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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Kethuboth
An allowance for maintenance must be granted1 to a married woman,2 but Samuel ruled: No allowance may be granted1 to a married woman.2 Said Samuel: Abba3 agrees with me [that no allowance is to be granted]4 during the first three months,5 because no man leaves his house empty. In a case where a report was received6 that he7 was dead there is no difference of opinion between them.8 They only differ when no one heard that he7 was dead. Rab ruled, 'An allowance for maintenance must be granted' since he7 is under an obligation [to maintain her]; on what ground however, did Samuel rule, 'No allowance may be granted'? — R. Zebid replied: Because it might well be assumed that he handed over to her some bundles [of valuables].9 R. Papa replied: We must take into consideration the possibility that he told her, 'Deduct [the proceeds of] your handiwork10 for your maintenance'.11 What is the practical difference between them?12 — The practical difference between them is the case of a woman who is of age13 but [the proceeds of whose handiwork] did not suffice [for her maintenance],14 or a minor15 [the proceeds of whose handiwork] is sufficient [for her maintenance].16
We learned: IF A MAN WENT TO A COUNTRY BEYOND THE SEA AND HIS WIFE CLAIMED MAINTENANCE, HANAN RULED: SHE MUST TAKE AN OATH AT THE END BUT NOT AT THE BEGINNING. THE SONS OF THE HIGH PRIESTS, HOWEVER, DIFFERED FROM HIM AND RULED THAT SHE MUST TAKE AN OATH BOTH AT THE BEGINNING AND AT THE END. They thus17 differ only in respect of the oath but [agree, do they not,] that maintenance must be given to her?18 — Samuel explained [this to refer to a case] where a report had been received that [the absent husband] was dead.
Come and hear: If [a husband] went to a country beyond the sea and his wife claimed maintenance she must, said the sons of the High Priests, take an oath,19 Hanan said: She need not take an oath. If [the husband] came, however, and declared, 'I have provided for her maintenance'20 he is believed.21 Here also [it may be replied] is a case where a report was received that he was dead. But, did it not Say, 'If [the husband] came, however, and declared'?22 [The meaning of the expression is,] If he came after the report had been received.
Come and hear: If [a husband] went to a country beyond the sea, and his wife claimed maintenance, and he returned and said [to her], 'Deduct your handiwork for your maintenance', he is entitled [to withhold it]. If Beth din, however, granted the allowance before [he returned] their decision is valid.23 Here also it is a case where a report that he had died was received.
Come and hear: If [a husband] went to a country beyond the sea and his wife claimed maintenance, Beth din take possession of24 his estate and provide food and clothing for his wife, but not for his sons and daughters or for anything else!25 — R. Shesheth replied; [Here it is a case] where a husband maintained his wife at the hands of a trustee.26 If so, [should not maintenance be granted to] one's sons and daughters also?27 [It is a case] where [a husband] made provision for the maintenance of his wife28 but not of his daughters.28
Whence this certainty?29 — This, however, said R. Papa, [is the explanation: This is a case] where she heard from one witness that [her husband] had died. To her, since she could Marry on the evidence of one witness, we must also grant maintenance; to his sons and daughters, however, since they, even if they desired it, could not be allowed to take possession of his estate on the evidence of one witness, maintenance also may not be granted — What [is meant by] 'anything else'? R. Hisda replied: Cosmetics. R. Joseph replied: Charity. According to him who replied, 'Cosmetics' the ruling30 would apply with even greater force to
charity.1 He, however, who replied, 'Charity' [restricts the ruling to this alone] but cosmetics [he maintains] must be given to her, for [her husband] would not be pleased that she should lose her comeliness.2
Come and hear: A yebamah3 during the first three months is maintained out of the estate of her husband — Subsequently4 she is not to be maintained either out of the estate of her husband or out of that of the levir. If, however, [the levir] appeared in court5 and then absconded she is maintained out of the estate of the levir!6 — Samuel can answer you: What possibility need we take into consideration in the case of this [woman]?7 If that of8 [having been entrusted9 with] bundles of valuables10 [one could well object that such a levir] is not well disposed towards her;11 and if that of12 [the remission of] her handiwork13 [the fact is, it could be retorted, that] she is under no obligation to give it to him.14
