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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Kethuboth
why then was it stated, 'AT THE PLACE WHERE HER MOTHER [LIVES]'?1 Consequently it must be inferred that [the place of] a daughter, whether she be of age or a minor, is with her mother.
THE TWO HUSBANDS CANNOT PLEAD etc. A certain man once leased his mill to another for [the consideration of the latter's services in] grinding [his corn].2 Eventually he became rich and bought another mill and an ass. Thereupon he said to the other, 'Until now I have had my grinding done at your place but now3 pay me rent'. — 'I shall', the other replied, 'only grind for you'.4 Rabina [in considering the case] intended to rule that it involved the very principle that was laid down in our Mishnah: THE TWO HUSBANDS CANNOT PLEAD, 'WE WILL MAINTAIN HER JOINTLY', BUT ONE MUST MAINTAIN HER AND THE OTHER ALLOWS HER THE COST OF HER MAINTENANCE.5 R. 'Awira, however, said to him: Are [the two cases] alike? There [the woman]6 has Only one stomach, not two;7 but here8 [the lessee] might well tell the owner, 'Grind [in your own mill]9 and sell; grind [in mine]10 and keep'.11 This,12 however, has been said only in a case where [the lessee] has no [other orders for] grinding at his mill,13 but if he has [sufficient orders for] grinding at his mill he may in such circumstances be compelled [not to act] in the manner of Sodom.14
MISHNAH. SHOULD A WIDOW SAY, 'I HAVE NO DESIRE TO MOVE FROM MY HUSBAND'S HOUSE', THE HEIRS CANNOT TELL HER, GO TO YOUR FATHER'S HOUSE AND WE WILL MAINTAIN YOU', BUT THEY MUST MAINTAIN HER IN HER HUSBAND'S HOUSE15 AND GIVE HER A DWELLING BECOMING HER DIGNITY. IF SHE SAID, HOWEVER,16 HAVE NO DESIRE TO MOVE FROM MY FATHER'S HOUSE', THE HEIRS ARE ENTITLED TO SAY TO HER, 'IF YOU STAY WITH US YOU WILL HAVE YOUR MAINTENANCE, BUT IF YOU DO NOT STAY WITH US YOU WILL RECEIVE NO MAINTENANCE'. IF SHE BASED HER PLEA16 ON THE GROUND THAT SHE WAS YOUNG AND THEY17 WERE YOUNG,18 THEY MUST MAINTAIN HER WHILE SHE LIVES IN THE HOUSE OF HER FATHER.
GEMARA. Our Rabbis taught:19 [A widow] may use [her deceased husband's] dwelling as she used it during his20 lifetime. [She may also use] the bondmen and bondwomen, the cushions and the bolsters, and the silver and gold utensils as she used them during the lifetime of her husband, for such is the written undertaking he gave her: 'And you shall dwell in my house and be maintained therein out of my estate throughout the duration of your widowhood'.21
R. Nahman ruled: If orphans sold a widow's dwelling24 their act is legally invalid.25 But why [should this case be] different from that of which R. Assi spoke in the name of R. Johanan as follows:26 If the male orphans forestalled [the female orphans] and sold27 some property of a small estate28 their sale is valid?29 — There30 [the property] Was not pledged to any daughter31 during [her father's] lifetime,32 but here33 [the dwelling] was pledged to the widow34 during [her husband's] lifetime.35
Abaye stated: We have a tradition that if a widow's dwelling36 collapsed it is not the duty of the heirs to rebuild it.' So it was also taught: If a widow's dwelling36 collapsed it is not the duty of the heirs to rebuild it.37 Furthermore, even if she says, 'Allow me and I shall rebuild it at my own expense', she is not granted her request.38
IF SHE SAID, HOWEVER,'I HAVE NO DESIRE' etc. Why should they not give her maintenance while she lives there?41 — This supports [a statement] of R. Huna who said, 'The blessing of a house [is proportionate] to its size'.42 Why then can they not give her according to the blessing of the house?43 — That is so.44
Said R. Huna: The sayings45 of the Sages [are a source of] blessing, wealth and healing. [As to] 'blessing', [we have] the statement just mentioned. 'Wealth'? — Because we learned: If one sold fruits to another46 [and the buyer] pulled47 them, though they have not yet been measured,48 ownership is acquired. If, however, they have been measured,49 but [the buyer] has not pulled them, ownership is not acquired. But if [the buyer] is prudent he rents the place where they are kept.50 'Healing'? — For we learned: A man should not chew wheat and put it on his wound during the Passover because it ferments.51
Our Rabbis taught: When Rabbi52 was about to depart [from this life] he said, 'I require [the presence] of my sons'. When his sons entered into his presence he instructed them: 'Take care that you shew due respect to your mother. The light53 shall continue to burn in its usual place, the table53 shall be laid in its usual place [and my] bed shall be spread in its usual place.54 Joseph of Haifa and Simeon of Efrath who attended on me in my lifetime shall attend on me when I am dead'.
