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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Kethuboth
because it was situated on higher ground1 and its air was salubrious.
On the day when Rabbi died the Rabbis decreed a public fast and offered prayers for heavenly mercy. They. furthermore, announced that whoever said that Rabbi was dead would be stabbed with a sword.
Rabbi's handmaid2 ascended the roof and prayed: 'The immortals3 desire Rabbi [to join them] and the mortals4 desire Rabbi [to remain with them]; may it be the will [of God] that the mortals may overpower the immortals'. When, however, she saw how often he resorted to the privy,5 painfully taking off his tefillin6 and putting them on again, she prayed: 'May it be the will [of the Almighty] that the immortals may overpower the mortals'. As the Rabbis incessantly continued7 their prayers for [heavenly] mercy she took up a jar and threw it down from the roof to the ground. [For a moment] they ceased praying8 and the soul of Rabbi departed to its eternal rest.9
'Go', said the Rabbis to Bar Kappara, 'and investigate'.10 He went and, finding that [Rabbi] was dead, he tore his cloak and turned the tear backwards. [On returning to the Rabbis] he began: 'The angels11 and the mortals12 have taken hold of the holy ark.13 The angels overpowered the mortals and the holy ark has been captured'. 'Has he', they asked him, 'gone to his eternal rest?' — 'You', he replied, 'said it; I did not say it'.
Rabbi, at the time of his passing, raised his ten fingers towards heaven14 and said: 'Sovereign of the Universe, it is revealed and known to you that I have laboured in the study of the Torah with my ten fingers and that I did not enjoy [any worldly] benefits even with my little finger. May it be Thy will that there be peace In my [Jast] resting place'. A bath kol15 echoed, announcing, He shall enter into peace; they shall rest on their beds.16
[Does not] the context require [the singular pronoun:] 'On thy bed'?17 This provides support for R. Hiyya b. Gamda. For he stated in the name of R. Jose b. Saul: When a righteous man departs from this world the ministering angels say to the Holy One, blessed be He, 'Sovereign of the Universe, the righteous man So-and-so is coming', and he answers them, 'Let the righteous men come [from their resting places], go forth to meet him, and say to him that he shall enter into peace [and then] they18 shall rest on their beds'.
R. Eleazar stated: When a righteous man departs from the world he is welcomed by19 three companies of ministering angels. One exclaims, 'Come20 into peace'; the other21 exclaims, He who walketh in his uprightness,22 while the third23 exclaims, 'He shall enter into peace; they shall rest on their beds'.22 When a wicked man perishes from the world he is met24 by three groups of angels of destruction. One announces, 'There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked';25 the other23 tells him, 'He26 shall lie down in sorrow',27 while the third23 tells him, 'Go down and be thou laid with the uncircumcised'.28
MISHNAH. SO LONG AS SHE LIVES IN HER FATHER'S HOUSE [A WIDOW]29 MAY RECOVER HER KETHUBAH AT ANY TIME.30 AS LONG, HOWEVER, AS SHE LIVES IN HER HUSBAND'S HOUSE SHE MAY RECOVER HER KETHUBAH ONLY WITHIN31 TWENTY-FIVE YEARS, BECAUSE IN THE COURSE OF TWENTY-FIVE YEARS SHE HAS SUFFICIENT OPPORTUNITIES32 OF RENDERING33 FAVOURS34 CORRESPONDING [IN VALUE TO THE AMOUNT OF] HER KETHUBAH; SO R. MEIR WHO LAID DOWN THE RULING IN THE NAME OF R. SIMEON B. GAMALIEL. THE SAGES, HOWEVER, RULED: SO LONG AS SHE LIVES IN HER HUSBAND'S HO USE [A WIDOW]35 MAY RECOVER HER KETHUBAH AT ANY TIME,36 BUT AS LONG AS SHE LIVES IN HER FATHER'S HOUSE SHE MAY RECOVER HER KETHUBAH ONLY WITHIN31 TWENTY-FIVE YEARS.37 IF [THE WIDOW] DIED, HER HEIRS MUST MENTION38 HER KETHUBAH WITHIN31 TWENTY-FIVE YEARS.39
GEMARA. Said Abaye to R. Joseph. [Is it logical40 that] the poorest woman in Israel [should be allowed to recover her kethubah] ONLY WITHIN TWENTY-FIVE YEARS and Martha the daughter of Boethus41 also ONLY WITHIN TWENTY-FIVE As?42 — The other replied: In accordance with the camel is the burden.43
THE SAGES, HOWEVER, RULED: SO LONG. Said Abaye to R. Joseph: [Is it reasonable that if] she comes before sunset she may recover her kethubah and that [if she came] after sunset she may not recover it? [Is it likely that] she has surrendered it in that short while? — 'Yes', the other replied. 'all the standards of the Sages are such. In [a bath of] forty se'ah47 [for instance] one may perform ritual immersion; In [a bath of] forty se'ah minus one kortob47 one may not perform ritual immersion
Rab Judah reported in the name of Rab: R. Ishmael son of R. Jose testified in the presence of Rabbi to a statement he made48 in the name of his father that [the ruling in our Mishnah] was taught only [in respect of a woman] who produces49 no deed of the kethubah but if she produces49 the deed of the kethubah she may recover [the amount of] her kethubah at any time.50 R. Eleazar, however, ruled: Even if she produces49 the deed of the kethubah she may recover the amount within twenty-five years only.
