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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Kethuboth

Folio 43a

and one who makes a voluntary admission in a penal case is exempt.1  But the Rabbis are of the opinion that the claim2  is [mainly] in respect of compensation for indignity and blemish.3  On what principle do they4  differ? — R. Papa replied: R. Simeon is of the opinion that a man would not leave that which is fixed5  to claim6  that which is not fixed,7  while the Rabbis hold the view that no man would leave a claim6  from which [the defendant] could not be exempt even if he made a voluntary admission8  and advance a claim9  from which he would be exempt10  if he made a voluntary admission.

R. Abina enquired of R. Shesheth: To whom belongs the handiwork of a daughter who11  is maintained12  by her brothers?13  Are they14  in loco parentis and as in that case her handiwork belongs to her father so here also it belongs to her brothers; or [is it more reasonable that] they should not be compared to their father, for in his case she is maintained out of his own estate but here she is not maintained out of their estate?15  — He replied: You have learned about such a case: A widow is to be maintained out of the estate of [her deceased husband's] orphans, and her handiwork belongs to them.16  [But] are [the two cases in every way] alike? It may not be any satisfaction to a man that his widow should be liberally provided for,17  but he might well be pleased, might he not, that his daughter should?18

Does this19  imply that a man has preference for his daughter than for his widow? Surely. R. Abba said in the name of R. Jose:20  The relationship between21  a widow and her daughter, in the case of a small estate,22  has been put on the same level as that of the relationship between21  a daughter and her brothers. As in the case of the relationship between a daughter and her brothers, the daughter is maintained23  while the brothers can go begging at [people's] doors, so also in the case of the relationship between a widow and her daughter, the widow is maintained and the daughter can go begging at [people's] doors;24  [which shews, does it not, that the widow is given preference]? — As regards [provision against] degradation25  a man gives preference to his widow;26  as regards liberal provision27  he gives preference to his daughter.28

R. Joseph objected: HER HANDIWORK, HOWEVER, AND ANYTHING SHE FINDS, EVEN IF SHE HAS NOT COLLECTED [THE PROCEEDS], BELONG TO HER BROTHERS IF HER FATHER DIED. The reason29  then is30  that [they originated during] the lifetime of their father, but [if they originated] after his death [they would belong] to herself. Does not [this refer to a daughter] who is maintained?31  — No; [this is a case of one] who is not maintained.32  If she is not maintained, what need is there to state [such a case]?33  For even according to him who ruled that a master is entitled to say to his bondman, 'Work for me and I will not maintain you'34  the ruling applies only to a Canaanite bondman concerning whom 'With thee' was not written in Scripture, but not to a Hebrew slave concerning whom with thee35  was written in Scripture. How much less [then would such a ruling apply] to one's daughter? — Rabbah b. 'Ulla replied: It36  was only required in the case of a surplus.37 

Said Raba: Did not such a great man as R. Joseph know that [sometimes there may] be a surplus when he raised his objection?38  The fact however is, Raba explained, that R. Joseph raised his objection from our very Mishnah. For it was stated, HER HANDIWORK, HOWEVER, AND ANYTHING SHE FINDS, EVEN IF SHE HAS NOT COLLECTED [THE PROCEEDS]; but from whom [it may be asked] is she to collect anything she finds? Consequently it must be conceded that it is this that was meant: HER HANDIWORK is like ANYTHING SHE FINDS; as anything she finds belongs to her father39  [if she finds it] during his lifetime, and to herself [if she finds it] after his death40  so also in the case of her handiwork, [if it was done] during the lifetime of her father it belongs to her father [but if it was done] after his death it belongs to herself. Thus it may be concluded [that the ruling of R. Shesheth stands refuted].41

So it was also stated:42  Rab Judah ruled in the name of Rab, The handiwork of a daughter who is maintained by her brothers belongs to herself. Said R. Kahana: What is the reason? Because it is written in Scripture And ye make them an inheritance for your children after you,43  [implying]: 'them'44  [you may make an inheritance] 'for your children', but not your daughters for your children. This tells us that a man may not transmit his authority45  over his daughter to his son.46  To this Rabbah demurred: It might be suggested that the Scriptural text47  speaks of [payments in connection with] the seduction of one's daughter, fines and mayhem!48  And so did R. Hanina learn: The Scriptural text47  speaks of [payments in connection with] the seduction of one's daughter, fines and mayhem!49

