Rab Judah said [that] Samuel said: The court that allowed the oil [of the heathen]:31  they32  hold like R. Jose who said, 'the date of the document shows it.'33  But from the later clause:34  '[This is thy bill of divorce]35  from now if I come not [back] from now [and] until twelve months', and he died within the twelve months, it is a divorce. [And we may deduce] 'if he died', and the same rule applies if he became ill.36  [But] perhaps [the divorce is effective] only when he died, because it was not pleasing to him that she should become subject to37  the yabam!38  — But [the deduction can be made] from this: There was a certain [man]39  who said unto them:40  'If I do not come [back] from now until thirty days it shall be a divorce.'41  He came [back] at the end of thirty days but the ferry stopped him.42  He said unto them,43  'Look, I have come [back]; look, I have come [back]!'44  Said Samuel: This is not regarded as having come back.45  But perhaps an accident which is frequent46  is different,47  for since he ought to have stipulated it48  and he did not stipulate it, he injured himself!49  — But [we must say] Raba expressed an opinion of his own:50  On account of the chaste women and on account of the loose women.51  On account of the chaste women,52  because if you will say that it should not be a divorce.53

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. I.e., 'answered'.
  2. Mishnah 57a: v. supra.
  3. If the women cause the hindrance to the marriage taking place now..
  4. Lit., 'but is it not'.
  5. Lit., as in this manner', that is, when menstruation appeared outside the regular time.
  6. Lit., 'always I say unto thee'.
  7. As irregular menstruation (v. n. 10). The accident is a mishap that comes from the woman.
  8. Lit., 'every accident, she does not eat.
  9. In the Mishnah quoted by R. Ahai.
  10. The marriage from taking place now'.
  11. And not 'they (the women) Here not married'.
  12. Of the Mishnah, quoted by R. Ahai: V. infra 57a.
  13. I.e., since that Mishnah speaks in the first clause of 'maiden' and 'widow', it uses in the clause that follows the passive 'they were not married' the subjects of which are the 'maiden and the 'widow' to use the active 'they did not marry', referring to the men, would have required more words in that clause.
  14. Lit., 'deeds (of divorce).'
  15. I.e., an accident, as explained infra, does not invalidate a divorce.
  16. Lit., 'there is no accident with divorce'.
  17. These words the husband says to the wife. 'From now until twelve months' means 'within twelve months'.
  18. Lit., 'it is not a Get,' (v. Glos.) that is, the divorce does not take effect: v. Git. 76b.
  19. Because there can be no divorce after death.
  20. And he could not come back within the twelve months through his illness.
  21. Which proves that we do not admit a plea of force majeure to invalidate a Get.
  22. For the plea of accident does apply to divorce.
  23. Git. 76b.
  24. And no other deduction, e.g.. as to illness, is to be made from that Mishnah.
  25. Git. 72a. Lit., 'beginning', 'first clause', denoting here a previous Mishnah.
  26. This phrase is not clear. V. Rashi here and Git. 72a. The phrase seems to mean, 'If I die from this illness.' v. Tosaf. a.l.
  27. I.e., his words have no effect.
  28. I.e., the Mishnah of Git. 76b quoted above.
  29. I.e., from the view of our teachers. If this is the object of (the first clause of) the Mishnah of Cit. 76b, Raba cannot deduce from this Mishnah that if he (the husband) became ill the divorce took effect: v. supra, also note 9.
  30. 'Our teachers' regard her as divorced (against the Mishnah) and allow her to marry again without halizah. If she is regarded as a widow and she has no children she requires halizah before she can re-marry. As to halizah v. Deut. XXV. 5-10. and Glos.
  31. V. A.Z. 36a and 37a.
  32. I.e., the members of the court of justice.
  33. [B.B. 136a: and so here the date inserted for the Get is intended to make it effective from the time of the delivery thereof. For further notes v. Git. (Sonc. ed.) p. 136].
  34. I.e., Raba deduces the rule that the plea of accident does not apply to divorce from the second clause of the Mishnah, cf. Git. 76b.
  35. v. Git. 76b.
  36. And he could not come back on account of his illness.
  37. Lit., 'that she should fall before' (the yabam).
  38. The husband's brother, who, if she was regarded as a widow (and not as divorced), would have to marry her or let her perform halizah.
  39. A husband.
  40. Certain persons who might be witnesses.
  41. I.e., the bill of divorce given now shall become effective.
  42. The ferry was on the other side of the river and he could not get across, and he was thus prevented (by this accident) from arriving in his town within the thirty days.
  43. To persons standing near by.
  44. The divorce should therefore not take effect.
  45. Lit., 'Its name is not "come back"' — the divorce, therefore, takes effect. This proves that force majeure is no plea in regard to Get.
  46. I.e., an accident which is likely to occur, as the ferry being on the other side of the river.
  47. Does not bar the divorce from becoming effective.
  48. That if the ferry should be on the other side of the river and he could not get across and come into his town, it should be regarded as if he had arrived in the town and come hack within the meaning of his condition, which would thus be regarded as not fulfilled, and the divorce would, consequently, not take effect.
  49. He has himself to blame. The attempted deduction from the ferry case is therefore refuted.
  50. Since the rule of Raba, that an accident is no bar to the effectiveness of the divorce, cannot be derived from any Mishnah or from the ferry case, it is attributed to himself that is to his own reasoning.
  51. By 'loose women' are meant women who would not be particular about marrying again even if the validity of the divorce was not established.
  52. The divorce should be effective.
  53. That the divorce should not become effective because of the accident.