R. Shesheth raised an objection: 'A creditor may recover his debt [at any time]. even if there was no mention of it.'51 Now, how is this to be understood? If [it refers to a creditor] who holds no bond, whereby [it might be asked] could he recover his debt? Consequently [it must refer to one] who does hold a bond [from which it follows, does It not, that] only a creditor [may recover his due]. because he is not likely to have surrendered his claim, but that a widow52 [is deemed to have] surrendered?53 — He54 raised the objection and he also removed it: This55 may, in fact, refer to56 one who holds no bond,57 but58 here we are dealing with a case59 where the debtor60 admits [his liability].61 But, Surely. R. Elai had stated: They62 taught. 'A divorced woman has the very same rights as a creditor'.63 Now, how are We to understand [this ruling]? If [it refers to a divorcee] who holds no kethubah, whereby [it might be objected] could she recover her due? Consequently [it must refer to one] who does hold a kethubah, [from which it follows, does it not, that] only a divorcee [may recover her kethubah] because she is not likely to have surrendered it, but that a widow [is deemed to have] surrendered?64 — Here also [it is a case] where the defendant60 admits [the claim].65
R. Nahman b. Isaac stated: R. Judah b. Kaza learnt in the Baraitha of the school of Bar Kaza, If she66 claimed her kethubah
R. Nahman b. R. Hisda sent [the following message] to R. Nahman b. Jacob: Will our Master instruct us as to whether the dispute4 [refers to] one who produced a deed of the kethubah or to one who produced no deed of the kethubah,' and with whose ruling does the halachah agree? — The other replied: The dispute refers to one who produced no deed of the kethubah, but [a woman] who produced a deed of the kethubah may recover her kethubah at any time;5 and the halachah is in agreement with the ruling of the Sages.
When R. Dimi came6 he reported R. Simeon b. Pazzi who laid down in the name of R. Joshua b. Levi who had it from Bar Kappara: This7 was taught only in respect of the maneh8 and the two hundred zuz.8 To any additional jointure, however, the woman is always entitled.9 R. Abbahu in the name of R. Johanan, however, ruled: She is not entitled even to the additional jointure; for R. Aibu has laid down in the name of R. Jannai: The additional provisions10 of a kethubah are subject to the same rules11 as the kethubah itself.12 So it was also said:13 R. Abba laid down in the name of R. Huna who had it from Rab: This was taught only in respect of the maneh and the two hundred zuz. To any additional jointure, however, she is always entitled.14 Said R. Abba to R. Huna: Did Rab really say this?15 — 'Do you wish', the other replied, to silence me16 or to stand me a drink?'17 — 'I', the other replied, 'wish to silence you!'
The mother-in-law of R. Hiyya Arika18 was the wife of his brother,19 and [when she became] a widow lived in her father's bouse. [R. Hiyya] maintained her for twenty.five years at her paternal home [but when] at the end [of the period] she said to him. 'Supply me with my maintenance' he told her, 'You have no [longer any claim to] maintenance'. 'pay me [then', she said'my] kethubah'. 'You have no claim,' he replied- 'either to maintenance or to the kethubah',20 She summoned him to law before Rabbah b. Shila. 'Tell me', [the judge] said to him,21 'what exactly were the circumstances. 'I maintained her', the other21 replied. 'for twenty-five years at her paternal home and, by the life of the Master, I carried [the stuff] to her on my shoulder'. 'What is the reason', [the judge] said to him, 'that the Rabbis22 ruled, so LONG AS SHE LIVES IN HER HUSBAND'S HOUSE [A WIDOW] MAY RECOVER HER KETHUBAH AT ANY TIME? Because we assume that she did not claim it in order [to save herself from] shame.23 Similarly here also24 [it may well be assumed] that she did not [previously] submit her claim in order [to save herself from] shame.23 Go, and supply her [maintenance]'. [As R. Hiyya] disregarded [the ruling. the judge] wrote out for her an adrakta25 on his property. Thereupon he came to Raba and said to him, 'See, Master, how he treated my case',26 'He has given you the proper ruling', the other replied. 'If that is the case', [the widow] said to him,27 'let him28 proceed to refund me the produce29 [he has consumed] since that day30 to date'. 'Shew me' he27 said to her, 'your adrakta'.31 As he observed that it did not contain the clause,32 'And we have ascertained that this estate belonged to the deceased', he said to her, 'The adrakta is not properly drawn up'.33 'Let the adrakta be dropped'. she said; 'and let me receive [the refund for the produce] from the day on which the period of the public announcement terminated34 to date'. 'This',35 he replied. applies only to a case36 where no error has crept37 into the adrakta, but where an error occurs37 in the adrakta the document possesses no validity'.38 'But did not the Master himself lay down', she exclaimed, '[that the omission39 of the clause] pledging property [is to be regarded as the] scribe's error?'40 — 'In this case', Raba told her, '[the omission] cannot be said to be a scribe's error, for even Rabbah b. Shila originally41 overlooked the point'.42 He thought: Since both belonged to him43 what matters it [whether the widow distrains] on the one or the other.44 But this is not [the proper view]. For sometimes [the widow] might go and improve those [lands]45 while those belonging to her husband46 would be allowed47 to deteriorate and [the heir might eventually] tell her, 'Take yours48 and return to me mine',49 and a stigma50 would thus fall51 upon the court.52
IF A MAN WENT TO A COUNTRY BEYOND THE SEA AND HIS WIFE CLAIMED MAINTENANCE, HANAN RULED:
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