'Take care that you shew due respect to your mother'. Is [not this instruction] Pentateuchal, since it is written, Honour thy father and thy mother?55 — She was their stepmother.56 [Is not the commandment to honour] a stepmother56 also Pentateuchal, for it was taught: Honour thy father and thy mother,'55 'thy father'57 includes58 'thy stepmother','and thy mother'59 includes60 'thy Stepfather',61 and the superfluous waw62 includes 'thy elder brother'? — This exposition63 [was meant to apply] during [one's own parents'] lifetime but not after [their] death.
'The light shall continue to burn in its usual place, the table shall be laid in its usual place [and my] bed shall be spread in its usual place'.64 What is the reason? — He used to come home again at twilight every Sabbath Eve. On a certain Sabbath Eve a neighbour came to the door speaking aloud, when his handmaid whispered, 'Be quiet for Rabbi is sitting there'. As soon as he heard this he came no more, in order that no reflection might be cast65 on the earlier saints.66
'Joseph of Haifa and Simeon of Efrath who attended on me in my lifetime shall attend on me when I am dead'. He was understood to mean, 'In this world'.67 When it was seen however, that their biers preceded his68 [all] said that the conclusion must be that he was referring to the other69 world, and that the reason why he mentioned it70 was that it might not be suspected that they were guilty of some offence71 and that it was only the merit of Rabbi that protected72 them until that moment.73
'I require'. he said to them, '[the presence] of the Sages of Israel', and the Sages of Israel entered into his presence. 'Do not lament for me',74 he said to them, 'in the smaller towns,
'Do not lament for me in the smaller towns'. He was understood to give this instruction In order [to cause less] trouble.5 As it was observed, however, that when lamentations were held in the large towns everybody6 came7 they arrived at the conclusion that his instruction was due to [a desire to enhance] the honour [of the people].8
'Reassemble the college after thirty days', because [he thought] 'I am not more important than our teacher Moses concerning whom it is Written in Scripture, And the children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days'.9
For thirty days they mourned both day and night; subsequently10 they mourned in the day-time and studied at night or mourned at night and studied during the day, until a period of twelve months of mourning11 [had passed].
On the day that Rabbi died a bath kol12 went forth and announced: Whosoever has been present at the death of Rabbi is destined to enjoy the life of the world to come. A certain fuller,13 who used to come to him14 every day, failed to call on that day; and, as soon as he heard this, went up upon a roof, fell down to the ground and died. A bath kol12 came forth and announced: That fuller also is destined to enjoy the life of the world to come.
'My son Simeon is wise. What did he14 mean?15 — It is this that he meant: Although my son Simeon is wise, my son Gamaliel shall be the Nasi.16 Said Levi, 'Was It necessary to state this?'17 — It was necessary'. replied R. Simeon b. Rabbi, 'for yourself and for your lameness'.18 What was his19 difficulty?20 Does not Scripture state, But the kingdom gave he to Jehoram, because he was the firstborn?21 — The other22 was properly representing23 his ancestors24 but R. Gamaliel was not properly representing23 his ancestors.25 Then why did Rabbi act in the manner he did?26 — Granted that he27 was not representing his ancestors In wisdom he was worthily representing them in his fear of sin.28
'Hanina b. Hama shall preside at the college'. R. Hanina, however, did not accept [the office] because R. Afes was by two and a half years older than he; and so R. Afes presided. R. Hanina sat [at his studies] outside [the lecture room],29 and Levi came and joined him. When R. Afes went to his eternal rest30 and R. Hanina took up the presidency Levi had no one to join him31 and came in consequence to Babylon.