Is not mayhem injury involving bodily pain?50  — R. Jose b. Hanina replied:

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. Cf. supra p. 236, n. 7.
  2. Of the father, in the Mishnah of Shebu. 36b, cited supra 42a.
  3. Which are civil liabilities.
  4. R. Simeon and the Rabbis.
  5. The statutory fine, prescribed in Deut. XXII, 29.
  6. Compensation for indignity and blemish.
  7. Since it varies according to the status of each individual.
  8. Cf. p. 241, n. 17.
  9. Cf. supra n. 1.
  10. Since it is penal.
  11. In accordance with the terms of her mother's kethubah (v. Glos.); cf. infra 52b.
  12. Until she is married. (V. infra 52b).
  13. The sons of her deceased father.
  14. Since they maintain her.
  15. But of that which their father had left them (cf. supra nn. 7 and 8).
  16. Mishnah, infra 59b. As the handiwork of a widow who is entitled to maintenance by the terms of her kethubah belongs to the sons of the deceased, so obviously does that of a daughter who is also maintained by virtue of a claim in the kethubah of her mother. (Cf. supra n. 7).
  17. By retaining her handiwork for herself. [H], lit., 'relief', 'comfort'. (Rt. [H] or [H], lit., 'to be far', 'to be placed wide apart', hence 'to have space or room to live in comfort'.)
  18. Her handiwork may, therefore, belong to her.
  19. The suggestion just made.
  20. The parallel passage in B.B. 140b reads, 'Assi'.
  21. Lit., 'at', 'at the side of'.
  22. Which does not suffice for the maintenance of the dependents of the deceased man for a period of twelve months (v. B.B. 139b).
  23. Out of the estate of the deceased.
  24. B.B. 140b.
  25. Begging.
  26. He feels more humiliation when his widow goes begging than when his daughter does so.
  27. Cf. supra p. 242, n. 13.
  28. It is a father's wish, as a rule, that his daughter shall be enabled to save up some money for her marriage dowry.
  30. As in the case of COMPENSATION and FINE spoken of in the same Mishnah.
  31. Out of her father's estate by her brothers. How then could R. Shesheth rule that the handiwork of a daughter in such circumstances belongs to her brothers?
  32. Where the deceased, for instance, left no property.
  33. I.e., what need was there for the author of our Mishnah to provide a text from which we are to infer that a daughter's handiwork and anything she finds that originated after her father's death belong to herself?
  34. Git. 12a.
  35. Deut. XV, 16, He fareth well with thee.
  36. The text of our Mishnah from which the inference mentioned is to be drawn (v. p. 243 n. 11).
  37. Sc. if the daughter's earnings exceeded the cost of her maintenance. Our Mishnah was necessary for the purpose of the inference (cf. p. 243 n. 11) that the surplus also belongs to herself.
  38. Of course he knew and, therefore, he could not possibly have raised an objection in the form attributed to him.
  39. In return for her board. A father is under no legal obligation to maintain his daughter (v. infra 49a) and it was, therefore, enacted that in recognition of his consideration for her all she finds shall belong to him (v. B.M. 12b).
  40. Her father's heirs can lay no claim to her finds because the board they provide for her is not an act of kindness on their part but a legal obligation, cf. supra p. 243, n. 7.
  41. Cf. supra p. 243. n. 9.
  42. By Amoraim.
  43. Lev. XXV, 46.
  44. Canaanite bondmen.
  45. Lit., 'privilege', 'advantage'.
  46. Hence the ruling that the handiwork of a daughter, though it belongs to her father, does not belong to her brothers.
  47. Lev. XXV, 46, from which the ruling mentioned (v. supra p. 244, n. 11) has been deduced.
  48. Assault involving bodily injury. V. infra n. 3.
  49. All of which are unusual income and cannot be regarded as an income that brothers might properly expect. Handiwork, however, which may normally be expected, the brothers may justly expect from their sister in return for the maintenance with which they provide her.
  50. Compensation for which is not due even to her father (v. B.K. 87b). What need then was there to exclude his heirs?