Come and hear: A woman who went with her husband to a country beyond the sea and then came back and stated, 'My husband is dead', may, if she wishes, successfully claim her maintenance and, if she prefers, may equally claim her kethubah. [If she stated, however,] 'My husband has divorced me', she may be maintained15 to the extent of her kethubah!16 — Here also [it may be replied, it is a case] where a report was received that he had died. Then17 why [is she maintained] only to the extent of her kethubah? — Because she herself has brought the loss upon herself.18
Come and hear: In what circumstances was it laid down that [a minor who] exercised her right of refusal19 is not entitled to maintenance? It cannot be said, In [those of] one who lives with her husband, since [in such circumstances] her husband is under an obligation to maintain her, but [in those], for instance, [of one] whose husband went to a country beyond the sea, and she borrowed money and spent it20 and then21 exercised her right of refusal. Now, the reason [why she is not entitled to maintenance is obviously] because she exercised her right of refusal; had she, however, not exercised her right of refusal, maintenance would have been granted to her?22 — Samuel can answer you: What possibility need we provide against as far as she is concerned? If against that of23 [having been entrusted with] bundles of valuables [it may be pointed out that] no one entrusts a minor with valuables; and if against that of [the man's remission of] her handiwork24 [the fact is, it could be argued, that] the handiwork of a minor does not suffice [for her maintenance].25 What is the ultimate decision?26 When R. Dimi came27 he related: Such a case was submitted to Rabbi at Beth She'arim28 and he granted29 the Woman30 an allowance for her maintenance, [while a similar case was submitted] to R. Ishmael at Sepphoris31 and he did not grant her any maintenance. R. Johanan was astonished at this decision — What reason [he wondered] could R. Ishmael see that [in consequence of it] he allowed her no maintenance? Surely the sons of the High Priests and Hanan differed only on the question of the oath,32 but [they all agree, do they not, that] maintenance is to be given to her? — R. Shaman b. Abba answered him: Our Master, Samuel, in Babylon has long ago explained this [as being a case] where a report had been received that [the absent husband] had died. 'You', the other remarked, 'explain so much with this reply'.
When Rabin came27 he related: Such a case was submitted to Rabbi at Beth She'arim28 and he did not grant the woman30 any maintenance, [while in a similar case which was submitted] to R. Ishmael at Sepphoris31 [the latter] granted her an allowance for her maintenance. Said R. Johanan: What reason could Rabbi see for not granting her an allowance, when Hanan and the sons of the High Priests obviously differed only in respect of the oath32 but [agreed that] maintenance is to be given her? — R. Shaman b. Abba replied: Samuel in Babylon has long ago explained this [as being a case] where a report has been received that [the absent husband] had died. 'You', the other remarked, 'explain so much with this answer'. The law, however, is in agreement with Rab,33 and a married woman is to be granted an allowance for her maintenance. The law is also in agreement with a ruling which R. Huna laid down in the name of Rab, R. Huna having stated on the authority of Rab: A wife is within her rights when she says to her husband, 'I desire no maintenance from, and refuse to do [any work for you]'. The law, furthermore, agrees with a ruling of R. Zebid34 in respect of glazed vessels,35 R. Zebid having laid down: Glazed vessels35 are permitted36 if they are white or black,37 but forbidden38 if green.39 This,40 however, applies only to such41 as have no cracks42 but if they have cracks they are forbidden.38
MISHNAH. IF A MAN WENT TO A COUNTRY BEYOND THE SEA AND SOMEONE CAME FORWARD43 AND MAINTAINED HIS WIFE, HANAN SAID: HE LOSES HIS MONEY.44 THE SONS OF THE HIGH PRIESTS45 DIFFERED FROM HIM AND RULED: LET HIM TAKE AN OATH AS TO HOW MUCH HE SPENT AND RECOVER IT. SAID R. DOSA B. HARKINAS: [MY OPINION IS] IN AGREEMENT WITH THEIR RULING. R. JOHANAN B. ZAKKAI SAID: HANAN SPOKE WELL [FOR THE MAN] PUT HIS MONEY ON A STAG'S HORN.46
GEMARA. Elsewhere we have learned: If a man is forbidden by a vow to have any benefit from another
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