This description coincides with the following:32 When Rab was told that a great man who was lame made his appearance at Nehardea33 and held a discourse [in the course of which he] permitted [the wearing of] a wreath,34 he said,'It is evident35 that R. Afes has gone to his eternal rest, and R. Hanina has taken over the presidency; and that Levi having had no one to join him, has come [down here].' But might not one have suggested that R. Hanina came to his eternal rest, that R. Afes continued In the presidency as before36 and that Levi who had no one to join him came [therefore, to Babylon]? If you wish I might reply: Levi would have submitted to the authority of R. Afes. And if you prefer I might reply: Since [Rabbi] once said, 'Hanina b. Hama shall preside at the college', there could be no possibility of his not becoming head;37 for about the righteous it is written in Scripture. Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee.38
Was there not R. Hiyya?39 — He had already gone to his eternal rest.40 But did not R. Hiyya, state, 'I saw Rabbi's sepulchre41 and shed tears upon it'? — Reverse [the names]. But did not R. Hiyya state, 'On the day on which Rabbi died holiness ceased'? — Reverse [the names]. But has it not been taught: When Rabbi fell in R. Hiyya entered into his presence and found him weeping. 'Master', he said to him, 'Why are you weeping? Was it not taught: '[If a man] dies smiling it is a good omen for him, if weeping it is a bad omen for him; his face upwards it is a good omen, his face downwards it is a bad omen; his face towards the public it is a good omen, towards the wall it is a bad omen; if his face is greenish it is a bad omen, if bright and ruddy it.is a good omen; dying on Sabbath Eve42 is a good omen, on the termination of the Sabbath43 is a bad omen; dying on the Eve of the Day of Atonement is a bad omen, on the termination of the Day of Atonement44 is a good omen; dying of diarrhoea is a good omen because most righteous men die of diarrhoea?' And the other replied, 'I weep on [account of my impending separation from] the Torah and the commandments'?45 — If you wish I might reply: Reverse [the names]; and if you prefer I might reply: In fact there Is no need to reverse [the names; but as] R. Hiyya was engaged in the performance of pious deeds Rabbi thought 'I will not disturb him'.46
This47 is in line with the following:48 When R. Hanina and R. Hiyya were engaged in a dispute R. Hanina said to R. Hiyya, 'Do you [venture to] dispute with me? Were the Torah, God forbid, to be forgotten in Israel, I would restore it by means of my dialectical arguments'. — 'I', replied R. Hiyya, 'make provision that the Torah shall not be forgotten in Israel. For I bring flax seed, sow it, and weave nets [from the plant]. [With these] I hunt stags with whose flesh I feed orphans and from whose skins I prepare scrolls, and then proceed to a town where there are no teachers of young children, and write out the five Books of the Pentateuch for five children [respectively] and teach another six children respectively the six orders of the Mishnah, and then tell each one: "Teach your section to your colleagues"'. It was this that Rabbi [had in mind when he] exclaimed, 'How great are the deeds of Hiyya?' Said R. Simeon b. Rabbi to him: '[Greater] even than yours?' — 'Yes', he replied. 'Even', asked R. Ishmael the son of R. Jose, 'than my father's?' — 'God forbid', the other replied. 'Let no such thing be [mentioned] in Israel!'49
'I desire', he50 announced, 'the presence of my younger son R. Simeon entered into his presence and he entrusted him with the orders51 of wisdom. 'I desire the presence of my elder son', he announced. When R. Gamaliel entered he entrusted him with the traditions and regulations51 of the Patriarchate. 'My son', he said to him, 'conduct your patriarchate with men of high standing,52 and cast bile among the students'.53
But surely, this54 is not proper55 for is it not written in Scripture, But he honoureth them that fear the Lord,56 and the Master said that this [text might be applied to] Jehoshaphat, King of Judah. who, on seeing a scholar, used to rise from his throne, embrace him and kiss him, and call him 'My master, my master; my teacher, my teacher'? — This is no difficulty: The latter attitude57 [is to be adopted] in private; the former57 in public.58
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