Kethuboth 43b

The wound [may be supposed to] have been made in her face.1

Rab2  Zera stated in the name of R. Mattena who had it from Rab: (others assert [that it was] Rabbi2  Zera who stated in the name of R. Mattena who had it from Rab): The handiwork of a daughter who is maintained by her brothers belongs to herself, for it is written in Scripture, And ye make them an inheritance for your children after you3  [implying]: 'Them'4  [you may make an inheritance] 'for your children', but not your daughters for your children. This tells us that a man may not transmit his authority over his daughter to his son.5

Said Abimi b. Papi to him: Shakud6  made this statement.7  Who is Shakud? — Samuel. But, surely, was it not Rab who made this statement? — Read: Shakud also made this statement.

Mar the son of Amemar said to R. Ashi, Thus the Nehardeans have laid down: The law is in agreement with the ruling of R. Shesheth.8

R. Ashi [however] said: The law is in agreement with Rab.9  And the law is to be decided in agreement with the view of Rab.


GEMARA. The20  reason21  is that when HE GAVE HER IN MARRIAGE [the first time] SHE WAS DIVORCED [and that when] HE GAVE HER [AGAIN] IN MARRIAGE, SHE WAS LEFT A WIDOW [for the first time],22  but if she had been left a widow twice23  she would not have been fit to marry again. The Tanna24  has thus indirectly laid down an anonymous ruling in agreement with Rabbi who holds that if [a thing has happened] twice presumption is established.25

R. JUDAH SAID: THE FIRST BELONGS TO HER FATHER. What is R. Judah's reason? — Both Rabbah and R. Joseph explained: Since her father has acquired the right to it26  at the time of the betrothal.27  Raba objected: 'R. Judah ruled that the first28  belonged to her father; R. Judah nevertheless admitted that if a father gave his daughter in betrothal while she was still a minor and she married after she had attained adolescence he has no authority over her'.29  But why? Might it not here also be argued,30  'Since her father has acquired the right to it at the time of the betrothal'?31  The fact, however, is that if any statement [in the nature mentioned] has at all been made it must have been made in the following terms:32  Both Rabbah and R. Joseph explained: Because it33  was written while she was still under his authority.34

As to the recovery [of a kethubah],35  from which date may distraint be effected?36  — R. Huna replied: The hundred37  or the two hundred38  from the date of the betrothal39  and the additional jointure40  from that of the marriage.41  R. Assi, however, replied: The former as well as the latter [may be distrained upon only] from the date of the marriage.42

But could R. Huna, however, have given such a ruling?43  Has it not been stated: If a wife produced against her husband two kethuboth, one for two hundred, and one for three hundred zuz, she may, said R. Huna, distrain from the earlier date if she wishes to collect the two hundred zuz [but if she desires to collect the] three hundred zuz she may distrain from the later date only. Now if the ruling were as stated44  she should be entitled, should she not, to distrain to the extent of two hundred zuz from the earlier date and to that of one hundred from the later date? — But [even] according to your conception [it might equally be objected why] should she [not] distrain for all the five hundred zuz, two hundred from the earlier date and three hundred from the later date? What then is the reason why she cannot distrain for all the five hundred? [Obviously this:] Since the man did not write in her favour,45  'I willingly added to your credit three hundred zuz to the two hundred' he must have meant to imply: 'If you desired to distrain from the earlier date you would recover [no more than] two hundred, and if you desired to distrain from the later date you would receive three hundred'.

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. As an exposed wound decreases her value, compensation is due to her father, since it is he who suffers the loss.
  2. Zera traveled from Babylon to Palestine where he was ordained by R. Johanan and had the title of Rabbi conferred upon him. His former title was only Rab. The following statement was made by him, according to the first reading, before, and according to the second reading after his ordination.
  3. Lev. XXV, 46.
  4. Canaanite bondmen.
  5. Cf. supra p. 244, n. 11.
  6. [H] 'careful speaker' (cf. Rashi a.l.), 'industrious scholar' (Jast.) 'studious' (Aruk).
  7. The ruling and deduction reported by R. Zera.
  8. V. supra p. 242, n. 12 and text.
  9. In opposition to R. Shesheth.
  10. While she was a minor or a na'arah (v. Glos.).
  11. Of the second, as well as that of the first betrothal.
  12. Because the income of a daughter under the state of bogereth (V. Glos.) belongs to her father.
  13. Whether of the first or the second marriage.
  14. Because a father's control over his daughter, even if she is a minor, ceases as soon as he gives her in marriage; and since the collection of a kethubah, though not its writing, must always follow the marriage the amount collected is the rightful possession of the daughter.
  15. Sc. the kethubah of the first marriage.
  16. The reason is stated infra.
  17. The Rabbis who differed from his view.
  18. Cur. edd. insert in parentheses, 'if'.
  19. Hence it is she who is entitled to receive her kethubah.
  20. The interpretation of this passage is difficult and that of Rashi is here adopted (v. Tosaf. s.v. [H])
  21. For the illustration in the second clause of the Mishnah.
  22. So that it is possible for her to remarry a third time.
  23. Instead of having been divorced.
  24. Of our Mishnah by avoiding any unhappy illustration in which the woman cannot marry again.
  25. If a woman, for instance, was widowed twice she is deemed to be a dangerous companion to men, and is, therefore, forbidden to marry again (v. Yeb. 64b).
  26. Lit., 'them'. The plural referring generally to the two respective amounts of the statutory kethubah, two hundred so for a virgin and one hundred for a widow or divorcee (v. Rashi, s.v. [H]).
  27. When the daughter was still under her father's authority. In the case (if the second kethubah, however, which is subsequent to the first marriage R. Judah agrees, of course, with the Rabbis.
  28. Cf supra p. 246, n. 8.
  29. Sc. the kethubah belongs to herself and not to her father.
  30. That the kethubah should being to the father (cf supra n. 5).
  31. Since such argument, however, was not used the statement attributed above to Rabbah and R. Joseph cannot be authentic.
  32. Lit., 'but if it was said, it was said thus'.
  33. The kethubah for the first marriage. On the use of the pl. [H] cf. supra n. 2. [Although the liability in regard to the kethubah began at betrothal, it was not reduced to writing till nuptials proper; cf. Rashi. For other interpretations v. Asheri].
  34. Unlike the Rabbis who were guided by the time of the collection (cf. supra p. 246, n. 7) R. Judah holds that the date of the writing of the kethubah is the determining factor. Hence his ruling in our Mishnah (where the writing took place while the daughter was in her minority) that the kethubah is the father's property. In the Baraitha cited, however, (where the writing took place when the daughter was already adolescent, I. e., shortly before her marriage) the kethubah rightly belongs no longer to her father but to herself.
  35. From property sold between the date of the betrothal and that on which the kethubah was written.
  36. I.e., does the right of distraint begin on the date of the betrothal (when the man becomes Rabbinically liable for the kethubah) or (as in the case just dealt with) on the date the kethubah was written? (V. Rashi. Cf., however, Tosaf s.v. [H]).
  37. For a widow or a divorcee.
  38. In the case of a virgin.
  39. Since these amounts are statutory liabilities applicable to all.
  40. Which differs according to individual arrangements, v. infra.
  41. When the kethubah is written and formal acquisition (kinyan v. Glos.) is effected.
  42. Having accepted the written kethubah that bore the later date on which her marriage took place the woman is assumed to have surrendered her rights to the statutory amount, which she had acquired earlier on betrothal, in favour of her new advantages as well as any disadvantages that were conferred by the written document.
  43. Lit., 'did H. Huna say so'? That the earlier obligation (statutory kethubah) is recoverable from the earlier date (betrothal). and the latter one (additional jointure) from the later date (marriage).
  44. V. supra note 8. Lit., 'there is'.
  45. In her second kethubah.